Monthly Archives: June 2013

Anticipating Greatness and World Domination

I’m doing something this week that I’m really excited about. But first, I’ll share the back story…

A few years ago, I was really getting “itchy” working in corporate America. I wasn’t excited about my work anymore and frankly, I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t know that I had other options. I was doing everything I thought I always wanted to do, and my soul felt like it was being sucked out of the top of my head every Monday through Friday.

A friend introduced me to a few books and websites; one was the Art of Nonconformity.

I read. And read. “Wow!” I thought, “There are other people out there like me!”

Then I started to dream. What if…

I channeled the inspiration into a business called Volto (www.volto.biz). First I created the business and started considering what it would do, and then I chickened out. “Who the hell do I think I am to start my own business?? What am I thinking?”

Back to corporate I went, to the drudgery and misery of the Monday to Friday nine-to-five world.

Then I saw that Chris came out with two books: “The Art of Nonconfirmity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel”, and “The $100 Start Up: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.” Both are well written, easy to digest, and full of practical guidance that anyone with the inspiration to do so can follow. I read them, and my motivation again grew.

I decided to try it again. This time I decided on the work that I would do, focusing on all of the things that I really love and do to support others: marketing consulting, copywriting (writing strategic marketing copy and communications), and career coaching. I also launched a website that I am thrilled with, thanks to John at Atomic Cherry. It’s everything I dreamed it would be!

In the meantime, I connected with another like-minded person, my muse of sorts, on Chris’ facebook page following his request that we share our blogs. I had literally just started mine a couple of weeks earlier, and this amazing gal is looking to start her own and was seeking guidance. From me. Holy crap!

And then, it happened again. Back to corporate. Only this time, I have a plan:

THE WORLD DOMINATION SUMMIT

The creation of Chris Guillebeau, this conference is for people who want to change the world. As Chris describes his concept of world domination:

“I’m interested in the convergence between highly personal goals and service to others. I use the metaphor of world domination (ruling and changing the world at the same time) to highlight all the things we can achieve when we choose to live with gratitude and purpose.”

I bought a ticket on a whim back in January, not really expecting I’d get one of the very limited supply. I did. 

Apparently WDS is my tipping point. There’s a marketing philosophy called the ‘Three Hit Theory‘. In order to effectively achieve an action that you wish your target market to take, you need to reach them three times: first to gain awareness, second to show relevance and a third to show benefits. 

Tomorrow I fly to Portland for the conference, and I’m buzzing with excitement for a number of reasons. Not only will I get to meet Chris, an inspiration for this adventure that I’ve been dabbling in for years, and not only will I meet my muse, the amazing gal who inspired me to buy my ticket and challenges and supports my writing, but I’ll also meet over a thousand other people who all feel the way I do about work and life: they want to devote their lives to doing good work that makes their heart sing and utilizes their skills, talents and dreams to help others.

I’m so excited and so very lucky!! 

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Time to Fill the Tank

Sometimes I need a time out to recharge my batteries. I tend to run full-speed ahead and end up exhausted and sick if I’m not careful. Usually I realize when I’m running my tank too low and need to refill.

Now is one of those times. Despite all of my protests and promises to myself, I’m working ridiculous hours again: over 60 a week, consistently for the last six weeks now. Enough is enough, so I decided to take a day off.

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I did tell my boss I was taking a “mental health” day, and decided to convince a friend of mine to do the same. We booked a massage deal at the Biltmore Hotel spa, where we enjoyed the amenities like the pools and hot tubs, bubbly and big fluffy robes. 

The hotel is an oasis in the desert, with several pools surrounded by plush vegetation with Imagegorgeous, brightly-colored flowers. There are little areas tucked off from the main pools with little water fountains that you can get some quiet time.

 

 

As I was pummeled and kneaded into happy, jello heaven, I realized that this was what I needed all along. To simply recognize that I needed to jump off the ride, even for a little bit, to take care of myself and get my energy back.

It was just what he doctor ordered, and now I feel relaxed, happy, refreshed and ready to start again to establish my work-life balance. 

