I watcIron_Jawed_Angels_6376hed “Iron Jawed Angels” tonight on Youtube. Hilary Swank plays the role of suffragette, Alice Paul. And, let me say… if there was ever any pause in my support of women…in my understanding of equality…and in my gratitude for my right to vote, it has been decided. The movie runs from 1912 to Aug 26, 1920 (a date we all should honor). It is a well told and amazing story. (Unfortunately, the music was not to my liking but I am a music snob in some ways, I digress).

While watching this show, I read about a young 14 yr old former student of mine on Facebook. Her mother was asking for options because the daughter is facing daily sexual harassment. In conjunction with my movie, I can only surmise that our country has gained mere inches in the equality of all women? Of all people? Where we should have gained miles.

Take a look at this movie. Dig into your Feminist History. And enjoy the innate power that not only lies within each woman and girl in this world, but the creativity, honor, and advancement that await our country when women lead!
I love the #metoo movement, #timesup, and other efforts to bring a focus to equality. I will now join the steps to advance these actions. For this is a way my VOICE can be strengthened and heard. And for my SONG to be sung.

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Wboyherever you are right now, is exactly where you need to be. As you sit and wait for opportunity or chance or others to fulfill your hopes, you are exactly where you need to be.  Maybe you are working hard to carve out a path, a life, a greater opportunity…exactly the right place. And that place is PRESENT. Be present.

You can plan, schedule, reward, and enjoy but in any situation, be exactly where you are. Be present. Breathe and look and live.  The seeds you planned last Tuesday are beginning to move and grow. The seeds you sowed last month have sprouted and are heading back your way. And the relationships you made years ago need to be nurtured. Because you need to be nurtured. You work so hard planting the seeds, and giving, and producing. Take a breath. Be present. All will come your way in its time.

And your country….it is (for good or bad) exactly where it needs to be. It is a mirror, a gut-check, and a reality call on the deep dark wounds of the past. It is a small child hoping for care. And it has seeds that were planted years ago growing as we speak.        Do not despair, breathe and know that at this very moment, you are exactly where you need to be.

Rest, receive help from others, and restore. The plants that will push through the soil next week will require your attention. Take this time to become ready….because next week…that is where you will need to be in those exact moments.

Tpresent-wallpaper-4hanksgiving Week is a unique moment in time. Most musicians and artists have been rehearsing for months to either sneak on the Christmas scene or explode with fur and snowflakes!  It’s a touchy time.  Many people love to hear and see the Christmas festivities each year, but don’t want to admit that it is “that time” again.  This time of year means facing the past, loss or trying to reach unmet or unexpressed expectations.  This post, hidden deep inside Facebook, is the most real news you will ever get. Consider this a little present of truth, just for you. A gift of power and difference making.  If you want change, a release of stress and a path for you and your family to a simple more meaningful holiday… be the one to carve it out. Select simple gifts, keep traditions but set boundaries with family so you don’t get run over, and don’t forget to count your blessings at the end of another year.  Your health, your joy and the respect of your children and family members could be the best Christmas gifts this year.

 

It’s the little, conEverest 2016sistent steps that forge any path. Careful adherence to our daily routines, healthy habits and beliefs carve out the Path we want to achieve.  And bad or unhealthy steps inhibit that path, even if it is as small as a little chocolate donut.  You may be thinking the rabbit wins the race by jumping from one event to the next.  Maybe you are a rabbit and this has worked for you but I am willing to bet there are some small steps you count on.  Steps that are out of your Control – like waiting on others, timing, and patience.  The combination of steps needs to be carefully planned and yes – they include help from others.

It is the first weeks of May and that means many skilled and unskilled people are attempting to summit Mt. Everest.  There are climbers who have spent years training and climbers who just went out to buy their sub-standard gear.  There are professional lead climbers and guides and natural native climbers called Sherpa.  As a group, they will attempt to summit the tallest mountain (29,029 ft) in the world on Thursday. (I have included a link to the story below).

Each day, I am carving out a path of small steps and know I am making headway on my overall goal.  But, I believe I am at the “Dip”.  A term coined by Seth Godin to signify that place of quitting right before you reach the goal.  I am at the dip because a few of my steps are faltering – belief in myself, consistency, and I may have a hint of burn-out.  I must stop to rest, look at the crowd of people able to help and hand off some of the load.  In fact, delegating is a very good small step to take.  In the process of reaching my goals, I don’t need to do it alone.  Solo climbs are really not necessary when you face a mountain like Everest

Link to story on The Guardian: http://gu.com/p/4j34d?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

For the flower failuremonth of April, my blog topic was “failure.”  How ironic, I failed at writing anything on this topic until now.  Everywhere I look, failure has become a badge of honor.  “Fail quick and often.” “It’s better to fail at something you love, than not to try at all.” Even – “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

I get failure – a failed audition, a failed class or a failed relationship are all a part of my path.  But failure is not a part of my vocabulary.  I don’t see the inability to complete a task, a plan and effort in business, as a fail.  In mid-stream, ideas flow in another direction.  Choices to recover or save a project are the natural way to run a business. Like risk, failure can be planned out.

In the month of April, I haven’t allowed failure to focus me.  I have been making plans and taking steps – the topic for May.  I can bypass failure by making plans and taking steps in the direction of my goals.  That’s all I do and I think I am in a pretty good place.  With the help of others – I keep moving ahead.

