Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gotta love Ads by Google!

I'm here today, pondering my lastest post, reading comments, considering work I've been doing lately (which is good! Work is good!!), and then I notice the Ads by Google box at the top of the page...the first ad is about schizophrenia symptoms!!

I guess that's what I get for writing an entry about the crazy voices in my head!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When Worlds Collide...

I think I've hit Social Networking overload. Very recently, MySpace got Tagged by my LinkedIn Facebook, and the resulting chaos has given me a headache! Which profile do I still need to complete? Should I upload that picture of the mini-marshmallow decorating that Billie did that one afternoon? And am I the only person who can't read those verification words?!

I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as a techno-savvy person, although I can basically navigate my way through most things. In some ways, though, I'm surprised that I haven't plugged into all this earlier. Especially since I can manage my Facebook profile from the comfort and convenience of my phone!! Side note: for those of you who don't already know this, I am walking reinforcement of the BlackBerry nickname of "CrackBerry" -- I'm hooked on my phone!

I'm even more surprised by all the people I'm finding...friends from high school, from college, from the broadcast business, from my work in the training world, friends from church, family members -- I had no idea that I could find so many familiar people in one place!! For the most part, each group is "segmented" -- meaning, high school friends are common with other high school friends, broadcast business friends with other broadcast business friends, etc. There are some overlaps, mostly in the college/church world. And then there are the people that I'm not sure how I know...that's fun!!

At first, all this discovery caused me a bit of anxiety. I suddenly felt like several different people -- some people know me as a singer, others know me as the one who was yelling at them for 3 days, and still others are unfamiliar with either of those elements of my life! I'm sure some people will remember certain things about me, some of which are still relevant, and others that are not. And after my initial insecurity and desire to find the closest non-WiFi spot and hide (which actually isn't that far from me!!), I'm actually excited about all of this. It's fun to look at pictures and read updates and learn about the lives of people who were once part of my day-to-day life. My favorite hobby is people, so to have a central location where I can keep up with friends and family members all over the world is fantastic!

And that fact that I can do it all from my phone...PRICELESS!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

So many thoughts....

...so little clarity. I hate it when this happens. My mind starts racing, and then just speeds up! Pretty soon, I'm traveling at mach speed down a road of jumbled thoughts usually leading nowhere.

Struggles are part of every life. Compared to most people, my struggles are minor! Almost microscopic! But that's not what my mind is telling me. It wants me to believe that this is as good as it will ever get. It wants me to believe that this is all I'm capable of. It wants me to believe that this is all too big and too complicated and too much to sort through.

What if I really believed all that chatter? What if I didn't know how to reprogram or turn off the volume on those negative voices? What if I embraced that defeat? What might that look like? Let's see...depression, anxiety, poor health, low energy, physical illness...not a very attractive outlook.

Something scary happens to me when I start giving an audience to the trash talk. I start to withdraw, because I'm "not supposed to have these struggles". Yep, another nasty little voice that wants me to use my struggles as evidence that I have no credibility in my job as I show other people how to change the recordings in their heads. How can I help anybody else? I cane even help myself!

Deep in my heart, I know what I'm capable of. I have a clear picture there of what I want. That's why I keep fighting. That's why I refuse to believe the talk. I know that I am more powerful than negativity. I have incredible tools, incredible opportunities, and a desire to get past this cycle of donward thinking.

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do. Thank God for another day to get started on it.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Maybe you've noticed I've been a bit quiet lately! I've sure noticed...and I'm not proud of it!! I seem to be computer challenged lately--every time I sit down, I get sucked into that black hole known as the World Wide Web...and there I sit! And I stay there entirely too long doing entirely too little...then things don't get done, then I start feeling guilty...it's not a good scene!!

There are a lot of advantages to steering clear of my computer...I tend to get more done at home, and I tend to get to bed a bit earlier. That's good, right? I have, in fact, gotten a lot of work done around my house over the past couple of weeks. That, honestly, feels phenomenal! Now, I haven't gotten to bed that much earlier, but that's a whole different issue!!

Of course, there are disadvantages, too...for example, if one has a goal of running an internet business, then avoiding the computer is going to be a bad business practice!! Then there's the email issue...there are times when I don't answer an email from my phone when I read it, because I have too much I want to say, and the thought of "thumbing" a long answer to an email is somewhat less than attractive!! Unfortunately, too many intended replies have ended up as nothing more than intentions, and I've upset a few people. (Okay, more than a few!!) I've learned over and over that when it comes to my email, out of sight is truly out of mind! Again...not good!

Then there's the blog...I've had lots of good ideas, lots of mentally composed entries, lots of interesting thoughts that I've let go of because I didn't take the time to just SIT DOWN and type them in. (Well, they were interesting to me, anyway!!) It has bothered me -- a LOT -- that I haven't updated this blog in a while. Many people have told me they enjoy my random postings here, and I feel like I've let myself and others down my by not keeping up with this.

UP UNTIL TODAY...when I remembered that, 1. I can email a bog post, 2. I can email from my phone (yes, it's all thumbs, but it can be done!!), and so 3. I don't have to risk getting sucked into the cyber-abyss in order to keep up with this page! I only need to DO IT. Make it happen. Do it now. Thumbs and all!

Thus, I address you today from poolside, watching the kids play, enjoying a remarkably comfortable July evening (which is rare in North Texas!!), and feeling a bit sheepish that I didn't remember this sooner! DUH!!!! Of course, I could apply this same principle to so many other areas of my life...things I avoid or side-step, things I mean to get to but just haven't, yet...ultimately the best thing to do is to just DO. NOW. FINALLY!


Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day Three...

...Of keeping my kitchen counter cleared off. Go me! Well, one of them, anyway. I guess this would be the time to confess that yes, I lean in the direction of being a clutterer. I really can't stand that about myself, but one glance at my dining room table tells the truth. I have a thing for paper. And mail, and catalogs, and coupons, and various miscellaneous things...ugh.

I'm pretty sure it stems from my perfectionist tendencies -- I don't want to decide to throw anything away because I might need it for something, so I manage to keep it until, well, it no longer requires a decision. Even then, even though it's just a matter of throwing it away, I still stall, because I'm sure that there are things in the midst of all the expired stuff that isn't expired, that still needs attention, or that needs to be filed somewhere. So it becomes a perpetual "I'll get to that..." pattern.


So I set a goal for myself this week to find my kitchen counter. Fortunately, thanks to recent work along the same line, it was a fairly easy task. Of course, there were a couple of things (okay, several!) that ended up getting moved to the table...the next area in desperate need of overhaul. But that's for another post! I will say that it's sooooooo nice to have the kitchen counter cleaned off. Every time I do it, I resolve, once again, to keep it that way. I know it takes discipline, extra effort, and a whole lot of cooperation from the other people in this house! That's usually the toughest part!!

So far, I'm three days into my latest clean counter foray, and it feels great! It's a nice place to look when I feel overwhelmed by the various stacks and boxes still waiting for attention. It makes unloading the dishwasher a lot easier -- that's always a plus! And I've decided to incentivize keeping it clean -- every week, when I've kept the counter cleared off, I get to put some money aside for a pedicure, which, to me, is one of life's sweetest pleasures! I rarely allow myself to indulge in such a manner, so the promise of a relaxing foot bath in an over-sized massage chair might be enough to keep me motivated!

Time will tell. In the past, I've not given myself a specific incentive. In theory, the reward of a clean house should be enough. Should be, but hey, reality is what it is! So I'll set up a chart for myself so that I can check off the counter and a few other things that I really ought to be doing on a regular basis, and I'll post it in a place where I can see it constantly. It'll sort of be like a Dream Board but in checklist form. I do looooove checklists!!

Then I'll expect success. That is probably the single best thing I can do, you know. It takes a lot of effort to fight off the little voice in my head that tells me that this time will be no different that the past. I'm all too familiar with that pesky voice...it continues to harass me about various things from time to time, although I will say it's getting a bit quieter with every passing year. Eventually perhaps it'll be silenced permanently...and that will be a GREAT day!!

That will be a day for the DELUXE pedicure!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Timing is Everything...

Perhaps you've notice that I've been MIA lately. Sorry. Hopefully you've been looking forward to reading something new...hopefully I'll have something new for you to read!

I've been struggling with ideas lately. Specifically, struggling with finding GOOD ideas, usable ideas, writable ideas! My timing has been WAY off...most of my better ideas find their way into my mind at rather inopportune times. Let this be a lesson to me -- when the inspiration inspires, make it happen!!

Part of my challenge is just life in general -- there are demands a-plenty, just as with most other people's lives right now! Money, schedules, kids, jobs...if it's not one thing, it's fourteen others! Sound familiar? Thought so.

So what do we do? I guess the answer lies in that old adage about eating elephants -- you know the one? How do you eat an elephant? Yep, one bite at a time. So I get to take one day at a time, one deadline at a time, one priority at a time. In a way, that's really the best way to operate -- being IN the moment, putting first things first, staying focused...those things sound pretty simple don't they! Fortunately, they are. Unfortunately, they're not easy!

So here I sit again, way too late in the evening, taking steps toward reestablishing systems and structure and patterns, all of which will move me in the direction of what I want.

I think. I'm pretty sure, anyway!

Right now, I am going to wrap this up! Thanks for reading...I'll be back soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Writer's Block

How can a blogger have writer's block?! That just seems silly! And yet...I can't deny the evidence: I haven't posted anything since Thursday, and as I sit here DETERMINED to come up with something interesting, something (HOPEFULLY!!) thought-provoking, or at the VERY least something readable, I find myself writing about nothing. It's sort of like an episode of Seinfeld!

Truthfully, I need to step away from the computer. I have MUCH to do, and I'm running out of time in which to do it. It's entirely too easy for me to get lost in cyber-space. While I'm there, I'm enjoying it, I'm learning, I'm connecting with people...and then I check the clock and guilt sets in! Time sure does fly when you're having fun on the WWW!!!

So, for now, for this hour, this post about mostly nothing will have to stand! Perhaps I'll be more inspired later!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Okay, so it didn't quite work...

Last week, I went to a water park, got a little "extra" sun, and set out determined to NOT give any energy to the possibility of a sunburn. I'm obviously a big believer in power thinking, and I really wanted to power think my way to a nice tan!

The problem all along was one of the silly voices in my head, waaaay back in the back, that kept telling me it wouldn't work this time! Silly, silly, pesky voices. They won this round, I hate to say -- I'm a flaking mess!

I know that a big part of thought work requires that I'm aware of the thoughts I'm thinking. And I was fully aware of the negative thoughts. And I must say that I knew, at the time, that I could have done more to change the thoughts. But I didn't really work all that hard at it. Doesn't make much sense, does it!

