- 1st October
- 19th August
- 11th July
Starting a business is scary. I have been more scared over the past 9 months than I have ever been in my entire life. But Jon and I took a risk and launched our gourmet ice cream business.
I had lunch with a friend today and talked to her about the fears we’ve faced and continue to face on a constant basis and she sent me a clipping from an article that appeared in the July issue of Success magazine. It was exactly what I needed to read today.
Beating the Bear
Sometimes, even taking the time to look within can be scary. And ultimately, doing something, as she say, “that feels really delicious,” and making a decision to change our life in a way that fulfills our purpose, arouses a good deal of fear.
"Fear actually is not an emotion to which you should pay a lot of attention," Beck says. "Fear is an automatic response of a very basic part of the brain, and in most people, it’s highly active, even when we’re sitting in a completely peaceful spot. We scare ourselves with stories like ‘I’ll never be able to make it in this rarefied field,’ ‘I can’t quit a steady job; it’s irresponsible for me to give up this paycheck and health benefits.’"
Then Beck quotes Buddha: “Just as we can know the ocean because it always tastes of salt, we can recognize enlightenment because it always tastes of freedom.”
She relates this idea to the effort we make at discovering our purpose and then finding the courage to see it through.
"The question is not, ‘Am I afraid to do this?’" she says. "The questions is, ‘Does the thought of doing this bring me more freedom?’" Freedom is often frightening. But it’s not suffocating and soul-killing.
- 3rd July
I am currently reading "You’ve Got to Read This Book! 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Life," which was recommended by John and Ryan of the Miles2Give crew that I met last week.
I simply can’t put it down. Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Gay Hendricks, a self-actualization pioneer, invited notable people to share personal stories of books that changed their lives. Each chapter highlights a new story and a new book.
I read a lot, so it’s hard to pinpoint one book that has changed my life. I think collectively books have shaped who I am. If I had to choose one, I’d choose "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed, a collection of her Dear Sugar columns. Within this work, there are so many moments of raw truth. It pierced me through the heart on several occasions and changed the way I view myself and relationships.
Reading "You’ve Got to Read This Book!" has provided me with a new list of must-reads that will have an impact on me. It has also made me curious about people I know and the books that have impacted them. Here’s what some of my friends had to say:
Andie- "The Power of Self Coaching: The 5 Essential Steps to Creating the Life you Want"
Traci- "Still Life with Woodpecker" by Tom Robbins- changed how I looked at life and love.
Monica- "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" taught me a lot about discrimination and human nature when i read it at 9 years old; "A Wrinkle in Time" made science magical to me and yet strangely applicable; and "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin taught me some things about being an independent-minded woman when I was in high school.
Michelle- "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi changed how I did business and taught me the importance of building a strong professional network.
Theresa- "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach is a collection of 1-2 page essays, one for each day of the year. Each lesson is to help you live more authentically and learn to appreciate the life you have.
Heather J- "Advanced Basic." I got it in 7th grade, and it made me want to work with computers.
Derek- Vocational books temporarily change my life. After "Airport" by Arthur Hailey, I wanted to be an airport administrator. After "All the President’s Men" by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, I wanted to be a journalist. Oddly enough, taking time to read "HTML for Dummies" in 1996 probably opened more doors for me than any other book I’ve read.
Erin- "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian Weiss, MD. I read it just over a year ago and have since examined every single event in my life- big or small- as an opportunity to learn, grow and love more deeply. It has made me realize there are lessons in everything.
John K- "Information Anxiety" by Richard Saul Wurman completely upended the way I look at organizing and presenting just about everything. Completely rocked my communication world.
Randy R- "Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions," and "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose"
Randy C- "Stroke of Insight" by Jill Botle Taylor gave me a better understanding of how the mind works and how to work the mind. "The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande helped me improve efficiency through checklists and I ask if checklists are used before agreeing to medical procedures.
