“I AM” and “SPIRIT” In Sync With One Another #FierceForward

Fierce Forward - I AM and Spirit = Parters

I AM – two of the most powerful words you could ever declare to yourself. This is your declaration, your choice to stand in your power and allow your vision to come to reality/ #FierceForward

SPIRIT – Your truth. Freedom is found when you live you truth and let your spirit live out loud. Do not hide. Do not deny your truth. Do not let her stay quiet. Go forward, fiercely and let your SPIRIT lead the way. #FierceForward

Knowing who we are and being grounded in our truth are at the core of what teaches us to be great leaders and even better human beings.

These bracelets are handmade using African Trade Beads to support women in Africa. They are special because they support a worthy cause and they were an authentic gift from someone whose friendship means a great deal to me.

This post is inspired by The Weekly Photo Challenge themed: Partners: Whether two of a kind, or ten, give us subjects that are in sync with one another – show us partnerships.

Learn more about #FierceForward at fierceforwardforlife.com

Time: Stop, Travel, Escape, Feel, Release | Weekly Photo Challenge


|  How to stop time:  kiss.  |  How to travel in time:  read.  

|  How to escape time:  music.  |  How to feel time:  write.

| How to release time:  breathe.


 MATT HAIG; REASONS TO STAY ALIVE

 How to stop time: Kiss

AKiss

anotherkiss copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to travel in time: Read

A-book_edited-1

READ

 

 

 How to escape time: Music

piano2_edited-1

Dance

Piano2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to feel time: Write

Write_edited-1

   How to release time: Breathe

Breathe copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post was inspired by Lignum Graco who asks us to show him time as part of The Weekly Photo Challenge over at The Daily Post. Please feel free to leave any comments below and thanks for visiting my blog!

Achievement, Accomplishment, Work Ethic and Success

What is achievement really? How do we get it? Where does it come from? Is it an end goal? A process? Does it take work ethic? Does it mean success? Does it make someone “accomplished” ? Find out here: Projects, perspective, insight, success.

272 steps to forgivenessDecember of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy Strategic Management Analysis” which I co-wrote with some exceptionally talented people in my cohort. During that time, the company was experiencing revolutionary change, juggling reputation management issues and more. The CEO had resigned, the company founder, Dick Schulze, had written a letter to the board with intention to buy the company back and run it. The competitive market was rapidly changing, they pulled out of markets in China and the UK and had brought in new CEO, Huber Joly.

Recently, our paper reached 29,000 views in less than two years and we are proud of that. It is an accomplishment and for me, professionally, it highlights the kind of work I am capable of. The in-depth research of this globally expanding company, evaluation of their internal environment and external market conditions was a great learning experience. Read more of this post

Refracting Light Life | Kakie’s Corner

These pictures are from one of our first “free” nights in South East Asia, for the Global Business Systems Executive MBA Global Studies Course, Singaporecourse in the Executive MBA program. This evening four of us opted for dinner on the rooftop in Little India. I heard a calming sound of flapping water, came around the corner and this beautiful scenery, was what I encountered.

This week’s photo challenge asks that we show what “refraction” means to us. Refraction occurs when a ray of light is indirectly deflected by a wave of energy that passes from one medium to another, which causes the illumination to bend and become distorted. For example: water to light, air to glass etc.

I interpret “Refraction” as a metaphor for life. Read more of this post

Quantum Creativity and the Power of Intention

The window of intention

I’ve been thinking about intention lately. How often do we find ourselves slipping into “automatic thinking” ? What does our window of aspiration look like and how do we frame it?

Doing vs. Being | Acting vs. Reacting | Ideal vs. Real |

Intention leads to quantum creativity because for many people, creativity restores order. Some of the most important things that we do in life come from our creativity, which invokes possibilities of new beginnings.

The human condition causes individuals to make flawed assumptions that people do not change. But those of us have done deep self-exploration, know that we get to make a choice to be even better today than the day before.

I am not who I was five or ten years ago because of my curiosity and creativity. They have shown me the excitement to learn and grow that exists around each corner. The good news is that this world is full of random variables that can help us reach and exceed our potential every day, and we have the privilege of being able to share that with others.

