What I know for sure is, if we build Lives around what others expect, from what others have told us to be true without testing, and not build based on the foundation of our own personal values, scaffolded around “what matters to me”, we most likely have built a tower of misery, mediocrity and a muted sense of self. Once in this state, women can feel…

  • Trapped
  • Off track from goals and where they desire to be in Life
  • Unsure what actions to take to even begin getting back on track
  • Isolated or detached from genuinely relating with others
  • Unfulfilled in their current job or roles
  • And even afraid it’s all too late to begin again

I personally found myself in this state during MidLife and it was not a pretty sight!  What I had to come to grips with first was in taking responsibility for either staying where I was, or begin rebuilding the Life I believe was still available for me.  It begins with giving ourselves the greatest gift of getting to know just who we are. We have mastered getting to know what our spouse, children, friends, customers, boss and even what the government wants, but what about us

“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare

Being faithfully true supporting the needs and values of so many others, we have neglected to provide the space to support our very own.  By the time our heads begin spinning realizing “Houston we have a problem”, our plates are full, energy is zapped, we are overcommitted and knee deep in active projects.  I mean it’s hard to even order dinner because we are so apart from our deepest longings.  Believe me, anxiety over steak or chicken is a symptom of a larger cause.  It’s when we decide to step back, breathe deeply and not ignore the ‘cause for pause’, that wisdom can begin to emerge from its veiled dwelling.  It’s in tapping into our own Soul’s voice (that inner voice) and allowing it to teach us how to be authentic, knowing who we are, and being unapologetically free to choose our own path at any given moment.

Start this new journey by asking yourself empowering questions like, “What really matters to you _____ ” (fill in your name). Then observe with childlike curiosity when you smile, are inspired to act, even when you’re uncomfortable speaks volumes about YOU. The answers can be used to build a Life solidly on your values and will stand serving others as a legacy.  Practice saying “NO” in the mirror until you get comfortable in this foreign vortex of strength. I mean we’ve said “yes” to so much stuff in the past and knew once we were there…”I should be home,” or whatever else your Soul was trying to tell you was best for you but you went anyway.  I’m sure you’ve been there too and can relate.  Saying “yes” to be liked, understood, even perceived as good or nice instead of what was good for us. 

Here’s an example, I had a Client who had what seemed like the American Dream, complete with spouse, kids, dog and upper middle class income – YET she was not happy. She found herself angry at her husband, yelling at the kids and absolutely hating being in the house, while others jetsetted around her. She felt a gaping hole within that could no longer be avoided apart from the busyness of family, friends and civic service. With Coaching, she discovered her Soul was knitted for travel and adventure, yet she had settled into a Life expected of her from upbringing. Now she LOVES her family, but with coaching she now understands where the frustration originates from and no longer makes excuses or blames others for it. She now travels with her husband, alone, with girlfriends and blogs about it to inspire other desperate housewives.

So take daily timeouts getting curious about your Life with compassion and no judgment.  Like a good friend who listens, really listens and understands, be that for yourself now, and take small actions towards the Life that is still calling at your heart. 


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to no longer fight Life, but embrace it by clearly defining their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru”

 

Candace McLellan

As I get ready to interview this wonderfully exciting Soul who has taken a noble occupation and transformed it to suit her instead of conforming to fit into it, I’m giddy with excitement and soon you will see why.  Candace McLellan comes on the scene with excitingly bold red hair that is the perfect compliment to just how she enters a room — fully owning all she is and leading her life unapologetically.  Candace travels the world and began her journey as a single mom with a fourteen year old son.  


ME:  Candace tell us where are you originally from, and what is it that you do for an occupation. 

CANDACE:  I am from Portsmouth, Virginia, and I teach fifth grade English in Abu Dhabi and taught in Dubai.

ME:  When did you realize you wanted to teach abroad?

CANDACE:  While teaching in Atlanta, girlfriends of mine moved to teach overseas when the Emirates New School Model Reform initiated.  They kept saying to me, “Girl come on over here, it’s wonderful!” I was like no way, but they persisted and I considered. I first asked my son, who was fourteen at the time, what his thoughts were.  He must have researched it, because he soon came and he said, “Let’s go!” I ran it past my Mom and Dad. My Mom said “NO way” and my dad said, “Fly Baby.”  So I did just that, fly.

