Week 16 – Seeking Kindness

Lots going on this week.  I’m trying not to get overwhelmed with everything going on.  Some exciting and some is just work!

This week, our main task was to notice kindness all around us.  As hard as it can be at times, I think it is a valuable effort to put forth to notice kindness.  Anyone who has had times of depression, especially “light” bouts, knows how dark and cold the world can seem.  The dark winter months especially seem to exacerbate this, but I know when I have been in those dark places mentally, I am very ME focused.  Searching for kindness in the world around you forces you to look beyond yourself and see kindness, a true demonstration of the love within, in ourselves and others.

Seeing these kindnesses can renew our faith in humanity.  I’ve observed small and big acts of kindness all over the world.  Whether it was a Muslim lady asking if she could take a photo of my daughter and I in front of the local mosque she was walking around or the French lady who let us borrow her phone to call our hotel or the Mexican young man who gave up his bus seat for us, people everywhere are often EAGER to show kindness to a friendly face.

I used to be nicknamed “Smiley” by a couple who used to shop at the grocery store I worked at while in high school.  A smile is my default response when making eye contact with someone.  I’m not overly friendly, but showing small acts of kindness tends to come naturally.

This week, noticing small acts of kindness has been nice and much easier than finding courage last week.  One of the events that demonstrated it the most was my weekly networking meeting on Wednesday morning.  It’s the same group I gave a presentation to that I mentioned back in Week 12.   As we do every week, we closed by sharing who we did business with in the group and the last woman that spoke, started by saying how grateful she was for MY presentation 4 weeks ago…and then she started to tear up.

I’ve never experienced someone having that type of reaction to things I have said.  Another woman commented that she’s “still not over your presentation”.  And another woman said she just loved listening to what I said and would PAY to hear me speak.

BLOWN. AWAY.

It is a very humbling feeling to hear someone validate what you’ve had in your heart for a long time.  It’s been maybe 10 years or so that I first thought how neat it would be to do public speaking on a decent scale.  I had no idea how it would come to be (and, honestly, I still have NO idea).  Recognition for Creative Expression is one of the Pivotal Personal Needs I chose at the beginning of this journey and I almost changed it this week because I wasn’t sure if it resonated fully with me.  The events of this week, however, are confirming that I made the right choice.

A mental block that has, perhaps, been holding me back came out during our Tribe call this week.  A fellow MKE journeyer mentioned the idea of being held up on a pedestal and that struck a negative chord within me immediately.  Being in that kind of position is on the verge of revolting to me because of how I’ve seen others seek it, desire it and do whatever it takes, even slandering their own children, to maintain that status.  I want nothing to do with that.

But another journeyer talked about reframing that idea…becoming an Expert that simply helps people accomplish what I can help them accomplish.  Putting on that kind of title is much easier for me to swallow.  Even a Guide or a Leader is less intimidating than the idea of being on a pedestal.  I spoke with my husband about this and he reminded me that I’m just not that kind of person.  I’m a bit too real, too transparent, too willing to share more of the rawness of life to become one of those pedestal seekers.

So in the midst of a week of seeking kindness in others, so much kindness was given to me.  And I’m grateful.  Very grateful.

Week 15: Finding Courage and Insight

I didn’t think I would be able to write my post today.  Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling symptoms of the flu and by dinner time, they were hitting me hard.  I crawled into bed after eating and fell asleep before 10pm, which for me, is highly unusual.  I stayed in bed all day today except for a brief time where I ate lunch around 2:30pm.  I’m thankful to be feeling a bit more normal right now, so I thought I should take advantage of it to write this week’s post.

This week, we had to put a list of positive character traits in order of which ones we need the most improvement.  For me, I chose to put Courage as my first one.  The funny thing about my choosing Courage is that, about 6 months ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they could write one word that described me and someone chose Courage.  I suppose some of the crazy travel adventures our family has been on may seem like courageous to others, and indeed some of them definitely DID take courage, but it is not a trait I feel like I exude often.

The exercise continues by asking us to take note of any examples of our word (ie. courage) throughout the day and mark them down in our workbook.  My being sick and the weather being very cold for us here in Florida has dampened my opportunities to see courage, but I have noticed some. 🙂  Mark said we can identify our words because we already have them in us.  By noticing these traits in the world around us, we will increase the trait in ourselves.  I’m thinking I will continue to seek courage in the next week because this week seems like it has been cut short.

