Are You Running from Yourself?

For years, I would wake up from a recurring dream of someone, or something, chasing me. I would barely get away each time by jumping over fences and defying gravity, in many cases, by flying. But, it would always feel as though every fiber of my being was struggling to get away from this unknown enemy.

Sometimes I would wake-up unable to move, mentally paralyzed and fearful to go back to sleep. Then, I learned from a good friend about dream interpretation. She gave me a book that provided information on how you can sometimes control your dreams. You can program yourself to confront the thing that's causing you trauma. So once I understood this, I tried to implement it a few nights later.

Once again, I was struggling to get away from this beast (this time in human form). Everywhere I went, he was right behind me. So instead of continuing to run, I stopped in my tracks and, to my surprise, so did he. I slowly turned around to confront him by asking him, "Why are you chasing me? What are you here to teach me?" And, all he said was, "Stop running from yourself". And, with that one powerful phrase, the dream ended.

Since then, I have not suffered through chasing dreams. By completely embracing what "he" taught me, I realized that I was not on my chosen course. I was my own enemy. I created my own fear to keep from moving along the path that I needed to follow. Whenever I started moving in the right direction, I would put obstacles in my own way. I made so many excuses. But not until that moment, when I confronted the "predator" in my dream, did I realize what I was doing. In essence, I was running from myself.

For many years, I struggled and fought myself to find my way. I truly believe that dream was God's method of gently tapping me on my shoulder to say, "Get on track...and if you don't, you won't have peace". Right now, it's so comforting to know I'm on the correct path.

So, my question to you is, what is God tapping you on your shoulder about? Maybe you're not being chased in dreams: maybe your signs are a little more (or less) obvious. But, whatever it is, you probably already have a clue.

Whether you know it or not, there is a certain expectation for your life that you may be too busy to be in touch with. Take the time to explore what might be preventing you from being on the right track. You might be surprised by what your superconscious wants you to know.

Have You Forgiven Yourself Yet?

I was visiting with a friend earlier this year. We were having a conversation on spirituality and got on the subject of forgiveness. I told her of some issues that I was dealing with and she made the comment that I needed to be forgiving.

I thought, "She's right. I have all of these feelings associated with this event and I need to forgive this person and release them". But, before I could verbalize any of this to her, she said, "You need to forgive yourself".

I was taken aback and kind of confused for a moment because I had never thought that I was holding any self-resentment in relation to that particular event. When I dug a little deeper, I realized she was absolutely right.

As we journey through life, we are bound to have experiences that we're proud of. And equally, we're certain to have experiences that we're not too pleased with. Situations in which we may not have used our best judgment can sometimes nag at us over the years. We all mess up sometimes. So why is learning to forgive ourselves a lot harder than forgiving others? The reason is simple. No one can beat us up better than we beat ourselves up.

Have you cheated on your spouse? Chosen the wrong spouse? Hit a child in anger? Stolen something? Fallen off the wagon? Mistreated someone or spread a malicious rumor? If someone else did these things, you might learn to forgive them or at least let go of the anger. That's because it's easier to forgive others. After all, they don't live in our heads, nagging us about our shortcomings.

Often, we want to feel pain and resentment, as resentment is a way of placing a barrier around ourselves to protect us from hurting others or allowing ourselves to get hurt again. And, forgiveness can be such a vague act; intangible in nature.

But, there definitely is power in having mercy. All the world's major religions address it. A chronic state of anger and resentment interferes with our quality of life and studies show stress and anger can cause or worsen diseases.

If you're holding yourself hostage about something you've done in the past, here are some things to consider as you take steps to self-forgiveness:

* Accept yourself as a human who has faults and makes mistakes. Let go of self-anger concerning past failures and mistakes.

* Eliminate irrational thinking that prevents self-forgiveness, such as:

...I've hurt myself a lot; how can I forgive myself for that?

...No one deserved to be treated the way I treated them and I don't deserve forgiveness.

...Thinking about what I did literally makes me sick: how do I forgive myself?

* You have to let go of past hurts, trust in your goodness, and trust in the goodness of your Higher Power to relieve you from your burdens.

* Speak aloud that you forgive yourself of the past event, acknowledge that you're human and prone to making mistakes, and do not need to be perfect (no one is).

