Monday, May 25, 2009

Susan Boyle - I Am, Who I Am!

I am, who I am! These are powerful words!

Thanks to Susan Boyle, more of us are inclined to stand up, echo her comments, follow in her footsteps and proudly say, "I am, who I am." Seeing Susan on TV and on YouTube segments, one can clearly see a woman who has weathered many storms and at the same time, one can see a woman who is standing clearly in her power and purpose.
She has embraced her power, acknowledged her voice and is sharing her gift and her passion. She is having the time of her life and we are all benefiting.
Her actions encourage us to let go of our excuses, to embrace our own gifts, our own talents and to share them with others.

On stage, Susan is comfortable with herself and audiences around the world are taking notice. Her performance makes us all cheer. We stand up and applaud her authenticity. As we applaud her, we are given a message.... Appearances do not tell the whole story. What makes Susan so endearing? She is open, frumpy and immensely talented. She does not make excuses for her appearance or life. She shows up and dazzles us with her powerful voice.

Susan grew up struggling with learning disabilities; her classmates jeered and bullied her, and as an adult, her employment options were limited. Nonetheless, she persevered and kept on singing. She appeared at local karaoke events and participated in church choirs. At 47 years old, her mother's death inspired her to enter "Britain's Got Talent" a show patterned after American Idol . In her own words, she said, "I wanted to show her I could do something with my life."

Following her inspiration and her desire to prove her worth, Susan Boyle has emerged and is serving as powerful role model. She is who she is. She made another television appearance yesterday and she shared her magical voice and appeared as she is, in all her glory.

In her first performance last month, the judges were skeptical and asked patronizing questions as she greeted them with a dowdy image. Eyebrows raised, the judges were quickly won over by her bold voice and surprisingly confident performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables."

Despite the fame and a huge audience she has gained in the interim, she refuses to take on a new look. She is holding onto who she is; saying in another words, I am what I am, frumpy as you like, I am an Internet sensation!

The singer, who lives with her cat Pebbles said that she wouldn't change her appearance. "I just want people to see me for who I am, and do my best at singing the song, that's what I am focusing on," she said. Flashing a broad smile, Boyle danced in delight as she heard the results of her most recent performance.

In her most recent performance, Susan sang the song "Memory" from the musical "Cats." As she belted out the song, her image was projected and her message rang clear. She wore a plum colored beaded dress, had a bit more make up on and her unruly shock of hair was clearly in view. As she sang, many of us heard her unspoken song.

Did you hear between the lines? Did you listen to Susan's message and unspoken song? Did you hear her calling you to take action? If we follow in Susan's footsteps, we realize that there are no excuses.
You and I are called to step up, step out and to give voice to our dreams. It is time to claim our gifts, our talents and our self-worth!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beliefs - They Get Us Through Our Days!

This week, I have been focusing on my beliefs. To get to my desired destination, I know I must believe in my dreams and I must take action! While I know, that our beliefs are never neutral and that they either propel us forward or stop us in our tracks, I know that getting into the driver's seat and pushing the accelerator is key to my success.

The story below, was sent to me my Dad via e-mail. He is my own Ray of Hope and constantly makes me laugh. He also makes me think more about how laughter refreshes me and how it is instrumental to my success. To be successful, I am reminded...not to take myself too seriously!!

Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She writes:

Dear Grand-daughter,

The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a 'Honk if you love Jesus' bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from athrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting. So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost inthought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed.

I found that lots of people love Jesus! While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy,and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, 'For the love ofGod!' 'Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!' What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all thoseloving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle fingerstuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the windowand gave him the good luck sign right back.

My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment thatthey got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this iswhen I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove onthrough the intersection.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersectionbefore the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leavethem after all the love we had shared. So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!

Will write again soon,

Love, Grandma

In thinking about your dreams, have you encountered roadblock and obstacles? Do you hear a doubting voice inside of you that tells you, "You don't have the time or energy to move in the direction of your dreams." This is simply a limiting belief that requires a change in perspective.

