Tag Archives: dreams

Yippee – It’s Mine! Now, Let it Go (and the New WOW)

For many years I struggled with the concept of success and “getting what’s mine.”

For much of my 20’s and 30’s, I enviously observed other people achieving results, living exciting lives full of travel and material wealth and I longed for the same.

It seemed that there was a glass partition that I just couldn’t break through, keeping me from accessing life from the driver’s seat of the limo. This wasn’t a question in the back of my mind – it was in the FOREFRONT:  “Why can’t I connect the dots?  What am I missing?”

For as long as I’ve been me, I’ve wanted to live life to the fullest.  Along the way, I got sidetracked and convinced myself that I could settle into mediocrity and still be happy.

Here’s the thing: the definition of mediocre is different for everyone.  My idea of living high might be settling for you (and vice versa).

At our core, though, we know what we are capable of and what will make us fulfilled.  If we fall short, the question “Why?” is a worthy one.

One day I had my breakthrough.  The time I actually got an ANSWER to the question was on an ordinary day as I was driving home from work.

In my spirit, I heard, “You don’t really believe that there’s plenty to go around.  You believe in the idea of abundance, but not as a reality for YOU.  Do you truly believe that there is unlimited success, wealth, potential, blessing, resources available to you?  Then start acting like it.”

It clicked.

My prayer life changed.  I started THANKING God for provision.  I started EXPECTING favor.  

And my life took a major shift from scarcity to abundance – not just materially, but mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Louis Vuitton handbags showed up in the mail (thank you, Shirlee.) I became an occasional guest at the Ritz-Carlton (thanks to my fairy godmother and father – you know who you are).

Yes, kindness and generosity flowed to me from amazing people.

And I even started to manifest some of my own miracles.  Speaking engagements and freelance gigs flowed to me, including travel to places I’d always dreamed of going.

But the shining example of my new way of living life abundantly was my beautiful home in Sarasota.  I’ve told you the story before, but it always held up as a high-water mark of proof that God loved me and wanted to give me the desires of my heart.

I wanted to live there forever.  I would proclaim to anyone, “This is my dream house.  I’ll spend the rest of my life here.”

Until faced with the decision to surrender it.

There was a critical point where I had to choose:  Should I stay in the house of my dreams…or start living the LIFE of my dreams?

At my core I know that no matter how beautiful the home or breathtaking the pool and jacuzzi, I had no peace.

I once read a quote (paraphrased), “Your net worth will never be greater than your self-worth.” – Robin Sharma

Here’s a good one, too:

Once I “got” the lesson about abundance, the second round of revelation was wrapped around the question, “Would my STUFF define me?”

What we have can have US; it can lock us up in a prison (a very comfortable one, mind you), but it can suppress what should be an irrepressible spirit.

This is not to say that I have since renounced abundance.  Hell no!  Remember, I’m the girl who wore her false eyelashes to a spartan retreat in Costa Rica and who goes to the lobby of the RItz Carlton just to sniff it.  (Really, it smells divine.)

But Brenda 2.0 is not beholden to any of the trappings of this life. Yes, they can be fun and the icing on the cake…but the cake is the peace in my heart, the love I have for myself and the respect I now give my tender soul.

I speak more about this in my closing thoughts on SURRENDER:

Here is what is so amazing and cool and miraculous about our new, never before received WOW, release:  When I stood in those rushing waters in Costa Rica, I asked for a RELEASE of creativity.  I asked for my laughter to be unleashed.  (And a few other private things that also go along with this wonderful word.)

My friends, perhaps the universe is saying that on the other side of our surrender; if we’re willing to let go of what has held us captive; if we relinquish your fears and let the white flag wave on the life we THOUGHT was our dream come true – what awaits us all is RELEASE.

Woo-hoo!  I’m doing a happy dance for all of us.

So now that I’ve told you mine, please tell me about your surrenders and releases. It makes this journey together all the more wonderful to share them.

Much love,

Brenda

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Listen for Wisdom (and the New WOW)

Discernment is a gift, and it is offered to those who LISTEN.

How I wish answers would arrive via FedEx with a 20-point outline and a comprehensive road map to get me from A to Z.

For me, it doesn’t happen that way.  But discernment DOES provide what is needed, and here’s what it is:

YOUR NEXT STEP.

That’s all you need, you know.  And it’s so LIBERATING to know that one next step, because then you can ACT on it.  Action produces a powerful chain of events that stirs up the universe on your behalf, and next thing you know, the NEXT next step becomes clear.