If we begin to view events in which we wrong others or ourselves as "assignments" placed on our life charts to further develop our souls, then self-forgiveness will become much easier. Forgiving yourself is not forgetting the mistake, but forgiveness means not allowing the memory of the act to cause discomfort.

Once you truly have released yourself from the painful feelings associated with the event, you should reach a turning point. At that moment you'll feel less burdened and have more energy.

We all screw up sometimes (and will continue to do so). I can't count the number of times I've made awful mistakes and bad decisions. But fortunately (for all of us), self-forgiveness is a way to start anew.

Grow Where You're Planted

Do you ever feel that your life will begin some time in the future? Whether you want to move to another city, are waiting for your children to grow up, want to get married/remarried, or maybe you're holding out on life until you have more cash, the phrase "bloom where you are" can help you make it through times when you feel like your life is truly going to begin later.

For me, it has been about wanting to move to another city. I've lived in the Atlanta area since I was 9 years old, with the exception of two years of college in Washington, D.C. I remember watching a dance show on the beaches of southern California when I was 13 and thinking, "Wow, I would love to live there". Ever since then, my spirit has felt restless and has wanted to travel the world. I even entertained thoughts of being in the Peace Corp.

But family life was the path that I seemed to choose first. As a matter of fact, I had my first child eight months after graduating from college, which I finished in Atlanta. But that desire to see the world and live in "more exciting" places never left me. I've always known there is so much more out there to see and experience.

I've seriously considered moving to California, New York (where I was born), Florida, and even a few places overseas. I always felt that once I moved, my life would really begin and I would be able to live this fantastically inspiring existence.

Then, I realized that my value doesn't start then. I have something to offer now...right where I am. Yes, one day I will "haul butt" to my dream locale, but Atlanta ain't that bad either. I can accomplish all of my immediate goals right where I am. And with the internet, almost any business goal is now feasible.

In this lifetime, there is seldom a perfect time to start or try anything new. The limitations we place on ourselves when we say, "I'll do it when..." can be disheartening and morally deflating. Having adverse, complicated, stressful, or even situations in which you simply desire a change doesn't prevent you from having a wonderful, fulfilling existence now. Make the most of the opportunity you have to flourish where you are, whether, it's a physical, psychological, emotional, or financial situation that has you feeling a little unhappy.

However, you should never stay in a situation that is harmful to you. That's not what this expression speaks to. It does mean that you should expand your way of thinking by looking for contentment where you are today because so many of your blessings could be right in your face--waiting for you to acknowledge them.

Work to change what must be changed in your circumstances, but also find a way to! You may not like where you are for whatever reason, but know that you are the key ingredient to making shifts in your own mindset.

Women, Money and Mindset

A discussion about the economic plight of women is definitely in order right now. Women throughout the world are looking for ways to take better financial care of themselves and their families, whether they're single or married. And, we certainly know now that security cannot be achieved by working for others.

We grew up in households that preached, "go to school...get a good job". But, now that the economy (the job market, credit accessibility, and pricing) has changed right before our eyes, we need to realize that the time to make our financial lives better is right now.

No longer is having a good job good enough. In these times, those who are choosing to ignore creative ways to add to their bottom line may be sacrificing how financially comfortable they may be later.

Anyone can start an additional income stream this month pretty simply and without a large outlay of cash. Take a look at the many women who have to make things happen quickly financially. They may be in a situation where they have to support their children and themselves and they have to make it happen.

Oftentimes we hear of stories in which a woman, with a few dollars and sweat equity, launch, what would one day become, multi-million dollar business. Although there may be many days in which that woman may have been afraid and frustrated, they persist and go on to accomplish amazing things in their business.

And, to make many of these stories even more inspiring is when a woman starts a business after the age of 40 or after a difficult period in her life. Many women thrive after experiencing divorce, the death of a loved one, and even after their own illness.

These stories are really encouraging, but not totally unique. Many women take their economic viability into their own hands.

What makes them take massive action to get their business off the ground? It has everything to do with mindset.

Unless a woman determines that she has to make something happen for herself, she may let her mental blocks get in the way. Economically, many of us are fighting against a limited way of thinking.

