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I couldn’t have chosen a better book to read this week before my Soul Proprietor Community topic call: Allow the Universe to Manifest than Lisa Jones‘ Art of Living Happy - After the Loss of a Loved One: A Real-Life Awakening.
Once I opened the volume, I couldn’t put it down. Her riveting true-life story of her husband’s untimely death at age 44 and the sequence of events/miracles that happened after, support her belief in the power of our Universe and the existence of angels.
Yes, I’m a skeptic, and I have not had her dramatic experiences, but I believe everything she says. Lisa is gifted with an ability to hear voices, receive wisdom, and bring it to those who need to hear it, i.e. anyone who wants the information and is open and available to receive it.
I don’t want to give away Lisa’s incredible story, but will share one of my favorite incidents that spoke to me particularly as I find myself in a transition in my own life. She and her second husband were planning to do major renovations on her marital home. With the architectural plans ready for breaking ground, “Everything that could go wrong did.”
- Wrong paperwork was filed
- Town lost paperwork.
- P + Z notice didn’t get published.
- No quorum at meeting of P + Z
- Issue over a variance
- Board member error
- Etc., etc., etc.
Who hasn’t faced delays or setbacks of this ilk? Here comes the miracle:
The week of approval, as I drove by a beautiful lake home that had been on the market for six months, I noticed that a new real estate company was representing the house…I’d always been drawn to it on a gut level. [But it was under renovation by the couple living there.] As it turned out, as soon as the couple was done with the renovations [our real extate friend] Lee called to tell me that “the husband has been transferred to Texas for a new job, and that they were listing the property for sale…[and that the once out-of-reach price point] dropped yesterday, by quite a bit! It looks like the owners must have taken a buyout, and the relocation company wants to sell it as soon as possible to get it off their books.”
Reading this passage was like having my own angels tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Trust us!” Everything that is happening is happening for a reason. Stay the course you’re on and more will be revealed.
What I also loved about this book is Lisa’s account of how she developed her gift into a thriving practice. You can imagine how many nay-sayers there were out there (slightly more than those who didn’t believe I could make a business out of decorating eggs!), especially family members, who were less-than-encouraging of this accountant turned channeler. Lisa overcame personal and professional obstacles on her way to becoming truly recognized and appreciated for her gifts. I admire her tenacity, honesty and willingness to share her journey with those of us whose paths are wider.
Congratulations and all the best to Lisa who has known that this is her path and has written the book declaring it to the world.
Joseph and Noah McVicker invented a substance to clean wallpaper. It was soft, pliable, durable. Trouble was, no one wanted it. And the McVickers set their invention aside.
Ten years later, the brothers heard an elementary school teacher describe how her students, with their little hands, struggled in their art projects. Art clay was hard and unyielding. So Noah and Joseph dusted off their invention—and today we call that wallpaper cleaner Play-Doh.
This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Our world is full of ingenuity and innovations that at first solved nothing. Maybe you have a right idea that hasn’t found the right time. Stay open. Be patient…and keep thinking…in the high calling of our daily work.
Although our higher powers have different names, the message is the same. Stay open, be patient and keep thinking.
No doubt you’ve heard the saying that when you point the finger at someone else, there are three others pointing back at you. May I tell you how much I hated that adage?
I far preferred to place the blame on anyone but moi. Me, wrong? Can’t be!
I was fueled by self-righteousness and perfectionism. It’s a great smokescreen for insecurity and feeling ‘less than.’ If I could place the blame squarely on anyone else, I could remain on my perch as the hero or the victim, but never the architect of misjudgment or wrongdoing.
Last Friday I was unable to log onto the dashboard I use for administering my monthly call to my Soul Proprietor Community. I entered the usual URL for the conference line, but kept getting an error message. I remembered that my VA had requested my new credit card number for the May billing cycle. But it didn’t even occur to me to stir up anger at her, because even if she hadn’t gotten to that task yet, it wouldn’t have remedied the situation at hand in that moment.
I couldn’t start the recording as I normally would have, so thought quickly and explained to the group that I would offer the session a second time and record it then. I proceeded to conduct the rest of the call without benefit of the muting option, but it went smoothly nonetheless.
Two very cool things happened. One–the recorder went on automatically unbeknownst to me so the call did get recorded (perfectly, btw), and I did not need to duplicate the effort. The second was this message from a participant:
I learned a wonderful lesson today on our conference call. There were some technical mishaps with recording and sound feedback. If I had been in Jane ‘s shoes I would have gone nuts. However, it was so refreshing and eye opening to see how Jane handled the situation. As a participant I found that her attitude did not cause stress to me (the client/guest) and in fact made me find humor and humanness.
I’m about to get on the phone with my assistant,(who had paid the monthly fee for me) and navigate how to NOT have this happen in the future. I’m very grateful that I didn’t blame her for something she didn’t do to relieve my anxiety in the moment. Relationship and sanity saved.
I’ve just begun listening to My Beloved World by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and am already enthralled. I wanted to share a quote from the preface that I believe will engage you and make you want to read this volume as well:
The idea of my becoming a Supreme Court Justice–which, indeed, as a goal would inevitably elude the vast majority of aspirants–never occurred to me except as the remotest of fantasies. But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire [bolding and emphasis are mine]…And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.