Did you know, that you have the power to change your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs? Did you know that you can change your mind and that you can move forward, like Grandma in the preceding story?

You can change that limiting belief in an instant. You could choose to say, "I do have lots of energy in the morning. My battery has been recharged with sleep. I paused to read a funny story and I am refreshed. "

With this fresh perspective, and new empowering belief, I will get into my car tomorrow morning, take action and step on the gas pedal! It is never to late to begin to have fun, just like Grandma!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seeking Clarity and A Faster Pace!

For weeks, now, I have been focusing time and energy on your imagination, your intentions and your integrity in preparation for our transitional journey. I have asked you to examine your intentions, to review your daily activities, to clear the clutter and to take needed action to resolve unfinished business.

I have also asked you to envision and to imagine the life you would like to live once you clear the mountain and get to your desired destination. For the last week, I have been encouraging you to go on a passion/vision quest, to remember events and times in your life when you have been felt satisfied, successful, appreciated and valued.

I have had you focus on what you love and asked you to schedule more joy and pleasure into each day. I have asked you to live more purposefully, to avoid scheduling activities when your heart directs you elsewhere. I have given you exercises to help you live on purpose while doing things that matter to you. I have told you that I want you to avoid meaningless activities that zap your energy. I have told you that the time of our departure is near and there is no longer time to waste. Life is too short and too precious to simply go through the motions.

I have also asked you tap into your emotions and to light the fire inside of you to identify your purpose and passion. I have asked and... You have responded with your essence and your values. You have a greater understanding of what gives you joy and what you were "born to do. " You have unearthed your buried dreams and yet they are still dusty and your next step is unclear.

Your head is full of lofty visions but you wonder, what will I do next. How will you gain clarity, focus and direction while aligning your dreams with your purpose and moving toward your desired transition? As your guide, I highly recommend that you begin journaling to capture your visions, your thoughts and your insights. I believe that getting those ideas out of your head and onto paper, brings clarity for navigating the road.

You can read these writen pages when you become flustered and confused and they can provide stability. You will learn to trust yourself in the process of journaling. You will give voice to your fears, your dreams and your anxieties. Having a place to store them, they need not weigh you down. These journal notes can become your roadmap and can ground you when you stumble and come upon a roadblock.

I use my journal to explore new vistas before I venture forward. Before stepping out, I take time to reflect backwards on where I have been, what I have learned, what I have accomplished. Before devising a plan, I share my fears and worries. As I write, I seek internal guidance from my knowing source to give me focus and direction. I listen and I write for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, I vent, I fume, I forgive, share appreciation, give thanks and before I know it, I feel energized and ready to move forward.

What will you do to gain clarity, focus and direction on your journey?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Acknowledging Those Who Impact Us!

This 10-story high sculpture was given to the United States by the Russian government. It is located at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor in New Jersey. It is a memorial to those that died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and represents the tears that Moscow shed for the 9/11 victims. The constant flowing of water causes the sculpture to appear to weep. It is a lovely tribute that was not widely publicized or acknowledged.

I never heard of it before yesterday, yet it is right across the river from the Statue of Liberty. It did not spring up overnight, but somehow I never saw it or recognized this wonderful act of caring. It makes me wonder how many other special gifts and tributes have gone unnoticed and unappreciated. Far too many, I am afraid.

In my busy world, I have often neglected to recognize friends or share my appreciation for those who have impacted my life in a special way. Today, I am sharing my appreciation for this memorial. Further, I am pausing and taking note of the Russian people who showed us compassion at a very trying time in our nation's history.

I am also going to reach out to my special Ukrainian friend who was raised in Bayonne and has been there for me when I faced trials and tribulations. She was there when I faced the loss of my mother and was a steady presence when I faced the challenges of adoption. She has positively impacted my life, made many days special, and today is a day that I will acknowledge her as well. I am going to recognize her for being a very special friend to me. I am also planning to acknowledge her for being a wonderful mother and educator as well. She has found a way to balance all these roles simultaneously and deserves recognition.