Our first task is to be aware that what we may perceive to be true may not be accurate. Often, we take perceptions as fact. We don't question why we think the way we do, we just let our thoughts define what we can or cannot do.

For example, some of us may often make the statement, "I can't afford...". Is your declaration really a fact or your perception?

You may not have the money at that moment, but does it really mean you can't afford whatever the item is?

We all should banish the phrase "I can't afford..." from our thoughts because what we're really saying is abundance does not flow in our lives. And, if we continue to subscribe to this belief, the harder it will be for us to live abundantly.

Your First Assignment: Think about something you've recently wanted and said to yourself you couldn't afford. Think about whether you really wanted that item or if you were making that comment out of habit.

If you find yourself saying this out of habit, begin by stopping that thought the next time you think it (and NEVER verbalize it). If you decide you truly do want that item, brainstorm three (3) ways you could afford it. Think about opportunities and solutions that could bring in additional streams of income without getting a job.

Women can do miraculous things when our backs are against the wall. We'll come out fighting, especially when the well-being of our children is at stake.

Many mom millionaires started the journey to their wealth when they felt, for whatever reason, they didn't have a choice. In many instances, a way was made out of no way. Whatever mental blocks they may have had about money came tumbling down when they had to financially make things happen.

But, what do you do when you want to make significant financial changes in your life, but you aren't in an emergency situation and you don't know where to begin?

The first place you must start is determining if you really want to make changes or are you merely playing lip-service about having a healthier relationship with money. And make no mistake about it, the mental blocks that we have to wealth accumulation are about our relationships with money.

Once you decide that you truly want to make changes, you must look at your views about money from two distinct perspectives.

The first perspective focuses on your worldly views about wealth. Do any of these beliefs sound familiar?

  • There isn't enough money in the world.
  • Money doesn't grow on trees.
  • The world (or this society) controls how much money I have (or may not have).
  • It is really hard to make money in this economy.
  • Fill in the blank with any other worldly beliefs you may have about money:_______________________

The second perspective focuses on your personal beliefs about your ability to have money. Do any of these resonate with you?

  • I'll never be wealthy.
  • I'm not worthy of having wealth.
  • I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get wealth.
  • I don't have enough education to be wealthy.
  • Fill in the blank with any other personal beliefs you may have about money:______________________

Now that we've determined our mindset about money, it's time to take steps to develop healthier beliefs.

One of the first things we need to do is recognize that our thoughts or beliefs aren't necessarily facts. They are just things we've told ourselves over and over and which we may now take as fact. Remember that beliefs are just one way of looking at something.

Let's do an analysis exercise of your beliefs:

1. Look at the beliefs that you wrote down. Now, scratch through those thoughts and next to them write, "I have a false belief that...(fill it in with the beliefs you crossed out).

2. Fully identify your false belief and write it down. An example is "I will never be financially comfortable".

3. Determine the attached meaning behind your false belief, such as "My family always struggled = I will always struggle".

4. What would you rather replace your false belief with? (An example would be, "I can be wealthy").

5. When do you remember first identifying with this false belief? Do you know? (An example would be, "My dad used to always say money doesn't grow on trees.")

6. What is my desired new belief? ("Money can easily flow to me.")

7. Now truly visualize what your new belief looks like. How will you look once you are living this new life? How will you act? How will you feel? What will your life look like?

8. What is your new belief?

If you find that you can't fully accept your new belief after doing this exercise, then move on to this next exercise.

Focus on wealth

If you're constantly focusing on what you don't have, you'll continue to struggle while not having. You have to begin focusing on what you want, more wealth and a healthier relationship with money.

Wherever your thoughts flow, your actions will follow.

If you keep wealth-building in the forefront of your mind, you will soon see your actions change, moving you closer to actualizing a wealthier life.

There's an extremely easy way to begin focusing on wealth. Start by getting your hands on a book about wealth creation or read a biography about a wealthy person.

You can find great resources on the Internet or in your local library, but a couple of obvious choices are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Finally, if you feel false beliefs creeping into your thoughts, push the "pause" button of your mind. This interrupts the thought and keeps you from being pulled further into it.

Replace the negative thought with a positive thought about anything else. Do this every time you are faced with your false beliefs.

