You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Balance’ category.
When I received the invitation to see Scarlett DeBease‘s holiday-decorated home, I knew I had to accept.
Scarlett has been my image consultant for many years. She’s come to my home over and over again, but I’d never been to hers. Her husband, Jack, takes Christmas very seriously and uses his inordinate design sense to create magic in their already sumptuous home. Scarlett wanted to share the finished product and issued an invitation for last Friday.
I had a conflict as I lead my Soul Proprietor Community coaching call by phone on the first Friday of each month at noon. Squeezing a trip to Westchester by train within a brief window of time was going to be challenging.
“Make your call from here,” Scarlett generously offered. She gave me a choice of three spaces to conduct the call which requires my computer’s dashboard, good light, a place to take notes and either wireless service or a phone line. She made it all possible. I accepted, took an early train, made the call at noon, then relaxed and enjoyed the tour (and I did get to see her closet which was a total example of someone walking her talk: inspiring, meticulously arranged and immaculately neat) and the party.
I can’t say enough about how spectacularly gorgeous their home and Christmas decor are, but here’s a sampling that will give you the flavor of the experience. In the accompanying photo, Scarlett and Jack are standing in front of a beautifully mounted collection of Christmas cards, jauntily arranged so that you can easily take in the colors, designs and messages of each. “These are all the cards my mother has sent me over the last 25 years,” Jack told me. He’d not only saved and cherished them, but also displayed them in a place of honor at the entrance to the living room. I got goose bumps all over my body hearing this thoughtful man tell me this.
Talk about the spirit of the holidays!
I want to offer a story and a solution.
I was sitting at my desk yesterday before leaving for a hectic afternoon of coaching and meetings. I call the MTA to find out how to get the 30-day deal on my EasyPay card which can’t be inserted into the machines. Of course they’re experiencing high call volume, so while I’m on hold, I begin creating a personalized holiday card that includes a photo. Since the image is taking awhile to upload, and I’m still waiting for a human voice to pick up my call about my MetroCard, I start going through my inbox of 73 messages, many of which require a focused response.
Are you exhausted just reading this tale of busy-ness? I’m sure you can top it with your own. But, it’s not a competition, and surely no one wins.
A client told me on our recent call that she’d read an article about 10 ways to make your life easier around the holidays. One tip was to turn off Facebook and twitter on your phone.
I had an alternate solution. Don’t read articles about saving time.
In fact, make a decision to stay focused on one thing at a time and CHOOSE what that one thing is. I came up with this tip after feeling so discombobulated by my own earlier behavior.
Julie Morgenstern, the queen of organization, says that opening emails early in the morning opens up a different drawer in your brain. Yesterday it felt like there were three drawers open with wrinkly clothes hanging out, i.e. a mess. Just for today, turn everything off except the one task you’re working on. Complete it, and move onto the next one.
Blog complete. Check.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Mine was perfection, meaning that it included the people I love (minus one sick grandchild and her parents), amazing food prepared by my chef nephew and my sister (at whose knee his passion was quickened), easy traffic to negotiate and a sparkling clear sky.
And now it’s the day after, and I’m not a shopper. I’m using this morning to debrief the Evolving Consciousness Community Cruise I attended and spoke on in early November.
The biggest takeaway was spending time with some truly remarkable men and women. I also used the days at sea for my own personal retreat sorting through old journals and recording quotes and feelings experienced in the last 30 years that I had faithfully recorded.
From the event itself, here are a few of the highlights and recommendations I’d like to learn more about and/or pass on to you.
- Speaker Bhava Ram inspired me to learn more about his breathtaking journey of healing from a broken back and terminal cancer to otpimum health and vibrancy. I downloaded his book Warrior Pose, a riveting account of his story that held me rapt for several days till I completed it.
- I’m inspired to learn more from his teacher, Emmett Miller, and will subscribe to his podcasts for more enlightenment.
- I put a reserve on the book Grain Brain recommended by a fellow passenger. Reading the amazon synopsis affirmed its importance.
- I’ve also reserved the downloadable version of Proof of Heaven about an MD who was brain dead for 7 days and is now a believer in near death experiences.
- I want to learn more about the Higgs Boson God Particle discovery. I’m sure that now that it’s on my list, it’ll pop up in conversation or as a lecture soon. That’s how these things work, right?
