How Tragedy + Perseverance = Empowerment

Today marks the 24 year anniversary of my Mothers’ tragic death.  It also marks the 24 year anniversary of the beginning of my growth process.

It truly amazes me how I can remember every step, every motion, every word, and every emotion of that day 24 years ago but I cannot remember where I set me keys 10 minutes ago.  I can still feel the pain as if it happened yesterday…I can remember the blood curdling screams coming from my pregnant 17-year-old body.  I can remember begging and pleading to everyone in the room to just let me see her….which now I am so thankful they did not give into my pleads. My mother was killed in a terrible car accident and I know that the visual of her mangled lifeless body would have changed me in a way that I may not have been able to recover from .

It took me many years to really experience a breakthrough as a result of my Mothers untimely demise.  I went through several years of depression and a feeling of emptiness. Several years of just being lost.  I was 17 years old when my Mother died.  I was 3 months pregnant and I was marrying the father of my unborn child 2 days later.  I think I lost my Mother when a young girl needs her Mother the most.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I, at 17 years old, didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a child…and how to be wife..are you kidding me??????  I was still doing homework for crying out loud….like legit….I was a senior in high school.

If you were to ask me 20 some years ago how I coped and found my way I probably would have told you some bullshit about being strong and working hard and being focused….thinking about that now makes me laugh!  Ask me now how I coped and I will tell you it was because of the leaders, mentors, and the people who gave me guidance.  My Father, my step-Mother, my Sister….they selflessly guided me.  Also, my in-laws at the time.  They had A HUGE impact on my life and I kick myself regularly for walking away from my marriage the way I did.  I divorced my Husband and literally just walked away from everyone.  I was young and scared and didn’t know how to handle things.  I have since apologized to them for my actions and have learned an EXTREMELY valuable lesson as a result of it.  I literally ghosted them….I will never do that to anyone again.  If I make the decision to no longer be part of someone’s life I choose to have the uncomfortable conversation as to why.  Not that I chose not to have a relationship with them I guess I just didn’t know how.  I should have told them that and they could have used their life experience to show me.

At the time I’m sure all those people thought I wasn’t listening….in fact I don’t even think I was listening….like I wasn’t really HEARING them. The point is it still got in my brain…just for later use .  It was through the natural evolution of maturity that I started to call upon some of the input my Dad and step-Mother instilled.  Also, through my growing relationship with my Sister (technically my step-Sister but I feel far too connected to her to address her that way)  who has been a beautiful example of the kind of person I want to be.

What I am trying to say here is that I did not get to this place of clarity for many years.  It did not just magically happen.  I think that is how some people see it though….because they did not actually see my process they naturally assume that I was always this way.  They assume they can never get to that place of enlightenment because they weren’t born that way.  I am here to tell you that NO ONE is born that way.  You become that person as a result of you who you surround yourself with and the stories you tell yourself.

I know that you cannot get to a place of clarity on your own.  It is through learning from others that you obtain that knowledge.  The opposite can also be said…you will get to a place of self-destruction, pain, stagnation, and a feeling of failure by surrounding yourself with the wrong people.  By listening to words of discouragement instead of encouragement, by listening to negativity rather than positivity….that will also take you somewhere…but it is going to take you to a dark place…a place where there will be growth but it will be a place where disease grows…where pain grows…where failure is an absolute.

I choose to use the death of my Mother as the birthplace of where I am today.  My Mother was 39 when she passed…It was nearing my 39th birthday that I had that  “OH MY FUCKING GOD” moment of realizing this was all the life my Mother ever lived.  I can either choose to bathe in pain of her tragic death or rise to the top as a result of it.  It is truly a choice.  It is 110% a fucking decision…..in every possible situation you have a choice…you may not like the choices but you still have a choice.

I made the CHOICE when I had that breakthrough moment nearing my 39th birthday to end my very unhappy marriage….that was the hardest DECISION I have ever had to make.  It was a choice though….either way you look at it….it sucks.  I could have chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage and live a very unfulfilled life OR break up a marriage that impacted the lives of a man, 3 adult children, and a grandchild.  IT FUCKING SUCKED!!!  But, I had a choice and I chose to leave so that I could be my very best self to serve those children better….to serve the my grandson better, to serve my team, my tribe, my community, and ultimately myself better.

