Like staying in touch with friends and family via cards you send over the Net? Here's resource I love … and love to share.
Self Esteem for Women is a fun, totally gal-friendly place to find free e-cards for those who you need to connect with. The images seem uncorny and fresh, and the categories like 'Female Fun' and 'Family Matters' reflect real-life card-worth occasions. Dig in and enjoy … I did!
Our reader, Jean, posted this comment under my remarks about asking for what you want. I thought her big request took guts, and was inspiring. (Jean, if you're reading this, do post a comment on what happened!)
"Last month, I made the decision to ask for a new car for Mother's Day! Gutsy step for me! Usually I say things like, 'I don't really need anything' or 'I have everything I need already' or 'You don't have to get me anything...really.'
This year, I'm different...I've been leaving not-so-subtle hints around the house (like photos of me and my dream car on the computer desktop, printouts of the car info with my hubbie's work papers, informing the two teens how much it would help make our life easier). Just to be sure that this is the car I really want, I took it for a test drive last week. And yes, I really do want it! It's a Subaru Outback Wagon...and the price I came home with ended up being $7,000 LESS than I was anticipating :)
We'll see if it 'magically' appears in the driveway for Mother's Day, but even if it doesn't, I've had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs using my creativity to ask for what I really want (and what our car-sharing family really needs, as well). Bottom line...if it's not in the driveway this Sunday, it will be by the following Sunday!!"
Ahem! (Throat clearing … paper shuffling … mic testing) A small announcement.
After a few years' hiatus (well, OK … I spoke about three times each year), I've got the itch to speak again. I did A LOT of presentations from 2000-2002, and took a deserved rest. But now … I'm back.
I am currently available to speak to your group about the following topics:
1. How to Package Yourself for Success on the Internet
I about how and why your Web presence can kill possible deals, offers, joint ventures and more if not done correctly … or attract national media when done right. I get into personal branding, blog and site optimization, and just which pieces need to be in place to really make your platform take off.
2. Automatic Marketing - Promote Yourself While You Sleep
Here's a neat system I cooked up that will help you get yourself out in front of the people you need to find … without a whole lot of stress and angst on your part. Using this very system, I've been covered in two major magazines in the past year (Home Business and Writer's Digest) and now have 42,500 links under my name on Google (up from 11,000 one year ago.)
3. How to Explode Your Income and Your Reach by Licensing Your Workshop or Seminar
I explain how and why anyone can take their workshop and repackage it to be a licensable 'Train the Trainer' package. I cover how to tighten your concept into workshop-able material, and then what's involved in setting up a successful licensing program.
4. Creativity Coaching: The Next International Trend in Coaching Comes from the Heart
As the author of one of the original books about getting on with your creative dreams (How Much Joy Can You Stand?), I can safely say I'm considered an expert on coaching others for creative breakthroughs. And I've trained more than 300 coaches worldwide on how to coach creativity, and create their own variations of my How Much Joy Can You Stand? workshop. This talk would cover basics on what creativity coaching is, why it's needed, and how to approach it.
(… or possibly some related topic you suggest? We can see how it fits.)
If you find the quality of information useful on this blog, and think I'd be a great fit for your group of entrepreneurs, solo professionals, coaches, speakers, authors and writers, consultants, professional services pros, personal trainers, pro organizers, small business owners, MLM marketers, wellness pros, chiropractors, or Net practitioners, be in touch using the email link up above in the margin.
Oh yeah … and I've spoken to many large and small audiences all over the US and Canada, including the ICF, Coachville, ASJA, PMAU, Kindermusic, Women in Communications, BPW, NAWBO … and well, the list goes on and on.
PS. While I've done plenty of conference keynotes, I do actually like small groups of 35-100, too. Especially if they're in New England or Mid-Atlantic. Call me. I'm good. (518 963 8927)
I just got back from the Publisher's Marketing Association conference, where I roomed with my dear buddy Chellie Campbell, author of The Wealthy Spirit. It's great hanging out with other self-help authors, because we leap eagerly into supporting each other … and end up getting a lot of wise insights.
By the way, Chellie's got a great new book. From Zero to Zillionaire, which really sums up the wisdom of her very successful Financial Stress Reduction Workshop in LA. I've been digging in, and it's a fun and informative read.
Here's what I learned from Chellie on a walk we took around the Capitol.