I bet you have people in your life too, that deserve praise and recognition. Who has been there for you over the years? Have you paused to recognize them, lately? Perhaps, today is a good day to remember; to remember those who have positively impacted your life.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Integrity - An Essential Tool for Visioning and Relationships

I hear loud voices and a door slam shut! My husband and my daughter have exchanged harsh words and he storms into the kitchen moments later, furious; Our daughter has called him an a__hole and both he and I shake our heads in disbelief. Where did this awful voice come from? Our daughter has never used such language with my husband and I. Together, we wonder what has gotten into her and what has provoked it.

A few minutes later, I learn the horrible truth. I have provoked it. Not consciously, but nonetheless, I have sent her mixed messages and this is the result. She tells me she is tired of the double standard in our house. She says, "You constantly let Robert get away with disrespectful behavior and I'm entitled to vent my frustrations too!"

Upon reflection, I can definitely see her point of view. For far too long, I have excused his rude behavior. While feeling sorry for him and his learning challenges at school, I have chosen to ignore his snide remarks, while preaching that I valued respect. By turning my back and not naming the inappropriate behavior, I have been sending mixed messages to both my daughter and son and saying in my inaction that I condone this disrespect. Seeing the behavior go unnamed, with no serious consequences, it had become contagious in our home. Wow, what an AHA moment I got! While I truly intend to right my wrong, and change my behavior in this regard, I see an opportunity to make the point stick.

I will share this lesson with my visioning group and show that we are all works in progress! I had planned to talk to the participants about integrity and how it is very important to honor our agreements with ourselves and others if we want to live the lives that we dream of. I was planning to connect integrity with visioning. Now, I would be able to talk about integrity on a whole new level and with an added dimension.

You might be wondering, "What does integrity have to do with effective visioning and relationships?" I respond, "Integrity is an essential tool that often makes or breaks our dreams and relationships. When we act with integrity, we send out clear messages, we honor the truth within and our actions mirror our values. When we live up to our promises, we feel more deserving and become more receptive to the abundance we desire. We can look in the mirror, see ourselves and feel confident. "

Others want to work with us, because they know where we stand and can depend on us to do what we promise. Living your life with integrity brings you peace of mind and sound sleep patterns. As a result, you will have more energy and clear focus when you wake up the next day. With energy and focus, you can march at a steady pace in the direction of your visions.

What I have come to know without a shadow of a doubt, is that when I have not honored my commitments and my actions have been out of sync with my values, I have felt restless, stuck, and have been unable to make significant progress on my dreams. At such times, my mind wanders back to unresolved issues. I try to make excuses for not doing what I promised to do and try to put it out of mind, only to have it resurface moments later. To move forward, I find that I must resolve the issue and "finish the unfinished business."

Living in integrity, means that you say “no” when a friend calls to invite you to an event that is not appealing to you. Before saying yes, you insure that the activity rates high on your internal "passion scale." You actively seek to reduce the activities that fill your days, but not your heart. You eliminate unnecessary activities to make space for new interests. You avoid making casual promises that you later regret. When we do these things, we feel worthy, our self esteem improves and we develop trust in ourselves and others know what is important to us.

To be truly in integrity, it is not enough to honor agreements we make with others and ourselves, we must also honor our values and demonstrate this honor in our words and actions. We cannot turn our heads and look the other way when we see or witness harm being done or our children acting out in disrespect.

If you value respect like I do, you must confront the misdeed immediately and let the person who has offended you know that disrespect is not tolerated and that it has negative consequences in building relationships at home, school and work. If you just shrug it off like I did, you will send out a message that these remarks are acceptable and they will escalate in intensity and regularity, taking more of your time and energy away from your vision.

I encourage you to learn from my mistakes. Integrity is an essential tool for building relationships and dreams. With integrity, you are steady, your messages are clear and your focus is undeniable. With this intensity, your dreams are closer than you can imagine. Clarity comes next.

Are you ready to get clarity and move closer to your vision?