Well...here we get into a whole bunch of other issues. Worthiness comes to mind. As does practicality, maybe a dash of reality...all of which are very subjective. Who decides what's practical? What, exactly, is reality? And worthiness...seriously?! I'm not even gonna go there!

My biggest lesson here is NOT that I need to use more sunscreen -- although I did do that today when I went back to the water park!! My biggest lesson is that I have a lot o work to do to continue to challenge the silly voices in my head. The voices that tell me that it won't work, that I don't want to get up earlier to get to the rec center, that whatever project I need to be working on is just too much work and I'll never get it done. THOSE voices. I really don't like those voices...in fact, I think I'll be bold enough to say that I HATE those voices. I want them gone!

That will take time and awareness and practice. Well, more like intention. Intention with a LOT more energy than I have applied so far! I imagine the results will be worth the effort. At the very least, it'll be a lot quieter in my head!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Maybe I'm Just More Mature...

Once upon a time, I was a teenager. And when I was a teenager, I CARED. A LOT.

Not about current events or politics or environmental issues. I cared about how I looked. My hair, my clothes, my makeup...these were my top 3 concerns as a teenager.

I suppose that made me a pretty average teenager! My biggest battles were with my hair -- it's very curly, coarse, and thick, and I was reluctant to embrace it in its natural state! Throughout high school I experimented with various ways of taming it, most ending up in frustration the minute I walked out the door! Humidity...ugh!

For some reason, when I was younger, what I looked like on the outside mattered far more than it probably should have. While inside I was a bit of a mess, I did what I could to make sure that outside looked at least okay. I made sure that, before I walked out the door, I was fairly "put together". It took a bit of time and attention, although I must say, compared to what I've experience with various teenage girls in my life, I was WAY low maintenance! But it really did matter to me what I looked like.

I caught a look at myself in the mirror a few minutes ago, and my how times change!! Sure, I still care how I look, but it seems that, any more, if I'm going to invest my time in getting done up, it better be for a pretty good reason! Like church! Or dinner out! Or getting on a plane!

I'm not sure when this happened! I'm a bit surprised at how I allowed myself to look when I went to a small group meeting at my church this evening! No make-up, most of my hair pulled back in a frizzy pony-tail...not my best look, to be sure! (Yes, my clothes were clean! Whew!!)

So I gotta ask myself -- what's going on here? Why the sharp drop in standards? Maybe it's summer...you know, it's more laid-back, slower paced, too blasted hot to think about putting on make-up! It's been awfully humid here in North Texas. That has to have affected my results!

Maybe it's some new-found deep level of maturity -- as I grow in confidence in myself I find myself less concerned about externals. After all, peace comes from within and has nothing to do with whether or not I'm wearing spring or fall eye shadow colors. Honestly, I've never really understood the difference there!

As good as that all sounds, I fear the reason may be truly, utterly, shamefully simple -- I'm just bein' lazy! I have a lot to do and never enough time to do it...primping tends to fall down the list a bit! Sure, the heat affects that, and it's true to some degree that I'm not basing my self-approval or confidence on whether or not my make-up is picture perfect. That's a good thing! But at the end of the day, the truth remains -- I just didn't feel like messing with it!

To the ladies in my small group meeting earlier this evening -- sorry! Don't take it personally! I just ran out of time! I'll do better next time...I think!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Structure, Part 2...

I'm finding it a bit difficult to get my days and nights turned back around! Here I sit again, too late in the evening, knowing that I need to be getting off to dreamland...and needing to get one more thing done. I've been here before -- as in pretty much every day since my daughter got out of school! And every night (early morning) when I crawl into bed, I do the math in my mind -- how early do I want to get to the rec center, so what time do I need to get up, so how much (little) sleep will I get...and I resolve that TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT!!

When, exactly, is "tomorrow"? It's apparently, in my world, not the day after this one! And I know this because I keep doing mostly the same thing today that I did yesterday, and if today was yesterday's tomorrow, then I didn't do the things tomorrow that I said today that I would do tomorrow!! Did you get all that?!

Every once in a while I wonder if I shouldn't just give in and be a nocturnal creature. I've heard that some people seem to be wired for night work. But then I read an article about sleep that stated that NOBODY is naturally "wired" for night shifts, just as NOBODY is naturally able to function optimally on less than 7 hours of sleep every night. That's my other wish -- that I was one of those people who just didn't need to sleep! So far, that one hasn't come to reality. Bummer.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is going to be the story of my summer -- intending to do something different than I did. Doesn't sound like a very empowering way to spend a summer!! It sounds an awful lot like I'd be spending a lot of time beating myself up. To which I say -- WHAT?!?! Why would I do that? I've done enough of that throughout my life! I'm over being beaten up by myself!!

Somewhere there is balance, there is the structure I desire. And I suppose that once I desire it enough to actually DO something about it, then change will occur. I need to DESIRE structure to the point where I'm driven to create it NO MATTER WHAT!!

Will that happen? WHEN will that happen?! I dunno...stand by!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dream Boards!

One of the goals I set for myself for 2008 was to have an active Dream Board. I was fired up about it in January -- so much so that I put up a makeshift version made out of a file folder, taped my first picture on it, and pinned it to my wall! I was on my way! I had a long list of things I wanted to put on it, and I was ready to get it all put together! I was EXCITED!!