ME:  What has been your biggest ‘aha’ from traveling, something you believed or would have never realized without travel?

CANDACE:  People everywhere just want to be happy.  The people love American culture and are emulating it. When Obama was in office, they would see me and say, “Obama!” and now they just ask if I voted for Trump. (Laughter)

ME:  Of all the places you have traveled, which one is your absolute favorite?

CANDACE:  Oh, no they are all beautiful places in their own right; from Bali, Paris, Africa. Yet if I had to choose my favorite place is Ghana, Africa. 

What was the greatest culture shock?

CANDACE:  Sway Sway. This term means not in a hurry. In Dubai, people are not consumed with timelines. You may get things done on time or not. It’s a huge adjustment for Americans because we are so rigid with this must be done, and that must be done by this timeline.  Over here we are so catered to.  So much so, that when I came back for a visit to America, I was looking for someone to pump my gas!

ME:  I see that if I was there, it would really grow my lack of patience into true patience! I can imagine how coming back home, you are somewhat offset from all the busyness around you. It must look a bit overwhelming to you back home, with everyone in such a microwave hurry.

Candace:  Yes. I’m use to picking up the phone and telling them what I need and they bring it immediately.

ME:  I’m sure Amazon two hour delivery cannot compare. 

Candace:  No indeed. (Laughter)

ME:  If someone reading this article wants to get started in this profession of teaching overseas, what is your advice?

CANDACE:  Join a facebook group for support. I did this before leaving to have my questions answered. Those who did not have this support before coming overseas are now asking me for advice. Also to apply to teach, there’s Teachaway.com, Teachanywhere.com, and Footprintsrecruiting.com.

Candace with one of her student’s in Abu Dhabi, whose mother warmly told her, “She’s your daughter too.”

ME:  I see there’s a demand for natural English speaking teachers, even if not degreed. Do you find a degree provides more advantages?

CANDACE:  Yes I see they are doing that now. There is a high demand for native English speaking teachers, but not only them, I’ve met American nurses, artists, doctors, many occupations are here.

ME:  Candace, I saw on your social media page that you were just in Amsterdam before coming back to Virginia for a visit.  You have a huge following watching your adventures.  What’s next on the horizon for achievement?

CANDACE:  I’ve noticed people are following me on social media. They are commenting about my ventures and wished they could do the same thing. I told them they can! Consider all and just do it! If you’re a mom with a child and want to travel or an empty nester. Do it!  One of my sons is in advertising and he’s helping to create a YouTube Channel where I’ll showcase my travels.

ME:  That’s exciting!  What will it be called so we can watch out for it?

CANDACE:  The vlog is called CandiWhereUbe.

ME:  Well, we will definitely be on the lookout for that and will share it on Opulent Women’s Network as well.

 


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to no longer fight Life, but embrace it by clearly defining their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

 

 

 

I messed up everyone.  Yes, I did.  I allowed myself to make a decision that affected not only myself, but those around me.  It wasn’t anything too deep, but it did give me cause for pause.  I took pen and journal in hand to investigate the crime towards my original goal and where I ended. 

How did I get here?  Just what did I believe was more powerful than my Faith in creating what I wanted?  How was I deceived?

At OWNetwork we believe in the power of asking questions.  Not to others, but to ourselves.  Empowering questions demand a response from our soul. To note on just how powerful a question is to get answers…ask someone what’s their favorite color, and they cannot help but to not only to see the color, but to respond.  Asking is powerful!

I could not understand what happened, but knew somehow there was a HUGGGGE lesson to be learned from the experience.  There’s great value in missing the mark if we allow it to be that.  The only way it cannot be a valuable lesson, is if we perceive the failure to speak towards even trying. Asking will shine the light on if we are secretly sabotaging our own efforts to prove the hidden belief to be correct. 

Whenever we get off course in a Faithful adventure, we have to ask ourselves how we arrived where we are.

