Sunday, August 30, 2009

Us or Them

You're either one of us or one of them.

Here's a true story that happened to me.

Erin, Bill and I went to breakfast at IHOP in Orlando. The restaurant was attached to the hotel we were staying in. We love IHOP in Chicago. They pride themselves on quick, efficient service and brilliant waitstaff.

I knew we were in trouble when no one was there to seat us. We waited a few minutes and then just went and took a table. The waitress brought menus and it was downhill after that. We noticed that the waitstaff was delivering one plate at a time to tables. Hmmmm, why? Oh well, I ordered crepes and eggs. Erin asked for silverware. Apparently in their world a table of four only needed two sets of silverware.

Billy said "don't be one of them".

The eggs were over cooked (I like over easy). The crepes had bananas on them. I just wanted nutella crepes. I told the waitress they were wrong. AND SHE ARGUED WITH ME!

Billy whispered "don't be one of them".

The waitress went and got the menu and pointed to another crepe item and said "that's how we make them." Instead of taking the bait, I said I didn't want the ones with bananas, just take them away. Then she got syrupy nice and said "we can make them however you want."

Billy whispered "don't be one of them".

Five trips to our table later (remember, one plate at time) - we all had our food. Erin, however still had not received silverware. Her voice got loud and the people around us were looking. Some of them didn't have silverware either.

Billy looked and me and said "watch how she becomes one of them. Her voice will get high, she'll get up and make sure she's noticed and she will get her own silverware. She'll become one of them."

Exactly ten seconds later - Erin became one of them. She stood up, cleared her throat and declared "I'll just get my own damn silverware". Erin stormed over to the silverware buckets and made as much noise as possible and got her own silverware, and some for the lady at the table next to us. She returned and said "now I can eat". People clapped.

Billy said "you're being one of them."

Finally we both asked Billy "WHAT IS IT WITH THE YOU'RE BEING ONE OF THEM?"

Billy gently explained that we have all worked in the service industry. We know when we see bad service. We also know that sometimes people just have a bad day. Or that maybe there's a back story to this situation. What if our waitress is a little slow (as in stupid)? Maybe that's her brother cooking and he begged the owner to just give her a job, he's tired of supporting her. Maybe she has some kind of disease that makes her stupid. He also explained that us people look at all sides of a situation and are more considerate and caring.

I made a decision, right there in that IHOP, that that day - I WAS ONE OF THEM. That day. I was unwilling to budge that day. I wanted my nutella crepes and good service. Period.

Now, however - I look at who I'm being. Am I being one of us or one of them? Am I being the kind person I want to be or am I being the super bitch I'm not? I've found that sometimes I need to be a little bitchier and it's not easy for me. I remind myself that I deserve what I accept, so why would I accept something that is not what I want? If I need to speak a little louder, stomp my foot or insist on it - then I'm going to do that.

I'll be one of them - once and awhile.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Poverty Consciousness

This incredible house was featured in WIRED ma...Image by jonrawlinson via Flickr

Poverty consciousness. You hear that a lot these days. So what does it mean?

Do you live your life with the idea that you will never have enough money? With the 'if only' and 'I can't' and 'I wish'? If only I could have that. I can't do that. I wish I had the money for that. How do you see yourself?

Have you built an image in your head of a successful person? What does that image look like?

Here's what mine used to look like:
I am making $100,000 a year. I drive a new car. I wear nice clothes. I work from home. My house has 4 bedrooms and I live on the ocean.

Here's what it looks like now:
I work from my 4 bedroom, ocean front home most days. In the morning I sit on my veranda and make phone calls to new possible clients. I eat a healthy lunch and do a little reading. In the afternoon I give presentations on my laptop, usually at the beach in the back of my house. I drive a smart car and trade it in every 2 years - I love the smell of a new car! I have a Ford150 truck as well - brand new. I shop online through my Melaleuca marketplace at Kohls, Sears, JC Penneys and the Gap. I love to go shopping on my year European vacations as well. I also visit my teams abroad and stay in five star hotels. I don't have a job - I have a lifestyle that generates an income beyond my wildest dreams.

Do you see the difference? The first one limited my belief system to $100,000 income and was pretty generic. In poverty consciousness you are run by the thoughts of lack and poverty. People tend to make as much money as those around them - those that they hang out with. If you make more than that, you feel guilty. There's nothing to feel guilty about - that's poverty consciousness trying to hold you down. Start hanging out with the people who motivate you, who earn the kind of income you want to earn.

In the end, what you think you receive. Think bigger, be bigger.

What are your poverty consciousness thoughts? What can you think instead?

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Secret Meeting

'CoverCover of Every Friday

Today I had a secret meeting.

