Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Circle of Empowerment - Faith

The final segment of the three part Circle of Empowerment podcast series focuses on the last element needed in order to have power in your life, and that element is FAITH!

Faith: A firm belief in something for which there is no proof; having complete trust.

There are certain things in life that we know to be factual or true because we have proof or have witnessed them.

For example, we know that the sun comes up in the morning, and goes down at the end of the day. We know that when it rains in Orlando you can expect a traffic jam on I-4. We know that if we place our hand on a burning stove it is going to hurt!

We know these things because we have experienced them directly or have heard others tell us about the outcome. But, what happens when you don’t have proof? When you haven’t actually experienced the situation before? This is where having faith comes into play.

Remember when we were kids? Even though we had not actually SEEN Santa Claus, we had a tremendous amount of faith that he would pay us a visit once a year!

We have two ways to look at things. We can either chose to believe and have faith that situations will work out the way they should or we can dismiss it all together because we don’t have actual proof…the bottom line is WE DO NOT KNOW what the outcome is going to be. So, why not have a little faith?

It has been said that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Do you have faith in yourself? Do you have faith in your dreams and goals?

The end outcome may not be one that we would have anticipated, but a larger part of having faith is knowing that things do happen for a reason and that it is all part of the journey of life.

There are no mistakes, there is just life! So, let’s keep the faith!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Circle of Empowerment - Perseverance!

This week, we continue our three part series – The Circle of Empowerment. We are going to focus on the second key ingredient to being fully empowered in your life – Perseverance!

Perseverance: Persisting in or remaining constant to a purpose, idea or task in spite of obstacles.

The second tool that you will need to have in order to complete the Circle of Empowerment is Perseverance. Imagine that you have the determination and are truly going for it…But wait, once you are in the game things might not be going your way and you find yourself not winning…this is when you need Perseverance to make it through.

Sometimes it isn’t about WINNING the race, but about finishing the race that counts. And, in order to finish the race you must have the perseverance to go on despite some of the challenges that you will encounter along the way. In life, we will all face challenges and obstacles that will sometimes seem overwhelming, unable to conquer…you are ready to throw in the towel.
This is when you have to Persevere.

It’s not easy to tackle this alone, and that is when having a support system in place can help you get closer to your goal. This support system can be large or small, it can be the comforting voice of your mother telling you how wonderful and special you are, it can be your child who tells you that you are the best parent in the world.

It’s someone who motivates you and gives you the strength to continue in the game. In a sense it’s like having a coach in your corner!

Do you have a coach in your corner? Someone helping you as you go through life’s challenges?
Just as important…are you that person for someone else? Be someone’s coach today and tell them they can do it…and Persevere!

You can do it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Circle of Empowerment - Determination

This week on the Creating Your Masterpiece blog, we wanted to introduce you to our 3 part series – The Circle of Empowerment. The Circle of Empowerment consists of characteristics that you need to have in order to live a life of complete EMPOWERMENT.

Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing on three different characteristics that make up the Circle of Empowerment. This week the focus is on Determination!

Determination: the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose. The quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.

You know the feeling… you get excited about something, revved up, ready to take action, on a mission, nothing is going to stop me now!!! You are probably inspired by an injustice, or failure, or desire to serve others in a unique way. Essentially you’ve decided to adopt an “I Can Do It” attitude and set your sights on something BIG! Fantastic! Let’s Go!!

Wait a minute…we have all felt this way about something in our lives. How many times did we adopt the “I Can Do It” attitude, yet never really fulfilled our goal or mission? It happens all the time, be honest, it has happened to all of us more than once.

To have true Determination it takes…
1. Defining your vision or purpose
2. Obtaining a clear understanding of what success means to you
3. Imploring others to jump on board with your vision
4. Design a Path for success and most importantly…and don’t forget to add Passion!
Look around you – we see real Determination every day. It’s in a child’s voice when they really, really want something. Your dog’s un-ending pulling on the leash when he sees a cat across the street. In a disabled person’s eyes, when they are struggling to be as “normal” as possible, and get that can off the shelf by themselves.

Do you have that kind of Determination? Try it out this week. Don’t stop at just having an “I Can Do It” attitude – really get determined!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perch, Flap, Fly!