Persevering through tragedy is ultimately what makes you unstoppable.  Surviving that time in my life is exactly what led me to where I am today….and I am damn proud of where I am today.  I am a very good person…I know this because I WORK REALLY FUCKING HARD AT IT.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am empowering.  And I have every single person that has ever been in my life to thank for it.  The people who had my best interest at heart as well as the people who were sucking me dry.  I thank every one of them equally.  The good ones for the guidance to the light powerful side and the bad ones for showing me what the dark side looks like and serving as a bad example.

DO NOT WASTE THE PAIN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW…It is your catalyst to greatness…it is the fuel that is going to take you to exactly where you want to go!

I please ask that if these words spoke to you in any way or you know someone who could benefit from reading them PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE THIS by clicking here.

It is my mission to help show everyone just how powerful they are. I need your help in spreading this!

This is what 2018 will bring for you

2017 was a wonderful year for me.  I have never experienced so much growth in such a short period of time.  I can attribute that to all of the tragedies I experienced.  The salon lost a senior stylist, had massive turn over, endured a security breach which left us with NOTHING, major appliance repair bills, and so much more that I know I’m leaving out.  Taking all those negative things and turning them into positives was amazing and a result of all the education I got in 2017.  I took many classes hosted by our amazing distribution company focusing on business strategies and systems, I read SO many books on development, leadership, and growth, and I attended the best growth and knowledge seminar I have ever experienced, Vision Quest, hosted in the beautiful Carlsbad California.

Reading and attending these “growth seminars” is what really brought me to this level of enlightenment.  Surrounding myself with like-minded people with killer strategies and a relentless forward motion towards greatness.

The A-ha moment I am having is that these amazing people who I had the pleasure of learning from all had one thing in common.  They all learned everything they know from other people.  That’s it….they took a philosophy, personalized it, ran with it and failed many times, kept getting up and dusting themselves off, and kept on polishing up their brand.  These philosophies and systems they teach and empower others with is nothing more than knowledge they learned from someone else.  It’s up-cycled information!

Why is this important to know and understand?  Because you need to know that the only thing keeping you from a heightened level of greatness is the proper information.  You have the desire, you have the proper vessel necessary to take you to the world’s greatest heights now all you have to do is fill that vessel with words, encouragement, strategies, and systems.

1. One book leads to another, leads to another, and leads to another

Every book that I have read this year was recommended by the Author of the book I was currently reading.  If you are really moved by the words you are reading know that the information that you are gathering are simply ideas and philosophies gathered from other people.  The Author received information, up-cycled it, and put their own unique energy into it.  Also know that if you are reading a book and it is not speaking to you….you don’t have to finish it.  Who made up the rule that you have to read a book from beginning to end…if you’re not into it put it down and find one that speaks to you.

 2.  TedTalks, YouTube, GoalCast….Videos stimulate you in a different way

There is something about watching a video that really gets me going.  To physically SEE the passion in someone’s eyes as they are sharing their stories and ideas…that is powerful stuff.  You can also learn great presentation skills by watching the way they present themselves.  The internet has put together an endless amount of information  for you to watch and learn from.  My favorite right now is Impact Theory…In fact I am wearing my new Impact Theory sweatshirt as I write this blog.  It says “Everything is My Fault”…and I love it.  I am all about taking responsibility for everything in my life and this sweatshirt empowers me when I wear it.  Visit Impact Theory to get some inspiration!

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 3.  Asking questions and hearing people’s stories

This one seems so obvious but I truly just learned its importance and magnitude at 41 years old.  To really hear someone’s story…man that is powerful and so inspiring.  Most of the time you have no idea the level of emotion that the people around you are carrying.  Most people will not just share that information either.  You have to give them a safe place to tell it (an honestly judgment-free zone) and ask them good questions.  Good questions come in the form of a genuine desire to learn about the person.  If you find yourself asking questions in hopes of getting the dirt on someone’s life that is the opposite of a safe place.  The information shared with you must be used for 2 main purposes…#1 to connect with the person that you are talking too and #2 to gain knowledge and insight that you can use in your own life.  These stories should NEVER be shared without the permission of the person telling them.

