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After ten years, this happened…

When my daughter Isabel was four years old, I took her with me to my hairdresser, John, for a “mommy daughter” day – getting haircuts together and a treat on our way home.

Everything was going swimmingly until she got out of the chair. “Mommy,” she whispered to me, with tears in her eyes, “he cut it so short!”  Indeed, he had. It looked completely endearing to me and my hairdresser, but she was mortified.  I realized why she hated it so much when I took her to pre-school on Monday.  Every other girl in the class had long hair.  She cowered in the corner with her hood over her head and no amount of mommy love could console her.

She didn’t cut her hair for another ten years.

By the time she was 14, it was almost to her knees. It was beautiful and flowing, and was the object of much admiration. The only problem was she could never wear it out of a braid because it would become an unruly rat’s nest. Untangling it took nearly an hour in the shower.  When I encouraged her to cut it, she resisted. It bolstered her confidence in herself and was part of her identity in her social scene.

 Then, just after her 15th birthday, she suddenly announced that she was ready to cut it.  Eagerly, I scheduled John to come to my house (yes, the same man who had cut it all those years ago!) and she invited her friends over. Watching John’s scissors slice through that mane of hair was both terrifying and exhilarating.  He cut off a full 28 inches of hair while her friends’ squeals filled the room.   Afterwards she couldn’t contain her exuberance.  Since then she has radiated joy and confidence in her choice.  She no longer feels defined by that one feature of her looks and she loves the ease that it affords her.

While relieved and grateful that she cut her hair, I’m not surprised that she feels as happy as she does with the result. This aligns with the second step to creating abundance, which is to “Give Wholeheartedly.”  (Click here to watch a short video about all three steps.)

While we often think of “giving” as referring to the giving of gifts, money, time, or even something like business referrals, this type of giving falls in the category of “letting go” or “releasing.” By letting go of her hair, Isabel not only let something go that she was tolerating (taking care of that hair!) but also a long ago hurt.

If you’re feeling stuck at all in your business, take a look around to see what you might be tolerating and ready to let go of. It could be a project that you no longer care about, clients that don’t serve you any more, books you never plan to read, to-do’s you’re never going to do… the list goes on. Don’t let a decision made years ago for reasons you barely remember linger. It can get in your way every day, much like my daughter’s hair when she used the dishwasher. Yes, after she leaned over to put a dish in, her hair would often get caught in the door as she shut it.

We don’t realize how much we are weighed down by extraneous objects, old wounds, regrets, or even future expectations that never get fulfilled. By letting go, you’re opening up space for something new:  new clients who appreciate you, space in your office or home, the ability to focus on what you really want to do.  Once you give away or let go of these items, you’ll experience a surge in your energy and enthusiasm and feel lighter and freer.  I encourage you to get started today.

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Wabi-sabi, or how to enjoy a high school graduation

Monday was a major milestone in my family’s life. My son Julian graduated from high school. Like most parents, I felt a variety of emotions, ranging from relief that I’d never again ask “Did you do your homework?” to pride when he unexpectedly received an award for excellence in art.

For reasons that I’ve yet to resolve, I feel anxiety leading up to these events. Will I be able to see the stage clearly? (I usually sit behind the tall guy.) Will I be able to hear everything? (I usually sit next to the person who forgot to turn off her phone.)

Therefore, I arrived very early to get a position at the front of the line of parents waiting to get in, so that I’d have my pick of seats. Instead of assuaging my anxiety, my early arrival just gave me more time to fret over whether I was standing in the correct place or if the group that came in after me would finagle their way in front of me. All the while I agonized: should I sit to the right of the auditorium or the left? Should I sit near the front or in the middle? I asked no fewer than three ushers about the layout of the theatre and even brought up the seat layout on my phone.

I know in these moments that a sense of scarcity is gnawing away in my insides, making unrealistic demands to both figure it all out and do it perfectly. This is impossible. Standing there with my family, who did their best to reassure me, I adapted my own stand for abundance– “there is plenty for everyone, including me”– to state “there are plenty of chairs for everyone, including me.” I was where I was in the line, and I would get the seats I got. When I felt the anxiety rising up, I repeated that to myself until it subsided.

And, as it turned out, there were plenty of chairs for everyone, for not only me but my entire family. Because we were close to the front of the line, in fact, we had our pick. With some relief, I settled in to listen to the event. That relief, however, did not last long. I did sit next to the woman who forgot to turn off her phone – which she answered and then had a whole conversation on through the valedictorian speech.

Historically, I would have spent the entire time distracted by her and a thousand other things that were going on around me. Instead I remembered a conversation I had with my sister earlier that weekend. We spoke of the Japanese concept, “wabi-sabi”, which can be translated as “the acceptance of transience and imperfection.” I had a choice. I could resent every ringing phone and side conversation, tell myself that I should have sat in the aisle seat so I could take photos, and barely hear what was going on, or I could accept that the experience was sure to be imperfect and focus on the parts I wanted to hear. It took some rigor, for sure, but it worked. I was able to block out most distractions and be present to the joy of my son’s graduation.