- A couple of memorable quotes that reinforced my own belief system: “Eating junk food is the equivalent of vandalizing our spirits.”
- Einstein’s quote: The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
- “The best exercise is the one you do.”
I told my goal buddy that I didn’t have too many notes to record, but after re-reading my list, I see I got more out of it than I thought. I’ll use the last bullet point as my motivator as well as any feedback that you might provide.
My next coaching community call will be on December 6, and the topic is Remember What it Was Like to Work for Someone Else.
As I was pondering this subject matter, a scene from Kramer vs. Kramer popped into my head. It’s when Dustin Hoffman sits down with a yellow legal pad and starts listing the pros and cons of assuming custody of his son once Meryl Streep, aka Mrs. Kramer, decides she wants back into her role as mother.
I wanted to get it right when sharing the story, but didn’t want to have to watch the whole movie. So, I googled ‘Kramer vs. Kramer list-making scene.’ And guess what popped up first? The entire screenplay!
I have to tell you, I was shocked. Isn’t the screenwriter monitoring stuff like that? That’s the legal question I was wondering about.
Back to why that scene was so important, and what that has to do with including it in my talk. I now know exactly what Ted Kramer wrote down under the CON column–why he shouldn’t assume custody. They were all logical, rational and important reasons why it made no sense for him to continue full-time care of their son.
The PRO side was blank. Do you remember the scene that followed?
That’ll be the essence of my talk that Friday afternoon. It can make all the sense in the world to have a full-time job, receive a regular paycheck and have a title after your name. But, if your most important value(s) is/are being neglected, it cancels out every rationale on the planet. If you know the story, that scene transformed Ted Kramer.
Knowing what you value most is what puts the soul into soul proprietor. I love talking about this!
Two women drive 30 minutes to visit a store that had recently been recommended. It’s a gorgeous, sunny New England Tuesday afternoon.
It’s almost noon, they park, walk to the shop and see this sign on the door. For those of you who may not have the opportunity to enlarge this image, it says:
12 – 5pm Wed – Sat
10 – 5 Sun
Also by chance
and by appointment
…followed by the shop’s phone number.
Now, I was visiting my friend who lives 30 minutes from Chester where the store is located. But I was there between speaking engagements and had traveled from NYC. I knew the chances of my getting there again anytime soon were slim and none.
I pulled out my iPhone and dialed. My friend looked at me in disbelief. “I would never have called,” she told me.
The owner of C & G immediately answered her phone and said she’d be right down.
I had no idea she lived above the store. She was fabulously well-dressed, coiffed and even had on a sassy hat. She asked if we’d like to shop right now, or would we prefer to dine in town and meet her back there in 90 minutes when she’d have had a chance to really prepare for us. We opted for the latter.
After a very delicious, relaxing lunch, we walked back to C&G, shopped till we dropped and each found things we could not live without. Some other women entered as well, which made us feel better about having the shop specially opened. It clearly made it more profitable for the proprietress as well.
What I love about observing other soul proprietors is the variety of ways in which they choose to operate and adapt as they go along. I’m curious to hear what you would have done in the same situation. Plus, I highly recommend the sophisticated aesthetic of this new find.
It didn’t take Lisa Corrado long to decide that being in business for 10 years was worthy of celebration. Her Mastermind Group urged her to nail down a date and get the invitation out to her happy clients and supporters.
Selfishly, we all wanted to party with Lisa. And we did. Lisa threw a festive, energetic and well-attended soiree. We ate, drank and met the other stimulating, successful, fun attendees all there to support and celebrate our colleague and friend.
Katie Settel of Katie Settel Photography captured the evening with her always-beautiful photographs and Louise Albin of Cafe Louise catered the party. There wasn’t even one crumb of food left afterwards. One of our members said she thought she may have seen ‘lick’ marks on the serving platters!
New businesses notoriously fail within the first five years. Making it beyond that mark as an entrepreneur is remarkable. And doubling that significant milestone is not only extraordinary–especially when it encompassed 2008 and beyond, it’s also deeply satisfying. The smile on Lisa’s face never left that night.
You can read more about Lisa’s offerings on her site, but they won’t tell you what makes her so successful. Words can’t capture the spirit, humor and passion that Lisa exudes when she talks about nutrition.
To give you an example, she handed us each an apple–a green one, just like her logo–the first day of our program a year ago.