Every Friday from 1 to 3 pm I do a series on How to Green Your Home. It's conducted at The Computer Guy's store in Hampton, Iowa (my local community). I advertise it in the Franklin County News Today, on Facebook and Twitter and word of mouth. We started it last week.

Last Friday I had one person attend.

Today, I had a secret meeting. No one showed up.

Am I upset? Nope. Why not?

It's the way things work. Most advertisements have to be seen 7 times before people REALLY see it. I'm doing my job. I use facebook and twitter to help promote the series - and I post more than once. I advertise in the local free paper (I'm the editor) too. I'm working on writing several articles to peak people's interest and get them here.

I also left my house today. I talk to more people when I leave my house. I spoke to two people at the chamber office, made an appointment for Monday with a local business and will go the Farmer's Market when I leave here.

In the network marketing business, those who talk to the most people, win.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lion Sleeps

First Senate campaign.Image via Wikipedia

For all those whose cares have been our concern,

the work goes on,

the cause endures,

the hope still lives,

and the dream shall never die.

Edward M. Kennedy

(visit - I took all of this from her - and her blog rocks! I'm pretty sure she won't mind a bit.)
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Going Green Has Never Been Easier

Cover of "The Safe Shopper's Bible: A Con...Cover via Amazon

Green event this Friday, live with Deb Brown.
Here are the details (keep reading, lots of good info here also):

1 TO 3 pm

The Computer Guy Store

115 First Ave NW - Hampton, Iowa

Big screen tv, volume set so you can hear, information you won’t find anywhere else.

You can get your home green—and easier than you think. Start with the products you use to clean. Learn how—and learn how to do so without breaking the bank. No new spending - you already spend this money on products currently in your home.

Bring a friend, have some fun, learn a lot. Come on over to The Computer Guy Store in Hampton (right across from City Hall) at 1 on Friday.

Your attendance would be great appreciated—and I look forward to meeting many of you as well! Feel free to call for more info 641-458-1114 or 641-580-0103. Feel free to forward this email to friends or family - who do you know that needs safer products in their home? Can't make it? Give me a call and we will get this information to you online.


The EPA reports toxic chemicals in our home cleaning and personal care products are 3 times more likely to cause cancer than outside pollutants.

The EPA warns toxic chemicals in household cleaners cause women working at home to have a 55% HIGHER cancer risk than women working outside the home.

The California Public Research Group warns Phenol, which is used in most household disinfectants, can cause cancer, deactivate the sensory nerve endings, damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.

The Mayo clinic warns Formaldehyde (trade name: Quaternium 15) in our household and personal care products can cause headaches, depression, joint pain, chronic fatigue, ear infections, and loss of sleep. Formaldehyde is a neurotoxin and carcinogen.


: Quaternium 15: Formaldehyde-Carcinogen. Causes cancer, dermatitis, neurotoxic, sensitizer-poisonous, and irritant to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Butylated Hydroxytluene, (BHT) Carcinogen.

JOHNSON’S BABY SHAMPOO: Quaternium 15: FD&C RED 40: Formaldehyde-Carcinogen, and causes dermatitis.

CREST TARTER CONTROL TOOTHPASTE: Saccharin: Carcinogen contains Phenol Fluoride: Carcinogen if you accidentally swallow more than a pea-sized amount of this, you must contact the Poison Control Center immediately! This warning does NOT appear on the tube.

TIDE & CHEER DETERGENT: Detergent: Can cause temporary respiratory tract irritation. Symptoms include stinging, swelling or redness. Sodium Sulfate: Can be corrosive. Can cause burns to the eyes and tissue damage to the skin, as well as cause burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach if swallowed. Sodium Sulfate: Can be corrosive. Severe eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Can cause asthma attacks. Trisodium Nitrilotriacetate Carcinogen:

CLOROX BLEACH: Sodium Hypochlorite: Corrosive. Can be fatal if swallowed. Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Especially hazardous to people with heart conditions or asthma.

CASCADE: Sodium Hypoclorite: Can be corrosive. Can cause burns to the eyes and tissue damage to the skin, as well as cause burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach if swallowed.

FANTASTIC, FORMULA 409: Butyl Cello Solve: Neurotoxic: Eye and skin irritant. Damages central nervous system, kidney and liver. Readily absorbed through the skin. Damages blood and body’s ability to make blood.

WINDEX AEROSOL GLASS CLEANER: Butyl Cello Solve (See above) Neurotoxic.

LYSOL DISINFECTANT: Dioxin; Carcinogen. 500,000 times more deadly than DDT. Ethyl Alcohol: Eye, skin, respiratory tract irritant.

Details on the above date are available in The Safe Shopper’s Bible” by Dr. Samuel Epstein, MD & David Steinman. Macmillan, 1995. Lysol data from “the Environmental Health Newsletter.”

