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Whose Life Is It Anyway?

There are times when you are faced with a choice, there will be a possibility of getting stuck in the muck and mire the “what-if’s”. Throughout the decision making process it is common to second guess yourself. Looking for answers externally for a preliminary opinion can be helpful to get you started. However, at the end of the day, the decision should come from the internal nagging you have in the pit of your stomach..the little birdie. The nagging that won’t let you sleep. The nagging that answers you back when you think about choosing the decision that isn’t in your best interest. The decision that you know must choose but are scared to make is often because it will not be popular. But guess what? It is often the best decision for YOU. It’s those decisions that shape and mold you into the masterpiece you were created to be. It’s those decisions, the hard, gut wrenching, tearful decisions you will reflect on and realize that if it wasn’t for those decisions you would still be living the same mediocre life that everyone else said you should live. You were not created to live your life by the vote of a committee. You were created to bring forth the expression of your originality and that does not include living your life in a substandard way to appease the masses. Live your life for you.

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Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Sometime ago, a very good friend posted a message on Facebook that instantly made my blood boil. To summarize, she received a message from a health and wellness professional implying her message of empowerment for women wouldn’t be taken seriously because she was fuller figured woman. Um, excuse me? My immediate reaction was anger followed by disbelief and then sadness. It is a disappointment to know people view the body you are in and then determine, often incorrectly, your level of influence or success. My friend is an exceptional woman, extraordinary in the space she occupies and has a proven track record of empowering thousands of women across the country. Her size should not matter. A person’s physical image should never be an indication of what value they can bring to someone’s life. I don’t care if you are plus size or model thin, if you have an authentic message that will uplift someone else, you are okay in my book.

Likewise, success is self-defined. If you accomplish a task you once thought impossible…that’s success for you. To put it in perspective, someone who runs ten marathons a year can’t tell you that running your first 5K isn’t a success…especially if you never ran before. Kudos to your co-worker that lost 100 pounds over the course of a year but I want and need you to celebrate the 5 pounds you’ve lost in the past two months. Yes it may seem like everyone is getting an advanced degree but you have 20 solid years professional of experience they could never learn in a book. Define success for yourself and then celebrate it every chance you get while loving the skin you are in.

Until next time, continue to Work Your Package…

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Practicing What You Preach

It’s very easy to give advice to others. It is not easy to follow the same advice when the same situation and possible solution applies to you. Giving advice, unsolicited or requested, is a privilege and you shouldn’t give it halfheartedly or without thought.

When I decided to write “Work Your Package – A Guide to Being the Total Package”, I was going through what most people would call a “rough time”. There were challenges at home and at work that would have frustrated a saint and I was elbow deep in the planning of my first conference. It was crazy of me to take on the additional responsibility of writing a book but then I thought about what I would have told someone else in the same situation. Why not do it? If not now, when? Obstacles show up in everyday life and have we have two choices…complain about them or overcome them. The driving force behind finishing my book was knowing that people were watching me and wondering “Does she really practice what she preach? Is she really “working” her package?” Do I do what I do for public approval? Heck no. But I am a woman of my word. When I posted on Facebook that the book would be released soon, I gave the power of accountability to more than 600 people. I knew that if it took too long to release the book, there would have been at least 50 people asking, “Hey, when is your book going to be released?” 

There is a level of authenticity you earn with others when your words are congruent to your actions. If you are telling people how to eat healthy, you shouldn’t be eating fast food everyday. If you are telling people how to be financially responsible, your personal finances should be in order. Whatever it is you are giving advice about, you should be doing your absolute best to live the advice that you give.


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Action is Necessary..Even When You Are Afraid

If you ever hear me say that planning my first conference was easy…stop me IMMEDIATELY and then check if I’m ill. Hosting and planning my very first women’s conference has been absolutely terrifying. Seriously, I’ve lost sleep over it. And if the conference wasn’t enough, I added in completing a corresponding book to have available for sale at the conference. There were moments when I thought I was losing my mind. My need to make sure everything goes as planned has pushed my OCD/Type A personality into hyper-drive. The nagging doubt in my head that no one would register and no one wants to hear what I have to say has been on repeat…and I pushed forward anyway. I’ve pushed myself further in the past couple of weeks than I have in the last few years.

You can have all the plans in the world in your head, but until you take some action, they are just ideas. Fear of the unknown is normal and you shouldn’t feel otherwise. Don’t be paralyzed by the fear, take action…even if it’s just one small step towards your goal. If you fail, make sure you learn something from the failure. If you succeed, don’t get comfortable in your success because there is always something new to learn.