2018 is filled with opportunities and I believe these opportunities come in books, videos, and stories.  To be your very best self you must surround yourself with people who share that same desire and show action.  I consider the books, videos, and stories to be those people as well.  It doesn’t always have to be a physical person next to you it can simply be their ideals.

Read, watch, learn, grow….that’s where it’s at!!!  

What would happen if you could put Holiday Cheer in an airtight jar?

I was recently reading a really great blog post by Tom Bilyeu from Impact Theory.  It was titled “How to Manufacture Joy”.  Great article.  I will copy and paste it to the end of this blog for your reading pleasure.

It really made me think about the warm fuzzies me and so many others feel during this time of year.  Then that evolved to the thought “why can’t we feel like this all year round?” Which then evolved into “Duh, we can do whatever the hell we want to”.  The fact of the matter is that warm fuzzy feeling we have during the holiday season is nothing more than a conscious decision.  Imagine the happiness that would radiate from us and then eventually radiate onto those around us if we all created that feeling of love, happiness, and joy we have during the holiday season all year-long.

How do you do that you ask?  Well allow me to share!

  1.  Identify when you are experiencing those warm fuzzy feelings. 

While shopping for my loved ones the other day I realized that it is when I see something that makes me think of that loved one that I feel a great sense of joy.  It isn’t the item itself, it isn’t the purchase of the item, but the thinking of the person that gives me that feeling.  It made me realize that when you are doing your day-to-day routine….if you find yourself thinking about someone out of the blue simply texting that person and letting them know is so powerful.  That, in my opinion, is the ultimate gift.

2.   Act on it

After you have identified what gives you those feelings you have to act on creating those situations more frequently.  The holiday season most certainly does not have to be the only time in which you give gifts.  Also, gifts do not always have to be a tangible item.  There is no greater gift in the world than telling someone how amazing they are.  The gift of love and confidence…that’s where it’s at.  That moment that I decided I didn’t care if people thought I was crazy or weird for verbally expressing my thoughts of love, empathy, and compassion was the most freeing moment of my life.   Although I recognize that “words of affirmation” is not everyone’s love language…I know for certain it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone!  Not to mention we are talking about cultivating joy for yourself.  It makes ME feel good to tell others how awesome they are!

3.  Make a mental note of how you are feeling 

It is so important to take note of those warm fuzzy feelings.  When you recognize the actions that give you that feeling you are more likely to continue with those actions.  The more you give the more you get….it’s a never-ending cycle of warm fuzziness!  It is the epitome of having a jar in your brain that you can dip into whenever you need a dose of the warm fuzzies.

What it boils down to is being present….being on purpose….being INTENTIONAL.  Who are the most important people in your life.   Is it family, friends, co-workers, leaders, service providers???  Who makes you the person you are?  Those are the people you will start with.  Then let it spread like wildflowers!!

 

 

Here is the blog post I mentioned earlier.  I was titled how to manufacture joy

Dear Impactivists,

Let’s talk about holiday cheer for a second because I think it gets at one of my major life strategies.

I rarely think about this because it’s become so automatic for me, but it’s incredibly powerful.

What I’m about to break down for you in the guise of holiday cheer is actually what I also credit with keeping my marriage awesome nearly 20 years in.

Before we dive in, here’s the punchline: You can manufacture authentic emotions.

I’m not religious at all, but Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. Why? Because it’s a time of year where the whole world has decided they’re going to allow themselves to feel joyful even though it’s literally the coldest, darkest time of year.

If I had to guess, that’s exactly why so many cultures have massive mid-winter celebrations. They needed something to combat the emotional doldrums that come with the winter weather.

What I want you all to take away from that though is that simply saying “It’s time to party” can shift your emotional state. Once you buy into the fact that you can simply shift your emotional state with the addition of an external thing like a party, then it’s one more small step to buy into the fact that you can shift your emotional state, well, just because.

Once you realize that you can shift your mental state simply by deciding to, that’s when the world of emotional control will open up before you.

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Decide to Change

First, you need to decide that you’re going to shift your emotional state. This can be born from the realization that you’re not in a good emotional state, or it can be for something like increasing your level of excitement around achieving your goals.

