The One Question to Guide You

There’s one simple question that will provide the answers you need to many of life’s questions: 

“How do you want to live?”

We only have a short amount of time on the planet, yet we gamble through each day like we’re going to be around forever. 

Create a whole new way to live by honoring your answers. 

Do you dread the years ahead of you because you fear growing older? Let this “Old Lady” show you a whole new way to live:

Outside the Wake

Embrace Your Weirdness

Lori Moreno of Ambassadors VIP posted a question:

If you could go back and tell your young self something, what would it be?


I was pondering this question during a 3:45 a.m. ride to the airport.

My response was simple: Stand out. Embrace your weirdness. Share your gifts.

Stand Out

I grew up hard of hearing. Every single day I struggled in school to appear as “normal” as possible. As the only kid with a hearing aid, I measured myself against people with normal hearing and I couldn’t do the things that they could do (group conversations, music, talk in the dark) with ease. 

As a result, I always felt “less than.”

It wasn’t until I became deaf that I learned to step comfortably into my authentic self. I was no longer afraid to show my hearing aids (yes, I added a second one.) 

In fact, they’re now beautiful pieces of art,


Yeah, I wish my younger self knew that place of authenticity that says, “This is who I am.”

There’s a line in the movie, What a Girl Wants, that says:

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”

The worse thing you can do is blend in with everyone else. When you do that, you squelch your own passion. You diminish your unique touch in the world.

The world doesn’t need carbon copies. The world needs you. 

Embrace Your Weirdness

We all have habits, quirks, and unusual stuff that we are passionate about. In a world of mass conformity, this might seem…weird. 

What if, instead of trying to stuff your square (or hexagon) self into a round hole, what if you embraced your weirdness instead? 

When you conform to other people’s expectations or judgments of you, you’re swinging like an untethered sail in the wind. What’s more, a sailboat moves forward against the wind. So tether your weirdness and move forward. 

My ultimate favorite shoes are Vibram Five Fingers. I wear them everyday. One morning I showed up at a breakfast meeting with a friend who is a business coach. The shoes clearly made her uncomfortable. 

“Never wear those in public with me again,” she said. 

At first, I felt ashamed. I silently berated myself for not appearing more businesslike in public. 

Fortunately for me, the feeling didn’t last long. Those weird shoes have climbed to a peak in Colorado, perched the edge of a cliff in Nebraska, walked through a waterfall in Oregon, water skied on the Fox River, and endured a triathlon in Naperville. 

Weird has brought me a wonderful life. 

Share Your Gifts

I wish my younger self would have recognized the unique talents, skills, and abilities within me. I would have tapped into them right away instead of putting them off for years. 

You are as unique as your fingerprint. That means there’s no one in the whole wide world who can be you. 

So stop hiding your talent. Don’t let fear cloud your growth. If you’ve become dull and stagnant from repetitive routine–shake things up. Dust off your creativity. Approach life with a whole new wonder and a beginner’s mind. Do the stuff that your younger self is screaming for. 

Become a kid again

The Greatest Relationship-Building Tool

 

dad dying

 

When my father died, I received a card that changed my life. You see, just a few days before he passed, I posted a picture of our hands clasped together. A friend saw the picture, put it on the front of a card, and sent it to me with heartfelt words of condolences inside.

I received many beautiful cards from friends, but this one had me in tears. No store-bought card could hold a candle to the card that held a precious picture capturing my father’s last days.

“How did you do that?” I asked.

Turns out, she used a revolutionary company that is changing the whole greeting card and gift industry. I immediately became a distributor. (And yes, if you click on that link, it will take you to my distributor page.)

But the real reason I’m sharing this here is to explain how this simple act of sending cards can change your life and lead you to some awesome relationships. Because you see, when you send a card or gift to someone, you’re probably going to brighten up their day– and perhaps even change THEIR life, too. Most of our trips to the mailbox often involve junk mail or bills, so receiving a heartfelt card will bring some awesome energy to someone’s day.

making-a-difference-card-300x215

Think back to the last time you INTENDED to send someone a card. Perhaps you wanted to say thank you, or celebrate a special occasion, or reach out in support…but the moment passed and then you just became too dang busy to run to the store, sit down and write, and then drop it off at the post office.

Or maybe you didn’t have any stamps…

Now, imagine this instead:

You’ve met someone new and you want to stay in touch. You’ve got this great selfie you took together. No problem–you whip out your card app on your phone, slap the selfie on the top of the card, write a cool paragraph with heartfelt words (in your own handwriting font, imagine that!!), click on their address, and send the card.

A few days later, this person gives you a call, texts you, or reaches out through Facebook and you’ve connected again.