Kari- "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. It even moved my husband.
Stacey- "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian Weiss, MD. I am reading it now and it has had my brain swirling with thoughts, questions, ideas and insight.
Scott- "Dragons of Eden" by Carl Sagan. I read this book in high school just for kicks and the connections it made between human mythologies, sociology, and the science of the brain blew my adolescent mind. This whetted my appetite for discovering more in these fields outside of what I was getting in my regular coursework.
John S- "The 5000 Year Leap: The 28 Great Ideas That Are Changing the World" by W. Cleon Skousen must be understood and perpetuated by every person who desires peace, prosperity, and freedom. The American Revolution was different from any other in the world and this book helps to describe why.
Robert- "How to be Rich" by JP Getty. The book describes his values and approach to problem solving. He was so different and so far ahead of the curve. He would be considered an innovative and progressive leader in today’s society. He also spoke about his concerns for our future. The one that stands out to me is every few years, there are more and more “educated barbarians.” They only care about basics like reading, writing, math, etc, but have not appreciate for culture and no imagination or sense of wonder.
Jessica- "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. I read it every couple of years. As for how, that would be a laundry list, but in general it helps me to unload baggage.
Heather S- "Journey of Souls" by Dr. Michael Newton. Absolutely changed the way I view the world, my role on the blue marble, and how I conduct my life.
Lindsey- "Diet for a New America" by John Robbins was the final straw to changing what I eat, and I’ve never felt better about it. It also made me take a second look at my career and decide it wasn’t the right path for me anymore.
Tessa- "The Women’s Room" by Marilyn French fueled my early feminism.
Joe- "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. It was very eye opening to learn about the destructive influence of shame. A must read.
Alec- "Baron of the Trees" by Italo Calvine helped me realize there is no such thing as normal.
Rochele- "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. I read it at 16 and it showed me that the world changes and always stays the same.
Steve- "The Bible," specifically the books of John and Romans
Drew- "Crush It" by Gary Vaynerchuk got my passion for social media started.
Ken- "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard is about fate, free will, how we know things and the limits of knowledge. Big abstract ideas. "I Heard the Owl Call My Name" by Margaret Craven is super short and simple but so full of thoughts on life, death, love, and kindness.
Kristin- "Ender’s Game" by Orson Scott introduced me to science fiction, a prevalent love in my life.
Carrie- "Time Enough for Drums" by Ann Rinaldi is a book I read in 4th grade and it got me interested in reading at a time of transition when I had no friends. It helped me create a world for myself as well as develop a love of history, as well as for reading and life-long learning.
Mike- "Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All" by Russell Simmons. Spoiler Alert- It’s not about money.
Beth Ann- "The Bible" drastically changed my life. When I was a kid my mom made me start reading The Babysitters Club books. Those hooked me into reading. Then I read "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that book and have read it many many times.
Looks like I have a lot of books to add to my list. I’d love to hear your life-changing book.
- 12th June
- 16th April
- 23rd March
A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon with my friend Andy at Evolve Spa to have some Hollywood Glamour shots done. We’ve been talking about doing it for a long time, and our schedules finally aligned. Prior to the big day, I reviewed some websites for inspiration. Andy has been working on perfecting this style of photo for several months, drawing inspiration from George Hurrell, a photographer who basically invented the Hollywood Glamour shot. Andy has grown comfortable with the style and is launching a new segment of his business to offer these types of shots to the public.
Here’s how it worked:
I reviewed the websites and chose a few styles I liked. Andy’s project coordinator, Suzy, sent the shots to the folks at Evolve for inspiration. She also talked me through clothing choices to maximize the look. I chose a plain black dress, so the focus could remain on hair and makeup. The day of the shoot, I showed up at Evolve with clean hair and face. The stylists were wonderful. The hair portion took about an hour as she rolled my hair up hot rollers, then I went for makeup. I don’t wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, so this was a new experience for me. They even airbrushed the foundation and eyebrows on! After makeup, I went back to hair to be styled. She removed the rollers, teased me up and applied a ton of hairspray. I changed clothes and headed to the studio Andy had set up in another room. The shoot took only 20 minutes, and Andy walked me through all the poses and coached me through facial expressions. The entire process took 2.5 hours.