Step 2: Choose Your Target

Once you know you want to change you need to decide what it is EXACTLY that you want to feel.

What’s the goal here? Are you trying to get amped about what you’re creating? Trying to really embody gratitude? Remember how much you love your significant other?

Whatever it is, get clarity around it. Set your intention.

Step 3: Focus Your Attention

Remember: you get what you focus on. If you’re focusing on negative stuff, you’re going to fill with negative emotions. Conversely, if you focus on positive stuff, you’re going to fill with positive emotions.

It really is that simple.

So if you’re trying to fill yourself with love for your significant other or excitement for your goal, then focus your attention INTENSELY on what it is about that thing that excites you.

I’ll give you an example from my own life. I hate the gym, but honestly most times I don’t even think about it. On days when it’s getting to me, I think about how awesome it is to look good naked, or how dope it is to be strong – or my personal favorite – the thought of living forever.

Once I’m refilled with excitement for that outcome, I find it very easy to start pushing hard again.

Step 4: Self-Signal

Alright, this is the advanced class portion. If you really want to supercharge your emotional state, surround yourself with things that continually reinforce that feeling.

Christmas is the perfect example. My house looks like we should be selling tickets. There are lights, trees, and Christmas music everywhere. Everywhere you turn, you’re greeted with things that reinforce the joyfulness of the season.

For Lisa and I it really is a magical wonderland. We watch Christmas movies, wear Christmas clothing, and dance every chance we get. All of that continually reinforces the feelings that we want to have.

And there you have it, my systematic way of manufacturing joy. Even I have to laugh at the way that sounds. I don’t leave anything to chance – least of all my emotional state. I just hope that this breakdown helps you not only have a more jolly holiday season, but a more jolly life in general.

Mad love to all of you at this wonderful time of year! Until next time, my friends, be legendary.

– Tom

 

This is what happened when technology failed me…again

In my quest to change the way the beauty industry is viewed by empowering new and seasoned stylists to earn the respect they so greatly deserve I was presenting at a local cosmetology school.  I do this by teaching the importance of how you show up in the world.  The night before I made sure I was completely prepared by testing out my projector, hooking up my laptop, and doing my presentation.  Of course as luck would have it when I got to the school and hooked everything up…. nothing ..zilch …nada.  Nothing worked.  I had to get creative….I had to rely on my story telling to get me through my 1.5 hour presentation.

After the presentation the students willingly gave me feedback telling me they enjoyed this class so much more than my past presentations.  It was my vulnerability and my engagement with them they really enjoyed.  I was very thankful for the feedback since I had another presentation at the same school later that evening.  When I arrived I had made the decision to not even try to use technology.  I was incredibly nervous because I realized that 1/2 of the class was comprised of the same students I had presented to earlier.  I thought it was going be a whole new class.  The story I had going through my head was that these students were thinking “great, I have to listen to her babble on again for another 1.5 hours”.  What the truth actually was though is they were completely engaged.

When I left there I felt really good about everything.  I felt that my message was well received…the next day…I had gotten an email telling me just how well received it really was.

“Hello, my name is Danielle. I was at HP Collage in Dekalb Tuesday night getting my hair done by my sister while you were guest speaking to the class. I know the speech wasn’t intended for me, but I feel as though I was meant to be there and hear you talk. I am at work right now, still trying to process and reflect on everything you said. What stood out the most to me is “fake it until you become it”, that hit me personally because I struggle with self-confidence. I always imagine a way I’d like to “appear” to others, but never was able to work up the courage to become that person. Well, this morning I woke up early, curled my hair, put on my brightest red lipstick and went to the back of my closet and pulled out a pair of heels I bought 6 months ago and had yet to wear them. I try them on almost every day… but they never made it out the door, until today. Today I am dressed the way I want to be seen from head to toe and I feel amazing. Walking into work was a little awkward, but I was flooded with compliments. I can’t explain to you how good I feel. I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I just needed to thank you and make sure you knew that you did this. You successfully changed a life over-night. My goal is to write down things I remember so I can keep reflecting and putting your words into my everyday life. Thank you Gina, thank you thank you.”