As part of our Master Key System readings, we’re supposed to focus on insight.  I’ve been struggling a bit with what that means, as the readings seem a bit vague or foggy.  My Macbook Air’s Dictionary says that insight is the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing”.  I’m not sure what we’re supposed to gain from thinking about gaining this type of understanding except that it is part of the whole process.  Maybe that is the “insight” I am supposed to glean. 

An Unexpectedly AMAZING Movie: Mully

As part of our MKE homework over the Christmas break, we were asked to watch one of several movies and look for four habits of persistence: the DMP (definite major purpose), PMA (positive mental attitude), POA (plan of action), and the MMA (mastermind alliance).

The movie I initially chose was Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon.  I have enjoyed her in other movies, so I figured I would pick this one.  The other options were Cool Runnings, Rudy, October Sky, A Good Lie, Door to Door and Mully.  I’d seen the first 4, couldn’t find Door to Door, and skimmed over Mully.

That was a very poor decision because I did not like Wild at all.  It is rated ‘R’ and I knew it wasn’t suitable for young children, but I did NOT expect the nudity and graphic scenes in the film.  Those kinds of things immediately turn me off, and usually cause me to turn the MOVIE off, but I kept watching, hoping I could find what I was supposed to see in the film.  I lost interest and ended up paying very little attention and not “getting” the point of the film.  Honestly, I wish I could get my money and time back!

So, tonight our family watched Mully.  It is rated PG, so I felt reasonably comfortable letting our kids watch it.  (There were a couple scenes of violence that I’m glad our youngest wasn’t in the room when they came on.  It was news footage of the violence in Kenya several years ago.)  The film was about this man, Charles Mully, who overcame traumatic abandonment by his family as a young child, then living on the streets, and becoming an amazingly successful businessman, but the story doesn’t end there.

His first clear DMP (Definite Major Purpose) in life came after visiting a church and he went from being a beggar on the streets to finding work.  He rose in the ranks of his job, eventually setting aside money to start his own taxi business.  His mindset changed from one of desperation to one of hope and soon, he had a virtual Mully empire encompassing not only taxis, but real estate, tires, auto repair and eventually became the major oil and gas provider for all of western Kenya.

And then, an encounter with some young men living on the streets brought him literally to his knees and a new DMP took shape.  He saw himself in those men and went home that night (to his wife and 8 children) to tell them he planned to sell everything and never work for money again.  He knew he needed to help the thousands of orphaned children living in Kenya, even if he didn’t know HOW.

His POA (Plan of Action) was to take simple steps and bring home a few children at a time, removing them from the dangerous lives they had on the streets.  The fascinating thing about this film is that Charles Mully and his family were all interviewed and shared their experiences.  I liked that the family was very honest about how hard it was, how they thought their dad was crazy and that they felt like their dad was pushing them away when he sent several children off to boarding school so he could care for these orphans.

The MMA (MasterMind Alliance) Charles has with his wife surely was one full of challenges, but also amazing support.  She supported him even when others told her she should leave her husband, when their finances were so strained that they did not know how they would provide food for the hundreds of children they cared for, and also when things began to turn around.

Throughout the story, his PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) shines like a beacon in the darkness.  His love for these children seems to know no bounds.  Through many small POA steps taken over many years, Charles Mully turned a dry, barren piece of land he’d bought to retire on into a thriving farm (even creating its own microclimate due to the trees planted!!!) and home where over 12,000 children have been rehabilitated and rescued from extreme poverty.

My husband said it might be his favorite movie ever.  I love that this man, Charles Mully, is taking care of his own people…empowering the orphans of Kenya (who now call him Daddy Mully) to do amazing things.  His DMP has played out in such a dramatic way, impacting not only his life and the life of his family (several of his children married children their father rescued), but the families of those children who once slept in the dark, unforgiving streets of Kenya.  You can learn more about him and this organization he founded at https://mcfus.org.

I know I am not doing justice to this awesome film, so you’re just going to have to watch it.  The powerful interviews of some of the children will make you want to snuggle your kids a bit tighter and then do some soul-searching to find out how YOU can impact the world in a deep and powerful way.  Yes.  It was THAT good.

Week 14 – Triggers

This past week, we spent much of it traveling and spending time with extended family.  As Mark J predicted, there were many triggers that came up and tried to derail me, pulling me back into my old ways of thinking.