Then came February...then March...then April...then May...! Somewhere along the way I bought a piece of poster board, which then sat blank for a while before I put it away. I had another picture that I'd pulled out to tape on it, and I had certainly given thought to other pictures I wanted to add. But I hadn't really taken action on it. It was still rolling around in my head.

The problem with that is that there are soooooo many other things rolling around in my head at any given time, it's easy for things like Dream Board details to get pushed aside. It's not an immediate need, after all, and there are always so many other pressing things that need time and energy. But none of them really brought to my life what I knew my Dream Board would bring -- which was the ability to see what I want, to look at it multiple times a day, and therefore have something that will be the target point of my energy.

I heard a statement recently about visible reminders: Visible is memorable. If I just think about something and store it in my mind, it's very easy for me to forget it. But if I can look at it every day, I'm constantly reminded of it, and knowing how the human mind works, I knew that my Dream Board would have no power as long as it just stayed in my head. It needed to come to life and reality.

So, I'm VERY proud to say, my Dream Board is UP! I got out the poster board, started aggressively seeking pictures, got my glue stick out and started constructing! Now it's about half-full, and I'm still printing pictures! It's prominently displayed on my wall where I can see it several times a day (especially when sitting at my computer!), and I'm so excited to have this visible, memorable representation of my goals! It gives me a boost of energy to look at it, to study the pictures, to see the life I'm working toward! If it's true that we move in the direction of our focus (which I fully believe!), then I'm moving in a very exciting direction, and I'm anxious to start bringing these things to fruition in m life! But I didn't just stop there! I also posted affirmations, a copy of my personal mission statement, and one of my favorite quotes from Robin Sharma (it's actually a 3-paragraph quote!)! I'm surrounding myself more and more with words and pictures that are specifically designed to move me forward. And I'm 100% sure that it will make a difference!

If left to its own devices, my mind will not do me the favor of helping me move forward. That's why I love the power of my Dream Board -- it gives my mind something intentional to focus on. And life lived intentionally is lived FAR better than life lived accidentally. Think about that!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


What is it about weekends? Everthing feels different on the weekends...not as much pressure, not as many demands, more flexibility (which you know is my favorite thing EVER!!)! Weekends have a pace all their own!

The strange thing to me about this is that I don't actually have a full-time, Monday-Friday job. My weekdays aren't all that structured or pressure-filled, except for the weeks when I travel for classes. There have, in fact, been many times when my weekends are actually busier than my weekdays! And yet...weekends still hold their mystcal charm!

I believe in preserving the low-activity tradition of weeknds. I don't actually like having to do things that require getting dressed up on weekends, which is strange because I do enjoy going to church!! Other than that, though, I'm all about laying back on the weekends! It's the best way to be!

I apparently can't even think creatively on the weekends, which is obvious from this rather lackluster blog effort! Admittedly, I'm a bit distracted by a movie that's on television right now, along with the fact that I'm pretty tired! I suppose I'll do what I can to generate a better entry tomorrow! At least I don't have to leave my house to get it done! WOOHOO...Weekend tradition lives!!


I'm not sure how much I love summer vacation! I know kids love it -- no more school, no more books, no more blah-blah-blah...and speaking of teachers, I'm sure they're big fans of summer, too! And who can blame them?! In fact, there's probably a long list of people who love summer vacation! So I wonder what's wrong with me that I should NOT love it so much!

It's actually not summer itself. I have nothing against the season -- except that it's pretty blazing hot here in Texas! And no, it's NOT a dry heat!! I love going swimming, going to amusement parks, doing all those summer-type activities. What I don't love, though, is the magnifying glass that gets put on all the holes in my structure and schedule. Yeah...that's not good.

I'm admittedly not the most structured person. I sure want to be! I want to be one of those "buttoned up" people who seem to have everything under control. I'm convinced that they're out there...they're the people who get things done, get cards and letters out on time, and get their Christmas gifts wrapped well in advance of Christmas Eve!

I, on the other hand, tend to lean in the direction of what I like to call "flexibility". Which is just a nicer word for your basic train wreck. I have a lot of projects I've started, a lot of cards I've meant to send out, a lot of forgotten phone calls. It's not pretty, honestly. I do what I can to deflect the spotlight from myself...I can easily find ways to blame my kids, my husband, my job, my dog...who or whatever I can find. Truth is, though, that I'm the only one to blame. I can choose how to show up in my life, every day. And it's all about priorities -- what is the MOST IMPORTANT THING to me.

In exploring that topic more fully, I realize that it's time to begin to identify more clearly what's most important to me overall instead of day by day or minute by minute. Sure it's fun to be "in the moment", to kind of go with the flow. I get to take advantage of activities that I wouldn't otherwise get to do. Most of those have to do with people, which is by FAR my greatest "weakness" -- any opportunity I get to socialize and spend time with people I enjoy, I'm gonna have a tough time turning down!

The challenge comes when it's time to be held accountable for the things I say I'm going to get done. I'm usually behind in those things, not quite following through, not quite being as effective as I'd like to be. This is nothing new, mind you. Nothing I haven't known about myself for a very long time! It's just that, during the summer, with all the opportunities to take my kids and go do fun stuff with other people with kids, it seems to get worse. Not cool.

I know the answer is more structure. And my stomach starts to turn with the mere mention of the word! To me it speaks to missed opportunities, mundane-ness, even boredom. Obviously, I need to redefine this word!! Because it can also be an opportunity for project completion, business growth, satisfaction of actually having the job done and done well. When I look at it that way, structure becomes something exciting, something rewarding, something worth the sacrifice.

