Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anything Can Happen If You Let It

I expected a night of enjoyment. I expected the kind of magic that only something with a Disney touch can provide. I expected to hum along the words I knew so well. I expected to delight in watching my adopted niece enchanted by the dance and the music. What I did not expect when I walked into the Amsterdam Theatre last night was to hear Mary Poppins feeding me wisdom along with that spoonful of sugar.

This is a children's story after all. I didn't recall  learning anything more from the story than all the words to  Chim Chim Cer-ee and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. If Mary Poppins  had served me up a deeper message back in the Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke version, I didn't remember.

Until she uttered those words. "Anything can happen if you let it." 

The words ran through every cell of my being.
Anything can happen if you let it.
Of course it can!  I know that. I believed that as I child. I forgot it for a very long time, buried under that pile of twists and turns life takes us on.  I've studied and worked long and hard to relearn that wisdom and embrace the truth of what she was saying.

Making things happen was about allowing them to.
I could think of a long list of spiritual teachers from Abraham Hicks to Florence Scovel Shinn with a version of this I had read. But Mary Poppins? Is that really where I heard it first?

I caught the face of my niece who sat mesmerized by the lights and the music. A little girl, who if not for the love, generosity and never wavering faith in this very belief  of the woman who is her mother, would still be sitting inside of an orphanage in Guatemala instead of the oldest theatre on Broadway surrounded by her cousins and aunts and grandmother. 

Whether she heard Mary Poppins as I did last night is of no matter. It is in her cells as it was in mine. And if along the way she forgets she will have moments like last night when it hits her and she will feel the full truth of the statement. She might do as I did, start counting up all the miracles that she can remember that manifested when she allowed them to.  Starting with the one that is her.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Picture of My Intuition

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I were to picture my intuition as a person she would be me, albeit the wiser, calmer version of myself than the person I am at this moment. My intuition would have that grace and serenity that I visualize when I am attempting my ten minute minimum of daily meditation.  She smiles, she knows, she trusts in me, in the process and in the Universe.

She looks like the person others see when they come to ask me advice, to coach them, to guide them, to offer suggestions.  If we were to sit down for dinner later today my intuition would tell me to stop wasting energy worrying and trying to think things through too much. She would tell me to meditate more and to listen for her voice, that she has never and will never steer me wrong. She would remind me she is always available for me to hear it's just that I'm not always paying attention. She'd most likely add in that I should start with eating a bit slower and giving more thought to each bite. 

I am participating in the #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from This is Prompt#23 courtesy of Susan Piver

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turn Up The Volume

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enthusiasm is contagious. It's that child like quality of seeing the light and fun in the simplest of things. And when we allow ourselves to tap into it our whole being changes. People want what we have. 
The question is how do we do that? How do we bring more of that joy and excitement into our work? 
I think it starts with grounding ourselves. For some that might be meditation. For others movement. Or if you are me a little of both. Breathe and visual what your end result is going to look like. Smile. Remember why you do what you do. Be grateful. Maybe turn up the music to your favorite song, a little Lady Gaga  always does it for me. Sing and dance your heart back to the place where you can feel and trust in the process. And remember to smile. The simple act of curling up your lips changes your energy from flat towards enthusiasm. 
Let yourself be you. You are the drug the world wants to see and if you allow yourself you can call you up on demand. 
If you don't believe me, turn up the volume right now and take a little dance break. It really works.
 I am participating in the #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from This is prompt #21

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Midsummer's Night Scheme

The word solstice is derived from the Latin “sol” meaning sun and “sistere”, to cause to stand still. The technical reasoning is that as the summer solstice approaches, each day the sun at noon rises higher in the sky than the day before until it reaches a point where it stands still.

Most of us don’t think about that part when we think of June 21. We think the official start to summer. We think the longest day of the year. We think Shakespeare and a Midsummer’s Night Dream.  And if you’re me you think ancient pagan rituals with bonfires and music and the promise of magic in the air.

But standing still? That is something most of us think we have no time for.

I realize I might be losing some of you here, but bear with me. I’ve had a fascination with the concept of Midsummer since it was required reading in the ninth grade.

Midsummer has always been thought to be that time when the sun is at the peak of its power, the earth is green and there is promise of bountiful harvest to come. Historically it has been filled with festival and tradition. There was the belief that if lovers jumped through the flames of the bonfires, their crops would grow as high as they were able to jump.

Now I am not about to suggest you build a bonfire on your balcony but what if you did find some time today to stand still and to think. Just for a few moments to dream. And if that is too much for you try calling it a scheme. What do you want to harvest this fall?

Is it as simple as those tomatoes you keep promising yourself you will plant in your garden or is updating your resume? Are you ready to write your own manifesto or put the money down on that winery? Are you content to let your business idle at the same speed or are you ready to take it to a new level?

