Tag Archives: Ritz-Carlton

Little Things and a BIG Life

My friend Roseann has said for years that it’s the little things, like sharing dinner at the table with her husband, Mike, that make her life rich.

This view of life never resonated with me. For 14 years, I ate by myself on the couch while we each “did our own thing.”

I became the queen of the grand gesture.

The trip to Normandy…the lavish birthday parties…the Tag Heuer watch.

To me, it was a “go big or go home” approach to life.  Little?  Ha!  That’s for losers.

Now that I look through the lens of lessons learned, I see that my grand gestures were desperate attempts to bring meaning and satisfaction to a life lacking in what mattered most.

Tenderness. Connection. Laughter.

My grand (and expensive) strokes were also my stabs and finally doing the great, big thing that would make my life WORK.  

Do you remember when old cars took some work to “turn over” on a cold winter morning?  You’d turn the key and pump the gas; the car gasping for life…

…yes, that’s how I see many of the years in my rear view window.

This is not a post about regret, however!  No, no, no!  This is a post about finally seeing the light!

It’s about really and truly and finally understanding that no external thing could fix something wrong on the INSIDE.

That no grand or lavish gesture can evoke love that isn’t there already.  And that nothing you do can make other people happy if they choose to be miserable.

And most of all, if you are not happy, no one else and nothing else can make your motor run.

Finding peace within my heart and falling in love with ME has changed everything.

I beat this drum with everyone now, and I’m sure it is a bit annoying.

But can you really say that you’ve settled into a full-blown love affair with yourself?

Can you boldly say, “I’m wonderful!”

When you think of yourself, is it with the tenderness that you would offer an innocent baby?

This seismic shift changed everything for me.  It took a trek to Costa Rica and a visit with a shaman to get there, but man was it worth the journey.

Now friends, you don’t have to go to Costa Rica or take a psycho-spiritual journey to get there, but whatever it takes, please get there!

Oh please forgive yourself!  Oh please stop regretting the past!  Oh please…because life is too short to put a band-aid on and we were never meant to be the walking wounded.

How tragic to get to the end of our days (and gee, we don’t know if that will be TOMORROW!) and consider that we wasted it all being unhappy and that unhappiness served NO purpose.

And how tragic to numb ourselves or empty our bank accounts in the attempt to compensate for a broken heart we never forgave.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of picking up Shasta for a play date.  Mark and I wandered around until we ran into an arts and crafts festival.  We meandered hand in hand.  I bought a cheap anklet, we sampled kettle corn and Shasta was loved on by every passerby.

And I said to myself, “What a wonderful world.”

Louie Armstrong, I get it!  Roseann, I get it!

In a lifetime of talk about having an expansive life, I realize just how BIG little is.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE sniffing the air at any Ritz-Carlton.  I plan to visit Greece and publish a few books.  And birthdays?  Puh-leeze!  I love an excuse to party plan!

But those things will all be the icing on a cake that is sweet already.  And I wish the same for you, too.

Here are my closing thoughts on EXPANSIVENESS and a brand-new, never before received Word of the Weeks!

It’s a week to speak up!  (And to listen…)

May these last two weeks of February bring riches to your heart.

Love, love, love –

Brenda

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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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