As much as she thinks my words changed her life….her words changed mine.  This made me think about one of my favorite Ted Talks.  How telling someone the impact you had on their life effects you.  Because Danielle went out of her way to share that with me has given me the confidence to pursue this mission that I am on full strength!!! Danielle has now became a leader herself….first, this new lease on life she has is going to inspire and empower those around her to do the same….second, because she sent that email my mission has gotten greater and I will continue to change the lives of others….SHE DID THAT.  A leader is defined as a person who guides or directs.  Well Danielle is definitely keeping me in the direction of greatness.

I am a firm believer in the power of the universe.  A dear friend gave me this great little box of inspirational quotes and daily motivators. Yesterday here is the one I pulled…it gave me chills.  “You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you” by Bryan Tracy.  EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAS THE POWER OF GREATNESS.  Are you showing it to the world?  Put yourself in a position in which you cannot be ignored. How do you do that?  You look your absolute best…if you put on an outfit in the morning and your thought is “meh, it will do”…BURN THAT SHIT.  It does not belong in your closet.  Get a killer haircut, do your makeup, smell irresistible, only wear something that you know you look fucking amazing in.  Make eye contact, shake hands, smile, use killer dialogue, stand up straight, be on time, and have a great attitude.  If you are not confident enough to do these things…..fake it, fake it every damn day until one day you realize you’re not faking it…you have just become that confident!!!

Please share this with everyone you know!!!  Shit, share it with everyone you don’t know too!  You never know who might be reading that needs to hear these exact words!

 

This is what happens when you share your story

Today is one of those days that I will remember as one of the greatest I have ever experienced.  You know those days????  When you can reflect on something that happened or someplace that you went and it changed you forever.  Today was one of those days for me.

It began with a breakfast meeting with my very first “professional” mentors.  Stephen and Tricia Wake who own Focas Salon in Saint Charles IL.  They taught me so much!  So much more than how do to kick ass hair.  They taught me how to be an amazing human being.  They opened my mind to a whole life I didn’t even know was possible.  A couple of weeks ago I had this moment where I had just realized what a profound impact these 2 people had on my life.  I had always known it but I saw it differently at that moment for whatever reason.  I knew immediately that I had to contact them!  I had to let them know how wonderful they are.  As a fellow small business owner we hear criticism on a regular basis and it is so rare that people go out of their way to share the good stuff.  I knew that I had to let them know what a positive effect they had on my life.  I knew going in that 2 things would happen as a result of it #1.  It would give them the extra boost of confidence that comes from knowing you impacted someones life and it would keep them moving forward in helping them build their team.  #2.  It would allow me to work on my vulnerability and story sharing.  What happened though was so much more than that.  It became a collaboration of minds.  3 like-minded people traveling the same path in life sharing our “secrets” to success with one another to help empower the other.  It was beautiful.

Next, I was in-between appointments and I was starving.  There is a whole lot of eating involved in today I am realizing.  Anyhow, I decided to check out this new restaurant in town called Craft Urban in Geneva, IL.  Holy shit is this place incredible…1st off…talk about a visually appealing environment.  It’s wide open, brightly colored but not obnoxiously, everyone has an edginess to them but not in an intimidating kind of way, and oh my god…the kindness…the genuine kindness.  SO amazing!  That is what I noticed just while walking in.  Now, you get to the menu…simple, to the point, unique selections, OBVIOUSLY INTENTIONAL in every possible way.  I struck up an amazing conversation with the bartender and the owner.  This place is special.  Not to mention they have a Friday and Saturday late night Ramen menu….what?????  Every Friday and Saturday they have a new ramen selection.  Taco Tuesdays serving different tacos every week…YUM, but I digress.  The point is I learned their stories and it was beautiful.

Lastly but certainly not least I went to a new place for my pedicure today.  Lisa Clark at Lacquered Up in downtown Geneva, IL.  This woman….oh my god this woman.  She is the most beautiful soul with such an amazing story not to mention she does some killer nails for a super super reasonable price (side note). It was because she shared her story and truly engaged in mine that I made a connection with this beautiful human being that I will never forget.  I am truly and I do mean TRULY a better person as a result of talking to her for an hour.  Her insight on life, love, perspective, intentionality, and her spiritual mindedness changed me!!  Listen to what I am saying…..if she hadn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable and true that connection would have never happened.  If I put up a wall and didn’t engage with her we both would have missed out on a connection.

