Archive for May, 2010

Birds of a Feather – illustration by Adam M. Record

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Being Uncomfortable

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

About a year ago, I was “inspired” to start my own business as an independent consultant for a network marketing company called Arbonne (Swiss skin care and wellness products). The reason: I was uncomfortable with constantly straining to fit my needs and those of my children into a rigid, employer-imposed superstructure.

After the end of my nearly 20-year marriage, I held a total of four administrative-type jobs in about four years. All these jobs required strict adherence to designated work-hours. Minuscule amounts of time were counted, and a loss of two or three work-minutes was sternly noted.

By this time, I was used to “flying by the seat of my pants,” and those of you with children know what I’m talking about… Getting worked up about being ten minutes late made no sense to me anymore (unfortunately, controlling types such as certain employers and former husbands tend to think differently).

Somehow I made the change, in spite of never having been self-employed and possessing no sales training or experience. Well, a year has passed, and I am here to tell the tale of my climb to super-wealth and a lifestyle of richness beyond my wildest dreams…

Not really, I’m kidding. The fact is, I am still struggling financially and have a medical insurance plan called Just-Don’t-Get-Sick.

However, there have been, and continue to be, some fairly awe-inspiring changes in me and my life as a result of this decision. Perhaps this is what happens when one gives up his old ideas about, well, anything, and high-jumps off the cliff into the unknown. Can you say, “uncomfortable?” What about feeling it?

Being uncomfortable and more importantly, seeing that I won’t die from this feeling, have given me the confidence to now have two of my own businesses: Arbonne (I love that stuff!) and my writing/editing service. For the first time in my life, I am passionate, energized, and no longer bored by what I do for a living.

I am dealing with so many people now, from every manner of age, ethnic origin, social and financial status. They are all my teachers, broadening my understanding of people and my compassion for them. Also, I am gaining confidence in my God-given ability to take care of myself within each relationship.

Life has become less about reaching specific goals to define my success, and more about being here now – in faith and freedom. I am not afraid anymore to explore who I am and what I can create. Successes encourage me, but failures don’t devastate me. There is always the next moment, the next adventure: unscripted, unplanned, surprising, treacherous, and exciting.

But life would never be the joyous ride it is if I weren’t willing – and able with the help of God – to be uncomfortable. And thus, discomfort has brought me abundant happiness, because it brings me awareness of a personal safety net that gives me all the comfort I could ever need or want.

Clever & Fun Animal Caricatures

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

In my struggle – and I do mean struggle – to acquire a “web presence,” and become even a rank amateur in social media (including these blogging entries, dear reader), ” I have met some awesome individuals who are way ahead of me in this game.

One of them is Adam Record, a very gifted artist who does illustrations of mostly people and animals. Check him out on www.falldowntree.com. Adam tells me that his drawings are published in many children’s books, and I can certainly see why! The fun style of his characters makes the prints excellent to just frame and hang! Three of them are about to be displayed on one of the walls of my office.

If I were not so techno-disabled, I would be able to post a few of Adam’s works right here on this blog – help me, Adam! Yes, Adam also has computer technology talent, which he utilizes alongside his brother Shawn Record (and others) to produce websites. Their company is called EBSI Websites, www.ebsiwebsites.com, and as a matter of fact, they created my website for me! EBSI is another arena where Adam’s artistic design talent is demonstrated, along with that of the rest of the company’s team.

Hopefully Adam will tell me how to get a couple of my favorite characters he’s created to appear right here, so that you can enjoy them while perusing my blog. My struggles with technology continue (sigh), but I have to credit myself with having some desire to progress, albeit slowly…

The Antidote for Tedium: Pick Five

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Sometimes, even after my second cup of morning coffee, I’m still engulfed by a paralyzing sense of “tedium overload” as I consider what’s next on my agenda: a pile of dirty clothes to wash, a stack of bills with unexplored due dates, papers to file or new file-homes waiting to be created for those papers, calls to make, dishes to wash, dogs and cats pressing for breakfast… Quite frankly, just thinking about it all makes me want to go back to bed!

What is a healthy, positive-thinking, goal-oriented person to do in the face of such dreariness?

It’s time, no doubt, to play a game I call “Pick Five.” I want to share this with those of you who, like me, crave a sense of accomplishment even in the face of a written or mental “to-do” list longer than the grass on the front lawn (which needs mowing, by the way). Pick Five is simple and brilliant and brings me back to life when I feel defeated before I even start.

Here it goes: simply pick five tasks – your choice – from that list of drudgery items. Then have at it! Depending on your level of motivation and/or energy, which could be depressingly low, you can choose “big” or “little” chores. They just need to add up to five in number, and you need to complete them. Remember, it’s just five, not the whole ridiculous list!

The effect of finishing those five items, keeping even that much of a promise to myself to make some sort of forward progress on my responsibilities, can turn my day – and my attitude – around. And once my attitude is better, sometimes I’m motivated to do even more. Even if I just complete the five, though, I still get to feel a sense of accomplishment instead of disappointment in myself for putting off what I know I need to do…

Give this a try. But if it doesn’t work for you, you might want to back down to “Pick Four” or “Pick Three.” There’s magic in the numbers, and in that little, doable commitment. Maybe there’s something inherently positive in fulfilling a promise, whether it’s to yourself or to others. All I know is, the resulting boost turns the monotonous parts of life into winning at my own game!