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pictures for a Saturday

my cat, Twin. He never comes out when people are around. Except for Kev and me.
Tomatoes in the kitchen window turning, pretty flowers outside

one of the flowers in my garden

look close, there's a crane there

looking inside the tree

onions in my garden (and weeds)

pink lilly at Judy's house

poppies - aren't they pretty?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Running the gap

Dog running on the wet sand during an ultra-lo...Image by mikebaird via Flickr

Imagine what you want. In life. For your business. At your home. In your family.

Now imagine where you are in life. In your business. In your home. In your family life.

Is there a big gap between the two? For most people, the answer is yes.

Find ways to close that gap. Things you can do to achieve what it is you want.

Do those things -- that is called running the gap.

Need an example? Okay. I want to add 5 new customers to my business this week, and 16 in total by the end of September. I am at zero. What can I do to run that gap? I can go through my chicken list (people you are scared to call) and call them. I can go through the business cards I've collected and call them. I can call my current customers and ask for referrals. That's running the gap.

I want to work with small businesses and show them additional ways to create revenue. Now they would be customers AND business builders. How can I get them to see what it is I do? I need to give them something they need. I'm pretty good at teaching people how to use facebook and twitter. I am also a big supporter of continuing education.

I called Iowa Valley Continuing Education and offered to design and teach a series of classes for small businesses. They were thrilled and I have just opened up my business to local small business. Not only will they learn facebook and twitter, they will also find another way to add money into their business. What small business wouldn't want that? I'm running the gap.

Now, when 2 p.m. rolls around and I think it might be nice to take a nap on the couch - I just think about what I want. I am running the gap - what are you doing?
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pain Is Inevitable

'CoverCover of Pain Is Inevitable, Misery Is Optional

I had the honor of listening to a keynote speaker, Hyrum Smith - cofounder of Franklin Covey, at our Melaleuca Convention. If you've not heard of him, I suggest you get on the ball and do your due diligence. Mr. Smith gave a high energy, no nonsense, we can change the world presentation. I'm going to hit a few of the highlights in this post.

The basic principles that help a human being become more productive have not changed in 6,000 years. Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. Anyone can be smart. Can just anyone have wisdom?

There are three emotions that motivate us at any given time.
1. Fear (I have to do this)
2. Duty (I ought to do this)
3. Love (I want to do this)
Which emotion are you operating under?

Read the book The Journey From Fear To Love by Laurie Cameron.

Governing Values
Benjamin Franklin wrote 13 values that governed his life when he was 20. Mr. Smith also believes you need to know and live your values. It's important to know what your values are. Then you can take a look at your life, see where you are, and begin to bring your life into alignment with your values.

Imagine you are one side of the Grand Canyon and there's a huge I beam to the other side. What would you walk over that I beam for? That's a value. Take the time to create a list of your own governing values, your own personal constitution. Spend 3 to 5 hours on it. Mental toughness is critical. Pain is inevitable, misery is optional.

Character is the ability to carry out a worthy decision long after the emotion of making that decision has passed. In other words, do what you said you were going to do. Be your word.

Hold your hands up in the air about a foot apart. The right hand is what you want. The left hand is where you are. As you do what you said you were going to do, your left hand gets closer to the right hand. You've got to RUN ON THE GAP. Close that gap, be consistent, be your word. You'll be amazed at the things that will happen your life.

Learn how to forgive. Forgiveness requires remembering then deciding it doesn't matter anymore - so you can move on.
Read Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley

Seven Habits
In case you were wondering -- the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are:
1. be proactive
2. begin with the end in mind
3. put first things first
4. think win/win
5. seek first to understand, then to be understood
6. synergize
7. sharpen the saw

Choose to improve your life instead of react to circumstances. Where do you want to be? Decide and work backwards from there. What's important right now? Help someone else and in turn help yourself. Listen, then speak. Develop trust and work together to build a team. Create a balance by always working on yourself.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Losing my religion for equality

Jimmy Carter on bicycle.Image via Wikipedia

I came across the following article on a Neal Donald Walsh email newsletter. I believe this point of view needs to spread about.

Losing My Religion for Equality by Jimmy Carter

July 15, 2009

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices -- as we are seeing in Iran, where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy -- and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasize the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place -- and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence -- than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions -- all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.
(Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.)
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do You Need a Sign?

Advertising on Times Square, New York CityImage via Wikipedia

Of course you do. Even the smart folks at the Small Business Administration (SBA) think so. They call your retail identification sign a silent salesman, advertising your business day and night.

But what if you have a home-based business out in the country, or feel that people are driving to the big box store down the street because, after all, their sign is more visible?

The SBA has the statistics that show how adding one more on-premise sign increases sales:

On average, one additional on-premise sign resulted in an increase in annual sales revenues of 4.75%. This translates to a $23,750 increase in average sales revenues for a typical store in the study group with annual sales of $500,000.