I’m a believer that the universe sends you what you’re ready for, positive or challenging. Apparently I’m ready to work on my work-life boundary issue that has plagued me for most of my working life. I got smacked right in the face with it with my current job, only two months in. So, I’m going to challenge myself over the next month to do better and to stand by my decision to focus on my life outside of the work that I do to pay the bills. This may be my business (which is a passion of mine so not what I’d consider ‘work’), or my personal life and all of the great things that I do and enjoy. 

I know that I can do it. And I know that I have a tribe of followers and friends that will hold me accountable. Thank you! 

Take a Moment

I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me to slow down. I move through life at a frenetic pace, often in constant motion. Then I hit the wall. It’s like I have two speeds: off and on. And when I’m on, I’m moving.

I’m taking a fitness class that a friend of mine which incorporates western and eastern principles to improve overall fitness. In our first session, she introduced the closing meditation, where you sit and envision breathing in all of the energy that you’ve expelled in the room during the exercises. You breathe it back in to your body, first into your head, and then into your stomach where your chi, or life energy, remains. Her comment was that this can be done not only after the daily exercises, but at any time during the day when you need grounding.

I laughed. I tried so hard not to, but, well, if you must know, I snorted. The thought of me having a moment where I think, “hey, I think I could use some grounding. Maybe I ought to whip out that meditation I learned.” Right. 

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I tried for the first few days to remember to do it at random times during the day.  And then when I was going to bed every night, realized that I forgot. Again. And Again. I had to find another way. I just wasn’t going to think to do this on my own during the day. So, I did what any other nutty over-engaged and over-stimulated type A personality does: I marked it on my calendar. 

So now, when I check what I’m supposed to be doing, I get a reminder to take a moment for myself to soak in all of the energy I’m expelling during my day. I know, I know, but it works for me.

Yes, I do enjoy laughing at myself. Feel free—laugh away!

 

Inspiration

I recently went for a hike, after not going for a couple of weeks as life got in the way and I was too busy. I love hiking. It’s one of the few exercises that I really lose myself in: I follow the trail into the desert and the world just seems to fall away, along with my stress and worries. The subtle green waves of desert plants and ripples of color from blooms take my breath away in their beauty. I get to the top and feel a real sense of accomplishment and adventure.

What do you do that you lose yourself in? What do you enjoy so much that time seems to still when you’re doing it?Image

 

Living with Joy

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu

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I caught an interview on the today show with a remarkable woman afflicted with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis). At the time of the interview she was in the advanced stages of the degenerative disease, unable to clearly talk for herself so her husband translated her mumblings. 

She wrote a book called, “Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy,” about her experiences. When she discovered that she had a fatal disease, she decided to truly live for her remaining days, focusing on the joy she had with her family and friends instead of the regular new limitations her body imposed on her. She wrote the book on an ipad, and later an iphone, with a single finger, as that was all that she was able to use. 

In the interview, her husband likened the disease’s impact on the muscles as driving a car with a tank of gas. If you drive slowly, you might be able to drive longer but if you drive fast, the gas will be used up sooner. Susan decided that she would drive with her foot to the floor, enjoying life and as many memories as she could create for her friends and family as she could in the time she had remaining. She always wanted to see the Northern Lights, so she did. Then she proceeded to take trips with her sister, husband, and each of her children to create golden memories for the years to come. 

What an amazing and truly inspiring book. It didn’t gloss over what she was going through, but instead, approached it with acceptance. She acknowledged the loss of her future with her friends and family, but willingly put that aside to enjoy the now. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this book and the lesson within. My biggest take-away is to plan for the future but to live in the now. I’ve always been very careful to save for the future, and while I don’t want that to change, I do think I could make some changes in my master plan to better accommodate my life now without sacrificing so much for an unknown future. 

Thank you Susan Spencer-Wendell. Thank you for your amazing spirit, thank you for sharing your experiences in your wonderful book, and thank you so much for making me think and helping me to grow and learn. 

http://susanspencerwendel.com/

Note: I receive nothing from sharing this site and have no relationship with the author beyond a great appreciation for her and her book.