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.

 

 

 

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!

Within weeks, 2017 will be no more.  Like you, I approach this time in reflection of where I planned to be in January 2017 up until now, and I’m quite pleased with the progress.  No, I did not meet every goal, but what I did do is make great strides in focusing on three words that kept me in perfect step with intentive actions demanding greater results.  My three 2017 words were…Prepare, Position, Possess.

I adopted these powerful words as my own in order to ensure my foot prints were synchronized to the tune of Living a Life I Love.  I trusted Life experiences to prepare me by strengthening my infrastructure (my soul) for the next position or level in order to possess what was for me at the finish line.  You’ve heard me say this before, and the truth still rings true,

“If you want something you’ve never had, then you need to DO something that you’ve never done.”

Any desired change comes with the person taking ownership in the direction to go, because it’s no one else’s responsibility but our own.  Who else would you want to entrust with creating YOUR Life?  To give another power is dangerous, not to mention it lowers your level of Living down to merely existing; especially at the whim of another’s emotions.  With so many things pulling at our skirts in demand for attention, our Dreams, our goals and desires can become distant memories as soon as February rolls around.  

To help us all WIN in 2018, we are not focusing on what we don’t want in our Life, through a listing of resolutions that scream of all the things we deem wrong with us.  This list of horrors (as I call them) can be rattled off without taking a breath (because we constantly rehearse these horrors in our minds).  We’re too familiar with what we believe is wrong.  Did you know the very thing focused on the most becomes the reality.  I can say I want to lose weight, but what do I really focus on by mental rehearsals?  For me many years past it was “I’m fat”.  So, that’s exactly what I was every year until I broke the cycle and changed my truth. 

“Where focus goes, energy flows to create it.”

Everything we see around us was created twice—once by thought and then by active creation.  An airplane was a thought in the heads of the Wright brothers until they physically made the thought.  A chair was only a thought in the imagination of a designer until it was drawn and built.

As busy women, we can sure use a more simple yet powerful guide to achieve not what we don’t, but what we DO want in our Lives.  Here’s a 3 step process to Living your best Life in 2018…

STEP 1

What do you want to be, do and have in 2018?  See this clearly by envisioning you’re already Living this Life.  Go ahead and close your eyes, and give yourself the gift of a daydream.  What do you see yourself doing, feeling, smelling and tasting?  How are others reacting to your presence?  Use all of your senses to make this as real as possible.  As we believe, so it is. 

STEP 2

Notice your future self’s character Living the Life of your Dreams.  She’s telling you what you need to become in order to reach her.  Identify the attributes and make note of them.  Are you being more kind, compassionate, self-assured, direct, leading and engaging.  Write them all down.

STEP 3

Now choose 1 word from your list in Step 2 that resonates with you most.  This word will help guide your decisions towards that Life you just envisioned for yourself.  Give yourself the grace of patience as you embark on this journey, as it will seem surreal, yet know others have practiced this process and achieved miraculous results.  From all of us at Opulent Women’s Network, may you have your Happiest New Year yet!

Fall.  What can I say about her?  She’s a season teaching us the grace of simply letting go of things that no longer serve us.  Fall has no fear in letting go, for she has faith in her potential to create a whole new, more benefiting to all who sit under her foliage, smell her flowers, eat the sweet fruit, and to just enjoy the beauty of her.  For us it’s a perfect time to journal, knit and reflect on our relationships, attitudes, and habits in being beneficial.

Farmers markets in September are priceless.  The growing season is done and everything is harvested, fresh and fully ripe with deliciousness.  From butternut squash, fresh baked loaves of pumpernickel, cheeses, pickled sauces, blackberry jams, to radiant sunflowers that’s somehow captured the sun in perfection from the summer, the farmer’s market has ample items to satisfy every potential delicacy and finicky palate.

The best time to shop is early in the morning to grab the best produce; not to mention the opportune time to chat it up with locals and the farmer for cooking tips and recipes.  Try roasting carrots and deep purple beets with locally harvested raw honey and cinnamon.  This simple yet delectable dish can be a main course or side, perfectly reflecting the rich Fall colors and stirring the imagination of what those colors would taste like.  I personally add cinnamon to my coffee as I watch the morning gently awaken everything to life.  Take this season to drink in the colors, cool air, wrap yourself in the warmth of a newly knitted afghan—then assess, embrace, and yes let go of the things that no longer serve your highest ideal, while believing in your potential for renewal that’ll benefit every connection.

How Does the Law of Cause and Effect Really Impact Your Life?

Many self-help gurus believe your thoughts alone are sufficient to bring about meaningful change in your life. Some even believe the universe can deliver wishes to your front door if you merely ask in the proper manner. Maybe this is true, maybe not. But there is one law in the universe that works very reliably: the law of cause and effect. This idea is easy to prove.

If you drop something heavy over your foot, it will fall and hurt your foot. If you follow the directions accurately to make a cake, you’re guaranteed to receive a cake at the end. Most religions, from Christianity to Buddhism cover the topic of cause and effect thoroughly.

The law of cause and effect may be the most universal law of all.

How the law of cause and effect can help you:

  1. Your actions are ultimately the controlling factors. This is great news. All you have to do is take the appropriate actions and you’ll get the results you desire. Thoughts can dictate your actions, but the power of your thoughts is only seen when you take action.
  2. Success and failure aren’t personal. If you bake a cake, the cake turns out the same, regardless of your education, skin color, religion, or favorite sports team. Mixing the proper ingredients in the proper amounts and baking for the proper duration at the proper temperature are the only factors that matter.

You aren’t doomed to be a failure at anything. If you follow the success recipe for any endeavor in life, you’ll be successful.

  1. Most outcomes are quite logical. Over time, you reap what you sow. If you’re kind to people, you can expect that most people will be kind to you. Mistreating people on a regular basis yields different results.
  • Eating too many cakes brings obvious results, too.
  • Preparing and studying for exams brings good results. The failure to do so brings opposite results.

All of this suggests that thoughts aren’t relevant. However, that’s not exactly true. While you can successfully bake a cake while holding thoughts that your cake will never bake properly, you won’t try if your thoughts are too negative. Having the appropriate thoughts makes the appropriate actions possible.

Negative thoughts can be a blocker to taking advantage of the law of cause and effect.

Making the law of cause and effect work for you:

  1. Understand the cause and effect relationships in your area of interest. What actions are most likely to lead to the results you desire? Do some research and be certain. Find the those who are knowledgeable in your area and ask questions.
  2. Take the appropriate actions. Remind yourself that if you take the proper actions, your results are guaranteed. Monitor your thoughts and ensure they’re not holding you back.
  3. Keep going. Consistently taking the actions that have led others to success will carry you to the same destination. Expect that success will take time. Trust that your actions will be enough. Perseverance is powerful.

Even if success has eluded you in the past, you can rely on the law of cause and effect to hold true. Focus on taking the actions that lead to your desired outcome. Remember, no one has ever followed a cake recipe and received an apple pie from their efforts. You get the results you deserve.