She traveled to Italy for two weeks (an assigned goal) to see if she’d like to incorporate international travel into her practice.
Not only is she fearless, this woman is unstoppable, and it’s contagious if you are around her for even five minutes.
You can see her friends and supporters clear affection and happiness in this group shot the beautiful night of her party. This was on her back patio, just outside her office door. Talk about a lifestyle entrepreneur! Lisa’s hard-earned anniversary celebration was a testament to the rewards of working hard, keeping up with her community and contributing her knowledge and expertise to so many.
Have you got an occasion to celebrate? My advice is to grab the opportunity, invite your friends and party, party, party!
I received a package in the mail on October 15. I didn’t recall having ordered anything from amazon.com, but there was this heavy carton waiting for me.
Inside the box was a book called Humans of New York. I was still confused. I’d come across a marvelous website by this name and had blogged about it, but it wasn’t computing in my mind. How’d I get this volume?
It so happens that October 15, 2012 was the day I moved to NYC after 40 years in Connecticut. It’s a big deal, and it continues to be something I marvel at. I celebrated my first anniversary as a New Yorker with a self-acknowledgment that I’d been here a year and dinner with a good friend. Nothing major, but a recognition of a feat accomplished. And then I opened my mailbox and found this delivery.
My heart nearly burst through my chest. I was so touched, moved and appreciative of the thoughtfulness and care that had gone into its ON THE DAY arrival (this was my mother’s mantra for celebrating any special occasion) of this remarkable book.
I believe in gift-giving and think flowers are a great way to brighten someone’s day and also send a message of love and caring. A plant makes a longer lasting impression, but Jen’s perfectly selected tome will remind me of her every time I see it on my coffee table and how happy I am living in the greatest city in the world.
My physical therapist*, that’s who!
I told my weekly support team that I’ve been spending five minutes a day crawling around the gym in my building to re-align my back and that it was working beautifully. I’ve been feeling terrific and wanted to share it with them. After all, they’ve heard me complain over the last several months. Speaking of crawling one’s way back to health…
One of my support team members said, “I love that you’re assuming a posture of humility in your quest for excellent health.”
The other team member acknowledged supportively that I would do whatever it takes to get better. “You’ll do anything as long as it’s in alignment with your beliefs.”
Somehow their words seemed symbolic of everything that’s happening in my life. What advice have you received lately, and how does it align with whatever else is going on in your life?
*I was referred to Kima Wellness on 22nd Street by a blog reader of mine. She proclaimed that the one of the founders of that company solved her back issue and kept her out of surgery. This woman commuted from Newtown, CT to Manhattan three days a week (a feat in itself) to be healed by this wonder woman. That was all the urging I needed. I made an appointment.
I’ve had the good fortune this week to meet several wonderful women in the city. On Monday, my friend and fellow Artsy Girl, Victoria Cummings (aka the Horse Philosopher Chick), set up a lunch date with two of her best NYCity pals–an author/illustrator and her partner, a professor of publishing. Needless to say, sparks flew and the conversation lasted for hours over our vegan lunch at Candle Cafe West.
Jeanne, the author/illustrator and I made a date to go for a walk in Central Park later this month. She suggested a starting location midway between us.
“We could meet at the Imagine marker at 72nd Street.”
That’s the beautiful mosaic memorial tribute to John Lennon right near the entrance to Strawberry Fields.
I’m feeling more like a New Yorker every day.
Preparing for my Soul Proprietor Community call recently I included words from Ecclesiastes (aka Simon and Garfunkel’s Turn, Turn, Turn) which says, “there is a time to refrain from embracing.”
We live in such a to-do culture that when things aren’t happening fast enough, i.e. in our time frame, you may get frustrated, annoyed and may even think you’re failing. It’s so uncomfortable, in fact, that many people fill in the ‘free’ time by shopping, over-doing, paying too much attention to someone else’s business (literally and figuratively) or fill-in-the-blank default behaviors that are counter-productive.
What if you just refrain…from embracing? What if you simply let go, allow the world to revolve without pushing it a degree or two yourself and wait and see what happens. Breathe, clean a closet. Just be.
This morning’s reading in my daily meditation book includes a quote by Lin Yutang whom I had to google to find out who he was.
Besides the noble art of getting things done; there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the nonessentials.
Here’s a challenge for you–Will you let go of pushing an outcome, just for today?