Day 6: No for a Day

I don’t know about you, but I say yes a lot.  I rarely say yes because I feel obligated — it’s mostly because I like to give and be helpful, so ‘Yes’ comes naturally.  And it comes often.

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But we’ve all read about the value of saying No.

If we say Yes to everyone, then inevitably we’re saying No to ourselves and those things we value or need to do with our time.

Let’s face it – sometimes we simply don’t want to do the requested action. Maybe it’s because of the time required.  Maybe it’s the cost of our time being placed elsewhere (this is my biggest challenge).  Maybe it wouldn’t be that interesting or rewarding.  Regardless, sometimes No is just No. It could be Not right now, but it’s still a No.

I believe there is power in setting our boundaries.  All of my friends reading this will laugh because I’m pretty bad at actually living within the boundaries I set.  But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in them. I just need practice. And to be more consistent with setting and abiding by them.

So I challenge you — or invite you — to try saying No for a day.  Pick a day – any day – and practice saying No.  Baby steps might be “Not Now” versus a flat out No. But still – try some form of “No” for a day.

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Day 5: Be Bold

We talked a lot today about being courageous. About taking an idea and acting on it instead of waiting for others to do what you already envision needs to be done.

No. We didn’t say it was easy.  All too often nothing worth while ever is ‘easy’.  Which makes the outcome that much more rewarding.

So today, I invite you to write about a time that you were bold …

When you brought your courageous self to the forefront ….

and write about the fear that accompanied you – and the joy and confidence that embodied you thereafter.

And then think about where in your life you want to be more bold.  If it helps, write as if you’re giving advice to a friend or family member if you can’t see yourself quite there yet.  Write a letter to someone you care about and convey the confidence that you see in them and the belief you have that they will be successful.

And if you still need a little motivation – read here. The Top 10 Reason You Need More Courage. I’m a BIG fan of #1 🙂

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And if I can quote one of my favorite TV programs of all time …

Boldly Go …. 

 

Day 4: Pay it Forward

In 2000 the hit movie Pay it Forward came out about a young boy who wanted to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Ever since, the term and sentiment caught on and we use it in our daily lives – be it in our personal life or business world.

Every city, community, household, corporate environment or ecosystem has its own unique characteristics.  In Silicon Valley many people, both inexperienced entrepreneurs to the most highly influential leaders, will say we live by a “Pay it Forward” model.  And the reason they time out of their day to meet with you, share their experiences or provide a meaningful introduction, is because someone did it for them.   And it is one of the things I love the most about the Valley.

My Day 4 writing topic is around the the features and flaws that you experience in your world. It is an invitation to think about one positive characteristic and write how you can either enhance it if you have it exists already, or adopt it if it’s missing.  Perhaps it’s the Pay it Forward mentality, a random act of kindness or something else. Think about what would bring you to joy to give, and receive in return.

The best way to make change is to be the change. And change always starts with a small act that grows.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. 

– Margaret Mead

Day 3: Invest in Love

Elon Musk said it best.  All we need is love.

Ha! He might have gotten it from the Beatles but I figure if Elon Musk knows it to be true, then it must be. ❤️

Today’s writing topic is about love. But more so, how we can invest in love.

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Hand painted with love by my amazing Sister.

If we approach the day, and the people in it, with love, then we have a 1000% better shot at feeling good about ourselves, making others feel welcome and appreciated, and are in charge of creating more positivity and change for good in the world.

All because we simply invest in love ❤️.

  1. So take a moment to write about everyone that loves you, or have ever loved you. And as you do – enjoy the feelings and emotions that become present in your body.
  2. And then, write about the people that you love, or have loved. What did you learn from those that you loved before?  What are those that you love today teaching you? What are you teaching them?
  3. And lastly, think about who else you can love.  How you can give love to strangers? To your neighbors? Someone from your past? Someone that you will meet today? Make it a game and have fun with it!

Love is an investment. Not of money but something way more precious – our heart — our soul — and our time.

Some would tell you to be careful with how you give love away. I say the opposite. Give it away with reckless abandon. The world could use more love.

with love, 

 

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Day 2: Friendships

Today’s writing topic is around friendships and those relationships that are meaningful to you and why.

But it’s also about what type of friend you are being, or want to be.