Remember that is the whole purpose of life...connection.  That is why we are here.  There are so many people in the world that would say “oh it’s just nails”, or “it’s just hair”, or “it’s just bartending”…the list goes on of occupations that are snubbed but think of it this way…we sat eye to eye, there was actual physical contact which means there was a transfer of energy…we engaged with one another…we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.  If that is not some powerful shit I don’t know what is.  Not only did Lisa give me the confidence that comes from looking my best….I feel great when my feet look good!  She also touched my mind and my soul.  Because of that PEDICURE I am a better person.  I grew as a human being.  Thank you Lisa Clark!  (630) 277-2555 for all you local people….you won’t regret it 😉

Here is my point….it was through actual real conversation….REAL CONVERSATION that I was able to connect with people on a beautiful plane today.  Imagine what I would’ve missed out on if I would’ve just been on my phone the whole time.  What if I hadn’t reached out to Stephen and Tricia because I was to embarrassed about what they would think about me contacting them out of the blue.  Imagine if I would’ve been to self-conscious to dine alone and didn’t go into Craft Urban today.

No matter who you are…no matter what your path in life is…you have so much to offer!  You are so powerful….you have the ability to change someones entire life but ONLY if you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.  Embrace every facet of your existence…whether you came from a life of tremendous abundance or horrible scarcity.  No matter if you are a brain surgeon, a CEO, a nail technician, a hairdresser, a server, or a student…..YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD…I beg you please do not pass that opportunity simply because you were too afraid to put yourself out there.  GO BIG….show the world exactly who you are!

Please pass this along..  I would be humbled and honored if you would share this with someone in your life!

What happens when finally you know what you didn’t know?

It’s crazy how often it happens that I will be listening to an audiobook or reading a blog and I just have an A-HA moment…sometimes it has nothing to do with what I am even reading or listening to.  My theory is that I am in a state of open-mindedness when I am reading/listening so my brain uses it as an opportunity to explore other ideas.

Well here was my A-HA moment that I had this morning.  I made the discovery today that I’ve always known what I have wanted but I did not know how to articulate it so it’s impossible to put it out in the universe.  I feel that it takes hearing someone else articulate it that you have that moment of “THAT’S IT!!!  That’s what I want”. I met the person that articulated exactly what it is that I want.  Not only did she articulate it she did it in the most passionate, energetic, motivational, inspirational way that it literally took everything I had not to jump up on the table and start praising’ Jesus and howling’ hallelujah!

Before I share my A-HA moment let me share a story that I believe to be a tragic.  We have a beautiful young woman on our team.  She started out as concierge but was so inspired by Lola that she decided she wanted to be a hairdresser.  I saw her change…she became more passionate than ever.  Then I noticed another change.  She just wasn’t herself.  I talked to her about what was going on.  Her parents were not supporting her choice to choose hairdressing as her occupation.  They told her there was no money it.  They told her if she continued to pursue that path they would cut her off completely.  They wouldn’t help her in any way….room and board, food, cell phones, student loans…totally cut off.  I was appalled.  I couldn’t believe that an industry that I have pledged my allegiance to was being viewed this way.  A career that bought me homes, cars, supported a family of 5, paid for family vacations, not to mention all the people my industry has helped by giving them the added confidence that comes from looking their best.  Because she so greatly depends on her parents support while going school she had no choice but to leave the industry and pursue a field she is not passionate about.  I can’t think of anything more tragic honestly.

I had spent a weekend at a convention…I hate using that word… it sounds so vanilla…we are going to call it a gathering of greatness.  I was able to see a woman speak who literally was able to give me the words to articulate what my goal is.  My goal is to change the way that hairdressing is viewed by empowering future professionals to demand the respect my industry so greatly deserves.  Demand respect by being their best possible selves…by branding themselves in such a way that they become all-powerful leaders themselves.  I have come to realize that this is not already happening because no one is telling them they can!!  That they are smart, courageous, powerful human beings that have the ability to change the world….they don’t know what they don’t know….but I do…so now, so will they too!