1. I earn the most when I'm simply having fun. Yup, that's right. And it's probably true for you, too. When I'm truly cranking on my business in a connected state of passionate flow, I get ideas, start alliances and just plain blossom with creativity and joy. And these are always my most successful ideas. How great is that!?
2. Retirement isn't always the goal. I told Chellie my new financial goal was to retire at 52, to which she asked, 'Then what?' And … I had no idea. AND I realized I didn't particularly even want to retire; I just wanted to have some more hang time with my husband, who will be in his 70's by then. And then I realized … I'd like to have more hang time now. Insight: I thought I wanted to retire cause that's what all those commercials told me I wanted. But I don't! I love my work! I just want to do a little less of it … as soon as possible.
3. I'm actually set for life now. I keep thinking there's this bunch of money I must earn and save/invest to have true financial security; that then I'll be 'set for life'. But actually, there is no such thing as financial security. There's money in the bank - but even 'money in the bank' isn't a totally guarantee-able security. My only true security is that as long as I'm alive and fairly functional, I'll be able to create income if I need it. So yeah … save and invest, by all means. Even stockpile cash and work a lot less. But don't think this is the panacea that will save me from ruin. Instead, put it all into perspective and relax.
I wanted to do a quick follow up to an excellent call I had with Dr. Roberta Temes last night. She's an expert on hypnosis and weight loss. According to Roberta, if you are overweight, it's because of
a) conditioned beliefs that are buried deep in your psyche
b) genetics that pre-condition you to accumulate fat
c) habits, like sleep deprivation, that make us eat even when we're not hungy
... but here's the good news: each of these can be changed with hypnosis!
Dr. Roberta shared some excellent tips with us on how hypnosis works to get deep into our psyche and convince us of healthy lifestyle choices - like choosing vegetables, or removing the bread basket in restaurants.
Wouldn't it be great if that kind of thinking was just automatic? And you didn't have to dredge up will power around food?
That's all possible, if you work with a great hypnotist. Conveniently, Roberta has a CD series that does just that AND she's making it available to you for an insanely low price. I've managed to procure a really excellent deal for you, my joyful friends.
But first - if you missed the call and you'd like to listen, here's a link to the recording: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WJSrBt94
And here's the special offer. Buy 'Enjoying Weight Loss', Dr Roberta Temes' special weight loss-hypnosis CD program before Monday night, May 15. You'll get a whopping 60% discount on some amazing goodies - for only $97.
You get Roberta's CD plus a special product bundle we put together for free!
Bonus 1: Managing Stress and Anxiety hypnosis CDs (regularly $69) FREE
Bonus 2: The Coping wth Stress and Anxiety System© (ebook; value $39) FREE
Bonus 3: How Much Joy Nurture Yourself Bundle (ebook; retail value $27) FREE
Total retail value: $254 Your price: $97 (over 60% off)
Offer expires at midnight on Monday night, May 15th
Take advantage of this offer at www.hypnosisnetwork.com/102
Here's to a healthier, more energetic you ... ready to live your dreams!
Reader Tammy Lenski contributed the following comment on my post 'A Parable About Asking for What You Want?'
Suzanne, I smiled all the way through your story, because I saw again the power of simply asking for what we want or need. Doesn't always work, but I know from coaching women in negotiation and managing difficult conversations effectively that it's an incredibly powerful tool...and one that women, more than men, tend to use a bit too rarely!
So let's hear from the rest of you women (and men) on this. Do you tend to ask for what you need? Or are you more likely to just let things past, assume the worst and keep quiet?
Men, do you perceive women as being more or less comfy asking for what they need? My husband would say I'm an excellent asker - and I would say I'm rather shy about it … and that he's actually better.
Where do you fit in?
OK, we can't always be all joy all the time in this blog. I mean, we've got to reflect life, right? Which does occasionally contain disappointment; so here are some thoughts on how to handle it. For without learning to deal with disappointment, you can never truly live your dream.
Say you get a wild idea. You think and ponder and eventu ally take baby steps towards producing this idea, all the while imagining a better day, far ahead, when you will actually be living this dream. That day always seems rosy, bright, seamless, until, of course, you've lived it.
Through hard work and perseverance, you eventually begin to live your dream and reality hits. No one prepared you for how hard you would have to work! No one told you you wouldn't spend Easter with your kids three years in a row! No one told you how many scary airplane rides you'd have to take, or how many bad reviews you'd have to weather in the press. No one prepared you for the first time you'd have to fire an employee.