I'm still working on selling that redefinition to my sub-conscious -- it's gonna take a couple of days, at least! I know it's worth the energy, so I'll make a run at it! At the very least, maybe I'll get my kids to be at a reasonable time, and I'll manage to get a blog entry done sometime before midnight! That, in itself, would be a VAST improvement!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It's been such a fun week with my family! We've been to Six Flags, been out for ice cream, been to a water park...it's been a jam-packed few days of summer vacation! And we still have 9 weeks left! (Hang on a second...I need to sit down!)

My current dilemma is that I'm burned. As in SUNburned. According to some, it's a pretty bad burn, so I should probably be concerned about it. I spent several hours at a water park today, and although I did put on some sunscreen, I will admit that I probably could have used more!

I'm not thrilled with my over-sunning today. I've been down this road before, and it's not a whole lot of fun! It's actually more than a bit painful! I have enough trouble sleeping without yet another distraction...after all, I have two kids! My sleep is only as sacred as they allow it to be! But that's another subject...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and state boldly that I expect my back and shoulders to be 100% fine. I expect to sleep just fine, to feel great, and to have a really awesome tan! I've been reading a lot about self-healing -- the body's natural ability to heal itself, which gets bogged down in negative thought processes. So I'm going to test the theories! I will not give this "skin irritation" any energy. I will not give it special attention! I will focus on the fact that I feel great, my skin is fine, and this is no big deal. I recognize that somewhere, way back in the back of my mind, there's a little voice wanting to plant seeds of doubt. I'm going to put that voice in a closet and lock the door! And I'm going to turn up the volume on the voices that tell me I'm fine!

I'll let you know what my results are! For now, I'm tired, and I'm going to go get some rest!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And the results are...

Energy breeds energy!! Which I knew, and which, honestly, wasn't a big issue today! Going to an amusement park is too much fun...it's pretty easy to keep going! I'm sitting here listening to my girls sleeping -- their heavy breathing is evidence of the energy they put forth today! Rides, ice cream, more rides, a couple more rides...truly a good time had by all!!

There were plenty of opportunities to get frustrated today. I started to take a couple of them...then I remembered that the whole point of the day was to have fun, and that it didn't really matter if we did things in any kind of order. It only mattered that we were spending time together and having fun! As long as I focused on that, I had a much better time!

Isn't that a lot like life? We spend a lot of time going from one "ride" to the next, sometimes getting lost or turned around, sometimes waiting for things to get going. There are squeals of laughter and screams of thrill...and sometimes barks of displeasure or impatience. It's easy to find things to complain or grumble about if we choose to. But what do you want to remember at the end of the day? The long lines? The crowds? The heat? Or the thrills?! The chills!? The ups and downs that stir your stomach and give you goosebumps!?

Have you ever seen the movie "Parenthood" with Steve Martin? Excellent movie...check it out!! There's a scene in the movie where the grandmother likens life to a roller coaster, with all its ups and downs. Some people loved it, some people DIDN'T love it so much, and some people wouldn't even get on the ride...they preferred to stay on the merry-go-round. We started with a merry-go-round today, and we ended with a bit of a thrill ride, and in between there were all sorts of various experiences...and I loved them all! When everything is combined, it's what makes up the complete day of fun!

There will be roller coasters in life. LOTS of them! And there will be merry-go-rounds, and swinging ships and floating rafts and spinning cups! If you look for it, there is enjoyment to be found in any ride. When you do that, you find it easier and easier to continue to find the enjoyment and to revel in it! And to me, that's what makes up a complete life of fun!

I gotta go get some rest...I have lots of rides to get on tomorrow!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Solar Power

I'm convinced that my children run on solar power! I have friends who have kids who will sleep and sleep and sleep. My kids aren't like that. It doesn't matter what time they go to bed...as soon as the sun is up, THEY'RE up! Why? Because it's MORNING! (Duh, Mom!)

I've been guilty at times of being one of those "energy is wasted on the young" grumpy old-thinking people. I don't like that element in myself. I truly don't believe that energy is "wasted" on kids, but I sure do wish I could bottle it up and sell it! Talk about your ultimate energy drink!! WOOHOO!!!

I believe that life is energy, and that we are all creatures of energy, and that energy can grow exponentially when given the proper "life". And what I mean is that instead of complaining about the fact that my kids seem to take on Energizer Bunny-like stamina, which invariably wears me O-U-T, I really should get closer to them at those moments. I should allow their energy to energize me, to keep me going...or to GET me going, as the case often is! It seems strange that I allow my energy levels to drop when I have an endless supply of it running around my house! A BIG LIFE requires BIG ENERGY...which my kids have to the MAX!!!

Right now, it's not morning. Well, technically, it's very close! But the sun isn't up yet, which doesn't qualify it as morning to my girls! When the sun does come up, I better be ready to roll, especially since I told them that we'd go to Six Flags tomorrow!! Six Flags is something that definitely takes LOTS of energy...good thing I'm taking my two perpetual motion devices!!

I look forward to doing a little experiment tomorrow -- opening myself up to allow the energy and enthusiasm that my kids will CERTAINLY possess to possess me, too, to keep me going, and going, and going, and going. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Value of Nothing

Yesterday, I enjoyed a day of VERY little activity! Well, let me clarify that...after I caught my 6am flight, changed planes in Phoenix, got home, and had some lunch with my family, THEN I enjoyed the very little activity part! Just laying around, watching my kids play, dozing off a time or two, watching cartoons (one of my favorite pasttimes!)...definitely a good day for me!