We all know the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that is about as true as true gets.  You don’t know what you don’t know…but someone knows!!!  If they don’t know yet they are on the path of knowing.  It’s a matter of seeking those people out.  Sometimes you don’t even know who or what you are looking for…all you have to do though is google a word that you are interested in…health, fitness, leadership, parenting skills, healthy relationships, beauty, whatever it is…you will come across an endless list of options to begin that journey.   Take a moment today to just google a word you are interested in…the universe works in mysterious ways.  I guarantee if you being to seek it out they answer will come to you.  I have personally seen it happen time after time.  Please share your discoveries with me!!

Me really means Us

Yesterday I celebrated my 41st birthday.  41 YEARS!!!  Holy shit!  Although some would say I have 41 years of experience under my belt I will say for the first 39 of them it was truly one 1 year of experience done 39 times.

When I reflect of the first half of my life it was me just skating.  No real destination…just wake up, do my thing, go to bed and repeat.  I feel like I have learned and truly experienced more in the last 2 years of my life than I did in those 39 years that came before it.

In my ongoing quest of intentional living it must be known that I share these stories as a way of letting YOU know that anything is possible. That YOU can do and be whatever and whoever you want.  The words I and me are used a lot in my blogs but what those words really mean are you and us.  What I mean by that is that I am just a girl…just a 41-year-old suburbanite woman with nothing more than a high school diploma and a cosmetology license.  There is not one single thing that I have done in my life that ANYBODY couldn’t do.

As you read these stories and insights I hope you are able to look at them through a reflective lens.  YOU are capable of living whatever life you want to live…the key though is to first figure out what that is.  What does the life you want to live look like?

I have started an online course that helps you really figure out what your goals in life are. Vishen Lakhiani, creator and founder of Mind Valley, has such a knack for helping you figure out exactly what you want out of life.  He will guide you through an exercise in which you create goals based on the 3 most important categories…Experience, Growth, and Contribution.  Within those 3 categories are 4 sub-categories.  In the experience category is love relationships, friendships, adventures, and environment.  In the growth category is health and fitness, intellectual life, skills, and spiritual life.  Finally in the category of contribution is  career, creative life, family life, and community life.   You write these things down and when you are done you have everything you want out of life on paper that you can see everyday!

The course is called Extraordinary by Design…it is completely free and it is a wonderful self-exploration exercise. Click here to start living the life you have always wanted.  It does not require a lot of time.  Each session averages about 15 minutes.  Some are a little more…some a little less.  You have absolutely nothing to lose except for a life that you are not happy with!

I have been amazed at how much I have learned about myself in this short process.  As I mentioned earlier when I say I it means you…so you will be amazed at what you learn as well.  When you are finished making your sheets hang them at home and at work where everyone can see them.  Encourage friends, family, and co-workers to do the same so that you can all connect as human beings and support each other through your path!  I am so excited for you!  Enjoy the process and please share your stories of discovery with me.  Also share your goals with me and everyone….you never know who may be the person who can connect you with a goal!!!

 

Intentionally Lola, Dopamine Dealer. Here’s my card

Hey kids, I’ve got something for you. You are going to love the way it makes you feel. I’m going to give you just a little taste of it now. Go tell all your friends about it and then come back and see me when you’re ready for more.

What is it that you’re getting a taste of you ask? It’s called dopamine and I’ve got the good stuff! I’ve been getting my supply from people around the world but I just got my biggest and best supply to date and I am willing to share it with you. There’s a catch though. You have to take it and share it with your friends.

Here ya go, open your mind wide and say ahhhhhhh. Here’s a taste.

You know that thing that you’ve been wanting to do? You hear that voice in your head that keeps nagging you about what you really WANT to do in your life? Well, today is the day. Today is the day that you start making that shit happen and stop waiting for the right time. That “right time” is never going to come.

Today is the day that you start seeking out the other people in the world that have done what you are wanting to do. They are out there but here’s the thing…you have to find them. Find them, talk to them, ask them questions, and then implement their suggestions. Then go back and ask them more questions….not until you have used all the information they gave you last time though. Nothing is going to annoy a great mentor more than a person asking for help and then them not taking action on it.

