Occasionally I have the privilege of speaking to a group of women, from professionals to young mothers. In the coming weeks I have three such engagements, and from my long list of topics, they all chose the same one: “When Good is Never Enough.”
It’s one of my most requested presentations because women battle perfectionism, daily, no matter what their stage of life.
I just returned from a week in Colorado with my family, trading the brutal Texas heat for 40 degree mornings, clean mountain air and roaring campfires under the stars. We were far enough away from city life that there was no internet, and the small cabin owned by my in-laws didn’t even have a TV. We were forced to “unplug” and it was divine.
Ahh, reminders of the good old days, when we spent long hours with friends and family—looking one another in the eyes—and used landlines for local calls because “long distance” was costly. Our mail was delivered once daily, six days a week, and life went on without having to see a picture of what a distant friend had for dinner displayed through social media.
A few years ago my husband built a butterfly garden in my backyard. It’s a beautiful space that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and it’s a place of renewal for me. Every spring I pull out what the harsh winter has killed, and prune the perennials that need a boost. I plant new annuals for added color and fill pots with fresh herbs for summer meals. After the first major “haircut” the garden looks dreadful. But within a few weeks there’s new green growth and flowers that I consider are God’s special bouquet just for me.
The flowers in my butterfly garden are like the woman I want to be.
My, how times have changed.
There are two budding entrepreneurs in my neighborhood who occasionally have a lemonade stand close to my house. I always try to stop by, encouraging them with my words and my money. I’m not sure how much they actually sell, as we live in a pretty rural area, but these elementary-age ladies are showing early signs of the creativity, risk-taking and drive that makes self-starters successful.
However, when I stopped by over the weekend, there was something new on their table. When I asked what they were selling, the “boss lady,” who is probably 10-years-old said, “stress balls.” Stress balls? There on the table was a lineup of brightly colored balloons filled with cornstarch. Continue Reading
Everywhere I go these days, I’m surrounded by Nomophobes. Whether it’s at a luncheon, a business presentation, or a casual dinner, these addicts are showing their disrespect and lack of social grace in record numbers. This addiction has swept the nation! It’s the fear of being without your cell phone.
Nomophobia is the abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia,” and it’s used to describe the anxiety we experience when we run out of the house without our phone, or we’re out of cell phone range, or the flight attendant says, “Turn off your mobile devices.” If you can relate, then you are a Nomophobe.
It’s a new year, time to focus on your plan for a successful 2017—a time to dream big, set new priorities and go forward with confidence, new ideas and energy. The problem with goal-setting is we lose steam by spring (if not sooner), and our good intentions are replaced by busyness and self-sabotage. For many of us, like Sara Cornell, it’s easier to start the year with no resolutions at all.
What sets successful people apart from those who stall out early in the game is living with a “success mindset.” Here are seven essentials for setting yourself up for victory instead of defeat.
The first week of each new year, I devote time to reflecting on the previous year before I created a plan for the coming one. I consider what went well, what didn’t, and what needed to change. I try to make my celebrations list longer than my shortcomings, with more gratitude than gripes. But looking at the change list is where I determine my theme for the year. It’s where I find the things I crave more of and the words I want to exemplify both publicly and deep in my soul. Past years’ words have included shine, delight, flourish and change.
This year, my heart’s desire is for more joy.
I was doing some end-of-year organizing in my office when I noticed a small, worn book that carried a big punch. Nestled among more contemporary works from John Maxwell and Malcolm Gladwell was a bestseller from 30 years ago, with advice that surpasses all the gurus of success. With a fresh cup of coffee, I set aside my busyness and read the entire book. Continue Reading
December can bring many different emotions. Most of us equate the season with a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the fa-la-la-la-la of friends and family, gathering to celebrate traditions. But for some, this season will bring deep sadness as they cope with loss or grief. No matter what’s going on around them, they don’t feel like having fun. Like my friend whose husband died, unexpectedly, Thanksgiving week at the age of 56, or the young woman who confided, yesterday, she’d just had a miscarriage. Or my two friends who’ve gone through divorces this past year. For these and countless others, the holidays will not be merry and bright, and January can’t come soon enough.
During this time of year how can those of us who have “normal” lives support those who’re grieving, and what do we say?
Thanksgiving is upon us and the stress of the holiday season is looming. I look at my Christmas storage closet: 18 tubs of decorations, and I want to run away. Will the perfectionist in me rule again this year as I unpack garlands, candles, angels and hundreds of tree decorations? Would anyone care if I boycotted the lavish decor in favor of simplicity? No, but I feel the urge to repeat tradition. After all, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
As we embark on the busiest time of year, here are my favorite stress management tips to help you simplify, stay sane and giving THANKS instead of jumping off a cliff!