The Gift of using your Imagination

The Gift of using your ImaginationIt’s that time of year when employees from all around the globe are discreetly picking names for the upcoming Secret Santa exchange. This annual fun event is a tradition at most companies as it’s a good way to get into the Christmas spirit, bond with co-workers, eat lots of treats, have a few laughs and see what your mystery Santa has bought you.

There was a time when I boycotted this fun event – not because I’m a scourge or my taste was so expensive that I would never be satisfied with a gift under $20. I avoided it because I just got tired of receiving gifts that were picked out of “last minute desperation”. I would get gifts such as Christmas mugs filled with chocolate or some Christmas wall hanger that looked like it was pulled from the bottom of an old storage bin – cleverly disguised behind pretty paper and a bow. This is what I call the “no effort – no imagination syndrome”. I’m sure a lot of you who are reading this are laughing because you too experienced the “wait until last minute and pick whatever I could find at a 24 hour convenience store” gift.

Turn Fear Off

Turn Fear Off I recently fell into a part-time job that I love, Love, LOVE. A childhood friend and myself are working with local schools to promote education. Our goal is to reach out to adults who have fallen through the cracks after dropping out of middle school or high school – help them overcome their barriers/fears so they can start back on a path of building for a better tomorrow through education.

Our research is done; we have the support from community leaders who will help gather our target audience. So now comes the hard part,..speaking in front of groups of people.

Distractions

Distractions Please forgive me, for I have been very lazy. Its been two weeks since my last post. I accuse myself of finding comfort in mindless distractions.

While drudging my way through an unavoidable “family” distraction – I found solace in getting lost in “time wasting” distractions that take me away from my commitments and goals. So instead of making time for writing and other things that I need to focus on, I’d spend all my spare time watching TV, surfing the Internet – chasing after celebrity gossip, chatting online, texting and Skyping family and friends. I was doing whatever I could to avoid doing the things that required discipline, focus and concentration.

Do you have a plan?

Do you have a plan? Recently, I interviewed a 67-year-old woman who wants to get her GED (grade 12 equivalent). I asked, “Why is this so important to you? She said, “Because its the one thing in life that I want more than anything.”

Leaving school in the seventh grade, Maggie (not her real name) has lived her entire life in poverty. She worked odd jobs in her 20’s and 30’s as a dishwasher in restaurants but gave up because she couldn’t escape the constant abuse and harassment that followed her everywhere she worked.

Lets Celebrate Girl Power!

Lets Celebrate Girl Power! Real change occurs – one determined woman at a time.

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend my first ever International Women’s Day Luncheon. I left all expectations at the door and walked into a room filled with women of all age, race and background – mingling with those who live in poverty to those who are of great power and influence. We come together to celebrate the spirit of women – working together to bridge the gap in equality – social, economical, political and in health.

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real “The true self does not need to be defended.It just needs to be expressed.”

As my clients walk into my office and sit at the small table, I pay attention to their reaction and body language. Often seeing slumped shoulders as they shift nervously in their seat and stare at their folded hands rather than make eye contact with me.

Within minutes of beginning our session, I start to see their transformation. Bodies start to relax, shoulders go back, eye contact comes easily and enthusiasm slowly starts to show. Why the sudden shift? I begin each session with “Tell me about yourself? And, What makes you happy? I ask these two questions because I truly want to make a connection with the person I’m sitting next to. The questions catches people off guard because they aren’t used to having someone take such a vested interest in what they have to say.

Choosing The Right Path

Choosing The Right PathLast September I was reading one of the gazillions “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, called Tough Times, Tough People. Half way through the book I came across a short story about a 15-year-old girl who grew up in world filled with addictions and abuse.

In the book she talked about the pain and anger she feels towards her birth mother, asking the question, “How could a woman who gave birth to me and my three siblings put us through the worst possible things that no child should experience?”

She is strong in her convictions – telling us that she’s determined to take her life in a different direction then that of her mother and siblings. In her own words, “Recovering from the abuse, I have grown stronger. I am not going to follow my mother’s steps. I’m going to be who I want to be, not who everyone else wants me to be. I can’t change anyone else but myself so I’m changing the path of my family history.”

Happiness Matters Now!

A person will be as happy as they make up their minds to be – Abraham Lincoln
Happiness Matters Now

I find myself in the midst of being in a transitional state of the unknown. I’m literally hanging in limbo with absolutely no control over a situation and can very easily let it consume me and hold me prisoner.

I allow myself to feel and acknowledge my frustrations and anger but during this time of uncertainty I made a conscious decision to isolate the incident and continue enjoying my life’s journey without letting this challenge contaminate my happiness.

I’ve learned that no matter what life’s challenge crosses my path, I have the choice to either be happy or unhappy. It’s that simple.

Walk In Courage

Walk In Courage The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

“I did it! Today, I gave my landlord a 60-day notice that I’m leaving! I’m scared to death and don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m ready to face whatever comes my way.” These are the words I heard over the phone from my brave sister who finally mustered up the courage to leave behind her big city life after more than 30 years.

Never Too Late

Never Too Late “I’m too old to start over” is what I constantly hear from a 58-year-old woman who is currently taking GED (grade 12 equivalent).

I recently met with Susan (not her real name) to help her figure out what career would be perfect for her. With tears running down her face she says, “By the time I get my GED and complete college, I’m going to be in my early 60’s. Who the heck is going to hire an old woman?”

Up until last year, Susan was able to hide her dirty little secret of not completing high school. Having an amazing career in the hospitality/food industry – managing hundreds of people and working directly with a well-known airline. A few years ago she had to give it all up because she was suddenly overcome with severe allergies and sensitivity to fragrances.