TPaulo Coelhohe word for today in church was, gift. Have you ever considered yourself a gift?  Or that what you have to offer yourself, others and the world is your gift?  Well, consider it because this is the thing you have been looking for.  Yes, understanding that you are gift begins to close out all the noise, crap and false self conversations around you.  To see myself as gift, I can say no to unimportant offers, controlling colleagues and mismatched partners.

For 388 weeks, my all time favorite book has been on the New York Best Sellers List.  This week at #3, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, is 1 of 3 things I would take to a dessert island (chocolate cake and water being the other 2), because it takes me back to a child place when I knew I was gift.  Another story with similar insights is the Wizard of Oz.  I hope to connect the two in my next post.

Consider the birds, children and the beauty of nature.  They all know they are gift. Small children naturally live a life that expresses their unique gift-ness.  After a 3 month capitalistic season of over gift-giving…. just think, you have been here all along. You are the greatest gift.

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As January unfoAlice Wonderlds, I continue to see clients for the first time, after the new year. Some I taught just a month ago and others are returning after a few months away.  But all are excited to engage and learn in this new year.  Some have asked, “how was your holiday?”  To be honest, I have a deeper answer than you are probably looking for. While this new year’s question is a polite conversation starter, I know my uncommon answer will encourage intrigue.

Over the holiday, I enjoyed a lot of down time with my immediate family.  I read and worked out business ideas, as well as performed in many concerts.  What struck me only recently was that I was listening for the next steps of my life.  An unconscious looking for the rabbit hole.  I got a split second glance at the unfolding of the next 3 years and how my next choices can support my family and small business.

Don’t rule out the door behind the curtain.  It will always reveal the past and the future in one extraordinary fact finding journey.  Going through it…is your option.

einsteinIn 2014 I started listening to Podcasts.  I wanted to step into a new thinking around business, creativity and other vocational possibilities.  I have narrowed my many podcast subscriptions to 2 favorites.

http://www.unmistakablecreative.com (with Srini Rao) & http://www.convergepodcast.com (with Dane Sanders).  What I like about these interviewers is that they ask open ended questions to their guests and everybody is OK.  The interviews are open ended conversation to inject direction, disruption and permission into my day.

The first Unmistakable Creative interview to kick off 2016 was with Philip Mckernan titled; How to Make this the Most Prosperous Year of Your Life.  Normally, I would skip right over a topic so sensational.  But because I know and trust these outlets, I clicked.  Not only was Philip disruptive for the audience, he disrupted the interviewer.  There are two ideas I want to offer.

“We give ourselves what we think we deserve.” & We ask people to help us but no one will tell us the truth…We already know the truth and we don’t want to see it.  I have been disrupted for days.  Maybe it is time for truth…which just might be a better view of myself and what I deserve.

If I ever feel like I am not moscar romero2aking an impact in the world, I only need to look as far as my refrigerator.  On the left side, just above the highly culturally advanced ice machine, is a quote from the late El Salvadorian Archbishop, Oscar Romero.  “Stop worrying about whether you’re effective or important, Worry about what is possible for you to do, Which is always much greater than you imagine!”

Carve out small steps, bite size goals that connect and relate to others.  Take small steps that pursue a larger impact while caring for self and community.  Caring for self is becoming the new way to do what is possible.  Asking the deepest part of me, What was I created for….really? 

If I want to stop hiking around the same mountain, repeating failures, reinventing what is already available and wasting time…. I will consider Romero’s intrusion – begin to see what is possible for me.

On pamarilinge 124, deep into a book that finished my 2015 reading plan, I find the secret to a better life. It reads, “We need to refuse to enter into an antagonistic relationship with ourselves. Quit blaming ourselves and being victimized, and take responsible steps to remove the victim….This is only useful to momentarily indicate when we may have violated our own moral codes.”  So, why am I the first one to disregard myself, my value and my worth?  And, how does this thinking affect my ability to live with others?… or even impact others in my same career.

The St Francis Prayer says, “Let it begin with me.” When I carry the weight of the “should” and “can’t”, I have got to go back to the view I have of myself. What are my values and my passions?  Am I valuing myself as a productive and even disruptive contributor in my career?  If the answer is not yes, I have to find out why not.

The view we have of ourselves, guilds and carves the path.  Whether that is to the right, left, into good relationships and away from.  Over the month of January, I will lay out a few ideas that can help us get and keep the right view of self. It will surely help to lead my life in the right direction.

metanoia imageThere is a beautiful song by the Sundays titled, “I Can’t Wait.”  She sings about all the thoughts in her head – with no reflection in her life.  I completely empathize and know it’s time to change that and enter a journey of metanoia.  I want to enjoy a time of vulnerability, rest and real life acceptance. A way of matching up all the thoughts in my head to small actions in my life.  I hope you will share your thoughts and enjoy the journey with me.  The blogs will begin again on January 2, 2016.

Birth of VenusRecently my husband and I watched a movie that showed much different than I expected. I was glad for the opportunity and for making the choice to see it. When my expectations of someone or something interfere with an opportunity, I know I will loose out on a transformation every time.  The movie we watched was about a man who took a risk to be himself, to allow his flaws to be seen and to follow the biggest risk of all – exactly what his heart was telling him.
I have realized, my desire to keep up with the status quo is wasting time, holding me back and therefore, keeping my voice silenced.  I may sound like a misguided creative “looking to make a difference” in the world, but maybe if I stop matching up with those around me and give what I have – I will do just that.

journey doorThe transitions from one phase of my life to the next are really a process of looking for a door. I have wandered into job interviews, relationships and quiet meditation in search for the door that will take me to my next reality.  Sometimes it has been the right door and other times it is just, the next door.

On the evening of July 31, 2015, I spent a few hours at home by myself.  I drank some beer, ate an entire chicken sandwich then ice cream, watched bad popular culture TV, ate potato chips and finally drove to the store to buy something, anything.  It was at the store that I realized that all these bad choices were an effort to “find the next door.”  I don’t believe I am in a life transition but a seasonal transition.  That night I was trying to shake off the hard hot summer of building my business and helping young singers realize their goals and walk into two weeks of rest.

All those vices I tried were like half open windows and closet doors.  They aren’t hurtful just mildly demeaning.  For me…the realization of the process is the way to my door.  My body will shed all that junk and my journey will continue. I have found the door.

Treadmill: Know what is your businessRecently I saw a post from a man I respect on Facebook.   (I respect him because I see how well he has and is raising his daughters). In this post, he was asking for a treadmill. For a brief moment I thought about how I could get me treadmill to him in Kansas. Then I read the comments under the post. The treadmill is for lambs or sheep. I really don’t know what that is or what that entails. So, I didn’t comment of offer.
This experience reminds me that my ideas are not for all people. My hopes and dream, plans for business and the collaborations I am constructing are to be worked out within my business. Not to project everything I am doing on every FB or IN post.
Know your business, who to share it with and who to keep it from.  You will always be glad you did.