“What do I believe is more powerful than my Faith to achieve?  How had I been deceived?”  These are the two questions I pondered as I wrote feverishly in my journal. Immediately my soul responded with a song. Yep, a song folks.  The song was by Alan Parsons called “What Goes Up”.  I started singing the lyrics to it…

What goes up, must come down
What must rise, must fall
And what goes on in your life
Is writing on the wall

If all things must fall
Why build a miracle at all
If all things must pass
Even a miracle won’t last

When I got to the last part of the song I came to a screeching halt. What?!  That’s it! For most of my youth I believed what goes up must come down so why even bother?  This silent deceiving  and sabotaging belief told me that when things are going good, just wait for it, bad was inevitable.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had bought in on the lulling lyrics of this song as a little girl, chanting it and singing it no less to a lively tune.  Flashes of how adults in my life modeled this fearful belief began to emerge. Hearing adults chime in unison, “It’s always something” began to show me just how deep seated it all was.  Does this belief have any truth about life being merely spinning wheels? Can my fear be validated?

There was a raging war within me with believing I can do all things and why even bother. Both beliefs battle one another with external proofs to reinforce their territory. I believe I’m not alone in this too. 

Truth is,

Life is a real Force whose sole purpose is to expand and express through all it has created, and that includes you.

Scientists research concluded that the universe has no limits, is constantly growing and expanding; in other words the universe is infinite. Look around at nature right here on earth. Animals, plants are all seeking to expand their territories and express life.  You are no different.  We all desire to create a life we love—one that has a growing reach to others and we express life through every talent, gift and ability we allow.  Some of us play music, sing, cook, sew, write, and more. We have within us infinite possibilities to achieve, sustain and grow what we desire to create. The only thing that stands in our way are beliefs to the contrary.

Being aware of the undercurrent belief that drives our behavior, is key to overcoming and winning in life. Here are other keys to help you overcome and actually create a Life you Love.

  1. Investigation through journaling is a priceless way to put your ear to your head, your heart and soul all at once. Journal daily. Set a time where you make yourself a priority. I rise early in the morning while the home is quite and still; while others write in the evening. Whatever works best for you, just commit to a daily practice.
  2. Ask empowering questions. To start, simply ask “Why?” Start there and don’t stress on attempting to be the expert investigator just yet. Believe me, being an expert will come with practice, and if you’re a Mom, it will come much sooner (Moms are natural interrogators).
  3. Cast off what no longer serves where you are going. This is what I did with my sabotaging belief, because once it’s uncovered it can no longer hide. Making a conscious decision to no longer participate in its shiny distracting events will eventually starve it out of existence.
  4. Replace with Truth. There’s an opening in your consciousness to fill, so replace it with positive affirmations. “I have limitless possibilities and potential”, “I can do anything I put my mind to achieve”, “I contend and defy the odds”, “I thrive in life”, “I will succeed”, “I CAN I WILL—Just watch me!”
  5. Investigate regularly. No matter how successful you get, there’s always room to regroup, ask yourself questions, ensure you are in alignment with your goals, learn and grow.

Beautiful War Wounds

Courage.  That’s what it took as I eyed a skort of all things.  A garment that didn’t know if it wanted to me a skirt of shorts so it decided to be both. That pretty much explains how I felt, a beautiful woman, yet who also saw herself as a tattered mosaic masterpiece.

I wanted a short skirt for years, yet never saw myself wearing one, so I admired other women who were petite, had flawless skin and toned legs. A mini-skirt?  No, not for this woman.  I had too many scars or “war wounds” from being on the battlefield called life.  There were stretch marks that told the story of how I overate to fill the emptiness of my soul resulting into wearing 18-20 dress size, and how I had borne two children out of wedlock. 

When you saw these marks of passage on my legs, you got a glimpse of me, and that part left me more naked and vulnerable than an actual totally naked person walking the streets.  Besides I was raised by modest Baby Boomers who taught conservatively, and the conditioning thereof I sought to youthfully rebel against right from the start.  But today, I felt bold enough, confident enough, comfortable enough in the skin that’s been faithful through our love hate relationship.

Yes, the picture in this blog post is my actual leg.  One day at a stop light I casually looked down at the broken veins on my thighs.  They softly reminded me of all that my body had endured, yet still was faithfully reporting for battle duty.  I had a very hateful relationship with the skin I’m in.  It was never enough to my taste in comparison to others on television, family and friends.  It wasn’t light enough, even enough, tone enough. 

If you could only have heard the conversations between my mind and body, you would call my mind the most abusive of parents.  My skin never did anything right and was neglected of genuine love and appreciation.  According to PychCentral, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders (https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-do-women-hate-their-bodies).