I started the year writing out my goals and, well, that’s all I knew to do!  I didn’t know HOW they were all going to happen, but writing them down was my first step.

They stare at me while I spend endless hours here at the computer, working.

Sometimes I chuckle, “I wonder how THAT’s gonna happen…”  My chuckle is not one of cynicism, but more of wonder and awe, because the very fact that I sit at a computer working from my HOME and in FLORIDA no less, is proof positive that the most unlikely wishes can and do, in fact, materialize.

We stew on our dreams and in stewing, seek answers, but not in a frantic, desperate way. When the time is right, the answers flow to us, don’t they? 

We just need to be open – and quiet ourselves enough to listen for the answer.

I’m not being very specific, am I?

What has me excited right now is my current NEXT STEP. I told you about joining the local Toastmasters club and doing so has invigorated me.  I didn’t know there was a tribe of geeky speakers just like me in the world!

Another organization I joined last August – and, for the life of me, I wasn’t sure WHY – was the Sarasota Yacht Club (SYC).  Duane likes showing up and having his martini waiting for him; I like the water views…we feel a little like Thurston Howell the 3rd and his wife, Lovey – but, as the song goes, “Is that all there is?”

Sometimes it takes time for the answers to show up.

My friend, Kyle, always urged me to sign up for volunteer tasks at the Club and I was totally CLOSED to the suggestion.  After all, I’m busy enough with my two full-time jobs, my consulting work, Zumba, friends, family and Shasta. (Not necessarily in that order.)

However, the SYC has a ladies’ group, the GEMS, and I have thoroughly enjoyed attending their monthly luncheons. These ladies are awesomely accomplished; leaders in their respective fields and many have retired but their stories of accomplishments keep me on the edge of my seat.

At a recent meeting, the GEMS announced they wanted a new logo and shared a concept with the group that was met with a collective, “Meh.”  Those that were energized were on the negative side: “Our logo is just fine as is!”

I love mediating tension, especially when I see a path forward.  Long story short, I volunteered to head up the logo committee and it’s been invigorating and successful, while giving me an opportunity to present before the GEMS group.

I think I’ve found another tribe.  And a dream is being birthed of expanding my speaking engagements from the government sector to the SYC and its affiliated clubs nationwide.

Nothing like thinking big, right?

My point is that you may not have a clue why you are doing something today, but if you keep your ears (and your heart) open, the answer will flow to you.

As will the NEXT STEP.

I’m rooting you on all the way as I share my near surrender to despair from this past week as well as the new WOW:

Yes!  Be KIND to yourself this week!

When the nasty little voices of fear try to diminish where you’re at and paint a dark picture of where you’re going, KICK IT TO THE CURB.

I heard an interview with one of the singers of the Little River Band in recent weeks and what was said encouraged me:  Keep working at your craft and the art will show up.

In other words, keep at it, friends. If it is in you to do, keep doing it.

The art; the magic will show up.

Love, love, love and tons of kindness to you –

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Big Can Be Scary (But Do it Anyway)

Here’s the funny thing about talking a BIG game (or dreaming a big dream):

When the opportunity comes to DO something about it, it can scare the bejeezus out of you.

Oh, there are those serendipitous times when you have so LIVED that thing in your mind, you’re quite prepared when it shows up.  You welcome it like a long lost friend.

Sometimes we’re so used to slugging a thing out and waiting and waiting that we’re shocked when it shows up, seemingly prematurely.  (Like when the doorbell rings and it’s unexpected company.)

These “surprise” answers to prayer often reveal the level of our unbelief.

But hey, just like when unexpected company shows up, you can pull it together!  Fire up the coffee pop, defrost that coffee cake, do a quick Febreze and you’re ready to go! (Maybe not your Class A, gold standard ready to go, but at least you answered the door!)

Have you ever had those times when company shows up and you LOVE them but you decide to act like you’re not home?  I know, YOU would never do that (!) but some people have been known to.  Like my favorite comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco in this bit:

Getting back to my thoughts on EXPANSIVENESS – our fear to “answer the door” is often related to the unknown of the BIG opportunity facing you.

Or the security/comfort presented by the KNOWN “not so big” situation in which you currently find yourself.

One thing I’ve learned in life though is “if it’s meant to be yours, it WILL come to you when you are ready.”

In my professional life, I started out talking a big game and beat out thousands to win a slot as one of the original QVC show hosts.  But my talk didn’t really reside in my heart…and within months the opportunity disintegrated.  I was devastated.  Heartbroken.

It took a long time to even begin to dream again, let alone to think big.