What if you added a second, or even third, sign to entice new and existing customers? Does that seem over-the-top extravagant?

The statistics above show that it’s not at all extravagant, but you may be restrained by your town’s sign ordinances, or your landlord’s lease restrictions, and are only allowed a single sign.

The good news is that signs come in all sizes and shapes, and for budgets both big and small. Some signs are even portable.

Here are three (plus one extra) simple marketing opportunities you may have never considered where signs will bring your business added visibility like that described by the SBA:

1. Sponsorship banners for events. Ask your church, civic or school organization to purchase or trade banners where all of the sponsors’ names are listed (and you are a sponsor at one of these events, right?). Hang the banner where it will be most visible to people attending.

2. Travel in style with magnetic signs on your car doors. People are curious and love to see what you’re advertising. . .on your car! Buy a pair and as you do your daily driving routine, you’ll be branding and marketing your business. When you’re not CEO of your business, the magnetics go into storage.

3. Window graphics. For a retail location, this can be part of your merchandising efforts. Perhaps quarterly, or every other month, you can change out the text and images on your windows so that they match your current season, special events, or sales effort. Think about using photographic images and attractive fonts that set you apart from your competition.

As you gain customers, ask them how they heard about you, and don’t be surprised if they say, “It was your sign.” Signs have advertising and branding power, and they don’t have to be terribly expensive. Go ahead and check out which one of these three suggestions works best for your business.

P.S. Before I forget, the fourth sign idea for you to consider is vinyl floor graphics. Graphics that go on a window can also be installed on your store floor, or the sidewalk leading up to your entrance. Perhaps a half dozen or so attractive shapes with a timely message may draw the attention your business deserves. Good luck!

This guest post was written by Paula A. Diaco, the owner of SignARama of Vermont. She and her business partner husband, Bob, opened their store in 1994 and have helped many small business owners brand, publicize, and market their businesses.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You're creating everything. What's your story?

A feng shui spiral at LA Chinatown's Metro sta...Image via Wikipedia

One of the principles of Feng Shui is that everything is connected ….and the Law of Attraction tells us we create our own reality.

If you wanted proof, quantum physicists have now proved the observer changes what is observed. Which means the very act of you observing something changes it and you’re creating what you see in your ‘reality’. You’re creating a whole world to fit your own story in every moment. And as part of this planet, your story is likely based on an illusion of limitation, scarcity, fear and all kinds of beliefs about how things are.

Now you may think this is woo woo, but when quantum physicists are telling us they have proven the observer changes what is observed - maybe it’s not so woo woo after all. This is by the way, the reason for double blind studies - they know researchers can easily skew results just by observing their subjects.

Given the mid life crisis the world is going through, looking at things from another perspective will help you navigate through the planet’s changes and your own too.

Acknowleging this connection gives you way to work with the parts of yourself that cause you distress. Others are a reflection of you because you are creating them. Without your judgements, irritation, dislike, hatred even, you might never know such stresses existed within yourself - which means you’d be at their effect and nothing would ever change.

For example: Think about money.

How do you feel about someone who has more money than you?
Do you judge them in some way? Even just a little bit? This person represents part of you but they don’t fit your picture of how things ’should’ be for you so you judge them for caring more about money than people, or flaunting their money, or being out of integrity, or for having more than their share, or whatever your story might be about what people with money do.

Meanwhile apart from the stress these judgements cause, you’re sending out mixed messages to the Universe - asking to attract more money perhaps or asking for the means to buy a house or pay your mortgage, while rejecting those people (who are a reflection of part of you, remember) who do have money coming their way more easily. So you sabbotage your prosperity by rejecting that potentially prosperous part of yourself.

Taking note of the discomfort you feel gives you an awareness of the energy you’re sending out towards those who are more prosperous. Without that you might never know what blocks mo’ney coming your way.

Another example: when someone doesn’t keep their commitment to you, perhaps doesn’t pay you on time or doesn’t do what they said they would. They too are a reflection of you.

Time to take a look at where you’re not keeping your commitments. Where do you not show up as you say you will - perhaps not showing up to the gym as you said you would?? Where are you not showing up for yourself, or keeping a commitment to others? Look hard, there will be something you can clean up to get that energy flowing more freely.

Taking note of where you judge others gives you the opportunity to empower yourself. When you accept responsiblity for what you’re creating out there - rather than beating yourself up - you have the opportunity to choose to step into your power. Just thnk about how amazing it is that you created all these people, everything you see around you - it’s sort of mind blowing when you think of it. And this is a reflection of your consciousness - your default mode.

If you were powerful enough to create everything to appear so real, just think what you could create with a shift in consciousness and intention. Your new default mode would automatically create a different picture.