An extremely powerful way to stop your negative or victimized thinking when it comes to money or anything else is through the use of the Hawaiian Ho'Oponopono Prayer, which is...

I love you.

I'm sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

Believe it or not, this prayer works like magic. Whenever you're in that negative headspace, replace your thoughts with this prayer and repeat it until you feel better in that moment.

I'll talk more about Ho'Oponopono soon.

Most importantly, find ways to pursue wealth by taking massive action everyday. Researching how others have done it will help you tremendously.

If you can find a (wealthy) mentor to assist you on your journey, that will make it all the better. And even if you can't, you can always model yourself and your business after someone who's done something similar, i.e., read their books or become a student of their website.

But don't just read about how others have become wealthy, ACT ON IT!

Make their steps your steps. Using what you've learned from others, create a plan.

Now is a perfect time to achieve financial success because so many successful people are sharing their journeys and information is so easily obtainable.

You've got this...I promise!

Do You Fear Change?

Taking that step, that first step, in any new direction can scare the skirt off any woman. Whether it's a family move to a new city, your first speech in front of colleagues, or buying an outfit that you love- but you think others may question, "Have you lost your mind?", moving into uncharted territories sometimes can have us paralyzed.

In these cases, we have to dig up the root of our fear before we can move forward. In each instance that you're facing apprehension, you have to question, what is the anxiety? Do you worry about change, or is it a fear of failure or success? Usually, the concern about change ties in with being afraid of failure or success.

Fear of failure is closely related to concern about criticism and rejection. Ask yourself, does your fear stem from an unsubstantiated issue in your childhood? If so, recall that memory and feel the pain associated with it...for 1 minute. Then, move on. Often, we may not have any recollections tied to the anxiety that's facing us. It's completely fabricated. Our mind is an incredible tool. It can liberate us -- or debilitate us.

The classic symptom of fear of failure is being afraid to try something because it may end up being a big-fat zero, goose egg, or disappointment. We subconsciously press play on those thoughts over and over in our minds. Failure is the worst case scenario... and it may or may not happen. But what if it does? What does that say about you? What it says is you tried! And it should give you a little more moxie to make another attempt at your goals.

What is surprising is that often, we are equally fearful of success as we are of failure. In many women's minds, success leads to having more on our plate or being in demand even more (say what?). We assume that success means that our lives get more hectic, and who wants that?

Success requires change, and change has both positive and negative consequences. Our schedules may change, we may have more issues to deal with, or more (little) people and things to juggle. But, at the same time, other things that were just taking up space in our lives may fall away. And, in the end, you'll feel more fulfilled.

Facing your fears is an incredible way to free your mind of the limitations YOU put there.

Keep Moving Forward: How Not to Get Stuck in Failure

Remember watching children's movies when we were growing up? We watched Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White and sometimes fantasized about how we would be swept away by the man of our dreams.

The messages that we saw were all too often not educational or, in any way, realistic. Fantasy was what it was all about. But, that remained unrecognizable to us...until we grew up - the Prince that we watched in movies never came.

So, I was pleasantly surprised while watching a movie with my children years ago. Something amazing happened. I realized that there was actually a message in it that my children absolutely needed to take hold of. The movie - "Meet the Robinsons", the message - "Keep Moving Forward"!

This message is important for our children to understand and, fortunately, it was stressed throughout the movie. It's presented in an incredible way and I've always commended Disney for making it.

But, there is even more of a need for us women to listen to and live this message. We've talked about moving past the fear of failure and into action. When you feel the fear, push through it anyway. But, what happens when you push through that thing you've feared only to find failure on the other side.

In these cases, the most important thing to internalize is you can't stop there. There's a valuable lesson in failure. Each time we fail, especially when trying the same thing over and over, we learn a new lesson.

So, here's a concrete plan if you find yourself facing failure: when you fail, lay down for a day or two (you can take that figuratively or literally). This down time gives you the opportunity to throw yourself a pity party, but also allows you to clear your head. Oftentimes, the best ideas and resolutions come when you put a project down.

You can curl up in a fetal position under the cover or agonize over it however you see fit. Then, after a couple days of that...get up and get yourself together. Analyze what went wrong and give yourself the time you need to come up with a better plan. But never give up because you never know how close you are to a major, life-changing success.

