What the Babies Taught me About Leadership

(Cuteness alert!) Have you ever learned a life lesson from someone you least expected to?

I have spent the past three months learning lessons from my beautiful twin granddaughters, Morgan and Natalie, who were born on December 15, 2016.

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I was blessed to have my daughter and her newborns stay with me and my husband in our Tucson home. She wanted to be near family as she learned to navigate life with her new babies for the first 3 months of their lives.

Was life in our home crazy? 

Yes, especially night time feedings. She would take one baby and I would take the other…multiple times a night.

Yikes….talk about sleep deprivation!  

I learned so much about my self leadership while caring for these adorable babies.

Who would have thought that they would teach me?

This was the most rewarding and exhausting experience AND I feel so blessed that I could spend this most important time with all of them.

IMG_4217Here are the self leadership lessons these beautiful angels taught me:

1.  BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT.  These little ones are demanding and if I wasn’t present in my attention and my loving, they could feel it. One day I was trying to check emails on my phone, which was on my leg, while feeding Morgan.

She wanted my attention and in her beautiful innocence, kicked my phone off my leg sending it crashing to the tile floor….cracking the screen….ouch!  I heard you Morgan, loud and clear….pay attention when I’m feeding you!

2. MY SELF-CARE IS A MUST. I learned this quickly because sleep deprivation affects EVERYTHING. These babies needed 24/7 care, so we had to do what we could when they were sleeping, which wasn’t always at the same time. I ended up with a 3 week cold that wouldn’t go away. My immune system was taxed!

Both my daughter and I had to make sure that we each had a nap during the day.

My morning meditation practice was never the same. Some days I was rocking a baby to sleep while listening to my meditation recording.  It was even a challenge to get out and take a walk in the neighborhood just to move my body.

I needed to squeeze my self-care activities into the day so that I could fill my cup and continue to give to them. Some days were better than others.

3.  DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  This entire experience of co-caring for the babies was THE most important thing. I put all my networking meetings aside. I was VERY select about the clients I did business with during this time.

In the last month of their stay, I found myself focusing on my quality time with the babies. I would let them nap on me instead of rushing to get dishes or laundry done.  I would play on the floor with them instead rushing to check my email or social media.

4. LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART.  Babies are just bundles of love. They exude love, innocence and purity and you can see it in their eyes. All they want is love, security and to be cared for.

Isn’t that what you and I want today as adults….love, security and to be cared for? Looking into their eyes every day cracked my heart wide open AND it made me remember my own love, innocence and purity.

Loving them opened me up to even more loving of myself. Caring for them was an expression of love that I felt deep within my Soul.

Each day I cared for them, these lessons were brought in front of me and allowed me to make honoring choices for myself.IMG_0146

I see how easy it can be for new parents to forget about themselves and give themselves over to the babies or whomever someone might be caring for.

Have you ever forgotten about yourself when you get wrapped up in caring for someone or even a big project at work?

Each one of these lessons were brought to my attention at the perfect time. I didn’t always make the best choice at first, and that is where my learning came in.

The babies were just the beautiful experience for me to learn more about myself and how I lead my life. (more cuteness below!)

I invite you to look in your life right now and see where an experience is in front of you to learn some lessons. It may be disguised as exhaustion, suffering or lack of something.

Look deeper into the situation and see where you can make honoring choices in your life that support your total well being.

As always, if you need some support with what you discover, give me a call as I would love to support you in living your best life!

Much love,

 

 

 

 

PS….here is more cuteness of Morgan and Natalie to drink up!
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Are you Paying Attention to Signs and Synchronicities?

Do you sometimes wonder if God is trying to send you messages?  Do things happen in your life and you wonder if you are supposed to pay attention to a deeper meaning of what’s going on right in front of you?

Time to pay attention.

When you become more conscious of your life, through intentions or reflections, you will see how the divine messages come to you.  Conscious awareness to the signs and synchronicities that show up in your life can be an eye opener and not just a coincidence.

It took me while, and when I began to pay attention, I was amazed.

My personal journey of conscious awareness began about seven years ago when I was in the midst of what I call my mid-life reflection.  I took a look at my life and asked myself if I was happy.  I could see the chaos and dysfunction in me and around me.  I stopped blaming others for my unhappiness, took responsibility for it and dove head first into the discovery and healing of me.