Andy turned the photos around in less than 24 hours and I was astounded. What a wonderful transformation. What a fun experience.
If you want to see more samples of Andy’s work or schedule a session, check out his website.
- 25th February
I can hear the collective gasps from many of my friends. Bear with me. I am currently reading “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura. I picked it up in the Kindle store for $1.99, so I thought I’d check it out.
Dr. Laura contends that the feminist movement has done nothing but destroy marriages by empowering women to “have it all” at the expense of their families. I know. It seems extreme- it’s counter-intuitive.
Can we have it all? A successful career, various volunteer roles and activities, AND a fulfilling marriage? We’ve been taught to believe we can.
Dr. Laura also argues that the feminist movement, in pursuit of having it all, has created a generation of self-centered, selfish, and sometimes downright mean women who treat their husbands like crap and don’t appreciate them.
I have to admit that this was hard to read. Just as many of her female callers fight back when she makes these claims, I felt a wave of resistance sweeping over me. How dare she! I should be able to have it all. That’s what I’ve been taught since I was a little girl. I could do anything I wanted to do. I can be anything I want to be. I can have anything I want to have.
So I worked hard to fight back my internal resistance. I read. I listened. I absorbed. And, staring into the mirror, knowing full well my own marriage has seen rocky times, I had to ask myself, were the feminists wrong?
How many times have I made my husband feel less important than my job, my volunteer roles, my extracurricular activities? More times than I can count.
What are your thoughts?
- 31st December
As I explained in last year’s Resolutions post, I am one of “those.” I make resolutions each year… sometimes they roll over year after year and sometimes new ones roll on. I still believe the acts of self reflection and goal setting are successes in themselves.
Looking back on last year’s resolutions, I went about 50/50.
I did read more. My goal was 2-3 books per month and I came in at 2.75 per month. Here’s the full list- 33 books in all.
Sadly, I didn’t learn to knit. I met with Ashley once to learn, but never followed through- this one is staying on the list this year.
I did go the gym regularly, though not 4-5 times per week. I averaged 3 times per week, but I did become a runner this year, logging 154 miles.
My 4th resolution last year was to be more aware… of myself and others. I struggled with this one, but I think I managed to do better than I have in the past.
Number five was a biggie- Focus on my priorities. I stepped away from a few volunteer roles and a few freelance opportunities in order to focus on those things that really matter to me, but I still have work to do here.
And lastly, be a better wife. I made strides in improving my communication, but I still have a long way to go in becoming a better partner.
1- Read more: specifically 4-5 books per month, 48-60 books total. This will require less TV time and a more concentrated effort to fill down time with reading. If you have book suggestions, send them my way!
2- Learn to knit. I can do it this year. I know I can.
3- Keep focusing on running, which includes training for and running the Indy Mini. I have signed up, so now I just need to push myself to keep training. I’d also like to hit 430 miles next year. If I run at least 3 miles, 3 times per week, every week for a year, I can hit this goal!
4- Be more aware… of myself and of others. I’m keeping this one on the list because it needs constant attention.
5- Focus on my priorities. This one stays too. I am still doing too much. I’d rather do a few things really well than many things just so-so. And until I get my next resolution right, this one needs to stay.
6- Be a better wife. I am still too defensive. I am still too selfish. I have lots of work to do on communication. I am taking it one day at a time.
Happy New Year, friends. I’d love to hear about your resolutions!
- 21st December
In all things, Amber, always and forever, simply wish the best for all involved, without stating what you think that is. And then, whatever does happen, no matter what happens, know that it was.
All the best,