And life is a progression, isn’t it?

What was BIG to me in 1980 seems like small potatoes now!

Every time I start to feel comfy cozy in my station in life, I get a little nudge in my heart that says, “Don’t stop.”

For those of you who feel today like you missed the boat in life (or that a particular ship has sailed) – shake that off.

If it is a desire you can’t shake, it is meant to be yours.  Prepare yourself on the inside to RECEIVE it…and then to be able to SUSTAIN it. 

If the internal script is a negative one (I’ll never…No one ever…It won’t…) CHANGE it.  No one else can do that for you.

Interestingly, MY lesson learned this week had very little to do with thinking and dreaming big.  It was about being a BIG person on the inside…and it humbled me.  True confessions and the new WOW, coming right up:

May we all summon the STRENGTH inside of us and face this week with courage – with BIG, forgiving hearts that let love win.

x0x0x0x0x

Brenda

 

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A Serious Nudge from the Universe (the WOW for 2.14.16)

I have so many thoughts about our new WOW, let’s just jump right into it.  And please forgive my momentary bursts into song.

It was just that kind of day:

Seriously gang, we’ve gotten the word RISK THREE TIMES since I started pulling a word of the week!

I have to say, too, that I always put the cards back in the bag sort of strategically (around the edges) because truthfully, I like getting NEW words.

So we make plans and God laughs.

And the universe is nudging.

I remember back in the 70’s I was hugely into roller skating. Every Saturday my Dad would drop me off for my beginner lesson followed by a “free skate” matinee.  After the matinee an intermediate-level class was scheduled (They jumped!  And spun!) that I LONGED to go to.  My best friend, Chrissy Johnson was in that class, and on this particular Saturday I was staying through her super-cool kids class so I could go home with her for a sleepover that night.

I sat in one of the benches in the perimeter just WISHING I could be in the class with her.

After a few minutes passed, I got the brilliant idea that if the teachers could only see how Dorothy Hamill-ish I was (on wheels, not blades) they would surely stop everything, roll over to me and invite me to join in.

While those in the rink were practicing their turns and leaps, I began trying to do the same outside of the railing.  I even had the hand movements down, flailing my arms in what I thought were artistic and inspired ways.

Nothing.

So I did a few jumps (a bit loudly) to show I wasn’t afraid of being airborne.

Nada.

I positioned myself right in front of the windowed booth where the “DJ” and management were stationed and did a thrilling demonstration of an arched-back stop, directly blocking their entire view and ending with a head toss and blinding smile in their direction.

All that was missing was a “ta-da!” and wild applause.

As I waited for the inevitable “Where have you BEEN all our lives?” instead it was announced over the loudspeaker that if you were not a student in the intermediate class to please be seated as the perimeter was not intended for performances, which were distracting to the REAL skaters.

Okay, they didn’t say it exactly like that, but I got the point.

By now, how many of you are saying to yourself, “Where the heck is she going with this story?”

Well, I’ll tell ya.

It has occurred to me that much of my life I have been waiting to be DISCOVERED.  Maybe you have, too.

Surely if we perform well enough, some benevolent soul will see what the world has been missing and give us a platform (or rink…or a stage with spotlights..or a raise…or permission to move…or a  – well, fill in the blank for whatever you’ve been longing for).

What has struck me is that this is a very passive (aggressive), but weak approach to getting what you want out of life.

I don’t want OTHER people to hold the power for my destiny.  Why should my sense of happiness and fulfillment be contingent on someone other than me believing in me?!

Instead of the theatrics or exhausting performances (which never got me much, how about you?) perhaps this RISK word is saying, “Um, why don’t YOU just go for what you want out of life?” Or (shockingly) just ask for it!

We fear putting ourselves out there because of the chance of rejection.  But hearing the word no, last time I checked, wasn’t a fatal blow.

Had that nine-year-old girl risked it and just ASKED if she could participate in the class, who knows, they might have let me!

Or, they might have said no because of a very good reason.

Instead, my takeaway was that I just wasn’t good enough.  Because in my little girl mind, had I been good enough they would have made an exception for me.

My 52-year old self knows how ridiculous that sounds. But if I transpose that experience into the  present-day, I consider that some of my takeaways in life have been based on faulty premises; premises born of dancing around my desires because I was too afraid to claim them for my own and head squarely in their direction.

Even with this blogging venture, there has been this little part of me that has thought, “Maybe if Elizabeth Gilbert or Oprah would somehow see and like something I’ve written and share it with their respective 5 billion followers, I can…”

…I can what?