This summer we had the awesome experience of attending the National Speakers Association Conference. We had the opportunity of hearing many excellent speakers who inspired, motivated and provided positive messages in all shapes and forms. One speaker in particular that inspired us was Karen Cortell Reisman. Now, her name might not be a household word, but you may be familiar with her famous cousin - Albert Einstein.

Interestingly enough, she didn’t talk all about her famous cousin; instead she told the story of her parents and how they went about making decision in their lives. She compared their decision making strategy to that of birds, yes….birds.
Have you ever had a decision to make? A really big one?? Did you feel like you needed to make the decision quickly? Well, DON'T do that. When we need to make big decisions, we need to take time to make them.

Karen actually can be broke down the decision making process into three stages (back to the BIRDS) according to the birds!

The first step is PERCHING. This is what birds do before making any major decision. They just sort of sit there, and THINK....they contemplate every issue of the decision....they weigh the consequences....they PONDER. And, most importantly, they take their time. We typically don't allow ourselves enough time to perch. But, we really should! Allow yourself the time to really think about the decision you have to make, and think it through, weighing out the pros and cons of each possible action. There is no time limit, only YOURS.

Step two is when we FLAP our wings...this happens when we have determined the route we want to take. So, when we *flap our wings* we are really creating our action plans.....figuring out what we need to do to get there. A very important step in the whole process!

The final step we take in the process is taking flight! This is when we set off to begin achieving our dreams. We have thought it through, we have our action plan, and now we are ready to soar!

Please allow yourself to go through all the three steps...don't miss any of them. Each one is very important to the ultimate move you make. You don't have to be the Energizer Bunny with every action you take...............remember to Perch. You must PERCH before you can FLY! Take the time to really get in tune with what it is you want to do. Relax, allow yourself the time, space and freedom that you need to determine your life plan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Beauty of Nothingness - Il bel far niente

Il bel far niente. This beautiful Italian phrase means 'the beauty of nothingness'.

If you have seen the popular movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts, you know that her character begins to truly understand what the beauty of nothingness means while she is spending time in the beautiful city of Rome. She is told by an Italian friend that we "Americans" don't know how to enjoy il bel far niente because we are always DOING something.

Just like the Energizer Bunny, we keep Going, and Going, and Going. We don't know how to enjoy ourselves when doing absolutely nothing! Americans don't appreciate il bel far niente - the beauty of nothingness. Can you relate to this???

So, how can you learn to embrace il bel far niente? And, why should you? For one thing, nothingness equates to peacefulness, and we could all use more peace in our lives, right? It's just so easy to come up with a reason to not enjoy the beauty of nothingness....there's laundry to be done, groceries to be purchased, dinners to be made. We couldn't possibly HAVE any time to do NOTHING, and to actually enjoy it!

Well, you begin by giving yourself permission to realize that you don't have to schedule every minute of your day with a task from the never ending "to do" list. It's OK to just do nothing..............and (here is the important part) not feel GUILTY about it.
By doing nothing you are actually honoring yourself and you are living your life. You are living in the *present* moment, as opposed to reliving the past or worrying about the future. And, when you really think about it...the present is all we really have.

Here are some of our tips on how you can begin to enjoy il bel far niente:
1. Schedule time in your day timer to just do nothing! Even if it is just 15 minutes per day. Use this time to relax and *turn off* your sense of urgency.
2. Meditate or practice yoga. This will help you really be in touch with your thoughts and feelings, momentarily escape from your immediate stresses and worries.
3. Schedule time for a mini-siesta! Even if that means just closing your eyes for 10 minutes during your lunch break.
4. Pay attention to your breathing patterns. Many of us actually forget to breathe! Take a deep breath in threw your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth.
5. Turn off the radio while you are driving. Use this time to let your mind wander and ponder (but do keep both eyes on the road!)

Il Bel Far Niente - make it part of your daily routine!

Make today a Masterpiece!
Jen and Leah

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Never Give Up!

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

Do you ever have days when you feel like throwing in the towel and just giving up? Life can be so HARD sometimes. Things always change and never go according to our plan. It can seem tempting to give up on your dreams, and resign yourself to play it safe, stay where you are and not stretch by taking risks.