Here's the problem...I have trouble with intentional inactivity! I don't do "still" well! Not that I'm generally super-productive -- believe me, I can kill time with the best of 'em! In my mind, though, to INTENTIONALLY do nothing is something I struggle with. I feel guilty, especially since I always have a very long list of things to be done. I know people who can just curl up with a book and leave everything behind for hours on end...I am not one of those people!!

I recognize that there can be tremendous value in doing nothing -- it can be regenerating, renewing, invigorating. And yet...I struggle. I tell myself I should be getting something done...laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing -- SOMEthing!! And "reading a book", to me, doesn't count as "something". Honestly, it's sometimes a little frustrating to be me!!

The problem is my perfectionist tendencies. I heard some interesting information recently about perfectionists that, sadly, described me all too well!! Seems that most of the time, perfectionists, since they don't do anything unless it'll be perfect, end up being surrounded by chaos, and therefore are really more IMperfectionists than perfectionists! OUCH. Which is why my new favorite phrase is "Imperfect action trumps perfect INaction EVERY TIME." True and TRUE!!

So...how do I reconcile this? Yesterday, I did a pretty good job of extending some grace to myself. Then this morning, my mind started in on me..."you shouldn't have wasted so much time, you really should have gotten something done, what were you thinking..." Pesky mind. So unappreciative of my need for rest! I had a busy weekend and a 6am flight -- gimme a break already!

I managed to quiet my inner nag with promises of super-poductivity for today. As of now, though, with about 18 minutes left, I have to 'fess up to the fact that my intentions far out-performed my reality! That should cetainly be great fodder for the voices in my head!

Lucky for me, I know that my mind just on it's own doesn't get the final say...I decide what I listen to, even from myself! And I will stand firm in my own defense, both yesterday and today, and remind myself that there's nothing I can do about yesterday, or even today, for that matter! I can only do whatever I choose to do for tomorrow, which will NOT be nothing, no matter how much fun that can be!

I WILL work on allowing myself more intentional down-time. Regeneration is important for long-term performance! Which is why "Nothing" really does have value...no matter what my mind says!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Attraction, Manifestation, and Genies!

If you've looked around my blog, you'll notice that I'm currently reading The Secret, actually for the second time. Perhaps you've read it, seen the movie, seen the website, or been to a seminar presented by one of The Secret contributors (would that make them "Secreteers"?). Since its release, millions of people around the world have read, watched and studied the materials. I've not seen the movie (yet!), but I hear it's even more powerful than the book.

According to the book, The Secret isn't a secret at all -- it's actually what's called The Law of Attraction, with the idea being that when you focus your attention and awareness on what you want, you will actually activate the "Universe Genie" to manifest whatever it is that you're wanting. Sounds cool, right?!

And it is cool...except...(that's a GREAT word, isn't it?!)...as I sit here on the couch wanting a sip of coffee, I can't just wait for the coffee to come to me and jump into my mouth! I actually get to pick up the coffee cup and take a sip! And the reason why I have coffee to sip, is because I WANTED coffee (usually do!), so I INTENTIONALLY MADE coffee, and now I get to sit here and SIP my coffee! So where's my magic genie?! I need a refill!

Maybe you're thinking right now, "Wait a minute...does that mean that there is no real magic genie?". Hate to break it to you, but no, there isn't actually a magic genie waiting to grant your every wish just because you throw it out there! What there is, though, is the truth in that you get what you focus on, what you create, and what you put your energy into. And if that is true, then you get what you want as long as you focus on what you want and assign your energy to what you want. And therein lies the rub...you first have to focus on what you WANT, then you do something about it! Honestly, that's a tough thing to do for most people. There are sooooo many distractions in life, so much negativity, so many people existing in their survival mode, that it's easy to get sucked into their vacuum. Then it breeds discontent, resentment, bitterness...then there are physical effects of that stress and negativity...good times!!

So how does the Law of Attraction and Manifestation work? Honestly...I'm still learning!! I know that I had a fantastic experience at the Phoenix airport yesterday which was 100% in line with what I wanted, but then I couldn't manage to "manifest" the shoes I was looking for at the store last night! Maybe I'm not a Master Manifester yet! (Quick, say that fast three times!)

For me, I believe it has largely to do with my awareness. What am I paying attention to? Because as I wrote about a few days ago (see May 26's entry about blogging), we notice things more when our awareness has been raised. So when I pay attention to opportunities, I see opportunities that I would probably have otherwise overlook. Similarly, when I pay attention to problems, I actually end up finding MORE problems, as I'm clearly locked into problem-finding mode!

This is obviously a much larger subject than one blog entry, so perhaps I'll expand on this as I move forward. In my experience, most people want better lives, but it's usually easier to give in and stay where we are than to put forth energy to create something better. Which is why the idea of a Magic Genie is SUPER COOL!! Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly work that way.

But just in case...Genie, I need more coffee!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Little victories!

I believe people don't celebrate enough! I'd like to officially vote in favor of open celebrations, even for seemingly "everyday" events. If we get in a habit of celebrating even the little victories, then enthusiasm grows, and every day is a celebration!!