As soon as I made the shift to conscious awareness, I could finally see my divine path of happiness right in front of me.

I paid attention to my energy and how I felt in the presence of other people.  I learned to let go of those relationships that drained my energy.  I was then guided to more positive and loving relationships in my personal and professional life.  Those relationships are the ones that fueled my positive energy.

When I would ask God for a sign to guide me, it would be shown.  Not necessarily in my timing, but in divine timing. 

This was a sign given to me by a fellow USM student. She picked me out of the crowd and gave it to me. It surely was an obvious sign for me!

I had to be patient and trust that I would be guided.  Sometimes the sign would clearly indicate where I was NOT supposed to be.  Then I would change paths instead of trying to force my will on something that was not meant to be.

When you follow the signs that bring you to your divine path, life actually becomes more peaceful and joyful.

When you take the time to reflect on your life, pay close attention to what manifests in your life.  Here are my simple take away tips for you to follow your divine path:

1.      Take quiet time to pray and meditate each morning and set your intentions for your day, not your to-do list, but intentions of how you want to be.

2.      Ask God (or whatever your higher power might be) to show you signs of your divine path.

3.      At the end of each day, take time to reflect and review what messages you may have been shown.

4.      Let go of any negative attitudes, actions and behaviors that no longer serve you or your path.

5.      Acknowledge your gratitude for all the goodness and lessons in your life.

I challenge you to move into these action steps to discover more about your divine path. Begin today!

If you have already experienced the divinity of signs and synchronicities in your life, I’d LOVE to hear about them!  Share here in the comment section below.  If you love this post and think that it would be helpful to your peeps, please share it.  Enjoy your journey!!

 

Much love and light,

A Success Story: The Personal Evolution of a Friend

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.  I had the honor of watching her evolve, month by month.  Embracing each new lesson she had the courage to take an honest look inside herself.  And she chose to change.

I would not have guessed that this charming woman 20 years my senior would be such a good friend when I met her 19 years ago. She was closer to my Mom’s age and I even introduced them thinking they would have more in common.  But much to my surprise, my friend felt more connected to me and my young energy than my Mom.  That was when I confirmed that my friend Carolyn was truly a young spirit deep inside.

We had connected throughout the years and she even began attending the earliest version of my self improvement workshops in 2005.  Carolyn was open to learning and growing, but I could also see that she was still feeling the pain of some emotional trauma a few years before.  And she was there to learn and heal.

However, I could see the woundedness deep within her.  Her trauma was deep and lasting. Yet as time had passed her anger and upset were not as present, but I could see there were still some lingering emotions.

As she began attending my Heartfelt Learning Workshops in January 2011, she was right there to support a new area of my consulting practice.  But this was different.  These workshops presented Carolyn with material that made her think about herself.  She spent quality time looking inside herself and began to truly connect with the group who attended each month.

But what was different for Carolyn is that she was embracing the learning material each and every month.  She took the information to heart.  She spent the time between sessions observing herself and her behavior.  SHE TOOK THE MATERIAL SERIOUSLY!! 

She would be the first one to share her experiences from the prior month and had more questions.  She was discovering more about her triggers and upsets, and more importantly, how to process them and release them.  She embraced the lessons on forgiveness for herself and others.  She reframed old messages and beliefs into beautiful affirmations that supported her inner growth.

Each month she was releasing old emotional baggage that no longer served her.  She was making room for powerful positive energy to come into her life.  Every time I saw her, she was lighter and brighter.  She was using all the life skills tools she was learning and now they were a part of her everyday life.  She was evolving right before my eyes.  For someone who already had so much fun, lively spirit, others around her could see more sparkle and glow emanating from her.

From my observations of my dear friend, here are the steps she took to create her success in her personal evolution:

1.  She made a commitment to the learning.

2.  She took the quiet time to reflect on her thoughts, actions and behaviors.

3.  She lived the lessons and made them part of her everyday life.  She practiced the tools and used the resources

4.  She moved to a place of vulnerability with the group and felt safe enough to share, knowing that she would be loved and not judged.