Triggers are simply hot buttons that get under your skin…like chiggers, but human. 😉   They can be little behaviors that you would label as a “pet peeve” or unsolicited comments from others or conversations that take an unwelcome turn towards gossip.

Being around extended family really is like the perfect storm for triggers.

Thankfully, I have always been able to shut out annoyances pretty quickly after they happen.  I’m not someone who dwells or lets these types of things percolate in my mind for very long.

Once we were home, though, I found myself stuck in a repeating cycle of negative thought.  It wasn’t even always thoughts, but just a constant state of frustration.  Little things were getting under my skin…the clutter on the counter from unpacking groceries and “stuff” that doesn’t really have a place…the kids’ stocking gifts left scattered on the floor…the upstairs closet being almost impossible to get into.  I’m not even sure why I was in this state except that I know my mind does not tolerate clutter like it used to.

I closed out the night by listening to Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret in the World.  It’s pretty easy to hear where Mark J got a lot of his inspiration for the MKE course.  I enjoyed hearing the concepts in a concise manner, reinforcing everything I have been learning.

We’ve been so busy that watching the movie has just NOT happened.  There was no way to watch at my in-laws house OR at the hotel on the way back due to poor internet.  Last night, we were just tired and I wound up trying to organize our upstairs “junk” closet.  It is hard to reintroduce tv watching when I’ve pretty much cut it out of my life completely, barring one show per week.  Maybe we’ll get to watch one tomorrow night. 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting back on track, starting today, and also looking forward to reading Scroll 4 in The Greatest Salesman in the World.  But most of all, in 2018, I am looking forward to breaking free of the mindset issues that have been frustrating me so that I can more confidently say, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy!”

Week 13 – Active Gratefulness

I’ve not much to say this week.  It has been busy preparing for spending the holidays outside of our home and all that entails with 6 kids and 2 cats. 🙂

The main focus for this week has definitely been gratefulness.  I like flipping through my growing stack of index cards that we’ve written, detailing positive accomplishments in my life.  Some of them are trivial fun like riding the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cup ride at Disney World with my son, but the memory is anything BUT trivial.  It was a quick moment in time of pure joy the two of us shared.  There are other more profound moments remembering giving to others in need or marrying my wonderful husband.

These cards, I know, are powerful tools that I will do my best to remember to use when my mind wanders down the path of despair.  It is such an easy path to find and wander down deeply before realizing it.  I’m getting better, though, at noticing those detours.

I have taken some more time this week to brainstorm and think about my upcoming course that I’m creating for Tapas for Life.  I look forward to developing those thoughts into more solid materials.

Week 12 – A Glimpse of My Future Self

This week has been full of a very HIGH high and an almost 2 day migraine low.  The low was a direct result of the high and the accompanying high level of adrenaline coursing through my body Tuesday and Wednesday.  As I go through the process of healing my adrenal glands, periods of stress taxes them and if I overdo it, sometimes it can cause an adrenal crash.

I saw the crash coming and, looking back now, I could have done several things to prevent it.  First, I should not have expected it to happen, but I should have forecasted a great day after my intense day and brought the good day into existence.  Secondly, I could have prepared my body better by taking a little more vitamin C and some coconut water to help balance the work my adrenal glands were doing.  Thirdly, I could have been more diligent with my mental diet, taking control of my thoughts and putting into practice the Law of Substitution in order to focus more on positive thoughts.  My personal prayer is that all these steps become second nature and I am free from adrenal fatigue crashes forever!

Now, the high of my week was VERY high and quite unexpected.  Months ago, I signed up to do a presentation at my Women Empowering Business networking meeting on Wednesday, December 13th.  In that group, I am generally known as the SendOutCards lady.   Every meeting, I share a little about the service and how it can benefit others.  Leading up to my presentation, I kept feeling like I did NOT want to present aboutSendOutCards.  I couldn’t come up with a good idea of how or what to present, but when Sunday came, I knew I had to speak about something different.

I honestly don’t know the number of times I considered reaching out to the group’s organizer to tell her I wasn’t going to be able to attend the meeting, but I didn’t want to let her down and leave her in a pinch.

