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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!

Name2

 

 

Mindset Matters

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You don’t have to look far to find information about mindset. Topics connected to this subject can range from growth and fixed mindset, to scarcity and abundance mindset. Because it seemed that I was constantly being bombarded with the term, I started to think that these repeated occurrences were not by happenstance, but by design. So, I decided to take a deeper dive into the word.

Mindset is defined as a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one’s behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. After looking at the composition of the word, I also believe that mindset is literally where you set your mind. Thinking about it this way, the location where your mind finally lands, or sets itself, really matters. Why? Because of the domino effect – thoughts impact words, which become behaviors, which become habits. Gandhi took it further by stating that habits become values which eventually translate into destiny.

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My word for 2017 is “incredible.” I use it to create an expectation about each day, and it speaks to the experiences that I want to manifest, as well as those that I want to create in the lives of others. In order for me to experience “incredible,” I have to adjust my mindset. It’s a conscious decision that requires effort throughout my day. As a result, I’m learning to let go of things that are not within my control.

 

Regardless of the circumstances, I strive to maintain a positive disposition. For example, I let it go when that driver jumps into the parking space I’ve been waiting for with my turn signal on. I keep it moving after the person who agreed to help me pulls out at the last minute without warning or explanation. Trust me. It’s not always easy, but doable. (By the way, it helps to do a lot of deep breathing. Woosaa!)

The bottom line is that mindset is all about the ongoing, individual choices that we make. What I’ve discovered in the process of minding my mindset, is that there is now more room for priceless things like joy. I reap benefits when I monitor where my mind lands. My joy is precious. I’ve been through too many things and worked too hard to allow negative comments to steal my joy.

 

nothing changes

After beginning treatment for cancer a few years ago, I decided to make a change and live life with an exclamation point – not a period, comma, or question mark. I cannot and will not allow the questions that others have about me and my gifts, talents, skills, or abilities, to become questions I now have about myself. I cannot and will not allow someone else to insert a pause or a period in my life story, when I know that there are so many more chapters and books to be written.

Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for growth and development. Take the time to self reflect and answer the following questions. What is your mindset? Where are the places that YOU let your mind land? (You certainly don’t want one of those locations to be a landmine.) Today, I encourage you to be intentional about the locations you choose. As you move from thoughts to destiny, remember, where you set your mind really does matter.

 

be NspireD!

Name2

 

 

 

Say What You Mean in 2017

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At the beginning of every new year, I pick a word on which to focus. The word creates an expectation about the type of day I want to have. It also speaks to the experiences that I want to manifest, as well as those that I want to create in the lives of others. I started with words such as “good” and “great,” and eventually expanded to words like “phenomenal.” Every morning, I would wake up looking forward to something “phenomenal” happening to me, for me, or because of me. At night, I would go to bed grateful for the “phenomenal” day that was ending and for the one that would follow.

“Spectacular” was my word for 2016. I closed my eyes on New Year’s Day and thought about some of the things I experienced last year that were far from being “spectacular.” The last few months of 2016 were especially challenging. My brother, who is 21 years my senior, had a stroke and I found myself in the role of a caregiver. My stress level was at an all time high as I traveled out of state to the hospital and rehabilitation facility. I lost almost an entire month of work. I also lost my combination engagement ring/wedding band. Although I was hysterical, my husband, who is the calm to my crazy, simply said, “It’s just a ring. I’ll get you another one.”

The days became weeks and my hopes of finding the ring faded. The tears that remained instantly dried up with one phone call. My mentor, the person I called when I received my breast cancer diagnosis, called to tell me that she was now on her own cancer journey. My diamonds versus her diagnosis? I no longer had anything to cry about. She shared that because she watched me navigate my cancer journey, she could beat cancer, too. She also reminded me that I am not a survivor, but a cancer “thriver.” With this, she charged me to stay focused, to keep going, and to lead the way for others. The call changed my perspective.

 

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This change started with the thoughts in my mind. There is no reason to let a few life detours discount all of the “spectacular” things that occurred in 2016. I celebrated the “13th anniversary of my 37th” birthday. I celebrated my 5th “cancer-versary.” I hosted my first conference for women living with all types of cancer. Those are the big highlights, but I’m always grateful that everything that I need is provided; that I’m in my right mind; and that my days are filled with life, love, and laughter.

I couldn’t wait to get back to work this week. Why? Because “incredible” is my word for 2017. Every day, I verbally put this expectation into the atmosphere. Incredible things will happen in my marriage and my home, in my relationships and friendships, in my business, and as I carry out my divine assignment to “speak a word in season to him who is weary.” We’re only a few days into the year and incredible things are happening already. WooHoo!

 

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As you look ahead to 2017, what do you want to happen in your life? What do you need to happen in your life? How do you want your life to impact the lives of those with whom you come in contact? With answers to these questions, what changes must you make to ensure that this year is better than last year? Consider using the power of a word to say what you mean in 2017.

For me, INCREDIBLE is just the beginning!  

 

be NspireD!

Name2