Just take this on for a moment. You created me writing this for you to read! You’ve created every person, interraction, relationship. Everything that comes your way. And I’ve created you to be reading this in my world. I’ve created you either resonating with this or thinking I’m being very woo woo.

It’s worth playing with this to see how it fits.

I find this incredibly empowering. Change does not come from what you’re doing. It comes from who you’re being. What you’re experiencing in your life is a reflection of who you’re being now and the stories you believe.

You can do, do, do all you like. But if you’re still in your limiting, scarcity, lack mode - you might as well just take the day/week/month off and stop trying to push things.

Take a look at what people in your life are reflecting back to you - your partner, your friends, people in the supermarket, your bank manager, your clients, the IRS or Revenue Canada even. You’ve created them to teach you something. Now - what can you learn about yourself from your judgements, and where would you like to make some tweaks in YOUR story?

C2009 Vicky White; reprinted with permission. Vicky White is a Certified
Feng Shui Consultant and Raw Food Coach who uses Inner Feng Shui to support
women in accessing and leveraging their unique brilliance to live creative,
passionate and inspiring lives. Get Vicky White's FREE report, The 5
Biggest Attraction Mistakes at:
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Monday, August 10, 2009

20 Questions

Description unavailableImage by Cengiz.uskuplu(On-Off) via Flickr

I receive Brave New Traveler in my email. They had a link to 20 Questions for Every Spiritual Seeker - and I thought that would be a great read.

It is - it's also a great exercise to set a benchmark on where you are in your spiritual journey.

I am going to answer the questions next. At the bottom of the page is the instructions on how you can do the same. Do me a favor - please comment and leave your post for all of us to read as well!

20 Questions For Every Spiritual Seeker

1. Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?
Its always a choice we are given. Free will and all that. Contrast is necessary so that one can determine what it is they don't want. That covers the poverty part of it. As far as suffering, I'm still searching for that answer. The answer feels close to me - like I've almost got it. There's surely an answer that makes sense. I just haven't grasped it yet. Talk to me in ten years about that.

2. What is the relationship between science and religion?
Depends on your definition of religion. If you are talking about religion as a group of people that do the whole group thing - they tend to chase science away. Religion defines science as something that changes - the definition is different as we age. Religion pretends to know everything and science is just a fluke.

Now, if you define religion as a form of spiritual belief in something greater than yourself - that religion and science go hand in hand. Science is a field in which the answers can change and it's okay. So is religion in that description.

3. Why are so many people depressed?
Because they choose to be. It works for them on some level. It allows them the opportunity to get the attention they need. They choose to look at the world one way and one way only, never realizing how you look at something determines how that something is for you.

4. What are we all so afraid of?
Hmmmm ... don't put me in that category. Fear nothing.

5. When is war justifiable?
I've not been able to justify killing another human being.

6. How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?
With love. With reason. With compassion.

7. How does one obtain true peace?
One imagines it. One 'see's it. One becomes it.

8. What does it mean to live in the present moment?
Think about what you are doing this very moment. If you are washing dishes, feel the hot water and the soap on your hands. Marvel at the beauty of the dish you are washing.

9. What is our greatest distraction?
For me, thinking ahead. I tend to be in my head somewhere in the future and miss what is going on right now.

10. Is current religion serving its purpose?
For me it is. I belong to a small rural church and it brings me into conversation and communion with my friends and neighbors. RELIGION in the world however is another story. Strong rules and regulations just isn't the way I see God communing with his people.

11. What happens to you after you die?
Heaven, reunited with those who've gone on before you. I don't think our physical bodies reunite. I think our souls all become one again.

12. Describe heaven and how to get there.
I think we all go there - it's like a big stream of consciousness and all points of view are necessary to make sense.

13. What is the meaning of life?
To love and share love and be love.

14. Describe God.
We are all God. God is the great stream of love that runs through, around, in, over and under us all.

15. What is the greatest quality humans possess?
The ability to love one another.

16. What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?
We choose not to. We refuse to step into our greatness out of fear.

17. Nonverbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.
(I move my hand like a wave)

18. What is your one wish for the world?
That we learn to love one another.

19. What is wisdom and how do we gain it?
You live life and listen to what people are talking about. Then hear their hearts.

20. Are we all one?
Most assuredly.

Instructions for you:

Copy and paste the questions below into a blank document or blog post. Answer each question with as much detail as you like, then publish your answers on your personal blog.

Leave a comment below with a link to your post.

20 Questions For Every Spiritual Seeker
1. Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?
2. What is the relationship between science and religion?
3. Why are so many people depressed?
4. What are we all so afraid of?
5. When is war justifiable?
6. How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?
7. How does one obtain true peace?
8. What does it mean to live in the present moment?
9. What is our greatest distraction?
10. Is current religion serving its purpose?
11. What happens to you after you die?
12. Describe heaven and how to get there.
13. What is the meaning of life?
14. Describe God.
15. What is the greatest quality humans possess?
16. What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?
17. Noverbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.
18. What is your one wish for the world?
19. What is wisdom and how do we gain it?
20. Are we all one?