Monday afternoon and evening, I worked on a little brochure to hand out to the women and, inside it, I created a mind map (using Coggle.it which was AWESOME and free!) detailing multiple streams of income that most of the women there could leverage to build their business/brand in 2018.  It included lots of topics I’m very familiar with like creating and selling physical products, affiliate or referral marketing, and leveraging your expertise through coaching, courses and writing and publishing a book or magazine…and it even looked a bit like streams. 🙂

By Tuesday night, I had rehearsed ONCE at about 11pm.  Before bed, I decided to jot down a few ideas of books specific women in the group could write, based on my knowledge of their businesses.  I dreamt about the presentation twice that night.  That morning, Wednesday, I woke up with horrible butterflies.  I almost cancelled, but pressed on.  I had the idea of bringing index cards for everyone to write down ways they are AWESOME on them.  I also brought some gourmet brownies from SendOutCards because I always have to bring goodies.

I was thankful that the meeting was not full.  I went through my presentation in the time allotted, including sharing some book ideas with the ladies I’d written down the night before.  I told them they should use the things they wrote down on the index cards as the basis and reasons why they could write a book.  One lady who does event planning shouted, “Pick me!  Pick me!” and I shared my ideas with her.  Another lady who sells women’s clothing seemed genuinely astounded at the idea of writing a book and was taking notes!  I looked around and other women were, too.  They took NOTES on what I was saying!?!  The last woman I gave an idea to is the owner of a co-working space for entrepreneurs and she told me she was shocked that she’d made my list of ideas.

After I was finished, we had our regular motivational moment and then we took time to go around the room and share what each of us was grateful for.  What came next was the beginning of the craziness.  Woman after woman said how grateful they were for what I spoke about.  They said they’d never thought they could write a book before, but NOW they did!  They said they were blown away, that they were just in awe…and the organizer encouraged everyone to at least consider signing up with SendOutCards. because I didn’t even have anything to sell in my presentation, but did such a great job that they should do it to show their appreciation. (It totally didn’t even cross my mind that they were expecting me to sell them on my service!  Oops!)

Two of the women specifically said they want to meet with me, one on one, to talk more and the co-working space owner asked if I would consider doing a book writing workshop at her place.  My mind was spinning and then I was off to another networking meeting.

Many of the women from my presentation were at the second meeting and were still talking about it.  They used words like AMAZING, POWERFUL, MIND BLOWING…all to describe what I shared.  ME!  Here is a Facebook message I got from the co-working space owner.

A woman that normally attends, but wasn’t there heard about my presentation saying her friend said it was powerful and that I definitely left an impression.

I just wanted the ladies to be edu-tained and get a few ideas going in their heads, but based on the feedback I’ve gotten, I may have changed some lives on Wednesday with my 15 minute presentation.

As everything started to sink in, I was sitting at my desk and looked over at my shapes…and the yellow square says “Public Speaking by June 30, 2020”.  It is in reference to being a PAID public speaker and it looks like I am going to be hitting that goal MUCH sooner than expected by doing a writing workshop in early 2018.

To know that MY words have made such an impact is humbling.  I’ve always been encouraged by my awesome husband and he’s always told me how amazing “I” am, but somehow, it is easy to play that off because he’s “supposed to” do those kinds of things.  He doesn’t seem shocked at all by what happened, but I sure am.  I’m a mom of 6 kids with no speaking credentials, a useless degree in biology who drives a minivan.  Apparently I need to add motivational speaker to that list…and it’s wild to even type it out.

It seems I got a glimpse of my future self on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 and words cannot express how excited I am to know I am becoming my true self.   I am certain this would not have happened if I had not joined the Master Key Experience.  This is my Hero’s Journey and the ride has just begun.

 

Week 11 – Acknowledging Connections

Life has been very crowded as of late.  Along with the Master Key Experience tasks and readings and masterminding, I’ve been making a very concerted effort to send in as much product as possible to Amazon in these days before Christmas.  In my mental blurriness, I accidentally sent one Bonanza buyer an eBay buyer’s item, but I was pleasantly surprised by the woman’s honesty.  She received an item of reasonably high value (about $90) and she hunted down my phone number to call me and let me know what had happened.

I am normally someone who avoids telephone calls whenever possible, but it was unavoidable and the conversation was very pleasant!  She really put my mind at ease after I had failed the “Mental Diet” upon hearing her voicemail.  I admit that the stress of what COULD have happened lingered well into the rest of the night.  My old blueprint was fighting hard and won many battles that night.

The next day, however, I started to realize that there are quite a few interesting connections in my life that I now ACKNOWLEDGE are more than just a coincidence.  I am seeing many similarities in the readings of the Master Key System book that support or parallel what I am learning as I go through the process of joining the Catholic church.  Initially, I just found the connections interesting, but now I see them as part of the greater picture of my life, weaving things together.