My pp b&winternal motto for 5 years has been: “Use my Voice to show others how to use their Voice.”
For me this is about singing, teaching people to sing and leading others into a social justice, cause or revitalization of their own thinking. With a rise in the suicide rate, illness and crazy political talk, it is time to seek a True Self.  Look around, there are many people ready to join you in finding a more authentic path.
Recently, I watched several interviews and videos of Prince, who died April 21, 2016.  Prince’s death is overwhelming to me because I can not take in the reality that his calm, energizing spirit of musical and spiritual brilliance will no longer energize this planet.  Prince has influenced me my entire life.  I am encouraged by his ability to get things done, produce excellence and live calmly.  He is spirit.
All this has rejuvenated MY purpose in life.  I have several “half-baked” projects I am creating.  In the next few weeks, I must finish them, allow them to grow and thrive!  I must remember that I am also energy and story and gift.  Not to others specifically, but as a creation.  There are things to be done and to say and more stories to be written.  With this inspiration, I am on the hook to get things done.  Let’s see what the spring brings.

girl with cigaretteRecently I had coffee with a new friend.  After we got caught up with each other’s lives, events, and opinions, we explored a deeper topic of “what we want.”  We agreed there will always be opportunities, functions, Facebook & LinkedIn events in which to network, connect socially, and expand our business or personal interests.  What we wanted was to take a break.

Our conversation soon turned to…when is enough, enough? When do I stop searching for the “next thing” and focus on my own work?  I can’t continue to balance both work and play equally.   At some point, I must stop reading information and produce it as my own. As my friend and I talked about our slipping and sliding around town attending events, I realized I was not only looking for connection with others but a deeper substance with myself.  A substance only found when I make time to create, dream and explore my own work.

So, here is the question.  What do I Want?  What do I want my business to be? What do you Want your life or business or family…to be? The choices made today construct the path to goals achieved and successes.  Just wishing I were so-in-so or hoping for a successful business will not make it so. I need to find a better balance of work and play.  Coffee dates/cocktail events and teaching people to sing.  Friends and new friends will always be waiting to see me.  I must make sure I have done the work and achieved the success to talk about it with them.  Consistent good work equals a success to talk about.

IMG_2665For months, I have been carrying around this torn out page from an old Oprah magazine.  I am drawn to its colors, design and enduring message. This message is for me. And to be honest – the journey is all I have.  I can’t guarantee the outcome of any event or relationship, but I can work them out and enjoy myself.  I can always end a journey by selling my business or accepting another adventure.  I guess the present moment is a lot cooler than I give it credit for.

This month my journey has led me to a few coffee dates with some very interesting and connected people.  With each one, I had the privilege of telling my story and being surprised by our similarities.  A CEO of a national company, the director of a small theater and the president of a non-profit arts organization all have journies they are excited about.  Projects and risk, hopes and expectations that have no guarantee= enjoying the journey.  Maybe that is why their lives are so exciting.

I guess I have still been thinking that after all this work, I will plateau and enjoy the ride.  But, that isn’t true – AND, I am not allowing myself to enjoy it.   James Clear writes, “Your concern is to do the work, not to judge it. Your concern is to fall in love with the process, not to grade the outcome. Keep your eyes on your own paper.”  The journey is everything – and if others come along….awesome.

girlsSuccess is knowing what you should do and doing it. Failure, waiting for someones permission to do it.  I’m not saying feedback isn’t important, but getting insight from 10 people may be overkill. On Sunday, our pastor connected the Gospel to the cultural icon of The Hunger Games.  This kind of sermon is not my style.  As she tried to pull up the 4 note bird call that fans know from the show on her phone, the room fell silent.  And then, the 4 tones were whistle from the middle of the sanctuary by a second time visitor, age 16. He did what he knew to do and saved the day in a perfectly timed action.

What are you waiting for?  Why don’t you just start writing 400 words per day in an effort to finish that book you know you can write?  And why are you putting off the next steps of your great idea.  It is only an idea now, but your action and sharing it with 3 others, sets it into motion.  You know what you should do…so do it.  You are a success.

“Give metie board a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”  A Jesuit motto that invokes curiosity.  From ages 3-5, I was programmed by Montessori.  We met in the basement of a Mormon church with a curvy drive-way. I learned the value of self-motivation, planning and achieving goals at my own pace.  I was also given the freedom of self-discovery.  No one taught me to tie my shoe, I learned it on my own one Wednesday morning with the help of a tie board.  When we gathered as a group, The 3 teachers taught us french and the process of choosing a president, (I voted for Carter that year).

Early childhood development is like the creation of our human operating system. It guides our adolescents and adult relationships.  We use it to be courageous and make life changing decisions.  If the operating system was constructed in a harmful or incomplete way, we may not know it until our “fixing” as adults doesn’t work.  Salim Ismail, an entrepreneur and strategists, suggests that when this is the case, we must reconfigure our operating systems as a way to adjust our adult lives.  Not just override – but reroute.

For me, a lot of how I process and achieve success comes from my Montessori years.  Some people may believe that is unfortunate.  But to this day, I hold a warm place in my heart for this Italian style of teaching and I happen to believe I am free.