I mean think about it.  Do we as women ever take the time to simply appreciate the miracle of our bodies?  No, not standing there with a chart of societal standards of what it should be, could be, but of what it is.  An absolute wonder.  My body has endured recovering from chicken pox, bearing two healthy children, losing over 100lbs, and resurrecting from cuts and bruises back to an almost flawless hue.  It was as if the more life experiences came its way, the more determined and stronger my skin became.

My skin was teaching me what I was made of, what we as women are made of. 

Resilience

So today, I took a picture of the war wounds.  The markings of life which I previously hid, shrunk from, and never would have disclosed to public scrutiny, until I finally saw no one on this earth could ever say anything as bad as what my skin has not already heard from me.  Whenever I wear my skort, this little frock some may smirk and say is on the border line of indecent exposure, I rejoice.  I give my body honor.  I give my skin healing sunlight.  I give my body humble esteem to finally be free, be free of critical me.

Ladies, allow my transparency to remind you to stop criticizing the Divine miracle of you.  Practice self-care by accepting with grace every stretch mark, freckle, wrinkle, crease, blemish, all war wounds.  For the ability to openly love oneself completely, is the gateway to authentically loving the world in the most genuine way.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to no longer fight Life, but embrace it by clearly defining their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

Can We Talk?

As I was busy cooking before hubby arrived, and trying to pay attention to my friend on speakerphone, who was filling me in on a troubling circumstance in her life, I heard her ask…”Can we talk?”  But wait a minute, I thought we were talking.  What was I missing?  Did she say something that I didn’t catch in between the stir frying of vegetables and bubbling of jasmine rice?

I stopped everything and said, “Let’s meet at the coffee shop in 45 minutes”.  I felt a little guilty for not fully providing her my full attention, and knew in our coffee shop spot, I’d be all ears and heart.  As we sat down, I noticed that her body language was slumped, her hair unusually messy bunned, and her eye contact somewhat reaching into my soul for an invisible anchor to rest from it all.  She took a deep breath and verbally dumped. Literally dumped everything from her fears, doubts and insecurities; all conjured up from this “circumstance”.

Patricia, my friend, was never the needy type. She’s always proven resilient, confident and in control during the most challenging of times; yet today, clearly not her normal self.  I was taken aback for a moment, as I took my eyes off of her for a reaching distraction, and grabbed my spoon to stir my coffee.

After listening and providing my best wisdom on how she can use her strengths to overcome this challenge, Patricia kept pushing back with excuses to why the challenge was more dominate than her abilities to overcome it.  It was after she kept dodging my wisdoms with heavily grey filtered responses for over 35 minutes, that I became thoroughly exhausted.  I suddenly realized, in the dodgeball game of it all, Patricia only wanted to vent.  I was invited to ‘talk’, but this was a way for her voice, which had gone unheard originally, finally be heard.  She didn’t want me to come to the rescue or offer a way of escape that had gone previously noticed.  She wanted to stay where she was, and claim defeat.

Not all of our friends want advice or a way to even grow from an experience.  And knowing when to pull back and not allow ourselves to be drawn into the frenzy is self and relationship preserving.  “I could’ve listened just as well on the phone while still at home”, I thought to myself.  But in my cooking frenzy, which had now become guilt for not really listening at the beginning, and in all honesty, need to be a friend, I put on my ego empowered wonder woman cape and came to the rescue.

The point of this open and honest writing is to make sure in the everyday conversations with love ones that we are fully present, and if at that time the opportunity is not conducive to be so, let people know you’ll connect with them later.  This is a way to not only honor yourself, but also them.  I’ve learned a lot from that coffee shop meeting.  I’ve challenged myself to be present minded in conversations, to allow others the space to voice what they need from me, and to ask more questions verses providing unsolicited advice.  We are all walking on different paths on this journey called Life, and meeting each other where we are, is the best way to be a friend.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to clearly define their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

Retail Therapy

Shopping with a friend has always meant so much more than just buying clothes. Kathleen Alcott considers what we’ve lost—and gained—in the ease of online browsing.