The Year I Discovered How Clutter Blocks Success

guest blog post by Christine Kane

I looked at my phone in horror.

"You want me to what?" I said into it.

"It's time, Christine. You've been talking about that basement for weeks now. It's time to deal with it."

I had been working with my coach for months at this point. And even though I had reached certain levels of success in my career, I kept getting stuck in the same old ruts. I was about to record my fourth CD, and I was ready to move to a higher level.

Thom was doing what good coaches do: listening carefully, seeing clearly - and of course, pushing me to take conscious action.

So, he encouraged me to start small and completely clear out the junk
in my basement. Thirty minutes a day.

One section at a time. Building momentum as I went.

Each week, during our call, I'd report back on my progress.

Each week, I had a new reason why I simply could not let go of some clutter-y item.

"But I spent so much on it!" "I might need it someday!" "I could gain weight and need this again." "I paid such a good price for it!"

To my credit, I did pretty well at letting go once Thom talked me through these old mindsets.

Then came the week I had to face one particularly significant section of the basement.

It was where I stored various pieces of furniture I had gotten at the Salvation Army and at local flea markets when I first began my songwriting career. A bookcase, a kitchen table, a dresser, and a few shelves. I no longer liked or used this furniture because my tastes totally changed. I had begun to cherish beauty and opulence in my surroundings. I wanted to fill my home only with items that I loved.

"So, Christine," Thom asked. "Why don't you want to let these things go?"

I was embarrassed. But I told him the truth. "Well, here's the thing. If my music career doesn't work out, I might need them one day. If I fail, and I don't have any money, I might wish I had kept these things."

Long pause.

"So, you'll be on the street - but at least you'll have that bookcase?"

I laughed.

Thom sighed. And what he said next has been a core lesson of creating my success and happiness.

He said that everything in our lives has energy. Everything has our thoughts and emotions embedded into it. Old furniture is no exception. In essence, what I was saying to the universe and to my subconscious, creative self was this:

I believe so deeply in my own failure that I'm holding onto physical things that represent that possibility. Every time I walk by these items in my basement, I will be reminded of my inevitable failure. Every moment I'm in my house, my subconscious will know that in the very foundation of my life (my basement), there are items that prove I don't believe in my own success.

That week, I called Goodwill, and scheduled an appointment to have the old furniture taken away.

I'd love to report that I smiled and waved as the old clunky furniture was carried away. But the truth is I was terrified. I was letting go of my Plan B. I was saying to the Universe: "I thoroughly believe in my own success."

I had never done that before in such a concrete way!

As I wrote earlier, I began recording my fourth CD "Rain & Mud & Wild & Green" as I was clearing out the basement. That CD went on to sell five times more than any of my other CD's. It received rave reviews. Border's Books featured it on a listening post that year, and named it the top CD of the year in my category.

Now, even though I know this success wasn't ONLY about letting go of my old flea market furniture, I have become a firm believer that we each need to pay attention to the energy of the stuff that surrounds us. We need to pay attention to what we are telling our subconscious minds when we hold on.

Now you.

What are you holding onto? What thoughts and beliefs are you putting out into the Universe by clinging to it? Are you telling yourself you don't believe in the inevitability of your own success and prosperity? Or that you don't believe you can expand and create better things in your life?

Pick one thing - just one small thing - and let it go. Today!


Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

This is Deb - I hope you read this post all the way through. It's an amazing lesson!

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Saturday, August 8, 2009


Sitting on a rooftop bar, watching the sun set.
Peace, be still.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Me, Invisible

Alberich puts on the Tarnhelm and vanishes; il...Image via Wikipedia

I've been thinking.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you are trying to tell them something. All they keep doing is one upping you. Here's an example.

Me - I am going to Atlantic City! To the ocean!

Them - Wow, I went there once. I went to Vegas it was a whole lot more fun. Did I tell you about my cat? She's needs this surgery and its all my husband's fault. blah blah blah

This has been happening to me a lot lately. I feel invisible in the conversation. It's not really a conversation. It's a one sided presentation.

I believe we teach people how to treat us. That would also mean we teach people how to talk to us. Complete strangers tell me their problems. You need to know something? Let me go talk to that person - I'll find out their life story. All it takes is a few well placed questions - and a good ear to listen.

If I've created the way this person is talking to me, then do have any room to complain? No, not really. I've set up a relationship where I am the listener, the problem solver. The other person is the complainer, the person with a problem. It has worked for me to be seen as the one who can fix anything.

It's not working anymore.

I'm not paying attention to the things I need to work on. I had found a way to avoid my own problems by being the person who could solve everyone else's problems.