With that being said...my celebration for the day is that my husband and I paid off his student loan!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!! It only took about 10-1/2 years, but we're done, and I gotta tell you, it feels phenomenal!! I was paying bills this evening, and I called my husband down from upstairs (he initially was a little bothered by my request!) to "witness" the big event! A click here, a click there...PAID OFF!!

This is only the beginning of our celebrations, and I'm not just talking financially! We are changing our lives, changing our future, creating an exciting legacy that will make a profound impact on the world around us...it's an exciting time! I'm glad to be able to share it with others, and hopefully you'll get excited about something in your life, then you'll choose to start celebrating, and soon it will spread!! Think about how much fun that will be!!

If you want, feel free to share your celebrations here...I'll do a happy dance with ya'!

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's a good thing I love to read!

Have you ever noticed how your awareness shifts depending on what's going on in your life? For example: When you first buy a new car, you suddenly seem to see all the other cars that are just like yours. It's because your attention has been raised to that particular thing, so you see the things you may have previously been looking past.

I'm finding that very principle applies to my new experiences with the World of Blog! I knew of blogging, but didn't really get it so I generally dismissed it. Once I more clearly understood the benefits (and the potential!), I set out to learn more and more about blogging, and I've discovered soooooooooooo much information to digest!! It's almost information overload!!

One of the best benefits, though, is finding GREAT blogs that I love to read! I've listed a few here on my site (just up and to the right...check them out!!), but there are many, many more!! Joel Comm's place at http://www.joelcomm.com/ is a fantastic blog, as is www.liveoutloud.com/blog by Loral Langemeier, and another place I found called Bruce*isms, located at http://www.bruceisms.com/. Informative, entertaining, thought provoking...and just plain good reading!! And that's the tip of the tip of the iceberg!! There are some GREAT spaces out there, where people are sharing their experiences and their perspectives, giving a glimpse into their lives and their hearts. By reading, I learn and grow and ask myself questions that make me learn and grow even more...all of which is good!!

I constantly have to fight the temptation to just read on and on...and on...and on...and on...and on...!!! After all, there are things to be done, day in and day out! But now that I've discovered this world, I am truly enjoying it, and I hope you're enjoying your glimpse into my world! Someday, I'll have one of those blogs that people refer other people to -- then you can smile to yourself, knowing that you were with me from the beginning, being witness to this journey! Feel free to comment, by the way...I've found it's usually more fun to travel with people than just by myself!

Happy Monday Evening to all!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yep, I'm a Renaissance Festival Geek!!

Every April in North Texas brings a new run of what's known as Scarborough Faire...a renaissance festival complete with jousting, highland games, wenches, and men in skirts!! It's an honored tradition in my home...we usually go a couple of times a season, and we "dress up" at least once. That means "costumes"...kilts, swords, custom-fit leather boots, etc. I'll post a picture one of these days! We do our best to use the lingo -- "Thank thee" instead of thank you, "Huzzah" instead of WOOHOO!! It's really a wonderful time -- something special for my family.

We finally made it this year, although only once, and we skipped the costumes (which was a good thing, as the heat index for the day was somewhere near 100-degrees!). We listened to our favorite bagpipe band (bought their latest CD!), chowed down on arguably the BEST turkey legs EVER, and watched the father-son knife throwing duo, throwing knives at each other using the same jokes they tell year after year! Despite our daughters' incessant chants of "can we ride a ride?", we did manage to see a few of the shops, and even bought some of our favorite bath salts.

Nothing much changes from year to year at Scarborough Faire. The King and Queen appear to be timeless and ageless. The Maypole always gets tangled. The parade always ends with this crazy guy named Miguel who walks along saying "This is the end of the parade!" And yet, year after year, we visit, we listen, we laugh, we shop, we eat, we sweat (it's HOT!), and we look forward to the next April, when the village will re-open for yet another year of predictable merriment!

It's tradition. And in my opinion, traditions were made to be honored, no matter how many things DON'T change! We'll go back next year, and the next and the next, and there will be comfort in finding things exactly as we left them the year before. I'm sure eventually some things will change, and though I'm sure we'll all adapt, we'll also be a little sad at yet one more thing changing in our routine, stepping inches closer to slipping away.

I like traditions. Especially ones where men wear skirts!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Power Within

So I'm sitting here at my computer, and my 3-year-old is watching a SpongeBob DVD (I love SpongeBob, btw!), and it's an episode where the Flying Dutchman (a ghost, of course!) is having an identity crisis. Seems he can't scare anyone any more, and it does a job on his confidence and self-esteem. This, of course, leads him to an extended stay at Casa SquarePants, where he and his ghostly buddies end up trashing the place. So SpongeBob suggests and answer to his problems...a self-empowering video called "The Power Within". I'm guessing it's supposed to be a representation of the hype-ish attention paid to self-help books, dvd's, cd's, etc. And this one is TRULY all hype...it just says "The power within, the power within, the power within" over and over for about 20 seconds...and The Dutchman is TRANSFORMED!! Tears flowing down his transparent cheeks, ready to hit it hard again...he's SAVED!! It really makes me laugh...partly because "self-help/personal growth" is actually my current vocation and a great passion of mine!! I can appreciate the jab of humor...but I'm smart enough to know that nothing truly transformational is a quick fix, nor are quick fixes truly transformational in the long haul. True change takes a LOT of work, for an extended period of time, usually for life. In my experience, most people don't want to put in that much effort.

I usually watch SpongeBob just for the entertainment value! Occasionally, though, I find something life-lesson-ish. That's just a bonus!