It’s Midsummer. The longest day of the year. Take the time to stand still for a few moments and breathe. And then tell me your scheme and I might tell you mine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Testing the Dreams

Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.
(Author: Michael Rad)

It's day 17 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. If challenge is defined as a task or situation that tests someone's abilities, mine are being tested.
I didn't post yesterday. Yesterday's prompt was in writing about my future. It wasn't that I don't have a clear vision of what I would like that to look like, it's just that it was starting to sound repetitive to me. Sort of like of like my post in response to what I would do with one week left to live or the blog  in response to what the one thing you have always wanted to accomplish   would be or what I would say to the person I am in five years. Truth told, it was starting to bore me and if it was boring me, what about you, my readers?
It got me thinking that maybe this was like one of those standardized tests in which the same questions are asked several times, just slightly rephrased, to assess the validity of your answers. If these prompts continue to be variations on a theme, will my answers eventually change and will anyone notice? And if I notice will my choice be to step deeper into them or gauge  the"that might not be realistic meter" and start to water them down?
I was hopeful that today would have a fresh spin. But here we are with today's prompt, asking what my top three dreams are. So in case, you or the Universe have not been paying attention read carefully. 
To be an insanely successful published writer.  To create and inspire change in others through my writing, coaching and speaking. To love and receive love, deep, mad, passionate, all consuming, soul connecting love.
As for what is stopping me from realizing any of these dreams.  Only me. Occasionally getting in my own way.
If you feel you haven't been asked this question too much lately, tell me, what are your top 3 dreams right now? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walking My Path

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.
(Author: Bridget Pilloud)

My Response

I have always walked my own path, I believe we all do. In hindsight it may look like we were treading the steps of someone else, because at that moment we were a different individual. It is in those steps we take and the choices we make that we evolve, hopefully closer to our own truth.

I can look back and wonder who that woman was who taught seventh grade, who looked for ways to skip gym in high school and who was brave enough to leave the school system for the corporate one. There are photographs of a woman with permed hair, or short hair, in suits with shoulder pads, a woman with extra pounds, a very thin teenager. But if you look at the eyes and the smile, she was always me, albeit a different version.

But in those moments of the really big changes, when I moved to DC to take a promotion or moved back to NYC to enter a different segment of my industry or left the corporate career to be where I am now I felt an energy rushing through me I thought I had never felt before.  Those first moments of big change are like the early stages of new love when you feel so alive and full of excitement for the unknown that you wonder if you will ever feel that again. The air seems cleaner, the flowers more fragrant.  You smile at everyone and it seems they are smiling right back.

Even as you are rushing forward to a new part of you, there is a slow down. A noticing of what will be different. From the place you get your morning coffee to how your interactions with new people and places will shift and change you.

Each time I knew something was different and I was about to change.  I was always careful to pause and  snap a little photograph for my memory book  of what was my truth in that moment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What I Am Not Seeing

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt
The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.
(Author: Jonathan Fields)

My Response
I'm all about staying open to what shows up. That doesn't mean it's easy to do. When we've got a vision the tendency is to hold on tight to it, sometimes so tight that your hands hurt too much to notice anything else.

I wanted a book deal before I left Corporate America. It turns out I got a severance package first. I saw it coming and stayed open to it. I always thought fiction was the kind of writing I was best at. Turns out I'm pretty good at non-fiction too. My agent suggested we run with that. And that book deal for the novel. I was holding so tightly to the idea of a traditional publishing house picking me up I forgot that self-publishing was an option. Now I'm planning on that for this summer. Coaching was never in the original plan, but people kept asking for it and telling me I was good. So I seized the opportunity and discovered I can inspire and create change  through the written word and the spoken word.

What else am I not seeing? I can't get a glimpse of much else right now, but if you can do let me know.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sssh...It's a Surprise

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt
Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?
(Author: Ashley Ambirge)

My Response
When I used to think about leaving the structure of a traditional job I did not think I could do it. I could not fathom what a work day would look like without someone else giving me an outline to work from. I craved the routine. There was a safety to it that I could not imagine extricating myself from.

So I am surprised that I chose to leave that environment, even more so that I do not miss any of the way my work day was. Not one bit. That I am never wondering what to do, but rather how will I get all that I want to do in regards to my work completed. I am even more surprised that I ever found the old way pleasurable.

As for this week? How will I surprise myself?
Let's just say, it's still a surprise.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nothing But The Real Thing

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from
Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Writing Prompt: Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
(Author: Fabian Kruse)

I never thought of it as imitation but rather as conforming to what society says I should be, but perhaps that is imitation. When you hide your truths because of a vision someone or something else holds of you. Imitating dims an individuals light. It blurs our vision looking in and looking out.

I conformed for many years. Imitated at times. But no more. The divine idea inside me is my desire to inspire and create change, through my writing, coaching, speaking, or even  an ordinary conversation with the dry cleaner. I want everyone to live their true selves.

Imitation is a world that looks like The Stepford Wives in which no one smiles.  Insisting on yourself looks more like Lady Gaga in which everyone wants to dance.