Also, as I’ve been out and about more than usual, buying inventory for Amazon, it has been interesting to note that pretty much every cashier or store employee I have run into has been especially happy!  Based on past experiences, this is extremely uncommon this time of year because of the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers.  I’ve not only had lots of smiles given and returned, but many employees have been conversational, talking with me and generally very pleasant.  My guide, Maria, reminded me that it is Scroll II, from Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World, at work.

Another area of connections is in regards to me developing a plan for fulfilling my Definite Major Purpose (or DMP) in life.  It was around the time that the Master Key Experience started that I realized my real passion, the subject I could literally talk about for HOURS on end, was long term or slow international travel as a family.  Of course, our extensive travel over the past 6 years has done nothing but fed this love, however, I have often let my old blueprint, that emotionless inner voice, convince me that I have nothing of value to share.  Yet, when I talk with new people about what we’ve done, I not only feel the excitement within me, but also see THEIR interest in what I share, as well as a breaking down of their own fears, realizing that they can do it, too.

Once I came to accept this, I started a program created by some friends that helps you develop a master plan on how to become a person of influence in whatever niche you choose.  I chose family travel. 🙂  Then, within just a few weeks, I got an email about Tapas for Life, a site dedicated to sharing short courses on a variety of topics, all put together by fellow journeyers of this MKE course.  The organizers of these groups do not know each other, yet their purpose works in amazing harmony together.

I guess all of this is to say that while I was aware of some of the neat happenings in regards to fulfilling my DMP, it hasn’t been until the last few days that I have stopped to acknowledge that all these things coming together is no accident.  It reminds me of the Scripture verse, “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”

Week 10 – Good-Bye Scroll II, Hello New Friend!

This week, while it has been very busy, has also been productive…and I have learned that the two words do not always equal each other!  I was able to get quite a bit of sourcing done for my Amazon business and am quite pleased with sales this week.  One encouraging note is for a new product I was testing.  I did some basic keyword research that I learned from the Proven Private Label “Rabbit Trail Calls” and bought 5 units of a product that matched those keywords with good results on Amazon.  (That IS an affiliate link to the calls, so I will get a referral if you decide to hop on a call – pun intended – but there is a short sample of these webinars on that page.)

I was surprised that the moment those items were checked in to Amazon, I got an almost immediate 2 sales.  It was very encouraging to see a brand new product sell on Amazon with NO other promotions.  Sometimes I struggle with doubt over whether I know much, but in moments like this, I prove to myself that I’m smarter than I give myself credit for.

Since today is December 1st, it means that we move on from Scroll II, a dear friend who has been teaching me how to “greet each day with love in my heart”.  I have felt like this scroll has softened my heart, one that had become somewhat callused the past several years.  I like tying it in to the Law of Giving, too, where I not only greet others in love, but make more of a point to notice ways I can give love and notice loving gestures.   We even talked about acts of Mercy at our RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) meeting Wednesday night at church and previously on Sunday after we were dismissed from mass.  We focused on how it is not about how our acts are received or what others do with them, but our own hearts and how we feel God is prompting us to act.

As I was leaving Walmart the other day, I saw a man by the stop sign near the exit that I’d seen previously.  He has a sign, which I haven’t fully read, but it says something about cancer and being a veteran.  I don’t know if either are true, but something in his eyes just struck me when I saw him the first time.  I felt strongly that I should give him something this time.  Thankfully, the line of cars was moving slowly, so I was able to get some money from my wallet and asked my 17 year old sitting beside me to hand it to him.  Then I saw him again today and waved at him with a smile.

He probably doesn’t remember us from the other day, but I remembered him.  It really felt good to give without any expectation of reciprocity.  I guess it was also part of teaching myself that in order for me to be successful and financially stable, I must be just a vessel that money passes through.  If I try to hold onto it too tightly, it will never grow, but if I hold it loosely and let it flow, more will flow towards me so that I can allow more to flow out.  This is a very hard lesson for me as my mind tends to be addicted to the scarcity mindset, but little things like this can help me break down that “concrete buddha,” reprogram my false blueprint and create a new truth that I am a person who gives out of the abundance that I have been trusted with.  What an awesome feeling!

