Who Are Your 1,500 People?

WDS in LightsAnother year of WDS has passed and although the lead up to it this year was different for me, the result seems to only get better.

There are many reasons why WDS is on my list each year as a “must budget for” conference. There are the amazing speakers, many of whom I don’t know until I get there, the academies by some of my favorite mentors and of course Portland, it is such a wild and amazing city, it’s a definite draw.

I will say though that when the stage darkens and the closing party is over, it is the people I have met that I carry with me from this experience.

IMG_2460Each year I am amazed at the number of people from all walks of life and with all different ideas and methods about how to make this world just a wee bit better. My spirit is always renewed that this many people care – just simply care about me, you and helping others live good lives doing nice things.

I spend the days, weeks and months after WDS reaching out to those I’ve met, following their progress on social media and supporting them in any way I can because we are now connected. I recognize faces even though I may not know their names or names that I can’t place the face to, but I feel a bond because I know we have a common ground through WDS.

I see people from this group soaring through the clouds doing amazing things and I am not jealous, I am grateful because I know a rising tide lifts all boats in the harbor. I reach out to those in the community with compatible projects or skills and look for ways to share or combine our gifts to create even bigger impact.

In this space I feel no competition; I feel unity and encouragement. I feel as though we have a common purpose with unique solutions that combined could really dominate the world in a great way!

IMG_2549The five people I spend the most time with are very important indeed, and I can say most of them are WDS attendees, but the 1,500 I spend a week with each year have an enormous impact on how I feel about what I can accomplish and how big I can dare to dream.

Thank you for the assembly of these stars in my life, they are a necessary beacon throughout the year. They are as reliable as nightfall and they often are there to help me through the inevitable storms to the next sunrise.

A Few of my 1,500!

A Few of my 1,500!

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Planting Seeds

When my kids were growing up I was always telling them to be careful what they told themselves. I was learning the power our thoughts and words have over our bodies and actions.  I didn’t learn this as a child and I wanted to provide them an awareness early on.

There were those times when they would say something derogatory to themselves in frustration and I would get on them about it. They would often brush me off and do the “yah, I know, my brain is listening to me” response thing that teenagers do. I do know that they truly heard me though there was never a chance they would have told me.

Your Brain Is Not That Smart

The power of our words is so very important to understand. Those spoken and even those, especially those, thought and left to play on repeat in our minds. The trouble here is that your brain doesn’t verify these thoughts, it just accepts them as truth.  These are the seeds we are planting each day.

When I begin to work with clients, along the road we often come to a point where it’s obvious there are stories they are telling themselves that are holding them back from what they want. Most times people are not even conscious of this, although sometimes they are, but they haven’t addressed it. It is at this time we discuss writing some new stories – planting some new seeds to cultivate.

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What Will You Plant?

What amazes me is how many people have so much trouble with the exercises for this. When I work with clients and we talk about how important self-talk is and there is never any doubt how important it is. I then send them off to notice something wonderful about themselves each day and they come back with shrugged shoulders saying they just had a really hard time with it.

It’s so interesting the resistance many of us have to say nice things to ourselves. So why when it comes to recognizing and celebrating positive things about ourselves do we have such struggle?

There has been so much engrained in us not to be boastful or brag. I understand not encouraging arrogance, but when did that turn into not appreciating or acknowledging anything nice and good about ourselves?

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So Now What?

I say that it is high time to put an end to this! I am telling you, that it is not only ok, but necessary to acknowledge your greatness. If you don’t recognize how fabulous you are, how on earth with you share it with others?

Think of all you can accomplish when you stop planting the seeds of doubt or negativity! When you think you are capable of doing things, you just do them; you don’t question, or explain why you can’t do them, you just do them. Once you learn to drive a car you don’t stand at the door with key in hand and wonder, you just get in and drive.

Your Mission If You Choose To Accept It

So for one week, I encourage you to listen to the stories, excuses or “not nice” things you tell yourself. Notice if you are always making self-deprecating remarks to make people laugh or to hide your insecurities. Pay attention to the thoughts you allow to move about unspoken in your head or out loud.