When I recently coached a group of artists and inquired about their goals, one at a time I probed them for the value, the ‘thing’ that would create the ‘will to aspire.’ It was exhilarating to be a part of this exercise, asking questions, noticing the responses and digging deeper for that big wish–the large format camera, the light-filled studio space, the time to focus just on jewelry-making–that would fuel the artistic process.
Once that stirring is identified and acknowledged, the next steps become self-evident and the day’s quality is being fulfilled.
I concluded my Soul Proprietor Community call on Friday by giving the group the homework assignment to read (or listen to) the legendary Acres of Diamonds story first popularized by Russell Conwell a hundred years ago.
Every time I hear that true account, I’m re-invigorated to look at the gifts currently in my life and work harder to develop those rather than seeking unknown treasures which may be far afield. One year my mantra was “Mine what you have.”
Before I could send the links to my assistant to post on our private Community Facebook page, I received an email message with the subject: Acres of Diamonds – Reclaiming an Old Idea. If you read this linked story, you’ll see the immediate re-inforcement I received within 24 hours of my session that underscored the message I want to share.
“What an amazing coincidence!” I marveled. Until I had my “Doh!” moment when I realized I had to submit my email address to download the link for the pdf version.
You know, though, that even the simulation of a sign created the identical feeling in my body that it would have had it actually appeared in my inbox unsolicited. Our minds are that powerful. I’m choosing to stick with the positive, elated and uplifting sensation I felt in that moment–as a sign that I’m moving in the right direction–rather than dismiss it as a function of an auto-responder spewing out a message. As always, we get to choose our responses to everything.
My Remarkable Women’s Network Come As You’ll Be event in Westport last week was a real hit. I want to acknowledge the dozens of courageous women who attended, in costume, for taking a look into the unknown and staking a claim for themselves.
As attendees experienced in their small group sharing, the success they seek is not that remote, and that talking about it, describing the steps it will take to get there and trying their imagined success on for size–the proverbial acting as if–is a powerful exercise in self-actualization.
I should know. I came dressed as Mos-ette–the leader of the Lifestyle Entrepreneurship movement. Just mentioning my intention to a colleague earlier that day was exciting. She immediately said she’d follow me. Easy!
Here are the 10 Commandments for my movement:
1. Thou shalt love the work you do.
2. Create your own definition of success.
3. Thou shalt not compare.
4. Honor thy heart and thy gut.
5. Thou shalt practice gratitude daily.
6. Remember to rest.
7. Allow the Universe to manifest.
8. Be aware of signs along the way.
9. Not every day is a winner.
10. Remember what it was like to work for someone else.
Jessica Bram, who years ago imagined and manifested the vision to create a writing haven, hosted this evening at the Westport Writers Workshop. She talked about other visions which had come to fruition: writing and getting her book published and, on the personal side, getting married.
We had a number of best-selling authors attend including Sandy Weiner the author of the soon-to-be-released (in her vision) Eyes Wide Open, Legs Firmly Shut A woman’s guide to dating smarter the second time around.
There was also a magazine cover ‘girl’–Andrea Deinstadt of Organizing Wisdom who had envisioned herself (in blue) on the cover of a regional publication alongside one of my entrepreneurial heroes, Eileen Fisher. I had the good fortune to ride on the coat tails of a similar visionary, Betsy Krobot, who created a mock-up of herself on the cover of Westport Magazine several years ago, only to appear on the actual cover in June 2007 with two other women business owners. This stuff works!
I dare you to try it.
My move to NYC has vaguely resembled my first birth experience.
Before my eldest was born, I threw myself into a study of pregnancy, the birth process and breastfeeding via reading, enrolling in Lamaze classes and attending La Leche League meetings. I was thoroughly prepared, having equipped myself with knowledge about fetal development, breathing techniques to ease labor pains, and learning how to have the baby latch on for nursing.
What I had completely overlooked was actually having a baby in my life.
It all worked out, as anyone who knows Lindsey or my other wonderful kids, Robert and Laura, can attest. But that moment of recognition, after all the planning and preparation for the birth experience, was something of a rude awakening. Wait a second here! I thought I’d already done all the work.
That was simply setting the stage for the greatest experience of my life.
Now here I am in NYC, in my humble opinion, the greatest city in the world. I was always drawn to Manhattan having grown up in White Plains, attending Columbia Teachers College, then living in a commuter town 50 miles away for the last 40 years. Time and circumstances have paved the way for this great move.
For the past several months I’ve focused on winding down my life in CT, getting rid of my leased car, packing up my apartment and making the actual move. All of this took time, energy and concentration.
I’ve landed. I love my apartment. I’ve met a lot of really terrific people. I know how to get around. I’ve mastered seamless.com.
The funny timing thing here is that next week I’m hosting my final Remarkable Women’s Network event in Connecticut, and it’s entitled Come As You’ll Be. I’m giving my friends, colleagues and clients permission (aka challenging them), to dream ahead five years, to dress accordingly as the success they can imagine and to speak that night only from the perspective of 2017 and all they have achieved.