Hmmm…good question!  After a moment’s fear about the answer, here goes:

I can fulfill my dream of encouraging people full-time, writing a book, speaking around the country about life lessons, helping people give themselves a break, make them laugh and in the process bring some joy into their lives.

Yep.  That’s my dream. But I can’t pin my hopes on Liz or Oprah (though hey, ladies, if you’re out there…) riding in on a white Mercedes to make my dreams come true.

Here’s one thing I believe – our dreams are planted in our hearts from the time we are born. They are Divine.  They were never deposited in our hearts to be a thorn or to frustrate us through life.

Your dreams, my dreams – they were meant to bloom.

So I say to all of us this week, don’t abdicate your dreams. Let’s not dance around our life’s vision.

Oh!  And for some of you, please give yourselves permission to HAVE a dream…to want something. Whether it is your health, a husband, a new car or an artistic outlet…let it breathe this week.

Take the risk of admitting what you want. And with risk as our nudging WOW, maybe even ask for it. 

One reader at a time, one day at a time, I’m practicing what I’m preaching.

And I’m cheering you on all the way.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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WOW (Word of the Week) – 11.22.15

With all that I had to learn this past week, you might think that our WOW was still EDUCATION.  Still,  it dovetailed nicely into EXPANSIVENESS; after all, every time you learn, you grow.

Getting back to my story about the series of fires I had to put out last week, aAside from the skill sets I had to acquire (YESTERDAY!), I had to keep stopping to breathe…

…and believe.

I needed to become bigger on the inside to handle all that was going on the outside.

Growth is a process that doesn’t have a fast forward button (unless the circumstances of life propel you to new heights out of necessity.) I felt like a little kid stopping her feet and whining, “Are we THERE yet?”

No amount of whining or worrying will get you (or me) where we need to be.

How I was responding was defining me. Am I a person of faith – or a person of fear?

I was a person gripped with fear MANY times this past week, but self-talked myself off the ledge and back to peace about 327 times.

I wish I could say as I write this that everything has been crossed off my to-do list and successfully completed.  However,  I AM believing that somehow between now and the finish line I will continue to expand, enabling me to rise to the challenge.

Despite the stress, each new thing I learn makes me feel like an Olympian, breaking the tape at the finish line. I have to keep my eye on that prize, hear the imaginary crowd roaring and see my head bowed to receive the medal.

I mean, what’s the alternative? Believing the ship will sink and that I’ll go down with it?

Gee, how comforting.

Instead, I’ve been singing the theme song from Laverne and Shirley to keep me stoked. (We’re gonna make our dre-eems come true.  And we’ll do it our way, yes our way, making our dreams come true…)

Better our dreams than our nightmares.

Which plays well into this week’s WOW…

EXPECTANCY, as I am living it out after having recorded the message, is a two edged sword.

You can dwell on all the negative possibilities and expect Murphy’s law to be in effect.

Or you can have the audacity to get your hopes up and believe for the best.

I discovered the most awesome new word this week: PRONOIA. Definition: Believing the universe is always working on your behalf in every situation. Opposite, of course, of paranoia.

It’s  my new favorite word as we brace for BLESSING this week.

I’m expecting to hear wonderful things from all of you!

HUGS –

Brenda

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WOW (Word of the Week) for 10.4.15

For some of you, things you have been banging your head against the wall about finally broke through.

For others, what seemed impossibly overwhelming just a week ago is now in the “done” pile of your “to do” list.

And my friend’s chance meeting on the beach led to a coffee date and the start of a new friendship.

SYNTHESIS was a WOW that required my trust and faith that “it was all going to work out – and work out for GOOD.”

Sometimes you just don’t know the end from the beginning, but when you look back over your shoulder, how many times have things “come together” just when you needed them to?

Synthesis for some of you (you know who you are) was a thrilling WOW.  For me, the thrills had their share of chills, and as you can tell from this week’s video, I was READY to get off of the rollercoaster.  Not that I’m not grateful for the lessons learned, mind you.  Just ready to move on.

How about you?  OK, here we go!

Ooooooh!  I am really excited about this.  Taking it to heart, I’m starting right now to write out and put sticky notes in front of my face (pictures, too) of what I envision for my life.

Why not grab a cup of coffee and spend some time dreaming and visioning about your own future?  What a cool way to spend some time – and to start creating the life of your dreams!  Oh, and don’t listen to that little voice that wants to talk you out of it.

It’s a liar.

It’s never too late to start your happily ever after.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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