This week, we share a special story about caterpillars, cocoons, and a butterfly. A Creating Your Masterpiece friend - Tina Valant - sent us this e-mail. Tina is an author, photographer, animal activist and mom to 5 rescued Australian shepherds.

"Every summer I grow parsley and dill for butterflies. Female black swallowtails lay tiny yellow eggs. I gather the eggs o nthe clippings and put them in a vase of water and then into a butterfly enclosure. And within a week, tiny caterpillars emerge.

The caterpillars eat voraciously, and grow quickly. When they are about pinky finger size, they are faced with a decision: take a risk and follow the plan nature has for them, or just continue on the caterpillar path, and typically eat themselves into a coma!

Those that take the leap of faith, begin the process of the metamorphosis. They become very active and crawl quickly looking for the perfect twig to spin a silk thread to anchor their cocoon. It usually takes just 10-14 days to complete the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.

Over a month ago, my last four caterpillars cocooned but had not yet made the transformation to butterfly. Concerned about these caterpillars, I hoped and prayed they were just "late bloomers".

Today, I had a wonderful surprise! Fluttering inside the enclosure was a happy, healthy and strong male black swallowtail.

He was released, rested on my basil plant for a bit, and then flew off. Never, ever give up. Some of us just need a little more time to achieve our potential inside. Miracles do happen!"

The magic of this story is that we, like the caterpillar, have an inborn desire to reach our goals, make our dreams come true and be the best that we can be. Sure, we are going to face obstacles and challenges along the way, but that is when we must have faith to persevere and keep working towards that dream, whatever it may be.

At times, we may not know how or when we are going to reach our goals. That's all right too. Life is all about changing, adapting, and growing. Consider the major metamorphosis the caterpillar endures to become a beautiful butterfly.

Keeping focused on what we want, visualizing our dreams as reality, and being true to our authentic self will always propel us in the right direction. So, don't be afraid of changes in life, have faith in yourself and your dreams so that you too can take flight and live the plan that is intended for your life........After all, miracles do happen.

Make today a Masterpiece!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No Need to Water the Weeds!

"You must weed your mind as you would weed your garden." ~Astrid Alauda

If you have ever had a yard or garden, you know that weeds have the ability to sometimes
take over! It can be frustrating to walk outside and see these weeds covering the fruits of your labor! Most of us tend to pull the weeds out or spray them with weed killer to try to rid our yards of these unsightly creatures. We certainly don't water them or nourish them to encourage them to grow! We want to get rid of them as soon as possible so that our grass, flowers or vegetables can grow and flourish!

Well, this the concept of *weeds* in the garden can also apply to *weeds* in our
life! We want to share with you some gardening tips that you can incorporate into
your life!

Weeds (like tolerations) are negative things in our life. So, just as you would
deal with the weeds in your yard, you can tend to the weeds in your life the same
way. PULL OUT THE WEEDS! If weeds are left unattended to, they will continue to
grow and kill your grass. Don't water the weeds. In other words, focus on the positive
not on the negative things in your life. Rid yourself of the negative thoughts,
people, and situations (the weeds) in your life!

Another gardening tip that you can incorporate into your life is to rake the dead
leaves up. If you let the dead leaves stay on your grass, the new life will not
be able to flourish! In our lives, this relates to letting go of the past. Get rid
of the heavy weight of the past and look forward to the future. If you carry your
past around with you, you won't be able to move forward and grow.

The final gardening tip is to install an automatic sprinkler system! Grass and plants
need water to grow and blossom. And they need it on a regular basis. You don't just
wait and hope for rain, you install a sprinkler system to insure they get the water
they need. In life - our automatic sprinkler system is the positive energy, people
and reinforcement we surround ourselves with.

Make time in your life (on a regular basis) to receive the positive things in your
life! These are the positive habits and people in our lives. What are you doing
on a regular basis to water YOUR yard?

Tune in this week to
our podcast, and hear more tips and suggestions on how to keep
your life blooming! And remember, Don't Water the Weeds!

Make today a Masterpiece!
Jen and Leah