All successful people live this rule. On average, a successful person fails an incredible number of times before reaching their goal. But the value in the lesson is they don't give up until they find success (whatever that means for them).

Go ahead- hurry up and fail! Failure moves you that much closer to success. And, as you're picking yourself up from a failure, make this your mantra - "Keep Moving Forward".

7 Steps to Reaching Your Goals in Record Time

We all set goals and look for the least-resistant ways of achieving them. Sometimes, it may be difficult for us to reach our goals for various reasons. I'd like to share 7 great steps that anyone can use to reach goals faster:

  1.  Accept responsibility for your life ~ the good and the bad.
  2. Alter your belief system by getting rid of faulty thoughts about your self-worth.
  3. Commit your goals to realistic dates and deadlines.
  4. Consistently go over and visualize your goals.
  5. Work on your goal(s) everyday.
  6. Choose to associate with people who are uplifting.
  7. Pattern yourself after a model or mentor. And use a coach or accountability partner to hold you responsible for your goals.

The 7th Step

All of these steps are very important, but let's spend some time talking about the 7th step. If you don't follow any of the other steps (but why would you do that?), please spend time consistently doing number 7. By patterning myself after people I admire or are doing the things I want to do, I have made the most progress. 

I've always been an avid reader of self-help books (personal and business). I've read books on investing, self-esteem, real estate, starting a business, marketing, etc.  And not only do I read plenty of books, I also listen to lots of audio recordings, along with watching videos to improve my life.

This is a really interesting time in history as information is readily available...if you're looking for it.

This has been great for me because I have so many mentors and people I model myself after who don't even know I exist (yet). For example, in business I follow the teachings (or examples) of Oprah, Dan Kennedy, Shonda Rhimes, and many others.

In addition to modeling myself after others, I also find people to hold me accountable to my goals. I have used life coaches, which has really been wonderful (if you have the right one). But you can also use a mastermind group or an accountability partner to keep you on track. 

A mastermind group (first defined by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich!) is a group of two or more people coming together to dedicate themselves to reaching a goal. In a mastermind you usually have a group of people who are holding you accountable to what you say you're going to do. Very powerful, indeed! If you just want to interact with one person and you hold each other responsible for your goals, then you would get an accountability partner. Accountability partners and mastermind groups work in the same way, keeping you focused on your target.

If you cannot get a life or business coach right now, I encourage you to partner with one or more like-minded individuals. By following step 7, as well as the other steps, I promise you'll be amazed at how fast you reach your target. 

Jumping Back on the Wagon

If you fall off the (goal or resolution) wagon, no worries. Don't take your slip up as an opportunity to postpone your ambitions. You can choose this moment to get back on track...don't put it off until tomorrow. 

The important point here is to just get started. If you're truly committed to making changes in your life, nothing should be capable of stopping you.

{The photo is of my favorite planning system by Leonie Dawson.}

I Don't Like Myself, I'm Crazy About Myself!

Mae West said this many years ago.  She was a shining example of how women should value themselves, even with the male chauvinism that was so prevalent during the early- and mid-1900s.

With Valentine's Day coming soon and with all the focus we may place on showing others how much we value them, it's time to take a look at whether we are more in love with ourselves than we are with others.  And, make no mistake, we should love ourselves more than we love others.

It's hard enough for some of us to truly like ourselves, but saying we're crazy about ourselves may not sit well with us.  After all, it sounds a little too cocky.  But, we should feel this way because we are incredible beings.  It's wired into us...we're born this way.

But what happens, as we get older and lose touch with our true spirituality, is we doubt how special we really are.  Or, we may be able to say we know we're special, yet our actions prove otherwise.

We may surround ourselves with people who deepen our self-doubts.  We may expose ourselves to things which may eat away at the strength of our character.  Or, we may participate in abusive relationships, not realizing the ultimate damage it does to our psyche.

How do we know if we've lost touch with how special we really are?  Start by asking these questions:

-    Would I rather be angry at myself than have others angry at me?

-    Do I hold my tongue so as to not hurt other people's feelings, even though they may have no regard for my feelings?