Then STOP!

For the following week (and forever more), every time you notice yourself doing one of the behaviors above, stop and turn it around. This is not as easy as it sounds, but I can guarantee you it will be worth the effort. If you are not sure you can do something, don’t say you can’t, just analyze if you would like to, find someone to help you accomplish it and give yourself a positive nudge and DO it!

If you find yourself consistently telling yourself negative things, stop and find something positive you can say. If you don’t like your hair today, instead of looking in the mirror and downing yourself, notice your eyes or your smile and how beautiful they are. Maybe your hair is just not cooperating today, so just look for what is. I’m not trying to Pollyanna you, just refocus on what is positive and the negatives become less important.

I hope you will take on this challenge because the seeds you plant each day are directly related to the bounty you will harvest. No one is served by you planting mean, doubtful or condescending seeds, especially not you!

I’d love to hear your experiences with this exercise. It is Spring and there is no better time to turnover the soil and plant a fresh garden.

-E

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Finding Your Tribe

Meet some members of my tribe

Meet some members of my tribe


I have heard the comment that you are like the people with whom you spend the most time. This is something that I understand and agree with, but did not make it much of a conscious decision. The people you spend the most time with are sometimes just in that space – your work, your daily to-do’s put these people in your daily life circle, but there are those people with whom you choose to spend your time.

Recently, I decided to really look at the statement and reflect on it (I highly recommend this for everyone). There were some people that I was pleased having in my circle that influences me, and a few that caused me to question if they were indeed the influence and the energy which I wanted to surround me. This is not to say anyone I spend time with is a bad person, but my intention was to align myself with those people who possess the qualities I desire. It was clear that some of the people were not embodying the characteristics of my future desired self.

So I made some very deliberate choices and although I have not dropped out of anyone’s life, I am being very intentional about those with whom I am surrounding myself. I have also spent some time during my morning meditation thinking about my tribe and allowing the universe to direct me – or help me get out of my way so I can find them, or they can find me!

I have continued to participate in events that are aligned with my values, and support what I believe is my purpose. I had hoped between the meditation and the events in which I was participating, I might find a couple people that are the positive spirits I sought. While following this process, I became involved in a movement where I had the chance to interact with a group of people who have the biggest hearts and are so accepting and loving towards each other. Few of us knew each other a month ago, but through an effort to replace the terror of the Boston Marathon tragedy with love, we have bared our scars and bonded as we healed together.

Growing up, I always wanted one of those really big families; I feel like I have finally found it. I am now surrounded by an amazing group of people from whom I believe I will learn and develop to become a better me. If I can be a fraction of the people that have become my family over the past month, I will be the most happy, fulfilled and successful person I have ever known.

By recognizing my time is important, and clearing space by spending less time with those not embodying the elements to which I aspire, I have made room for positive additions. The Universe has brought me a gift wrapped in a community of people I feel so utterly connected to and loved by for no reason except that I am me. I have been lucky enough to have truly found the people with whom I want to spend my time – not only for what I can learn from them, but what we can learn and accomplish together.

What can this exercise bring you? Are you open to the possibilities that your tribe is out there looking for you?

Spending a Little Time in Bliss

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I’m going to ask you to consider adding something to your daily visualization exercises. When you think about reaching for your goals, think about the feelings and intangibles when you achieve those goals.

I am not going to tell you today to stop goal setting – any of you who know me know that I thrive on goals and measuring progress. I am going to ask you to spend a little time this year thinking about and feeling the swell that rises in your chest when you accomplish that really big goal. This is a companion exercise to the measurable, monitored goal – it may indeed encourage you to adjust some goals.

I have been doing a lot of visualization exercises, dream boards, vision boards, goal boards and statements and just got back from a seminar that spoke very passionately about goal setting through dream boards. It has occurred to me that maybe the reason dream boards/books or visualization are so powerful is that they often emit a feeling within the process. When you look at that dream house, how does it make you feel? When you sit and think about your travels, do you feel the sun on your face and hear the ocean waves lapping the shore?