Sometimes it occurs to me—in the middle of a 2 A.M. search for a vintage Dior maillot, or a passive afternoon hunt for the boots that might get me through another New York winter—that I shouldn’t be doing this alone. Don’t I need the friend in the next stall, the body and li

fe to which I’ll compare mine? Shopping online was common by the time I turned 20 and ubiquitous a few years later, but there was a time I could map the emotional milestones in my life by what I bought, and where, and who saw me half-naked as I tried on a thousand versions of myself.

Clothing was the first way I defined myself in my small Northern California town, hoping to signal to the rest of my life that I was ready to walk into it. I spent high school afternoons smoking cigarettes with my friend Phoebe, who was beautiful and six feet tall, loud as a bullhorn, and somehow equipped with both perfect breasts and a private garden apartment behind her parents’ Victorian home. One day she braided my hair and we ditched last period, and in a fluorescent-lit thrift store I tried on the piece that came to define how I would dress for the next decade—a high-waisted ’60s pencil skirt, linen, modernist red. I almost didn’t buy it. It was Phoebe who convinced me, bursting through the curtains and gasping, pointing out the feminine curves it had conjured from nowhere. I’ll kill you if you don’t buy it, she said. I wore it the next morning with a cream-colored secretary blouse and ballet flats I had stapled ribbons into to twine up my ankles. As I crossed the frosted grass of the quad, coatless and freezing so as not to obscure my purchase, feeling half like a fool and half like someone of exquisite power and beauty, I heard Phoebe yelling, Who is that? Who is she?

When I think of dressing rooms, it’s not always the bawdy encouragement that comes to mind, but rather the bleak or frank things that the strange, forced intimacy of the space made it possible to say. The summer my father died, the year I turned 15, my half sister took me to the mall to get a dress for his memorial. I remember sliding down the wall of the fitting room in that godforsaken Macy’s, finally sobbing. She heard my squeaks and joined me on the grimy carpet, where I told her I did not want to buy a dress, did not want to buy anything; that there was nothing to be bought that would make me the girl I wanted to be, someone who knew nothing about addiction or hospitals or slow, visible dying. She crouched there for a long time, until I was able to stand, and then, zipping me into that boxy polyester, she began to help me imagine the person who could find the dignity in black, someone who could see that dignity in others.

Had my adulthood in the sartorial cyclone of New York City unfolded 20 years ago, it might have been a montage of secrets about kinky sex or careerist jealousies confessed in understated lingerie from behind a curtain. Now, at 29 and single, I do most of my shopping alone or online. Though I sometimes miss the image of a hand floating over the flimsy divider, I’m not convinced that as women we have forgotten how to use the things we buy and wear as a bridge to each other. Sometime last fall, feeling hopeless about the relationship that I had failed to get over and the dim basement apartment I’d moved into when it ended, I texted my girlfriend Connie, who works in fashion and lives on my street, a screenshot of some embroidered boots I was considering buying. They were too much money, white with a baroque black overlay, and I could not decide if they were stunning or looked like an accent carpet. Uh-oh, I wrote. It’s after 11 o’clock and I’m about to pull the trigger on these. One of those very powerful women whose strength lies in diplomacy, Connie always turns a thought over before she says it, and she is someone I can always trust to be gentle with my impulses. Her ellipsis appeared immediately, then withdrew. I don’t know what’s going on with me, I typed. Do these say ‘single mom driving you to the concert with the windows down’?!

Will you be up a while? she wrote. I’m on the train but could be there in 10.


Article from April issue of Elle Magazine by Kathleen Alcott, the author of Infinite Home and The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets.

 

 

 Six Sure Ways to Start and Stay Motivated  

Can I be honest?  It’s hard even getting the strength up to be motivated in accomplishing a goal.  What is my motivation?  Why do I even want to achieve this?  It’s so much easier to be there for others, but what about being the very best for myself?  Ladies, if we give ourselves away to everyone else, who’s there for us while we’re pouring our souls out?

As little girls, we are taught, “Don’t be selfish…give.”  And we still hold to this model of behavior (to prove we’re not self-centered humans) to an exhausting demise.  I’ve learned to point the gun of this loaded charge back to my own life, by serving ME first.  No one can give their best to others while empty within.  Believe me, at the bottom of an empty cup of me, was liquid bitterness, resentment and just plain ole exhaustion.