I’ve got four more years before my daughter Isabel will be graduating high school, giving me time to practice embracing “wabi-sabi” and be a chill Mom. There are certainly ample opportunities in life to do so.

Want to get your ideal seat at a graduation? Get good at asking! When people ask me how to create their ideal futures, I always tell them: the most important thing you can do to begin your transformational journey to abundance is to ask for what you want.

To learn how to harness the power of asking, download my free guide “The Power of Asking”


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I just assumed I would be 40 and divorced

Happy Anniversary to me!  That’s right, I’ve been married to my husband Jon for 21 years as of last week.  That’s a pretty big accomplishment in and of itself, but given my family history, it’s even more astonishing.

My parents divorced when I was just 10 years old.  Not only that, but every other adult female in my mother’s family was divorced.  I grew up surrounded by women who were “done wrong” in some way or another by a man.

I had no role models for relationship.  My mother outright told me, “You can’t trust men.”  (Actually, she said “You can’t trust SHORT men.”  My dad is about 5’6”.)

When I imagined what my life would be like when I was in my 40s, I literally pictured myself as a divorced single mom.  I simply didn’t know how to maintain a long term, loving relationship.  Therefore, I didn’t think it was even possible.  The framework I lived in was “you can’t trust men” and I brought that idea with me to every relationship.  No surprises that the men I attracted were, you guessed it, untrustworthy.

Then in my late 20s I participated in an exercise during a workshop that explored trust.  We did a mingle where we went up other participants and said either “I trust you”, “I don’t trust you”, or “I don’t know if I trust you.”  After the exercise the trainer asked us a series of questions.  One of them was, “How many of you said “I don’t trust you” to all the men?”  My hand shot up in the air.  I must have attracted his attention with my enthusiasm because he looked right at me and said, “Is that true?  You can’t trust all men?”

That was the moment when I realized that as long as I believed that men were not trustworthy like it was the “truth” I was destined for a failed marriage.  Challenging that belief and then eventually shifting it to “Men are trustworthy and available to me” paved the way for me to create a relationship with Jon.

That was just the tip of the iceberg in understanding just how many beliefs I had that were limiting me in my life.  In my business, ideas such as “The only way to succeed is to work day and night” and “You have to know someone to get a break” and “Being successful requires discipline and I’m not disciplined” created hidden barriers that all but stopped me.  Only by challenging each one was I able to create a successful business (which by the way, I started with my husband the year we were married!)

Sometimes our beliefs become so hardened and “real” to us that it is difficult to see it any other way.  If you become aware of a belief that is limiting you, you can begin to shift it by asking the simple question “Is this true?” Most times you’ll be able to see that the answer is no.  If you’re not sure of the answer or it still feels true to you, look around for evidence that defies your belief.  By seeking it out, you’ll loosen the hold that the belief has on you.  In my case, I looked for couples that were happy in their marriage and had been together a long time.  Once I started looking, I found a lot more of them than I expected.

I know that people usually don’t pay much attention to anniversaries unless they’re a “big” one, but I celebrate each year that I’m married as a miracle.  Shout out to my husband Jon for being on the journey with me and being that trustworthy man who showed up at the right time.

 

Don’t miss what might be your last opportunity to attend the Abundance Breakthrough Course on Sept. 22 – 24 in NYC. We’ll uncover and bust up those limiting beliefs you have about what it takes to create the life of your dreams – and make it happen now! See link for details. 


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Grandmothers swatting flies

I’m trying to get some work done here. Really I am.  And this damn fly just won’t leave me alone.  There’s a whole huge screened-in back porch here, and he just won’t stop flying next to me, literally, right in my face.

I don’t want to or have to kill him. I mean, I could.  It’s a skill that I learned from my father, how to kill flies by clapping your hands just above where they are going to fly, unsuspecting, upwards.  I can get them almost every time. Continue reading


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Just Do It?

An old friend and her husband have a six year old son who was diagnosed with “moderate to severe” ADHD.   Recently I was sharing with them my experience with my own children’s development.  We commiserated over the notion that as far as attention spans are concerned, they can always seem to find the will to focus on something that they want to be doing, but if their interest isn’t already piqued, then they won’t stay motivated enough to complete a task. Continue reading


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Sweet Success: Carrying on a Family Tradition

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of getting something done that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Like many people, I’ve been leveraging the impetus of the New Year to rearrange some items in my life, in particular purchasing a treadmill for under my desk and rearranging furniture in my office.  I love the fresh feel of seeing my world in a new way. Continue reading


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Gift card predicaments

I just threw away $75 in Borders gift cards.  Before ultimately admitting defeat, I had confidently gone  to barnesandnoble.com to redeem them.  I recalled that B&N had taken over when Borders had gone out of business, so I assumed that they would accept my gift cards.  Boy, was I wrong.

Annoyed, but still determined, I did some internet research to see if anyone would accept them, or if I was in fact out of luck.  The only results that seemed to surface were accounts of people who were also looking to redeem their cards, and the answer was always the same: NO.  In the midst of my research, I chanced upon an article published on a financial advice site that was encouraging people to redeem their cards back when Borders was initially going out of business.  The article was written in 2009.  Really?  I had had those gift cards on my desk for more than three years? Continue reading