Have a great evening!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some thoughts from last night...

I love seminars. I love learning and growing. I think a great career for me would be as a full-time seminar attendee!! The truth is, many concepts and ideas are not new...I've heard them before. But it's always a good idea to hear a different spin...a different take on the information.

Last night I had the privilege of hearing a gentleman by the name of Mike Zundel. Mr. Zundel has spoken and trained in probably every major city in North America. And after hearing him, I can see why those who have worked with him speak so highly of him! He's entertaining, a well of knowledge and experience, and truly an engaging speaker! He spoke at length on the power of choice...something I feel very strongly about! Everything in life is a choice, and we either choose for ourselves or we defer to someone else and let them choose for us. Down one of those roads is our personal freedom; down the other...not so much!!

I think my favorite thing he said was this: While inspiration comes from the outside-in, motivation has to come from the INSIDE-OUT. Now think about that for a minute...how often have you looked to others for motivation? How often have you struggled in your projects or your business, and then deferred to others because you thought they should be doing more to help you? I know I've done that...far too many times!! So I guess I didn't really understand the essence of motivation...and how that's completely, 100% UP TO ME. Hmmm...

Sometimes, taking responsibility for one's results (or lack of!), is a truly uncomfortable thing to do! But think of how empowering it is...if it's up to me, then I can choose to be as successful as I want to be, no matter what anyone else says, thinks or does. That, to me, is truly GREAT NEWS!!

Be your own motivation, and create your own success!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Growth is GOOD!!

I get to go to another seminar tonight...this one is called "Moving Mountains - The Miracle of Personal Change." I'm awfully excited...I get to learn more about personal and leadership skills, leveraged activities, time prioritizaion, and creating positive personal change! All that in a couple of hours!!

I'm a seminar junkie...I love growing, because if you stop growing, you start dying! And it's too much fun to be alive!!

I'll update with what all I learned later! If there's one thing I love better than learning, it's training others!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Go David Cook!!

I have to admit it...after years of avoidance, I finally got on board the American Idol train this year (apparently after most people started getting off the train!!)! And I must say I really enjoyed it! Well, I enjoyed most of it! I wish Michael Johns had gone further in the competition, but I'm SO EXCITED that David Cook won...he was consistent week after week, and I can't WAIT to hear some great music from him!

I know my friend Alicia is bummed...she was pulling for her fellow Utahn (is that what they're called?!). But I'm glad Cook came through! I don't think my one vote made a big huge difference, but it's nice to have had my opinion stated!!

Anyone else? Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to share!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Does this thing really work??

If I understand correctly, I can send blog posts from my CrackBerry. If that's true, that's great news!! Now everyone can be subject to my random thoughts and typos!!!

Stupid tiny keys!!

Quiet People

I went to a funeral today for a very quiet man. No, not quiet in volume, quiet in "splash" -- know what I mean? He was a member of my church for 18 years, and I think he was there EVERY WEEK of those 18 years! He was a nearly permanent fixture in the lobby...until a sudden and massive heart attack left a gaping hole in the world.

Probably the most fascinating thing about Wilbert Hood was the fact that although he was familiar to everyone who came to our church, hardly anybody knew his name. It's actually quite sad...and I have to 'fess up and admit that I didn't really know his name either, even though I've been going to that same church for as long as he has. Over the years I've learned his name a couple of times, but then allowed it to slip away from my memory. I don't think I'll forget it again.

When word began to spread about Wilbert's death, his description served as the primary identifier for him...he was the black man with the great suits and the huge smile! And he always had his clicker -- he was in charge of tracking attendance from week to week, so every weekend he made his rounds clicking away...clicking, clicking, clicking...and as faithful as he was with his clicker, he was more so with his smile and his words of encouragement. He was a reason people remembered our church, a reason they came back.

I wasn't at church last weekend, so I didn't get the opportunity to see his usual spot without him in it. I heard it looked very strange, and very sad, and I'll get to see for myself this weekend. My church has been left with a big smile and big spirit to fill...and although we number nearly 2000 members, I don't think there's any one person who will be able to do what Wilbert did.

The words I heard over and over today...humble, smiling, caring, friendly, Christian, beloved. He wasn't one who demanded or called a lot of attention to himself...he was just quiet. Quiet and fully committed to God. Our Senior Pastor commented during the service that when he heard Wilbert pray, it was clear that this wasn't just a prayer, it was a conversation between dear friends. Incredible.

There's a song that's been running through my head this afternoon -- it's a song by 4Him called "Measure of a Man". Pardon me if I miss a word or two, but if my aging memory serves, this is the gist of the chorus:

"I found the measure of a man is not how tall he stands, how wealthy or intelligent you are. I found that the measure of a man God knows and understands, for He looks inside to the bottom of the heart. And what's in the heart defines the measure of a man."

Based on that description, Wilbert, quiet and caring, was the tallest measure of a man.

Do you know any quiet people? I have an assignment for you: find out their name, and commit it to memory today.

Well...it's official!

I've joined the blog world!! I'm truly excited to be able to connect this way with so many friends, family, and associates all over the country...it is my hope that, by giving others a glimpse into my world, I can be a source of encouragement, support, and (at the very least!) entertainment!! I've found that life is far more fun when lived in connection with others, and I plan to use this space to do that! Feel free to post comments, questions, or suggestions...I'm new to BlogVille, and will appreciate the experience that others have to offer!!

Thanks for visiting...I look forward to sharing my life with you!