It has occurred to me that visualization, as I have been taught it, may be flawed. One of the issues with visualization is that we are taught to be so focused on the item; the physical car, the exact house – the details. I ask you to take visualization in a different direction. What if you were to focus not on the item you desire, but the feeling you have when you are in that house? Are you proud, are you amazed that this is yours, are you relaxed knowing your bills are paid, do you feel a sense of relief now that you are debt free? Feel the sensation of being loved – do not determine from whom you receive that love, just sit in the feeling of love.

I think I’ve really caught onto something here. If I sit with those feelings a bit and enjoy them “as if” they are my present state – and bonus, the mind doesn’t know any better. This leaves the universe the opportunity to provide me with whatever dwelling that might provide me this feeling, which may not be the one I’ve thought was “the one” for me…(Imagine, maybe there is a more knowing energy out there!) It might lead you to the perfect mate…or help you realize the feeling you seek is already in your life. If nothing else, you’ve just enjoyed a few minutes of happiness and joy.

I think many of us have made the determination of what will make us happy and have defined it so clearly that ONLY that will do it. What if we were to feel happy, I mean really experience happiness at a deep level and just live there for a few minutes each day in thoughtful meditation – would that not provide even more happiness than that fancy car? Would that not begin the process of attracting further happiness in your life (maybe even in the form of fast metal!)? What if, instead of imagining the car – you just sat in it for your few minutes, and felt the steering wheel, adjusted the radio and felt the pride and excitement of owning this fabulous piece of machinery – don’t look for the logo or brand in the vehicle, just enjoy it and feel that in your heart.

I have been contemplating this idea for quite some time, and it has all just come together as one of those, “of course!” moments. I have personally been spending my meditation time inviting the universe to flow through me. I have come to the conclusion that at various times in my life I was so stuck on my visualization or my perceived notion of what I wanted or what I needed, that I forgot to trust the universe believing that my idea was what should happen.

I ask you to experiment with this concept. What do you have to lose by sitting in at least a few minutes of bliss?

I am Enough

I began this year as I do every other year, full of hopes and goals for the upcoming months. This also being the “Year of the Dragon” by Chinese zodiac calendar, I knew I was in for changes. Boy was I right! I never expected so many changes and so much education!

My first epiphany was in the course of reading an atypical financial book which explored my relationship with money versus the typical read, the act of creating income. The realization came to me that I did not feel worthy of abundance. Let me tell you, this was not only an important and difficult realization, but something hidden so deep inside me that it turns out was sabotaging almost every aspect of my life. I went on to attend a seminar put on by the author of the book which unlocked another hidden worthiness block and became the recurring theme of my journey this year.

Realizing I was prime for growth, and had been harboring this unworthy attitude, I began to search for methods to assist me in my efforts to overcome this lack of worthiness. At the same time as I was searching for my own answers, I was developing a business concept to help others with their second stage of life and anxious to help people by using my experiences to move through their own transition. I knew that having a worthiness issue would hinder my ability to assist anyone! So off I went for further answers.

I attended a conference and was drawn to a particular break out session by an author, unknown to me, but I liked the titled of the session. Immediately thereafter I ordered her book from the library and was amazed to find myself between the pages of this woman’s book! Realizing she was local, I contacted her for lifestyle coaching as she clearly already knew me as evidenced by her book. I needed to know how to overcome this pervasive stumbling block to all my future held. I learned a ton during my weeks with her, some of which has been discussed in one way or another throughout this blog.

My discoveries through my life coaching sessions allowed me to understand I did have much to offer and that I was indeed on the right path – ThriveLife was born.