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It’s true the people come into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And often there isn’t much we can do regarding the outcome. But we can always be conscious of those we have in our lives and how we are showing up for them.

Some questions to consider as you take a moment to reflect and write:

  1. What kind of friend are you to those most precious relationships in your life?
  2. Is there someone that you would like to have a deeper friendship with, and if so, what is one thing you can do to make that happen?
  3. What qualities resonate with you in friendships that you admire, and what can you do to emulate those traits?

Lastly, and you can consider this happy homework.  Reach out to a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. It can be a text or better yet a phone call. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated.  Just a simple random act of friendship.

freindship - to be understood

Creating 2019

I LOVE this time of year …. when I get to dream about the year ahead.

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It happens without fail. I start to dream. I do more writing. I strategize all of the areas of my life that I want to change, improve, re-write. And it’s SO exciting!

And then …

Well, I won’t say I fall flat on my face come January … but … the goals are always very lofty and my time management skills could use some, um … transformation as we say in the tech world.

This morning as I was doing my daily (ish) writing (a win on my 2018 accomplishment list even if it’s daily-ish), and I was in need of inspiration. I’ve been loosely doing Morning Pages which is the creation of Julia Cameron in the book The Artist’s Way.  But daily writing without a purpose can sometimes turn into pages of complaining about all that is wrong, or bothersome to me.  So I made a conscious decision when I returned to this practice to turn my morning pages into affirmations and things I need to do in order to accomplish my goals.

But still … I needed some new inspiration.

And I found it.  The concept was to write about all of your accomplishments for the year. The “headlines” if you will.  All the things you are proud of.  Signs of growth.  Mindset shifts.  Any ‘Aha’ moments or moments clarity.  Great people you connected with and started a new friendship, or maybe a person or company you are doing a partnership with. A new client – or renewals of old.  From the small ‘wins’ to the larger accomplishments.

And that was perfect for me. It hit the spot for my morning pages.

But then I had an idea …. I thought since one of my goals this year (and will be into next year) is more writing, why don’t I use my Being Superwoman blog to create daily writing topics that I can use for inspiration each day.  It will force me to search for creativity and I can share with my albeit, few, but mighty followers.

Hence, the title “Creating 2019” for this blog.

Yesterday I sat across the aisle from old colleague on a flight back to SFO. When we worked together he used to push me way outside of my comfort zone, and he always had some good lessons or tips to pass along (whether he knew he was doing it or not).  As we were talking, waiting to de-plane, he made a comment, and I can’t quite recall the exact words, but something like “If it’s not your strength, turn it into your feature”.  I wondered why the universe brought him into my world on that morning and now as I create this plan for my writing in 2019, I realize it was for that lesson.

So I’m turning something that isn’t my strength, not only writing but consistency in writing, into my feature.

Today is December 1st. And that means it’s the first day of a new month. And it’s the first day of the last 31 days of the year. So it’s the first opportunity to begin a new habit that I can carry into 2019.

So if you’re up for it – my invitation to you is to take a few moments and write out all of your accomplishments for the year. Or you can do a smaller time period. Or a larger one.  They can be personal or professional and they can be private for your eyes only, or you can share a few with friends and colleagues (or complete strangers though your various list of social channels).

What did you accomplish in your job or your company?

What are some health and wellness goals that you’re proud of?

What personal shifts happened that have put you in a different place today versus the beginning of the year.

And I’ll be back tomorrow with December 2nd’s daily writing topic of inspiration!

 

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Credit to today’s “list of accomplishments” also goes out to Heather M – who has long suggested this to me as a good practice to incorporate from time to time. Thank you Heather for the suggestion and being a great guide in my life over the years. 

 

 

Relentless Serendipity

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A few weeks ago I named a 200 year old tree.

That day I was fortune enough to experience and learn about a project that brings purpose, sustainability and passion together at a remarkable property — Walden Monterey.

Walden Monterey is a 600 acre development being billed as a luxury “agrihood”— a housing collective focused on sustainability and communal farming—on the Monterey Peninsula. The developer, Nick Jekogian, is creating a purpose and reason to disconnect from our world so we can reconnect with ourselves. And it comes at a time when many of us are struggling with the good and evil of technology and the rate at which it’s changing.

