Leap Year 2018

leap yearNo need to check your calendar. 2018 is not a calendar leap year. I have declared it as “my” leap year. Years ago, I received a copy of The Big Leap by Gay Henricks as a gift. Like too many of the books in my home office, I started reading it, but never finished (I’m working on this). I had crazy layovers while traveling recently and decided to take it with me. By the time I reached the end, I decided that 2018 would be the year for me to “take life to the next level.” 2018 became my year to leap.

It’s my annual practice to decide what type of year I want to manifest by choosing a word. My word for 2017 was “incredible.” I woke up each morning excited about having an incredible day. But in addition to wanting incredible things to happen to me, I wanted incredible things to happen through me. I purposely looked for ways to provide others with incredible experiences during our interactions.

the-power-of-words-1-728Did you know that the words you choose to describe your expectations are very telling and powerful? That “little member” called the tongue can be used to speak death or life. Perhaps growing up you heard, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Hopefully, you know by now that this idea is completely false. Words do and can hurt. Once they’re said, it’s too late to take them back. Think about it. Are you speaking negatively or positively about your situation, yourself, or others?

In addition to what we say, we have to be mindful of what we do. Don’t sweat the small stuff! It truly is small when you consider the big picture. AND, never lose sight that it’s just stuff. Be careful not to discard or discount the people in your life. We were created as relational beings. You need the person next to you as much as that person needs you. There is shared ownership in relationships so do your part. Although, we may not have it all together, together – we have it all.

Human-beings-NOT-human-doingsWhen I first received my cancer diagnosis years ago, I attended a yoga class. As the only person who showed up, it was my own private class. The teacher was full of wisdom. Of the many nuggets he shared that day, the one that I think about often is the concept that we are human “beings” and not human “doings.” We tend to get so busy with the “doing” that we are no longer “being.” Just be present with the present. The present is truly a gift for which we should be thankful.

In order for me to take “the big leap” in 2018, I had to change my mindset. Hmmm. So where do I set my mind? Establishing personal and professional goals was a great place to start. I came across this quote, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” I’ve got the goals and the objectives in place to reach them. (Think of objectives as the rungs on the ladder that you’re climbing in order to reach the goal at the top.) I have to be willing to do what it takes to reach that goal. For example, if an opportunity presents itself that is not in alignment with my goals, I have to pass. If someone is not supportive of what I’m trying to accomplish and where I’m trying to go, it’s better that I love them at a distance.

time-for-changeI am responsible for the change, or lack thereof, in my life. Change is never comfortable or convenient, but it’s necessary for growth. Change is a process that requires work. Although change can be difficult, NOT changing can be fatal. I don’t have to see the whole staircase. I just have to take the first step. In addition to taking steps of faith, I may have to take leaps of faith. I know that when I do, God will either catch me or teach me to fly.

The next “real” leap year will be 2020 (hint: it coincides with the Presidential election year). Please don’t wait until then to take  “the big leap” in your life. Yes, 2018 is “my” leap year, but there’s plenty of room on the train. Won’t you join me?


be NspireD!




Stones and Pebbles

WebI have a mentor who is 75 plus years “young.” However, you would never be able to tell her age. “Bea” takes excellent care of herself and shows no signs of slowing down. She is a lifelong learner who willingly shares words of wisdom with others. I have been the benefactor of those words during our relationship that has spanned more than 15 years. We are so similar in our positions on health and wellness, that someone referred to me as “Mini Bea.” What a compliment!

Recently, “Bea” was publicly recognized for decades of contributions to the organization of which we both are members. The leader making the remarks referred to her as a “stone” within the organization. Longevity, strength and consistency in standing firm combine to position “Bea” as a pillar of truth. As a result of these and other characteristics, she has positively impacted the lives of countless people in the organization and in the community.

mentorI was so excited when “Bea” was acknowledged. It later dawned on me that if I am “Mini Bea,” being her mentee would make me a “pebble.” I couldn’t wait to share this revelation with her. Her response? “Only you Nicolle would think of it like that, but I guess you’re right.” Although I enjoy being clever with words, my thoughts shifted to something a little more serious as the day progressed.

With all that “Bea” has poured into me, being her “pebble” means having extremely big shoes to fill. I started to ask myself questions. “Am I doing the right things in my personal and professional life?” “Am I moving in the right direction to make a difference in the lives of others?” “Can I really accept this mantle and fulfill its duties?” I had to stop with the questions as the conversation I was having with myself was becoming overwhelming. Because I can’t do anything about the past, I thought it best to start where I am and move forward.

mentor plusI decided to be more purposeful and more intentional about my activities, how I spend my time, and even how I take care of myself. With the goals that I have set for 2017, I have to be in the best of health physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. The mental stress, poor food choices that sap my energy, and emotionally draining relationships can no longer be part of the equation. They have to go so that I can carry out my divine assignment. It’s a work in progress and a process. I’m excited about the decisions that I’ve made this year.

However, I can’t be just a mentee/peeble. I have to simultaneously be a mentor/stone for someone else. We need to position ourselves under the elders and over the young adults. The terms “stones and pebbles” also make me think about the concepts of “give and take.” As “stones” we give and as “pebbles” we take. To manage both roles effectively, balance is required. There are expectations of me as a mentee and as a mentor, and I don’t want to let anyone down. I am being trusted to act upon the wisdom received, and then share wisdom with others.

heartImagine what can be created when the “stones” and “pebbles” are together and in order. Who are the “stones” in your life? Who are the “pebbles” in your life? In 2017, make the investment and anticipate a huge return. We are always stronger together!



be NspireD!