When we pour into the lives of others from a fullness, the world is so much sweeter.  We truly reap what we sow, not only to others, but within ourselves too.  I had to shift the paradigm of how I valued myself, and prioritize daily commitments to my own care.  For example, I’m up at 3:30AM every morning for prayer, meditation and journaling.  I light my favorite white sage incense and use this time to tap into the power within.  My personal value increased and this became a wealth in not only flowing in self honor, but in honoring others as well.  Things I wanted to do before, yet struggled in, became easier; from losing weight, not being afraid in asking for more (more can be more money, time off, to asking a sales clerk for greater discounts), trying new adventurous things, and flourishing relationships.  I vibrated at a higher tone and attracted the very same into my life.  To help our Opulent Women, I’ve created my very personal tips on how to kindle and keep that fire of motivation gassed up and glowing!  


1.     Take complete ownership of where you want to go.  This is the very first step that’s not only critical for success, but powerful! Everything is energy, and movement is proof of life.  Moving into ownership has no room for excuses of any kind (this includes reasoning against your goals or even blaming your partner), because the results belong solely to you.  As soon as you find yourself blaming, complaining or making a statement trying to provide a reason for the lack…STOP.  Know results are the total sum of your efforts to achieving.

2.     Create a new ‘selfie’.  As you believe so you are.  No one can be what they cannot see themselves becoming or achieving. Tune into your self-talk.  Are you verbally abusive, conditional, or are you loving , appreciative and positive?  Imagine your self-talk was another form of you standing right before your eyes, would you even want to be around you based on what’s heard?  After dropping a glass to the floor one day, I heard myself say within…”You are so stupid.”  Wow!  I didn’t even like me, so how could I expect others to treat me with dignity?  Encourage yourself with new truth, and be your own best friend! Create affirmations:  “I love me”, “I can do this, just watch me”, “There’s nothing I cannot do once my mind is made up”, “I am strong, capable and resilient”.  Transform your self-portrait into one you want to be around.  

3.     Nurture your motivation with positive support.  For motivation longevity, this requires regular feedings of healthy support.  Try connecting with others who are positive, who can see your achieving great results. Life can come at you hard sometimes, and the infusion of energy from encouragement can help you stay focused and not give up when everything around you and in you screams the opposite.  Take this opportunity to join OWNetwork!  We’d love to have you.

4.     Know that persistence pays up.  Water hitting a rock will wear it down over time. Keep at your goals, no matter what.  Don’t allow any room for a retreat. Burn the bridges offering any chance of returning back to the land of familiar. Assess your environment and ensure it supports that new direction. For example, if your goal is to not eat potato chips every night, get them out of the house!  Take the potato chips to work and leave them in the employee break area for others to enjoy.

5.     Create weekly benchmarks.  How will you know you’ve reached your goals without a clear plan with signposts along the way?  No one wants to go for a vacation to nowhere.  See your new view so clear, that it’s like you’re already living it. How does it feel to have this new change in your life?  What are you doing different and new?  Relive these feelings throughout the day. This will add turbo fuel to your desire to win!

6.     Make your journey fun.  No one is inspired to do anything that’s perceived as mundane, draining or forced. Find ways to make your new goals exciting, and rewarding; while celebrating achievements along the way.  And don’t stop until you make yourself proud.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to clearly define their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

I remember going to a black tie event and wearing a blouse that had a plunging neckline. I thought to myself, “It’ll be alright, even for my slightly conservative taste.” Yet at the dinner table, I fidgeted with the now greatly annoying blouse the first few hours at the dinner, so uncomfortable with the just how low the neckline was (as we were sitting before senators and other dignitaries).

There was an elderly woman directly across from me at the table, whose eyes I could feel gazing, piercing to my very Soul. I had created all sorts of delusional conversations within of her criticizing me for wearing such a daring ensemble. I instantly felt shame, guilt and deformed even my posture fitting the imaginary chastising.  After gaining a little courage, I finally raised my head to meet her gaze and was shocked to see a warm smile, and she then mouthed to me, “You look great, stop“.  Immediately my hand fell to my lap (probably in glee from working all night), and with this stranger’s approval that all was well, I allowed myself to enjoy the festivities.