Find out what books they’re reading. Find out what podcasts and TED-talks they are listening to….then you read those books….you listen to those podcasts and TED-talks. Then start doing the things they are doing. Here’s the thing…because you have a different personality, different look, different style…you could try to do things exactly like that other person but it will be a little different because it will be coming from you. You are going to put your own unique spin on it and maybe even make it better than the original.

Surround yourself with the people you want to be like….that’s how you make shit happen. BAM! I know you’re gonna run out of that little supply I gave you but you know where to find me….I’ll be here and I can give you even more next time. You just let me know how much you’ll need and I will make sure you get plenty. Make sure you share it with your friends too though. They will love it just as much as you do!!!

5 beautiful things that will happen when you start living intentionally

My decision to live an intentional life came just before my 39th birthday.  39 years was all the life my Mother had lived before she was tragically killed in a car accident.  It wasn’t until I was turning that same age that I had the realization of “This is all the life she had ever lived”.  It was a monumental life changing moment for me.  My Mother died in the blink of an eye and I had decided I wanted to live my life as if my days were numbered….let’s face it they may be.  There are no guarantees except for the moment you’re currently in.

In the beginning of making this lifestyle change it can be a little scary.  You will find that some of the people around you are not supportive and wonder why you are acting so “selfishly”.  I faced that myself.  I found that those people were draining me for their own gain.  It feels uncomfortable and scary in the beginning but once things get going and inertia takes over and you become unstoppable.

I sought out books, videos, and blogs seeking inspiration and motivation.  Here are 10 videos that kept me going through this transitional period.  I have watched these videos over and over again.  Whenever I am feeling like a need a little support to keep me going I seek these out.

 

#1

Lessons from a 3rd grade drop out

I still cry every time I watch this video.  I truly believe there is a lesson to be learned from every moment of everyday.  From every person you meet.  I have learned far more in the failures of my life than I ever did in the successes of my school education.  When you live intentionally you begin taking in everything around you.  You start appreciating the lessons that can learned from everyone.

#2

I drove here

This is Chris Garner.  Will Smith played him in “The Pursuit of Happiness”.  There is so much truth in this short little snippet.  I couldn’t change my life until I accepted responsibility for being where I was.  You cannot blame anyone else for your problems,  Like it or not you are solely responsible for your destination in life.  The beautiful things is that it is solely your responsibility to change it!  You begin to own all of your failures and therefore transform them into successes.

#3

Don’t back down from sharks

This video has so many lessons in it that you feel like you can do anything after watching it.  It is a reminder that the little things matter.  The little things get you to the big things. Something as small as making your bed every morning will get you one step closer to your life’s ambition.   Also that there are many sharks in the world, you mustn’t back down from them.  When you choose to live your life exactly the way you want you begin to recognize the glory in all the small actions…such as making your bed every morning.

 

#4

Decisions based in fear disguised as practicality

I have this little snippet memorized because I watch it so often.  The are many pieces in this video that will stick with me forever but the stand out is that “you can fail at what you don’t want to do so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”.  Fear is nothing more than your brains security system letting you know that this thing you are going to do is foreign and it’s not sure how to process it.  Once you’ve done it your brain has identified it and now it no longer transmits that element of fear.  The more and more you push forward through this element of fear the less and less scary it is.  Intentionally living allows you identify this feeling and no that no matter what things will work out!

#5

If you know what you’re worth go out and get what you’re worth

As I mentioned earlier there is something to be learned from everything and everyone…even Rocky Balboa.  When you or the people you are closest to start living intentionally they begin to rise above.  This does put a target on your back.  As you begin to stand out in a crowd people try to knock you down…they throw everything thing they can at that target…it is your job to take the hits and keep on moving forward.  You have 2 choices you can either blend in with the crowd and spend your whole life kicking yourself in the ass for never going for it OR you can go for it…take a few jabs along the way but ultimately live the life you’ve always wanted.

Live intentionally.  Know that it takes a million tiny little steps to get there but with each and every one of those little steps you are moving closer and closer to your goal!