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You’re Writing a Book?

That was the response I received from many people when I told them I was writing a book. The book that I’ve been writing for the past eight years. The book that I diligently (well not that diligently) write chapters for on a mostly weekly basis. Sometimes the response is complete shock. Sometimes its complete admiration. Either way, I started telling people about the book so that they would keep asking me the million dollar question…So have you finished your book? It keeps the pressure on me to keep writing and to keep developing the story line and characters. It wasn’t my aspiration when I was younger to be an author, but now that I’ve started to share what I’m doing, it is a goal that I must see to completion.

Writing is stretching me creativity in a way that I’m not accustomed but its becoming familiar. I actually like doing the research involved for the book to make sure that when someone reads it, my words are so descriptive, it takes them to the location I’m writing about.  The more I write, the more I tune into my inner voice, the voice that I hush and tell to be quiet when I’m having a conversation with someone. The voice that just wants to say what is on her mind without hesitation or reservations.  When I’m stuck for the “right” words to say, my inner voice gives me an entire dialog that I wouldn’t have thought of.  I salute all of the writers who write on a daily basis. I wish I had that luxury. I’ve often thought about getting a modified work schedule so that I could have a day off during the week to focus solely on writing. But until that becomes a reality, I steal away a few hours here and there while I take care of work, home, kids, husband, friends and family. I’m dead last on that list and my inner voice is pissed about it because she has so much to say…

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I am a creative person. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t. I’m grateful for the multiple ways I can express my creativity. Writing, party planning, jewelry making, decorating, crocheting…I am content when I’m creating something with my hands.

For example, I was up until 11:30 last night writing my fictional novel (one of two books in my head at the moment). The characters live in my head and sometimes I will have an idea about what they should be saying or doing at the most inopportune moments, like when I’m tired.  The scenario usually goes like this:

Me: I’m sleepy.

My Creative Heart: But what about that idea you had for the main character?

Me: All I want to do is just take a shower and go to bed.

My Creative Heart: Just write a few lines. Besides if you don’t, you’ll be wide awake thinking about it.

Me: (Checking the time) Okay, it’s 8:00pm. I’ll write until 9, but then I’m going to bed.

My Creative Heart: (Jumping for joy) Woo hoo!!

Me: (4 hours later…) Okay, I need to figure out how to tie in these two scenes…(Looks up at the clock) Jeezy peezy! It’s after midnight!!! I should be in bed by now.

My Creative Heart: Well I was going to tell you the time, but you looked so happy.

When I’m in a creative zone I’m happy. I take that back. I’m not just happy; I’m in an everlasting euphoric state of bliss.  When I’m being creative, no matter the form, I lose track of time, I ignore fatigue and at some point common sense is no longer present. It usually takes an external distraction to stop me, like the phone ringing or my kids.

The physical manifestation of my creativity is like a piece of me that I’m willing to share with the world. It takes courage to present a part of you and not worry about the criticism it might face. I admire musicians, vocalists and actors. Their creativity is judged and scrutinized on a daily basis. But what most people don’t know about truly creative people is we will be creative even if the only person that gets to enjoy it is ourselves. I nurture my creative heart because I want it to grow and develop. I want to share it with my children. Some of it has rubbed off on them already. My oldest loves to draw and my youngest loves to sing and dance. And wouldn’t you know it; both of them love to write.

What have you done today to nurture your creative heart?

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Epic Failure (Well at Least in My Mind)

There are times when I feel like a complete and utter failure. This morning is a perfect example. I didn’t prepare lunches last night so while I was making breakfast and coffee for my husband, I was also making breakfast for my girls as well as their lunch. Usually I’m okay with multi-tasking in the morning but this morning there was a nagging voice that kept saying “You are so unorganized, no wonder your house doesn’t run smoothly”. This voice continued and added some other things that I don’t even want to repeat. The louder the voice became, the more irritated I got. I had my “boom” moment when I yelled at my oldest daughter for not getting in the car…RIGHT NOW.  Epic, huge, magnanimous fail for me. I don’t like yelling, especially at my kids. Especially when they had nothing to do with the way I am feeling at that moment. I was silent for the majority of the time as I drove them to school. I made sure to tell them that I loved them and I wanted them to do their best today. When they got out the car, I wanted to cry.

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. – Tony Robbins

I’m still learning to give myself some credit for the things I do right and to have patience with myself when things go haywire. One day I will look back on this morning and realize that I’m not a failure as a mother, wife or household manager. Why? Because there will be other days that surpass this one with greater significance.