Yup, you now have the greatest relationship-building app right on your phone!

And you can get it here:  Cards Anywhere


 

 

Soulotravel, Travel that Feeds the Soul

Last year, I took a personality test and the results surprised me. 

INFJ.

At first, the letters meant nothing. Despite two college degrees in counseling, I hadn’t paid attention to psychological tests in my training. After reading the description of this personality type, so many parts of my life suddenly clicked into place.

Growing up hard of hearing, I struggled to fit in and be like everyone else with normal hearing. I felt like I was weird. I spent hours at the library alone, devouring books instead of going to parties. Parties were both energizing and exhausting at times. I wanted to be liked by everyone, yet sometimes I was quiet and withdrawn. I always blamed my hearing loss. 

If only I could hear I would be more _____.

I’ve been told I’m too sensitive. “You need to toughen up,” a friend once told me. 

When I saw the explanation of the INFJ results after taking the personality test, everything clicked into place. All of a sudden I understood why I was “weird.”

Only one percent of the population has an INFJ personality. Here’s a blog post that explains more: Secrets of the INFJ Personality Type.

I love people, yet I get my energy from being alone. 

In the last several years, I’ve traveled alone often–speaking at schools, corporations, and conferences. I love travel. I’m so thankful for my husband who completely gets me and is supportive of what I call “Soulotravel.”

Yes, travel revives my soul. I need the mountains, the sun, and water–any type of water I can get. 

Right now I’m in Florida, housesitting for a friend and working on another book. My soul is completely content and I feel my reserves filling up nicely. My head is clear and I’m able to focus on my writing. 

If you love to travel but you keep putting it off because you have no one to go with–wait no more. Plan a trip. Be open to what the universe delivers to you in the process. You will meet people. You will see things you’ve never seen before. You will return with a mind so expanded that you will yearn for more. 

Soulotravel may not be for everyone, but if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and take a trip alone, you may find that you discover a whole new side of you that you’ve never experienced before. 

You Can’t Plan Adventure

I’ve entered a new season on the parenting journey: I’m now a mom of three young adults. This phase has required a shift in my parenting experience, one that requires a new skill set. It requires letting go and stepping back versus the heavy guidance of earlier years. 

And it’s hard. 

I keep wishing I could step back in time, to hold them once again as toddlers and revel in the innocence. 

In this season of parenthood, it takes a lot of coordination, plane tickets, and divine timing to gather us all under one roof. We were fortunate to spend Christmas together this year followed by a vacation in the Caribbean. 

I love to travel. I especially love being in new places that feed my soul, especially with nature. To travel with my family is always the ultimate trip for me. 

This year, we joined a cruise with my son’s girlfriend’s family and their friends. It was a magical blend of different ages, generations, deaf, hearing, and backgrounds. 


Memories are not made of things, they are made of experiences: the way you feel, the people you meet, the knowledge you acquire, and the discoveries that appear on your path.

Before we left, I posted the Instapic below on my Instagram feed.


“You can’t plan adventure,” my daughter said. “Adventure is spontaneous.”

I get what she means. Adventure is often associated with the unknown and unplanned that unfolds in life. 

But without vision and dreams, one blithely goes about the daily routine without much spark, passion, and yes, adventure. 

Adventure requires taking action and there’s some planning that goes into it. This means clarity is required–by beginning with the idea that you will invite adventure into your life and stay open to new opportunities for adventure. 

Some of the best adventures come from spontaneous moments–of embracing an opportunity and choosing to experience it. 


Here’s to an adventurous year! 

Why Passion Matters

“I think I’m having a mid-life crisis,” my friend said. “I need something new, something different.”

My friend has worked the same job since college. He liked his job well enough; he had been doing it so long that he could go through all the motions blindfolded. The job provided well for his family. 

I understood his yearning for something different in life. I saw it in myself six years ago. Life was good, but it had become ho-hum. I was humming along. 

The “something” that was missing was passion. 

Passion is energy. When you are on a passionate path in life, that energy is invigorating. Everyone around you will feel it. 

The yearning that pops up is a sign that you’re longing for something “more” in your life. Unfortunately for many, the longing for more is often confused with material things. Once you acquire the material thing and the newness wears off, you’re still left with the yearning for more. 

What we truly want is something even deeper: joy, bliss, and passion. 


We yearn to do things that matter. To accomplish something epic. To serve others. To make a difference. To leave our mark. To matter. To passionately live life so fully that there is no room for complaint. 

“Impossible,” says another friend. “That’s a pipe dream.”