Intention – Creativity – Restoration

Thanks for visiting my blog, feel free to leave a comment! Below are some quotes about intention, enjoy!_

Read more of this post

Out in the Cold, But No Thin Ice Here – Twinkle Lights

Out in the cold, but not on thin ice - Twinkle Lights

 

I took this picture in Rice Park at the 2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival on January 31st and the temperature was well below zero. There was a live band outside that evening complete with an ice bar and ice sculptures. We didn’t stay long, but we did get some great pictures.

The lights are so beautiful and remind me of a quote by Brené Brown from her book called “The Gifts of Imperfection.” A while back I posted one of her TED Talks videos that went viral about the power of vulnerability. In the book; The Gifts of Imperfection; Brené writes;

I think the beauty of twinkle lights is a perfect metaphor for joy. Read more of this post

Thought Leadership on Community

DSC00299Imagine this: Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, neighborhood, family, colleagues — are guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

If you are reading this post, that means you are part of my community. I have long held a belief that somehow, I am supposed to make differences that ripples out, affecting a lot of people, in positive ways. So hopefully something in this will resonate for you.

In Latin, the word Communitatum was a noun that meant “fellowship” and the word Unitatum meant “oneness, sameness or agreement.”  From that, the word Community is derived; Fellowship in agreement, which means different things to different people.

In life we have a choice to go down many roads two of which could include judgement or compassion.  Read more of this post

Being Authentically You – The Best Job in the World

It feels like I have had my head down for nearly 30 months while pursuing my MBA. Graduation is just around the corner, putting me into a reflective mode of excitement and gratitude, while leaving me to wonder where my “road to awesome” is headed. Regardless of the destination, I am optimistic because my faith that there is more has never failed.

Introspection got me thinking, if I could have any job in the world, it would the one Robbie, a.k.a. “Kid President” from Soul Pancake has. He started a movement when the video “Pep Talk” (below) emerged a while back. This little man is giving motivational speeches, telling people how amazing they are, that nobody is perfect, we are all more alike than different, encouraging participation and reminding us that we are all on the same team.   I love the re-enforcer that we can all make things better for one another if we just look around and recognize because it all starts with just one person. When we give, we get.

Sowing seeds of wonder and hope? Sounds pretty good to me. I told them a great campaign slogan would be: “Kid President – Restoring Wonder in the World.” I really hope they use it because we all could use a little more marvel and awe in our lives.

Enjoy the video and then come back and tell me: How will you go out and make the world more awesome? Start by just being authentic because I believe that is what makes us our very best.

Please comment below and thanks for joining the conversation.

Read more of this post

The Road….

Unconditional Love

There are people who will say Valentines Day is a novelty, but I think it’s an opportunity to reflect, create a memory or perform a random act of kindness, because sometimes even the smallest gesture can go a long way.

My mom never forgets a Valentines Day. Last night she came over with the tulips you see in the background of the picture, made dinner and then did some religion homework with my son.

She gave me the red heart ornament in the picture years ago on a February 14th. It says “Kakie” and on the back Love, Mom.  Time has worn the ink from changing the oil in the decanter.

The faded letters on the ornament and the flowers are both signals for me. One, a gentle reminder about being present, new life, spring and what lies ahead. The other is to pause, step back, appreciate those around me and celebrate the journey. We didn’t get here alone and couldn’t have accomplished all that has been without others. Look how far we’ve come. For many of us it can seem quite remarkable.

Life puts gifts at our feet which we don’t recognize at first. Sometimes we stumble over them or we get in our own way. It’s okay because we are all flawed and I think there is beauty in that. Somehow we always manage to get back up, brush ourselves off and move ahead.

We are exactly where we are meant to be at any given moment and we have all of the tools we need. Today, give yourself permission to slow down, take a deep breath, find gratitude and share it with someone.

I would love to hear stories about small gestures that meant a great deal to you  Share them below and thanks for stopping by. Happy Valentines Day.

Four Simple Ways to Be More Grateful

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  – Melody Beattie

 Want to know benefits to living thankfully?

A Psychology Today article called; “The Benefits of Being Thankful,” explains focusing on gratitude promotes well-being, motivating pro-social  and moral behavior.