And yet ... this is your dream. Welcome to it.
Within all this dark stuff, you find the true test of your character. You discover what you're made of, and where you're still hanging on to the illusions of childhood. You find out just how passionate you really are, and you learn about the shifty nature of being human. You'll discover your true creative resourcefulness, and sit back in wonder when miracles happen. You may even learn on a gut level about spirituality and it's place in your dream.
The popular view is that life should be fun all the time, and that since it never is, there's a design flaw somewhere. My view is that these 'design flaws' are actually just as guided as the dream, itself, and provide unique opportunities for growth and rebirth.
Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods" has a wonderful verse that uses going into the woods as a metaphor for experiencing the dark side of any dream:
Into the woods you have to grope,
'Cause that's the way you learn to cope
Into the woods to find there's hope,
Of getting through the journey.
That's the long view to remember when pursuing any dream. Sooner or later, once you begin to live them, all dreams are destined to become plain old reality, complete with speed bumps. The key is to keep an eye on how your dream is serving others, and to remember that all those disappointments are merely tools for moving forward.
That is, indeed, how you get through the bigger journey called life.
Building on yesterday's post about how to get over a bad mood, here's my own personal list of things that bring me joy at the moment:
1. Seeing water (not ice) on Lake Champlain … and it's gloriously still and calm
2. The appearance of very young, very pale spring green leaves on trees
3. The smell of baking chicken
4. Going to our CSA (farm coop) on Fridays to pick up jars of extra creamy milk, just cut grass-fed beef steaks, fresh new maple syrup, and some gloriously old and huge rutabaga's
5. Cleaning the house with my family (and watching our kids mop floors, clean bathrooms, and empty trash cans) … that REALLY brings me joy
6. Knowing that my future truly is up to me -- which is both daunting and joyful
7. Working with Rich and Lena, my business coaches, who get what I do better than me
8. Working with my incredible staff who turn stuff around so fast, and have such amazingly good ideas for making this little company go
9. The photo I saw of a 99-year-old Parisian woman decked out for the Paris fashion shows in black Issaye Miyake plus a lavender ostrich feather hat
10. My friend Laurie's seed incubator, which is roughly the size of a coffee table, and is hatching seeds for about 5000 flowers right now
11. The tenacity of wild strawberry leaves, the only green thing in our yard as the last foot of snow finally melts
12. My friend Trisha
13. Anticipating the first icy swim in the lake with Larry, my husband, as we plunge in in our new swim skins
14. The words that come as God tells me what to write, as usual, in this blog
15. The sanctity of doing what I am meant to do in life
I was in no mood for joy this morning when I started writing this post. I'd just spent twenty minutes in telephone hell, listening to one recording after another, trying to find an actual customer service representative at one of the long distance phone companies. By the time I hung up, I was convinced I was experiencing the final decline of western civilization.
Gradually, as the smoke stopped coming out of my ears, I remembered a certain page that used to appear on my web site -- a discussion board with a post called Finding Fifteen Things a Day to Be Joyful About. So I took an unlikely moment to consider mine. And as I did the smoke cleared, my mood shifted, and life was good again. It really was as simple as that.
On this thread, people listed fifteen things that bring them joy. Some of my favorites:
"A walk in the rain on this lazy Sunday."
"Sitting in my pajamas on the kitchen floor with my three year old grandson, eating spoonfuls of peanut butter before breakfast."
"The moss on a tree outside my window."
"The energy I received walking around the strip in Vegas on a Sunday morning."
"Being in bed, getting ready to fall asleep, and having my cat curl up on my belly and purr like a diesel engine."
"The dancing smiles of friends."
"That my neighbor is an 88 year old woman who grows a garden all year long, and does her own yard work."
There is something almost hypnotic about reading what makes others joyful, yet listing them for yourself is even more powerful. It's remarkably soothing.
No matter how sophisticated we think our brains may be, they don't seem capable of holding both tormented, anxious thoughts and happy thoughts at the same time. So by stopping for a moment, and forcing yourself to think about what makes you happy in life, you get a profound perspective shift. Suddenly, the telephone desert you wandered in only a few minutes earlier is gone, and you're back making brownies in the kitchen with a child, each of you licking a beater. I can't emphasize enough what a powerful tonic this is for healing the furious, fed up, frustrated, or just plain downtrodden soul.
Drop me a quick list of your top three right now - just hit the Comments button below. I'll post mine here tomorrow.