Never before have we experienced such exponential growth of technologies and the capabilities that it is affording us, than today.  It’s exciting and inspiring and provides us with opportunities literally beyond what we could have imagined.

I heard a quote the other day — “Never before has technology moved so fast, and never again it will move so slow”.

And never before have we had such addiction to a device that literally disconnects us from things of true meaning and purpose.

So we’re at a very interesting time in business and in humanity.

If we, ourselves, don’t slow down, then I think we’re all going to miss the point.

I’ve been listening to the book Tribe by Sebastian Yueng. It talks about the sense of community and belonging and how certain groups — tribes — gain all that they need by relying on each other and collectively working together for a common goal.

The day after I visited Walden Monterey, I went to my first Jewish service. There was so much singing and so little sermon — you could just feel the sense of community from the congregation.

I didn’t “belong” there because I am not Jewish and I was only there to support a friend, but yet I felt connected at a level that I would have never expected.  And it made me long for my own community and the tribes that I have been fortunate enough to form, or be invited into.

I am one of the worst offenders when it comes to unplugging. I work pretty much all of the time and I justify it with the rational that I love what I do. Because I do — love what I do.

But these two events provided me with a new commitment and conversation with myself:

How do I unplug and disconnect from the world, so that I can connect with myself and build a more sustainable life for me and those that I love.

Because the more sustainable and profitable life that I can build for myself, the more that I can give back to this world.

I started the year off with a goal of getting away one weekend per month to read, write and relax. I called it my “Writing Weekend”.  And I would give myself a C minus on my effort.  I’ve technically went away for four of the nine months so far. So that’s good. It’s not enough, but it’s not zero. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t actually disconnect — not for the entire time and not how I had intended (or needed to).

So my visit to Walden Monterey re-reminded me that I set my intention at the beginning of the year for a reason and a purpose. And I didn’t try hard enough to really be successful.  And because of that, I find myself at the same crossroads as I did nine months ago.  And I don’t have nine months to let pass by without making a significant change in an area that I myself, deemed as a priority.

And that leads me to the tree. Relentless Serendipity. 

 

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If there is one word that I love and try to embody, it’s the word relentless. An old friend who runs 100-mile + ultra marathons has a tattoo on her forearm “RFM” — Relentless Forward Motion. As an ultra runner myself, it always resonated with me because in running, as in life, sometimes it’s simply about one foot in front of the other without stopping. That is RFM.

And if there is one word that I believe has the power to shape our future, it’s serendipity.

It was serendipity that my friend, Linda, invited me to an event at 1440 Multiversity because I told her about my Writing Weekends.

And it was serendipity that I met Nick at 1440 and got to not only share a glass of wine around a fire pit, but also an intimate fear as part of our writing class.

And for Nick to extend an invitation to me to visit Walden Monterey – and for me to be able to name one of its 200 year old trees on the property — I call that Serendipity. And I’m b.yond grateful for the experience.

I look forward to my renewed commitment to self and I hope this will inspire others to disconnect with the world and find a peaceful spot in nature to reconnect with what matters most — you.

re·lent·less
rəˈlen(t)ləs/
adjective
adjective: relentless
  1. oppressively constant; incessant.

 

ser·en·dip·i·ty

ˌserənˈdipədē/

noun

noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities

  1. the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Waiting for Me

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As I sit here, eyes heavy, tired — with a plan to be in dreamland about 30 minutes ago, I am instead honoring a different commitment to myself, and that is to write about things that move me in that moment.

As an entrepreneur (which in-and-of-itself is not so easy of a definition for me to write), I am constantly figuring out how to build my business. How to ‘scale’. What is the right product or service offering. Which price point makes sense, for my clients but also for me.  How do I market myself (without a marketing team). How I promote my brand (without a media agency). Who do I align myself with when I have limited time and endless amazing opportunities.

It’s exhausting and exhilarating.  Scary and exciting.  Crazy good and full of obvious mistakes.

And all of this happens while, at the same time, I’m trying to just be ‘me’. And that might sound silly to some, but I think to many of my colleagues and friends going through a similar journey but with a different objective, it truly will resonate. Because sometimes the version that we have of ourselves and our capabilities are clouded with fear and doubt, contradiction and denial, impatience and lack of self confidence.