4.  She shared (and continues to share) her new healthy way of being with her friends, family and clients as well.

5.  She loved (and continues to love) herself enough to invest the time in learning, healing and growing.

My friend Carolyn is truly an evolved woman and I have had the honor and privilege to witness her transformation.  She now shares herself differently with the world.  She sees the beauty and light inside herself and gives others permission to shine their light as well!

Love ya Mojo!!

 

Messages My Parents Didn’t Tell Me…….Creating a Belief From Watching Them

Your parents and authority figures had a powerful impact on your life and how your “Life Laws” were created.  Their impact didn’t even have to be words.  Your belief system and values may have been created by just watching your parent’s behavior… good or bad.

I had the privilege of facilitating a workshop this weekend about eliminating old messages and beliefs that can hold you back from living the life of your dreams. I was able to witness some deep reflection, awareness and healing among the participants. Each of them shared about an old message, some that were outdated and some that were so deeply ingrained in their psyche, they didn’t know if they could change it.

But the most powerful moment was when one of the participants shared how blessed her life has been because the message her mother told her, out loud and with her actions, was that she could be anything she wanted in her life.  She had a positive affirming mother, despite the challenges they went through in life.  Her mother told her good things about herself and demonstrated positive actions in her own life.   To see how successful this woman is today made sense.  She knew as a young child that she was loved, worthy and capable of anything she wanted in life.

Not everyone grew up that way, but you have the power to change those old messages or beliefs to be more affirming, loving and supportive in your life.  Simple messages like:

“I am worthy”

“I am lovable”

“I am beautiful inside and out”

“I deserve good things in my life”

“I live in gratitude and abundance”

“I deserve happiness in my life”

“I am enough”

You can take an old message, transmute it to a positive one and then create a lovely affirmation that supports your growth and upliftment.  Loving yourself with positive messages is food for your heart and soul.

What are your messages or beliefs?  What do you tell yourself?  Is it positive or negative?  Are you open and willing to change these messages if they no longer serve you?  Only you can give yourself the gift of self love, self worth and self honor.  Give yourself that gift today!

 

12 Things Happy People do Differently

I came across this article and fell in love with everything I saw.  I had to share it with you in my blog!  Enjoy!!
12 Things Happy People do Differently

by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”   -Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book, The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Jacob Sokol is committed to living an extraordinary life.  Today he released “Living on Purpose – An Uncommon Guide to Finding, Living, and Rocking Your Life’s Purpose.”  He also loves his mom dearly.

 

A Year in Review….with Loving Gratitude

What was the year 2011 like for you?  Is it easier to remember the bad times and difficult to even find the good ones?  After the busyness of the holidays, it can be a challenge to even remember what we did at the beginning of December!

As an active and positive practice, I go through an activity each year end to acknowledge all the things I am grateful for from the prior year.  I actually go through my appointment calendar and it helps me reflect what I did on a monthly basis.  Work achievements, personal achievements, vacations, goals met, ah ha moments, first time activities….. they were all there.  It even sparked some creative thoughts and wonderful memories as well.

This activity gave me the opportunity to see the good in this past year. That’s the key here….I was looking for the good.  Believe me, there were some challenging times, but this activity has me shift to positive thinking.   It seems that with each year of life, I gain so much more wisdom.  I believe that is the part of learning lessons from the difficult times.

Here are some suggestions to move through this activity yourself and review your year, as you embark on a new 2012:

1. Go through a calendar or planner for 2011.  Walk your steps again. Write down your experiences and activities and what you accomplished and are grateful for.

2. Acknowledge yourself for the experiences.  Look for the good.  If something was difficult, ask yourself what was the lesson learned.

3. Close your eyes and relive the positive experiences.  You can feel the warm positive feelings again and again.

4. Feel the loving gratitude for all your experiences.  You were blessed with an amazing life and the more grateful you are, the more blessings that will come your way.

I ended up with three pages when I did this activity.  It made me feel good.  It also gave me a feeling of closure for the year of 2011.  As I move into the New Year, I can now take this feeling with me as I embark on all the new experiences ahead of me for 2012!

Blessings to you for a heartfelt review of your 2011 and an enlightening 2012!