-    Do I often feel taken advantage of?

-    Do I often feel like a victim?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then here's a good way to begin the process of falling more in love with you:

Make a list of at least 5 things that are completely amazing about you.  They can be based on your physical attributes, your character, or the evolution of your spirit up to this point.  Elaborate about your qualities and why you think they're wonderful traits to have.  Concentrate on playing up these aspects in your daily activities and interactions.

At the same time, find one or two more things you're pretty good at and develop these traits or skills even further, before you know it, your self-confidence and esteem will take a huge leap.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience."  - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Understand this--you are more than exceptional.  It's in your make-up.  Get back in touch with who you were created to be and you'll realize how crazy you are to not be crazy about yourself!


Where There is Vision

Before you can set effectively select your goals, you have to really understand where you want to go. 

For the purpose of this message, we're going to talk about goals as they pertain to your life's work or purpose.

Do you have a thing, an idea that keeps nagging at you?  No matter where life takes you, that one thing always comes back to you over and over again.  Or you may say out loud, "I want to do __________ one day".  

You can clearly see it in your mind's eye...the vision is there.  And, as quickly as you say it, you put it right back on your mental shelf, hoping one day you'll have the moxie to really go after it.

Fortunately, having the vision is half of the battle.  

Because where there is vision, there is also opportunity.  If you can visualize what you wish for, you can also go after it.  So don't waste time pursuing things you don't really desire.

For example, a little over a decade ago, I studied for and got my real estate license.  And, needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time going through this process and working with a few clients (which I really didn't enjoy).  

I became a realtor for financial reasons only and my heart definitely wasn't in it.  And, guess what...I chose to fail at it because I really didn't want to sell real estate.

If I had listened to that voice that had been with me for years, I would have never gone that route.  I would be doing what I'm doing right now!

So, rather than backpedaling away from your dreams by pursuing things you don't really want, stop yourself in your tracks and ask yourself a few questions. Envision yourself in five years.  If you could merge your life's purpose (or passion) and your ideal career:

* What would you be doing? 
* What would it look like? 
* Where would you be doing it? 
* Who would you work with? What level of responsibility would you have? 
* What kinds of skills or abilities would you have? 
* What kind of goals would you accomplish? 
* What level of status would you have in your field?

Do you see where you want to be in five years?  Is the path you're on right now going to take you there?  If not, then stop the insanity!  

Make plans and preparations to get on the CORRECT path to your goals. You CAN let your vision guide you in creating your ideal reality!

Setting the Stage for Your Comeback

Are you living up to your full potential? If not, why not? The only way to fully answer this question is to take an in-depth look at how you have lived your life up to this point. What is the belief system ingrained in you?

Some of us grew up with a mother at home full-time or one who may have had a part-time job. Others may have had a mom who worked outside the home full-time. But one of the common themes among most of our moms is they were often overworked and underappreciated. Watching our moms showed us how we should treat ourselves.

In many of our household, we had moms who had classic cases of total selflessness. Selflessness is the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. While this can be an admirable trait, many women, moms in particular, take it to an extreme. One thing we must understand is it isn't good to be selfish, nor totally selfless. Our goal should be to find a healthy point in the middle.

It was rare for my mom to take any time for herself, even to do small things like getting a pedicure. One of my most vivid memories is of her regularly giving herself a pedicure while taking a bath. She had so much on her plate, being a mother of five children, a wife, and having a nursing career. Fortunately (perhaps) for her, she was able to stop working to stay home full-time when I was nine years old. But her selflessness still continued.

This was a trait that I began to acquire, until I realized that it wasn't benefiting me, nor my family, to be selfless...yet resentful. You see, it's no good to be selfless and then resent everyone for not "allowing" you to take time for yourself. Happily, I learned that I had a CHOICE as to how I lived my life.

I would like to think that I became enlightened by myself. But the truth is, I had a lot help and yet, I'm still not totally where I'd like to be. But what I know now is, it's my right to be happy and fulfilled right now, not when I'm an empty-nester.

So, here's your assignment. Schedule time for yourself, away from everyone, at least once a week. And this time should not include running errands or anything else that's mundane. This time should be spent totally focused on you. It could be time you spend getting a mani/pedi, taking a yoga class, meditating, or doing anything else that fulfills you. Doing this simply makes you feel valued and shows others that you care about yourself. Take this first's an important one!