Psychologists asked a group of people to spend just a few minutes a day for 13 days in a row thinking about and listing the things for which they were thankful. Compared to other control participants, these gratitude-focused folks experienced:

  •         Higher optimism
  •         Increased positive mood
  •         Greater feelings of belonging
  •         Less physical illness
  •         Lower levels of negativity
  •         Higher likelihood to be of service to others in need
  •         More likely to exercise (Suggesting gratitude promotes healthy living.)
  •         Improved and better quality sleep
The list above doesn’t even cover how gratefulness improves relationships,  enriches the emotional climate of family life, makes us more valued within the workplace and lays the foundation for a life well lived. Isn’t that exciting? Are you looking for ways to be more grateful? Below are a few things to take into consideration.

Stuck in Spin: Stopping the Glorification of ‘Busy’

There are times I find myself off in my own personal “never-never” land. It is a place I refer to as “stuck in spin” and it’s where many of us wander off to once in a while. The first time I came up with the name for it was when my son was in second grade. I had just picked him up from school and as I drove down the road my brain was in full self-chatter mode. Something brought me back into the moment when I realized that he was sharing the exciting things like what he learned in school, what they played in the gym, who made him laugh, etc. I thought:   Am I going to blink and miss my son’s childhood because I was not paying attention? This time is going so fast.  

I could say I wrote the book when it comes to being busy, but then again, couldn’t we all? Me: Full time Executive MBA Student in a one parent household who has been working as a contract project manager off and on for the past few years to diversify my resume. I have wondered about my future and this process of reinvention all while being the Cub Scout and soccer mom, Catechist, the blogger, MBA candidate, writer, author, speaker, job seeker and social media marketing consultant and strategist.

I recently found a quote on Pinterest that said; “Stop the Glorification of ‘Busy‘ ,” which came to me through Robyn Flach. Robyn is a person I know through the social media community here in the Twin Cities. The quote got me wondering how to get out of my “stuck in spin” space when it happens?

At the end of the day, we all have a lot going on as we create our futures. While that is exciting, what really counts is that we are of service to others and fully present for the people in our lives, including ourselves. I talked with a good friend about this and he shared something he pulled from storage in his garage. Notes from a seminar he attended with renowned psychologist, John Selby many years ago. I closed my eyes and my compadre read each statement below three times.

  1. I choose to enjoy this moment
  2. I feel the air flowing in and out of my nose
  3. I also feel the movement in my chest and belly as I breathe
  4. I am aware of my whole body at once, here, in this present moment

That’s it. I don’t have to say all four of them every time, but I can practice. All I have to do is 1. say it 2. do it. Any place, any time.  I can even do it with family and friends to model the behavior because when we teach, we learn. After completing this meditation, I felt centered, present and whole. It is a choice, but also takes practice. One of my favorite quotes of all time:

What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences.” -Earnie Larsen

Please share below, what helps you get grounded and in the moment? How do you work to stay fully present in the lives of those around you? Thanks for joining the conversation!

Transparency And The Journey To Truth

Transparency, it’s an interesting concept. How much about ourselves and our lives should we share online, in public, with another human being and as leaders?

The truth is there is no answer because it is a decision we must seek individually. The most important person in the world that we ought to be transparent with, is ourselves.

Recently I found myself re-watching the movie; “Eat, Pray, Love,”  based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert and there is a quote in the movie that rings true for all of us.

It discusses how the Physics of the Quest is a force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity and it goes something like this:

If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.

So what are your thoughts and feelings about transparency online? I really want to hear from you so please, share below what this means for you and let’s talk!

Day 19: Centering, Possibility and Discovery? Right Here.

When was the last time you did one of these? 

  • Looked up and remembered – with intention, to slow down
  • Sought out someone in need and took time to celebrate them, with them
  • Turned to a friend or family member and simply said: “Whats on your mind?”
  • Gave yourself permission to take a break and have a little fun
  • Bought a cup of coffee for someone in line behind you
  • Accidentally” dropped a $5 bill in front of a kid at the store and said; “Say, that’s not mine, looks like you dropped something there.”

Lift your head and scan the environment, what patterns do you see? Pay attention and listen, because we all need reminders that this life is about making connections. We never get anywhere without others and when we surround ourselves with a supportive community, they help bring us back to our center. It is the essence of positive karma.