I had the absolute luxury to attend this grand affair, and had missed the first hour of it, focusing on imaginary criticisms from others.  And such is life.  We fidget with the luxurious gift of it, trying to wear it according to how others will perceive us.  Some become doctors, lawyers, get married, become parents, pursue titles, degrees and even hairstyles, solely to fit into the world of others.  And in ‘fitting in’, many are distracted and totally missing out on the beauty of authenticity.

I was in my twenties at the date of this grand event, and desperately still tried to fit in with those around me.  Fitting in can be compared to putting on a well-worn dress of many generations who’ve lived before us, and just like that evening, pull and tug at its itchy ill-fitting.  The uncomfortableness of it was really a Blessing, signaling that where I was trying to fit in, to blend…I was meant to stand out!  It was my Soul trying to voice to me my error.  The world had done a good job on teaching me that I was incomplete unto myself and had to eat, sleep go to work like the masses.  I had no idea who I was and what I was capable of achieving. The thought of turning my gaze for approval and validation inward, towards my own Soul’s voice, had not yet been considered.

Your life, my life, are very different.  What is good for one may not be good for the other.  Each of us have a very different purpose with life experiences molding our perceptions.  Many of us have never considered what that purpose is, due to being so distracted into fulfilling the burdensome expectations of society, family, friends, and let’s not forget to mention the low bar grouping of expectations based on race, sex and zip code.  Yes, the world conditions us of what they believe is possible from you and I, but I challenge us to now see this as a starting line. 

It’s my hope that you, yes you, reading my blog post, will consider that your Life purpose was sealed within you before conception. That there’s a mission (if you so choose to accept…pun intended) for you to complete unlike anyone else ever born before or after you can achieve.  It’s a place of no competition and complete peace. It’s fulfilling and never draining.  It’s a life that only can fit YOU.  You are a one of a kind!  Just look at your fingertips proving it.

How do you reach this?

Well, I started by simply following these steps…

  1. Accept the truth that there’s a Power bigger than you, Who created you to be a solution to a problem of today. The Power controls the universe, guides its precision like clockwork movement, and placed you on this blue ball called Earth that spins in a limitless space. No, you are not a happenstance, an oops, or even a planned child of your parents. You are the Divine thought of this Power manifested on Earth.
  2. Meditate and Pray daily.  Start with just five minutes and build yourself up in time.  The time is not important, but the power in just being consciously still.  The mind will wonder in thought, and that’s alright. It’s just doing its job.  Center it right back with an affirmation or visual. Meditation is where you listen, and prayer is when you speak. Click here for a visualization to get your started.
  3. Journal your thoughts and revelations daily.  Writing allows the heart and mind to pour forth in unison instead of opposition.  You’ll discover amazing things about yourself and what really is going on under the matter of things.  I guarantee, clarity will shine from you unlike ever before.
  4. Let uncomfortable be you new normal.  Push your limits by challenging yourself daily.  Join conversations, take a class, resign from that draining obligation you absolutely loathe.  Like a dog at the edge of an invisible fence border, if he really wants to go past the barrier, he’ll push his limits by tolerating the pain to go where he wants.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Once the dog can push past this temporary paining, he can roam wherever he wants.  Being at peace with being out our comfort zone, is where we begin to see the powerful stuff we are made of.  

Are you living your life or someone else’s?  Are you living your passion?  If you could accomplish anything within the next 12 months personally, financially or professionally, what would you like to see happen?  What is it costing you to stay where you are?  These are empowering questions to get you started listening to your own heart and Soul. 

For those really serious and want to be free, to honor their authentic self, be more confident, eliminate fear, clarify your Dream, CLICK HERE for a complimentary strategy session.  NOW is your time to SHINE the light of your Life.

What’s Your Claim to Fame?

Being a solopreneur can be a lonely place sometimes, and we need to encourage ourselves against the seemingly impossible challenges we face on a daily basis. How do we do that? By reminding ourselves of the small achievements already done through us. All the pictures with those we never would have imagined being around. The locations, events and even the inspiring words from others who expressed how you’ve upleveled their life, should be within sight to invoke remembering just how powerful you are when you set your mind to it. 

As solopreneurs, we focus on the goals that lie ahead. We plan, create vision boards, strategize and stretch ourselves in order to reach them. Vision boards are important in maintaining momentum, yet I challenge you to also include a “Wall of Fame” in your office space. 