Yet. We truly only have two options:

1.  Give up. Accept the unknown and never get to the end because we fear the worst.

or

2.  Forge on. Up the hill. Across the chasm. Through the potential shame, embarrassment and fear of ridicule should we fail … Should we not meet our expectation. Should we accomplish less than what we set out to achieve.

And if we choose the latter .. then we must accept our flaws.  Embrace our individual ‘features’.  Live in permanent Beta.  Trust that all roads lead us to a better place if we’re determined to get there.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am tired of waiting for me.  Especially when I am right here, and am the.only.thing standing in my own way.

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Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

Author’s personal note:

To my friend whom I adore and have all the patience in the world for — I don’t know what the future holds but I know that you are holding it in your hands.  I can’t wait until you release and see yourself as I see you and as I know the world is waiting to embrace.  

Can I have a minute?

I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say …

Dear Universe,

Could I just have a minute?

And I probably won’t get much argument that Life  … is … well … really hard some days! And it often feels like ‘some days’ turns into ‘most days’.

Regardless of what we’re going through, it feels like it’s the biggest thing in the world. Because … it is — at least it is for us, in that moment.

Sitting on the opposite side of the conversation we can smile and say a kind thing — give unwavering encouragement — and really believe that it’s going to work out for the person.  But —- have them turn around and say that our world is equally going to turn out OK .. well, that’s a little harder to believe.

And that’s when I want to scream out to the Universe …

Could. I. Just. Have. A. Minute.

A minute to collect my thoughts …

A minute to feel like it’s not an uphill climb …

A minute to feel sunshine on my face without a care in the world …

A minute to reach into my soul and find that ounce of hope and belief that will carry me through the next valley …

A minute to breathe without the pressure of being busy, striving, achieving, accomplishing  …

Just. A. Minute ….

… where the Universe stops with me. Gives me a little nod. Cracks a smile. And makes the most vulnerable version of myself believe — yes, it is going to be okay.

Because then … it feels just a little easier to go back to my world of beautiful chaos — back to the high bar and expectations I set for myself — back to the work stress that I, for some reason, crave — and back to the family concerns that make me realize that my own mortality deserves more respect.

#DeepBreathe #Grateful #AlwaysLearning #RelentlessForwardMotion

 

 

Perspective

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Once a month I leave my apartment for a weekend to gain perspective. I find myself a cute getaway within 100 or so miles that brings me joy and a new landscape.

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The ultimate goal is to escape into a world complete only with reading, writing and relaxing — but to be honest, these first few months have been more about just finding the ground beneath me. Maybe towards the end of 2018 I’ll achieve the intention that I set when I put this into my yearly resolutions. But maybe not. And that will be okay too.

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This weekend, I found myself thinking about perspective. How our thoughts unfold the world before us. How sometimes we’re so envious of other people’s lives, only to learn that it’s just as hard as ours — and just as good as ours — just different. And how a simple comment, message or check in with a friend or mentor can reframe everything.

Over the last few weeks the world has reminded me of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Happiness that he wrote in 1922.

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness”.

I believe this with every fabric of my being …. Yet I still relentlessly pursue.

I relentlessly pursue the art of giving back. I find so much joy in helping make connections between two people. And the joy only builds when I learn that both received something beneficial from the simple act of an introduction.

I relentlessly pursue feeling connected. My road ahead is shorter every day and I feel an urgent desire to make each day count with people that are good for my soul.

I relentlessly pursue being full. Because being still is really, really hard. And busy makes me happy.

What I don’t relentless pursue is money, which is odd because I need that to live.

But last week my coach (whom I recommend to everyone interested in growing as a leader) gave me some perfectly placed advice. She said that I can make money AND make connections and give back. It’s not an “or” — it’s an “and”. And I just loved that.

We don’t have to leave our normal day to day to gain perspective. But we do need to pursue it.

If you’re reading this, send someone a random text or place an out-of-the-blue phone call. Make someone’s day because it’s good for everyone’s soul.

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Photo courtesy of my friend Asa, who is always good for my soul.

 

with special thanks to those that recently brought me perspective on my journey — and are just good for my soul — Karen, Jen, Rebecca, Sarah, Kas, Asa, FF and always my family.