Is it really? Then perhaps you have to take a different look at your perspectives, your thoughts, and your routines. You can invite passion into your life by recognizing your joy. Recognizing what increases your energy instead of what sucks the marrow out of your soul. 

Passion is the fuel that will push you above and beyond, a coach once told me. 

Passion matters. Passion is the spark that ignites–and it can make the difference between a ho-hum life and a joyful one. 

Today’s Inspiration: Abundance


Whenever I see the word “abundance,” I often find it associated with money.

To me, abundance is joy and bliss rolled together. It’s the reward of a full, contented heart. 

Tap into your joy and bliss. You will be rich beyond any measure. 

The Gift of a Brand New Day


Every morning when you wake up, you’ve been given the gift of a brand new day. 

Begin with gratitude. Thankful thoughts combined with deep breaths will awaken your senses better than coffee. (I’m not a coffee drinker so my husband disagrees with me on this one.)

My daughter and I recently experienced a silent meditation with a group of women. We greeted each other in silence, we sat for 90 minutes together in silence, we left in silence. 

I left my hearing aids in the car for this. Meditation comes easy with this silent advantage–for I’m never distracted by any sound. 

It’s in the stillness we find answers. In this busy, busy world, it’s often hard to slow down and just be. Yet, that’s exactly what is needed when you are in need of answers. 

So today, you’ve got your gift sitting in your hands: a brand new day. 

How will you choose live it? 

We Need More Passion in this World

img_0739

I’m about to wrap up another book about PASSION.

“Passion is over-used,” a friend of mine told me.

Are you kidding me?

When I look around, I see people just going through the motions throughout their day. The routine of stress and mediocrity is etched on the faces of people shopping at the local food store. There’s the usual pattern: the dread of Monday, the perk of aliveness on Wednesday, the celebration of Friday.

And then there’s the weekend: when they truly live it up or kick back and relax.

What if we turned that whole thing into a different paradigm?

What if you woke up each day in gratefulness–beginning with the quiet celebration of breath and the reflection of all that is good.

What if you looked forward to the unfolding of each day and time passed by so fast because you were deep into what you love to do.

What if you were surrounded by people who cheer you on and love you just as you are–yet still push you to be the best you can be.

What if you were vibrating at an energy level so high that others wonder how in the world you can do all that you do.

Yes, that’s what passion will do for you.

When you are lined up with your passion, your purpose, and your quest for serving others–that’s when life becomes bliss. You’re part of something that’s bigger than you, something that stretches you beyond anything you’ve ever imagined, and something that will leave a legacy long after your feet have left this earth.

We need more passion in this world. We need you to wake up with eager anticipation. We need you to share your unique gifts, talents, skills, and abilities with others.

You were not meant to live a ho-hum life. You were meant to to serve, to love, to enjoy, to feel, to imagine, to cry, to celebrate…

You were not meant to walk through this life numb to each day and living for a day in the future.

You were meant to passionately live NOW.

 
Are you new here? Subscribe to receive the next post and other goodies: Yes, I want more PASSION in my life!

What Are You Willing to Do to Create the Life You Want?

“I want to write a book.”

“I want to start my own business.”

“I want to be an actor.”

“I want to move to California.”

“I want to retire.”

“I want to…”

What’s on your “Someday List?”

You know the one…the one that has all the things you’re putting off for some day in the future. 

I’m a wonderful procrastinator. My father used to say, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” (Yes, really.) He would say it jokingly, but I took his words to heart. 

I had always wanted to write books from the time that I wrote my first story as a kid. I started writing articles and blog posts for no pay. I wrote for the pure pleasure of creating stories and honing the craft. 

My first paid gig was for an online review site. I earned five figures from that site…over a couple of years. 

I continued to write for several blog sites and occasionally my articles were syndicated in several newspapers. Chicago Tribune offered me a weekly column in the local section, with no pay. I said yes. It was fun to see my articles in print. Later, I became a paid writer. This lead to other paid gigs, like writing for Ricky Martin’s parenting website. 

So this leads to the question, what do you love so much you’d do it for free?  This is one of the clues to your passions. 

Then the second question becomes, what are you willing to do to create the life you want? 

I wanted to write books. 

Someday. 

There’s a line in Billy Joel’s song, James:

“When will you write your masterpiece?”

I finally started writing. I got up at five a.m. and hit the keyboard each morning. I wrote after the kids went to bed. I wrote in between selling stuff for my sales job. 

One book. Then two. Then ten. And still writing the next one. 

There are three things you need to create the life you want:

Clarity.

Commitment.

Action. 

Get clear on the life you want, commit to what needs to be done, then take action. 

What are you willing to do to create the life you want?