Lastly, we moved on to Scroll III in The Greatest Salesman in the World today and I could not have been more excited!  It is like meeting a new friend!  Then I started reading all about persistence and it hit me right between the eyes, but truly good friends will tell it to you like it is.  I have a history of being distracted by minor detours and setbacks, not realizing that the answer or victory was just beyond the next turn in the road.  Who knows how many times I have been SO close to success, only to get bored and walk away?  Countless times, I’m sure.  Now, with the help of Scroll III, I will no longer be that person.  I look forward to this next month with this new scroll.

Week 9 – Slowly coming together

Finally, I feel like some pieces are starting to come together.  I think listening to my DMP is helping.  I love this photo of the crafting hands weaving this colorful tapestry.  I feel like this week has been one where the pattern is starting to appear, but the work is not quite done.

Last Sunday, as we entered our church for mass, we were getting settled into our spots when I heard Debussy’s Clare de Lune being played by the church pianist.  I was shocked because it is the piece I chose to play before the baroque music that plays behind me reading my DMP and affirmations.  I never recall hearing any specific piece on Sundays, so this was a very neat treat.

I’ve had more times when I notice shapes, too.  My girls have been decorating for Christmas, so we have green triangles and red circles all over the house.  I’m also making more of a point to see and focus on the shapes sheets all over and thinking about what is missing from my blank shapes.

I know this probably doesn’t mean much to anyone outside the MKMMA experience, but I’m hopeful that I will look back on these posts in the months to come and see lots of progress in areas where I have been lacking.

The new affirmation, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy” has been coming easily.  I’m also saying it for my 3rd daughter, especially when I do some therapy to help her with her scoliosis.  The story in the Master Key this week gives me hope that her spine can be healed…something that weighs heavily on my heart.

Life has been super busy the past 8 days.  We’ve hosted 4 different groups of people, the last arriving today, and while I do enjoy seeing everyone, it has been quite a departure from our normal slower pace.  It is good to see all the children working together to help get everything ready.

Lastly, I had an extended time of struggling with the Mental Diet.  My husband and I were discussing upcoming Christmas plans, plans that bring lots of mental stress for me, and I couldn’t shake it.  I repeated the new affirmation, prayed “Lord give me Your thoughts, not mine”, and tried other things.  It has been a while since I’ve gotten into such a state and I did not like it.  I was finally able to distract myself with other things, but I know I will need to gear up mentally for that trip.  Even just typing about it has brought some back, but I am WHOLE, PERFECT, STRONG, POWERFUL, LOVING, HARMONIOUS and HAPPY, no matter what this other family member says about me to others.  I will rise above her gossip and greet her and this trip with love…for love will conquer all.

Week 8 – The Battleship & Imagination

This week, during our sit, we have been visualizing the process of how a battleship comes to be, but in reverse.

For several days, I’ve been following the same path, so to speak, but last night, I tried a different route.  In imagining all the steps that must be taken to get such a grand vessel to completion, I stopped focusing on the vessel as a whole and went down a different trail…that of the plumbing.

As we imagine this process, we are to focus on all the details and the plumbing was one that my mind seemed to want to focus on.  I thought about the many designs of pipe that a ship like that would require, the creation of those pipes (are they pvc or some type of metal?  copper maybe?), the molds the pipes are made in, and such.

Then, I switched to thinking about having a conversation with my good friend about my life in the future, but talking with her about my SMART goals in past tense.  I can never really “see” myself in this conversation.  I can BE in the conversation, but I don’t observe it.  Maybe I’ll try imagining it more like a movie where I am the observer.  It is like Og Mandino says in Scroll II, “I welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.”

When it comes to imagination, I realize that by not employing it, I have been reaping what I’ve sown.  I remember dreaming and imagining life owning a B&B when Michael and I were first married.  I’d fix breakfast for our guests and we’d have a quaint little place somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains.  That was never meant to be and I stopped focusing on that when I realized how much I love to travel.

But since we’ve been “home” and not in travel mode, I realized that I had NO vision for what life would be like in 1, 5 or 10 years.  None.  When I tried to think about those milestones, my mind was literally blank.  A stark contrast to my B&B dreaming days.

Now that has changed.  Some of the details are still a bit fuzzy, but I definitely have a clearer picture of where I’m going.  I want to will keep on traveling, I want to will help other families travel, I want to will have a successful online business, I want to will visit and give generously to La Ola’s girls home in Mexico regularly, I want to will live a healthier life.

It is difficult to stay focused on these while being distracted by the needs of today, but I WILL succeed.  No.  I SUCCEED!