The thing is, I also made myself invisible in the process. That used to work for me. It doesn't anymore.

I'm on vacation this week and taking a relaxing look at where I'm going. The first thing I'm going to be doing is flying MY flag higher! Got any other suggestions for me?

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Using A Mind Movie in Your Network Marketing Business

Open mindImage by edmittance via Flickr

If you have been in network marketing for any length of time, you have probably seen and heard about mind movies. But what exactly is a mind movie? The easiest and most concise way to describe a mind movie is a short video of pictures and text designed to explain in detail a future event.

There are several types of mind movies as well. For example, I have one mind movie which includes, pictures, text and music and positive I am declarations of what I plan to be in the
future but the expressions are written in the present as if I am already doing and have already accomplished those things. I also have another one, which focuses exclusively on travel and includes pictures and text about all of the places I plan to visit when I am financially free and have the time to travel the world thanks to my network marketing business. It is also possible to create mind movies for other aspects of your life and business as well, such as one on
health, one on self-development, one on family, one on work etc.

So now that you understand what a mind movie is, how do I use them in my network marketing business and how can you use them in your business as well?

1. I create the movies and then I share them with others. I include posting them on Youtube, sending them out as a tweet on Twitter, posting them on Facebook and posting them on my websites and blogs as a part of my routine. This allows my friends and followers as well as my visitors to see what I am planning for my future and to imagine themselves as a part of it.

2. I create a new mind movie every once in a while so that I can keep my goals and dreams fresh and also since I am changing, my mind movies will change.

3. I watch my mind movies on a regular basis so that I can remember what I am focused on achieving. This also helps me when I have having a bad day or I feel like I have lost focus or motivation with my business to have my mind movie in my head to get me back on track.

In summary mind movies are a great way to take your business goals and I am statements and turn them into real activities and to make them real for you and for anyone else who may be thinking about coming along for the ride with you and your business.

AnnaLaura Brown is an online network marketer who uses the internet to build relationships and market her business. You can learn more about her, contact her and subscribe to her free newsletter at
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On Vacation

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26:  The Energizer Bunny b...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The last time I was gone for two weeks was a trip to Greece in 2000. I've been working for myself now for six years. When I do go away, my laptop and work files go with me. I am a workshifter. I work where I am.

Now I'm taking a vacation. I'm going to Atlantic City with my hubby, sister in law and niece. We are staying right on the water. Hubby will be playing poker. Sister in law will be doing her thing at the casinos. My niece and I will be at the beach. She's 11. I'm not. Should really be fun. Of course hubby and I will have dinner together, spend some well needed time alone together. Five days. Minimum email checking, 1/2 hour of twitter each day, no blog writing, no Debworks writing. I may enroll a couple of new clients (can't help myself).

Then I'm headed to the Jersey Shore to hang out with my friend Lisa. We will laugh, walk the shoreline, read books, drink wine and do whatever we want to do. Four days of serious relaxation. I will check my email. Nothing else online.

Then it's off to Orlando Florida. Two days of Epcot, Sea World and one day of pool. Four days of Melaleuca Annual Convention. I will be unplugged for one week. No email. No computer.

Preparation taken prior to trip:
1. blog posts written and post dated, guest blog posts as well
2. Set vacation response on email
3. Informed clients I will be out of town
4. Planned the trip in August when a lot of Americans are on vacation

What I will do when on vacation:
1. Admit I really am on vacation.
2. Read: Conversations with Richard Bandler, The Best Year of Your Life - for starters.
3. Spend a lot of time by the water. It soothes my soul.
4. Play. In the water with my niece. At Epcot and Sea World.
5. Reconnect. With hubby. With Melaleucans. With myself.

Can I disconnect? Will I miss out on a lot? Two weeks is a long time to be away from my business.

Working on yourself is almost important as working on your business. If you are not comfortable with who you are, how are your clients going to be comfortable with you?

This little energizer bunny needs to recharge her batteries. Being by the ocean, playing and reading -- that recharges me.

Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them. ...Debbie Ford
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Two Important Lessons from Plants

William Woodville: „Medical botany“, London, J...Image via Wikipedia

My bubba buddy, Robert reminds me it's the beginning of the month. This is when a group of us write a blog post on What I Learned From ... This month, the topic is What I Learned From the Plant World.

1. Garlic scapes are some of the best food grown in the garden. You can't really buy them in the store, you have to grow them in the garden. I've been cutting the tops of my garlic plants all summer and adding them to food. They are not as strong as garlic, but just as good. My favorite? Put them in foil, add a little olive oil, barbeque on the grill - and eat. Here's a recipe for garlic scapes pesto.

I learn patience from my garlic scapes. You have to plant the bulbs in the fall, wait all winter and watch them grow in spring and summer. We're talking half a year of waiting!