As we never stop growing or learning, I am a voracious reader and knowledge seeker. I happened upon an amazing TED Talk one day which literally moved me to both laughter and tears. Brené Brown was the speaker and her topic was vulnerability. There is so much in that one video (attached below and highly recommended viewing) I was compelled to know more – and of course ordered her book (The Gifts of Imperfection) from the library. As luck would have it, by the time I finished reading her book, it appeared her follow-up, Daring Greatly, was soon to be released and devoured that one too.

As I continue to grapple with the statement I am Enough, and own it, the year is coming to a close and the time for goal setting is once again upon us. As my themed year would have it, I came across an article speaking to this very point and offering a different spin from what I’m used to – counting up my “wins” of the year.

Generally speaking goal setting for me is about what I want to improve (does this sound to you like a field day for unworthiness?) Now that is not to say that goals and continued improvement is not good because I do feel that is indeed the foundation of continued growth – but I now think both are beneficial. We are living in the Gratitude Movement, the reminder to count good and not focus on bad. The counting of accomplishments seems to fit so well into this thought process and lays a foundation for joyful growth and not the ridding of imperfections or areas which prohibit joy, love or worthiness.

As we move to the end of the year, I encourage you to reflect with me over the accomplishments and growth that has been gained over the past twelve months. Giving yourself credit for all that you have achieved and the joy you have shared encourages more of the same by the very act of self love. I am interested to see how setting goals following reviewing accomplishments will be different this year, or if it will at all. I’ll let you know!

I welcome you to share your “wins” here. I would be honored to share the feeling of being enough and the freedom and peace that comes with that knowledge.

Please enjoy the video and feel free to comment on this as well.

Another step forward

I am at yet another cross-road in my life. Being a lover of change, I find myself at these often. This latest one is fairly different from others in the past. This is one that is truly making me stretch my belief in myself and I find myself battling the voices in my head.

We all have these voices in our heads that tell us we can’t do something; either we are not smart enough, not strong enough or even not quite ready yet. These are the moments that I rely previous successful experiences to bolster my gusto. This time is a bit different and I find it puzzling.

Normally money isn’t written about in a personal growth blog, however, I definitely connect finances with people’s perception of self-worth – therefore it fits here. I know this is an issue I share with a large number of women and I do believe it is an area which needs more attention for many of us. The cross-road I am facing involves changing jobs.

The issue I struggle with now is the worth and value of my skills and capabilities. I have a difficult time negotiating salary – most women do because we are not programmed to describe our value but to accept someone else’s determination of our value. This is something I have just recently (about time – I’m over 40!!!) begun to take on in my personal life. I am learning to walk away from situations that I feel are not what I deserve, and I have the understanding now, not to accept less. This has been a lifetime lesson to learn, and I’ve still got a bit to go, but I am definitely improving on this front.

This situation now takes this skill one step further!! I am being faced with a new position in a new company and they want me to tell them, what I expect to get paid. Now I have just begun to get the hang of what is less than I believe I deserve, but no one has asked me to put into words what I believe I deserve or am worth, or asked me what I want to deserve!! I don’t have a lot of past experiences where I have been confident enough to throw out a big number (and I plan to throw out a big number!!) so this is completely uncharted territory! I spend a lot of time these days sitting with the number I wish to request and justifying it to myself. I find this a bit uncomfortable – more than I want to.

If I indeed wish to live a life without limits, why do I find it so easy to put a limit on what I think I’m worth to a prospective employer? Why is it so difficult for me to ask for what I believe I deserve both personally and professionally?

I think this is the one time I will try to think and act like a man. I will set my goal (of course with a bit of wiggle room) and believe that I not only am worth this, but deserve this, and if they want to utilize my excellent skills, they will have to take a chance that I am indeed worth what I say I am. Of course, I expect they will believe they are right in the end – to quote an old advertising line, “I’m worth it!” I may not believe that with all my being at this moment, but I do know if I say it, I will do everything in my power to live up to my expectations which are likely higher than anyone else’s.

Wish me luck in my manly experience! May this give me the gusto I need to bring it from my professional life into my personal life as well!

Do you know what you’re worth? I’m finding it a good question to ponder regardless of this career move. Maybe you should try it too!