And I haven’t a clue as to who I’ll be or even what I want to achieve.
This is the very first time in my memory that I can state this. I’ve always been 100% goal driven, defined and clear. Until this move to NYC, which was a long-held vision now come to fruition. Just like delivering the baby…now what?
Fortunately, I have a path to take.
I’ll do what I instruct my clients to do–create a new vision. My first step is to give myself time and space and some very cool magazines to work with. It’s one of those things that I’ll know when I see it. Flipping through the pages of travel, lifestyle and home magazines will offer images that touch my heart and make me say, “Yes. I want that!”
I may not know how to achieve getting that, but seeing it in front of me is always Step 1. I have my assignment cut out for me. I’m going to hit the magazine reading room of the NYC library which I recently joined, gather a stack of juicy periodicals and enjoy the process.
I also have a strategically timed call with my coach later today, which I know will help me hear what’s deep in my heart.
By next Monday, December 3, I will have a new vision for my future, will dress accordingly, and will act as if–the same thing I’m asking my attendees to do.
There’s enormous power in this process. I’m going to take my own advice and live into it. Please join me then and see who I show up as. I’m as curious to know as you may be.
Addendum – I started this post this morning before going to the library. I had to take this photo (above) as I entered the NYPL–God giving me a wink of encouragement as I entered the library. I knew the Universe would be with me on this. It always is.
The Enterprising Women conference I spoke at on Wednesday was inspiring from the get-go. Lynn Robinson, pictured here, was the opening keynote speaker. She addressed the topic of using intuition in business in a way that underscored every belief I’ve ever had and put an exclamation point on it.
Lynn’s talk, Trusting Your Gut–How the Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business, took the audience through the paces of opening up to and trusting what she calls your ‘inner consultant’–your intuition. The steps Lynn talked about, with memorable stories to illustrate each point (buy her book!) include:
- Setting intentions
- Focusing on the WHAT, not the HOW
- Catching negative thoughts
- Practicing positive self-talk
- Asking your intuition
The most important thing I heard Lynn say was this: that just because we are intuitive and are guided by signs from within, that doesn’t mean that we automatically move from success to success. There may be long periods of drought, indecision, difficulty and disappointment in the process. But ultimately, if you are being guided by your inner knowing, your intuition will not fail you.
I had the good fortune to have dinner with Lynn the night before the event. We’re good pals from our NSA-New England Chapter days, and this was a perfect opportunity to re-connect and catch up. I got a preview of some of her stories and want to share one that was the most incredible and delicious. You’ll see what I mean.
Lynn had been chewing on a particularly difficult challenge in her business and was at her wits’ end. (You can read a more in-depth version here.) Although not a Christian, the phrase kept coming to her, “I want to see the hand of God. I want to see the hand of God on my life.” Over and over, those same words. She was sobbing, wracked with pain over this turning point in her career and didn’t know where to look next. She was looking for reassurance from on high to stay the course.
Her loving husband valiantly stepped in to comfort her. He knew that ice cream often did the trick and offered to take her for a sundae. Lynn kept crying and repeating her desire to see the hand of God on her life, even as they drove to the ice cream parlor. “I just want to see God’s hand on my life.”
She ordered her sundae, wiped away her tears when it arrived, and noticed her sign. There it was, quite creatively writ on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. She continued on the course she was on and never looked back. How sweet is that?
I love watching a conversion.
In the first module of my webinar series I talk about creating a vision for your business/life. I offer two methods for doing that–a vision board or a written statement. This week I had the opportunity to review visions with one of my webinar participants, Sandy Lovell.
Sandy has been very successful in her career and was in a transitional phase when she signed on for my class. I could tell from our conversations that she was holding herself back, not dreaming big enough. During this week’s Q+A session, she admitted to having begun, but not completed, the vision board assignment. I counter-offered, and Sandy said she was willing to write a vision statement instead which included outrageous, stretch goals and desires.
As we talked on the phone, I suggested a weekly massage as part of her self-care regimen in her vision. She simply laughed at the preposterousness of the idea. Although it felt too indulgent, she promised to add it to her written vision.
Sandy joined in again on the next Q+A call and immediately opened the conversation with, “You won’t believe this! I did what you said. Wrote the vision statement, and in today’s email, I received a groupon deal for a massage. I signed up. How did that happen?!”
It’s The Secret in action, the law of attraction. That you bring into your life what you think about. Writing it down and cutting and pasting pictures of your desires hastens the process and directs the universe–and your attention–towards your particular longings.
Tomorrow I leave for an envisioned vacation. I’m traveling to the Caribbean for a cruise – Holistic Holiday at Sea. Years ago my table mate at EWN told me that every six weeks she takes a week off. I made a mental note of that ambitious and luxurious goal and am beginning my own manifestation of it. I was a guest presenter at a spa in Mexico in December, now vacationing in the tropics in March. Not quite six weeks, but wonderfully in the right direction.
I’ll be out to sea for a week. No phone. No email. Nothing but the ocean, nature and R+R. I highly recommend your following my lead as often as possible.