I was recently told about a book by Thomas Crum called; “Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out Life.” I can’t wait to read it! The premise behind the book, as Crum states,  is as follows:

“Science has shown us that there are three “C’s” of a stress resistant immune system:

  1. A sense of CONTROL over your response to life events
  2. A sense of COMMITMENT to something beyond your ego (i.e., family, service, religion, or life philosophy).
  3. A sense of CHALLENGE and learning opportunity when confronted with a stressor.

The Three Deep Breaths technique is a mind-body process which allows us to achieve the three C’s while balancing our autonomic nervous system through the breath.

Breath # 1: The Centering Breath
Breath in the present moment, with balance and energy

Breath # 2: The Possibility Breath
Breath in the “me I want to be” with power and purpose

Breath # 3: The Discovery Breath
Breath in the mystery, let go of judgment

The Centering Breath gives us the calm and balance we need to respond appropriately rather than react negatively in stressful situations. The Possibility Breath reminds us of a purpose higher than our egos. And the Discovery Breath turns a stressful situation into a crucial learning opportunity.”

As another resource to stay grounded, I created a board  on Pinterest called “Meditation” Enjoy it and pay it forward by sharing it with someone who could use a lift today.

Please comment below. What are some interesting things you or those you do to refocus and feel centred?

Four things I am grateful for today

  1. Meditation
  2. Validation and support systems who remind me I am centered, strong and resilient
  3. That children are teachers who center me, remind me about possibilities and the wonder of discovery
  4. My optimism and ability to re-frame possibilities

Day 4: Climbing the Mountain Takes Time, But Pay Off is at the Top

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for: 

Courage is the ability to do the right thing, all the time, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it might be”                                                 -Tony Dungy

My mother is one of the most resilient and bravest people I have ever known. She was a single mom during a time when women were not allowed to have checking accounts or credit. We lived in the suburbs and were the only “divorced” family on the block. At the age of 30 she was raising 3 kids all under the age of 7 and I can not begin to imagine what that must have been like.

I remember the feeling of distress when the car broke down and work was a 30 minute drive away. And the tears when her wallet, with all of the money for bills that month, was stolen at a grocery store. She surrounded herself with a community of people who were very supportive.  One year, a family from that group brought us a Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve because they knew we could not afford one.  There were blessings everywhere and despite the misfortune, we always managed to get what we needed. During that challenging time she went back to college and eventually became a registered nurse working in hospice.

So here is my point. It was hard, and overwhelming at times, but she always got back on her feet with dignity.

Her example demonstrated that if she made it through that adversity, there is no obstacle I can’t overcome. In the midst of my search for employment, I have a lot to be thankful for. I am grateful for the gifts that experience taught. It gave me a strong work ethic and  instilled in me the values of education, faith, community, building strong relationships and so much more.

Fast forward to the present. I am about half way through the Executive MBA program at The University of St. Thomas and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am blessed to surround myself with a support system of positive people I trust who give me energy and encouragement. The evolution of acquiring knowledge and learning is hard, fun, exciting, exhausting and challenging, but that is why they call it an education, it isn’t supposed to be easy. Life continues to remind me that delayed gratification works and is far more rewarding.

The groundwork I am laying is making me a better leader every day and pay off is just around the corner because when I graduate, I will have gifts no one can take from me. Integrity, faith, accomplishment, education, wisdom, stronger work ethic so much more. But the most priceless are the values that are being passed on to my son because my passion for learning and growing are showing him I live what I believe. That is my legacy, to leave something behind that will last forever. My thoughts feelings and actions are aligned with my values, principles and goals.

I am proactively adding new tools to my toolbox with the excitement of bringing them to the next adventure. I am building authentic relationships with Professors and 25 amazing people who are in my cohort as I shape my future. We don’t get anywhere by ourselves and community has been and continues to be a resource, teacher, healer and a friend. It doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me.

Four things I am grateful for today:

  1. That the process of reinventing myself has been an invigorating journey
  2. My education and commitment to life long learning and growth
  3. The people who have provided insight and direction with me throughout my career through their mentoring. People like Doug Lennick, Patty Moren, Debbie Magnuson, Priscilla FarisBarb Adams-JohnsonJohn WetzelBarb HendersonBuckley Brinkman, Paul Debettignies, Gary Stinnett, Scott Hyland, JoAnne Pastel, Tom Endersbe,  Marilyn Corrigan, Bonnie Bielen, Katherine Johnson, Jack Militello and so many more.
  4. My mom, who is simply amazing
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