Some days it's easier to live in imitation mode. Most days it's not.
I'm insisting on me today.
How about you?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Message To The Masses

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

The Quote
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt ....What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say?   (Author: Eric Handler)

That would be My Manifesto.  Right here. Right now. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Too Scary to Write

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from
The Quote
The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The  Writing Prompt
Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.
(Author: Mary Jaksch)
My response
I think what is too scary for me to write about are my own terrors. Not the made up ones in the mind of a character in a fictional story I concoct or even those of others I observe in daily life. But my own. The real life terrors that creep into my head that divert me from my writing. Those fears that all I am working on will implode, that I will be alone forever, that I am not enough, not  good enough, smart enough or engaging enough to inspire. That the naysayers could turn out to be right and I should have just kept working in the field I was in, no matter how little it fed my soul and tore away at my creativity.

My horror is if I put them down on paper they have a chance of becoming real. Yet even as I write this I find myself smiling at how little substance they really have. I can see them losing their power and evaporating in a puff of smoke in front of me. All by owning up to them.

So why then not write about what we are most afraid to every day?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Five Years Back, Five Years Forward

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

The Quote
There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. 
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt 
What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?
(Author: Corbett Barr)

My Response

Don't worry so much, it will all work out.
See, didn't I tell you not to worry.

You thought you were getting too old to create real change.
You're still making change, you always will be, it's who you are.

Remember how frightened you were of letting go of the life you had?
Aren't you glad you took the leap?

It's OK to want to follow your passion.
You've inspired others to do the same.

Listen to what your heart and your core tells you, not anything less.
You did what you had to do and look how much better you are for it.


Monday, June 6, 2011

What Are You Waiting For?

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from
The Quote
Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born.
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Writing Prompt
“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.
A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?
(Author: Matt Cheuvront)

My Response
Me? I'm not waiting. I took the step away from rational thought almost 3 years ago when I ditched the corporate world to pursue the life of a writer and coach, although at the time it was just about the writing. The real vision of inspiring and creating change had yet to morph, but that is what happens when you "Start before you are ready," as Steve Pressfield writes in Do The Work.  The plan now is to self-publish the first novel this summer and then finish the sample chapter for my non-fiction book proposal and go the traditional route on that. Or do I finish that chapter first ? I'm not sure but I'll let you know what happens.

How to overcome the obstacles? Sit in this chair, keep typing and be prepared to do battle with the resistance.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

With But A Week Left

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from
The Quote

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. 
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The writing prompt
If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.
Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?
(Author: Jonathan Mead)

My response
I would be doing exactly what I am doing now, inspiring and creating change, writing and coaching. Perhaps the one shift would be to let myself gravitate to the writing that most moves me at the moment, instead that which must be done because I am on deadline or because I made a promise to complete. Case in point, honoring my pledge to #Trust30.

This prompt left me flat. But if I honor its suggestion to resolve to do only that which makes me come alive, perhaps my pledge to #Trust30 should shift. And I will resolve to respond only to those which tap my creative juice.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My One Place

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from
If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The writing prompt:
Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?
(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

My response:
I detest being asked to identify just one thing in any category. My tastes and desires vary so much from moment to moment. But then that is my prerogative both as a being, more so as a woman. So where is that one place I have yet to visit that I must get to before I die. Is it the Pyramids in Egypt or Machu Picchu in Peru? Is it the Opera House in Sydney or  a river cruise up the Nile? Perhaps the South African coast or Delphi in Greece?

I say yes to all of the above and no to one signal destination. For the truth is the one place I want to visit most before I die most is not a destination, but a journey to the depths of my soul.  The place I want to visit more than any other rests inside of me.  The ability to love deeply, work passionately, cry buckets when necessary and laugh until my belly hurts. It is not a single event, or one moment in time, but a series of each .

How will I get there? By living each day doing at least one thing that terrifies me.

Today it was writing this post.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Challenge of the Moment

#Trust30 Day 4

The Quote
That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Prompt
Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.
Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

My Post It

I'll let you know after the weekend how I did getting this chapter finished!
If you need a catch up on my 30 Day Pledge, read my post on Trust and then  Check out #Trust30 for more details.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


One of the greatest challenges I have faced in the last several years is trust. Trusting my decisions. Trusting the process. Trusting the Universe will deliver exactly what I need when I need it. Especially on the days when what is showing up seems as far away from what that is as could be.

When I was younger I put my trust in others, whether it was in people, my parents, my friends, the men I loved or the school system that I was taught in and later in the organizations I worked for. It took me years of living and learning to understand that who I had to trust the most was me. My instincts, my determination, my choices.

Still I admit to having days when I have no trust whatsover in me and when I wonder just  what the #*/?** am I doing. Yesterday was one of those days.

I was still feeling pretty disjointed and disgruntled with me when I awoke at 5:30AM this morning. In an aimless moment, a big cup of coffee in hand and a big desire to accomplish something I sat at my computer and decided to go through the sundry newsletters that fill my email inboxes.

There was this one from The Domino Project with the heading : Trust Yourself(#Trust 30) Writing Challenge.

I've signed up. I downloaded this new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's  Self Reliance from Amazon.  I will be blogging, tweeting, and posting on Facebook my reflections over the next month. Yes I am a day late in starting, May 31 being the official kick off. But I trust there is perfection in that.

Today's prompt: How would I describe today in one sentence?

Today is a gorgeous, glittering, larger than life bright yellow and red neon sign from the Universe that it is time for me to reaffirm my trust in me.