Tokens reflecting our right to claim FAME are not just for the jock and scholar from high school, or the stars in Hollywood.  I personally came to realize that I was missing a Wall of Fame when attempting to update my bio. I couldn’t remember a single new achievement and had to ask others outside of myself to help recall.

As women, we struggle remembering our ‘good’ because we’ve been taught to downplay ourselves, be small and allow others to shine so we won’t appear to be arrogant, vain or selfish. 

We’ve mastered playing small so well, that the brain now automatically disregards many of the things we should be rewarded for.  The most successful people in the world have walls showing their achievements, the milestones that speak the Dream they held for so many years while striving, was not just a wild haphazard delusion…It was all stepping stones to SHINING in their fields of expertise.  I can remember in elementary school yearning to be “Student of the Month” where my picture would be displayed as a symbol of top achievement. Walls or memorials have been used for centuries, were used to remind generations in the Bible of great miracles of yesterday, to be considered for hope today. They also help us not to repeat mistakes in the past.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana”

So remember how far you’ve come by creating your own Wall of Fame.  Start with pictures, certificates, degrees and words. Go back to your social media accounts and search for the forgotten things that will stir your soul into orbit.  Stare at your wall and celebrate!  Walls of Fame are great when used properly–not for vanity, but for the sanity of “I AM enough”, and created to achieve miraculous wonders even now. Share with us below pictures of your Wall of Fame!

Take Your Dream from Ethereal to Real in 9 Steps

Many entrepreneurs will tell you that ideas are the easy part — It’s the implementation that separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Turning an idea into reality is a skill that anyone can learn. Managing yourself and daily action are the most important factors.

What would you do if you knew failure wasn’t possible?

 

Follow these steps to create your own reality:

  1. Be clear regarding your objective. Are you clear about what you want? Success is much more likely if your objective is clear and precise. If you’re too vague, the problem-solving functions of the brain can become too confused to operate optimally. Write out what you desire to be, do and have in a journal and/or vision board.  
  2. List your resources. Be aware of all the tools you have at your disposal. You have more to work with than realized. Consider all the people you know that are capable of assisting you. List all of your resources that are relevant to your objective. Perhaps your car, computer, and local library are valuable tools.
  3. Consider the resources you’ll require. Make a list of everything you think you’ll need and compare that list to the list you made of your available resources. How will you make up the difference?

 Most importantly, ensure you have everything you need to get started. Avoid letting the future stop you from taking action today. If there’s something you’re lacking that you won’t need for six months, you can still get started!

  1. Maintain your awareness of your objective. Keep your objective in the front of your mind. The easiest way to do this is to think about it each day. A simple visualization session twice a day is sufficient. Just remind yourself on a daily basis that you have an idea that you want to bring into reality. 
  2. Avoid trying for perfection. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is the belief that success only comes from taking perfect action. This belief is enough to paralyze efforts. Consistent, steady action is enough to reach your goals. 
  3. Make a plan. Avoid waking up each day without a plan of attack. Know how you’re going to spend your day before you go to bed each night. A simple to-do list will guarantee that you can hit the ground running each day. 
  4. Work your plan. Knowing what to do is only half of the puzzle. It’s important to work your plan consistently. Everyone knows how to lose weight, yet there’s growing numbers of people considered obese. Focus on taking simple, effective actions day after day. Remember a river created the Grand Canyon, and your objective is just like that river flowing by consistent action. 
  5. Evaluate progress. Provide yourself with regular feedback. Determine a method of measuring progress and taking regular measurements. Assess if you’re on the right track. How can you enhance your results? Do you need to try another course of action?  Seek to improve your approach based on your evaluations.
  1. Keep going. If you keep working, measuring your progress, and developing an effective approach, how can you fail? You can only fail IF you give up. Enjoy and be proud of the progress you’re making each week. Know that your idea will become a reality.

Success isn’t complicated or only available to certain people. Success is the result of maintaining focus and taking appropriate action each day. If you don’t quit, failure isn’t an option. Nothing is more exciting than turning a dream into reality.

What life will you create for yourself starting right NOW?

Share in the comments what you would like to achieve, and join Opulent Women’s Network! Surrounding oneself with like-minded women in OWNetwork and having resources of support, can greatly increase faster and more enjoyable levels of success than trying to go alone. Click here to join us.