2. It usually rains when you don't want it too. This summer, it's rained a lot. I'm on vacation this week and the first day out - it rained. So instead of running around here and there and playing on the beach and being in crazy mind for vacation -- I took a nap. A great, stretched out over the bed laying in the breeze Oh My God kind of nap. That nap set the pace for this much needed vacation. It slowed me down. Way down. Made me breath deep. Take a moment for myself nap.

How's that tied into the plant world? Plants need the rain and are not on the same schedule we are. They don't set their growing schedule, God does. Their schedule works for them. God made a plan for plants and pretty consistently year after year they follow it. They have to have the help of others though -- rain, sun, warm air. Plants are teaching me to create a schedule that works for me. Part of that schedule is consistent down time - it's necessary for growth. The rain made that possible for me yesterday.

Patience and planning -- two very important elements to a successful business. Wouldn't you say?

Here's the link to Robert's site, just in case you might want to join the group writing project.

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The Top Ten Mistakes Solo-preneurs Make In Business

The entrepreneurial spirit runs wild in us creative types.

Whether web designer, artist, or coach - the possibility of freedom and self-generated income is so appealing!

However, many get quickly burnt-out and disillusioned on this path. That's because no one teaches us how to have a business AND be creative all at once. It's quite a challenge!

So, from my very own Been-There-Done-That files, here are the Top 10 Mistakes Solo-preneurs Make in Business...

1 - Not scheduling Vision-Time.

If you don't take time away from your business for visioning and thinking, it's easy to become a reactor, not a creator.

A business is dynamic and organic. (So are you!) Shape and create your business by taking time out for planning and visioning your desires and new directions.

2 - Too much Vision Time!

Some people are forever analyzing and planning, afraid of doing the wrong thing or of failure. At some point, you must take action. Just know that failure is only failure if you give up!

3 - Waiting for rescue.

Book deals. Hit records. Getting on Oprah. A huge IPO.

Hey, great things can and DO happen all the time in life. However, waiting for something to "sweep you away" is a surefire path to frustration.

Having a business is an on-going relationship. It can be remarkable! But like any relationship, it requires attention and action. Hoping for rescue is a sign that you're afraid of the potential of your own power!

4 - Living in the "Field of Dreams."

Remember these amazing words?

"If you build it, they will come."

Really? I can do that, and everything else will be taken care of?

Well, sort of. There IS truth in that famous line.

But too often, people think it means, "All I have to do is put up my sign - and the world will rush to my door."

This can lead to disillusionment. That's because "building it" is not a one-time thing!

Here's another way to look at it:

"If you build it they will come. But if you build it and market it, they'll pay you!"

5 - Making problems a problem.

Donald Trump advises something that contradicts every positive thinking tenet out there. He says to expect problems.

Yes, even if you're a mindset junkie!

Glitches, hiccups, snafus. Hey, they happen. (Like the manufacturers printing my CD booklet wrong!) Too often, we let problems paralyze us, and steal our time and emotions. Successful people expect "problems," and always put their focus on finding the solution!

6 - Taking numbers personally.

Much of business is a numbers game. Sometimes the numbers are low. Sometimes they're high!

Numbers are just numbers. They are not the Universe's way of telling you that you should give up and get a job at The Gap!

7 - Waiting to "feel like it."

Creative types often don't market themselves until they "feel like it." Which - let's face it - is never!

Marketing works best as a system. Robert Middleton says, "Marketing is not only about being known, it's about not being forgotten." In other words, learn how to market so you won't have to dread it!

(If you don't know how or what to market, then you definitely need to be on my teleseminar on July 29th!)

8 - Reactive Business-ing.

Is this you?

Every now and then, you realize you have no clients. You panic. You go on a marketing/cold-calling binge. You fill your schedule. And for months, you can barely breathe, let alone hire someone or continue marketing.

Sure enough, it shifts. The projects end. The clients are gone. Suddenly, your calendar is empty. The cycle begins again.

I call this Reactive Businessing. It is one of the unhealthiest habits out there. Set an intention to create a new pattern.

9 - Status-before-Spotlight Thinking.

All too often, we wait to "deserve" the spotlight. We hope for enough status, letters after our names, or training before we'll make the slightest move toward a bigger opportunity.
News Flash: No amount of outside status can create worthiness. Success happens when we take chances and play bigger, regardless of outside status.

10 - Not investing in yourself.

Every successful entrepreneur invests time and money in herself and her business. She attends workshops and teleseminars. She hires coaches.

Too many of us go it alone. This leads to limited thinking, isolation, and burn out.

When an opportunity arrives, don't ask: "How much does it cost to do this?" Ask instead: "How much will it cost me NOT to do this?" This simple question has changed my life!

This guest post was written by Christine Kane. Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at
The picture is the actual field of dreams -- I do live in Iowa! ....Deb