A Perfect Storm of Events

With all the economic, political, social, and environmental events going on in the U.S. and abroad, it's easy to buy into the doom and gloom that's being thrown at us everyday. We may be a little leaner, we may have lost faith in our political leaders and system, we may fear our safety, we may wonder what type of world our children will inherent, since their forefathers took such bad care of it.

We've been given the gift of taking care of this world while we're here. I believe our inheritance lies in taking care of each other, our earth, and ourselves by nurturing our talents. As women and mothers, we have a large responsibility on our shoulders to make this world better.

But, by not knowing our true value we women have stepped aside. Unfortunately, throughout history and throughout most cultures, we've been told that we don't bring much to the table. To our detriment, woman's value has largely been linked to domesticity. The following definition for domesticity was taken from

"a factor affecting the changing nature of the family, the belief that biology is destiny, that women's capacity to reproduce and that they are smaller than men in size means that men are and should be superior to women. The belief that family and individual life is most fulfilling when experienced in a private household where women are chief homemakers and caregivers. Also associated with the idea that women have moral and temperamental qualities that are best expressed in the personal and domestic sphere of life."

This definition speaks clearly of what societies throughout the world have deemed as male and female "roles". Seldom is this thought spoken publicly. Heaven forbid, if someone says it, then they're classified as sexist. But, haven't we all fallen in line with our "roles", depending on our sex. So, rather than chastising a man for vocalizing this thought, shouldn't we also look in the mirror to see if we subscribe to the same way of thinking.

So, herein lies my point. We women, as a whole, are sexist against ourselves. We've bought into the propaganda that men are dominant and are supposed to be in charge. This in turn, has led the world down its tumultuous path. Where we are right now, with all the chaos that's going on in the world truly is a perfect storm of events for us. We have to regain hold of what we're supposed to be contributing to the world. Surely we can effectively raise our children and lead this world to a better place at the same time.

So, how do we do this? If each woman would take the time to commit to working on at least one effort in her lifetime, amazing results would take place. We can focus on helping out locally, nationally, or internationally. Pick what's close to your heart or that you'd like to learn more about, whether it's economic, political, social, entrepreneurial, or environmental. Your efforts can be small or large, just know that every bit helps. Our leadership will get this world on the right track. Now is definitely not the time to play small.

A Long-Term Assignment for You:

1. Find an area that you'd like to place your efforts. Again, choose areas dear to you or areas you'd like to learn more about.

2. Research the best ways you can help. Investigate companies committed to your same area of interest via the Internet.

3. Make contact with your chosen organization/group. Or, launch your own organization.

4. Decide how much you can help now. For example, it can be one hour a week or one hour a month (but make a habit of contributing at least once a month).

5. Look for opportunities for leadership within whatever effort you've chosen.

and, most importantly...

6. Start a business in which you can share your form of brilliance with the world.

As with any storm, they never last forever. Beautiful weather is always on the other side. Have faith and do your part.

The Necessity of Expansion

I've decided to start over.

2016 has been such a topsy turvy year. I've made some major decisions and I'm still in the middle of some of those decisions. I'll explain more very soon.

I've had some bottoming out with the termination of me working with individual clients. I made the right decision, but sheesh the transition has not been easy, to say the least.

For starters, I decided to launch a collection of handbags at the start of this year. Um yeah...did not work out the way I planned. But, I take that as God, the Universe, or your word for Spirit creating a better plan for me. Maybe I'm not supposed to be a fashion designer, solely. I know there's a bigger plan underway. I see it more clearly now.

Fashion isn't's just going to be a part of my life in a different way than I thought at the top of this year.

Over the past 3+ months, this other vision for my business has been unfolding before my eyes and it's huge! And, it all has to do with this brand, I. Lynn Bethel or ILB, for short.

I will be unveiling more about my plans and goals over the next few weeks.

But, here is my informal mission statement: ILB is an edutainment network where the focus is style and life mixed with business-building. Our sole purpose is to grow and nurture women's self-esteem worldwide.

Stay tuned...