Wednesday, September 26, 2012

God bless closed doors

"When one door is closed, don't you know, another is open." ~Bob Marley

I read something the other day that said the devil always comes looking good.

Oh boy, did that ever hit home as I recalled the few amazing guys, the dream jobs, and the really great opportunities that, upon closer examination, were not what they initially appeared to be. When I apply my rational judgment to one of these marauders, the veneer makes sense. Why would the devil (aka guy, job, opportunity) come looking evil and menacing? Of course not, the disguise is the hook!

Yet, how often do I actually use the piercing logic of mine, that skeptical part of my brain, when I really, really want what I see? Rationalizing and yearning set in. I just know it's Divine Intervention. Maybe it's that I'm finally getting what I deserve. Or, the power of my intentions is so keen I'm manifesting my dreams.

Admittedly, it's kind of pathetic.

There were times when I pushed and pushed at the door to one of these bad situations. And, after much effort, the door opened. Throwing caution and good counsel to the wind, I eagerly walked through, only to lament my foolish actions. Wishing that I had seen what was behind said beautiful door, I rued the day I committed to that path.

There were also times when I pursued a seemingly beautiful thing. Even after using all of my skills, powers of persuasion, or whatever good thing I possess, it wasn't mine to have. When the door didn't open to me, I chose to accept that it wasn't a good option. Yet, silly me, I pined and pined that it wasn't going to be mine

Oh, for goodness sake! What a waste of time. You'd think I would've learned by now that a closed door is more often than not a blessing! Seriously, just about every time I look back I see how the devil (yes...guy, job, opportunity) would have hurt me in some way.

The closed door was my protection.

To pursue a dream requires certain necessary steps to make things happen. It often means knocking, yes even pushing, at closed doors. Yet, it's a wise person who looks at those beautiful, closed doors and examines them for what they might really be.

How does one know when to push forward and when to pursue another course? Try these:
  • Seek the counsel of those who've gone before you. Talk with mentors and advisers. It's always a smart idea to piggy-back on the efforts of those who have already done the hard work. They know the pitfalls and what's behind the door. Listen to these wise ones.
  • Spend time in quiet reflection, pray, or meditate. Do you connect with a Higher Power? Examine your reasons for wanting that beautiful thing. Ask for direction and clarification. Listen to what is given to you.
  • Find an objective source that isn't influenced by their feelings. Counselors, coaches and consultants are trained to examine facts when facilitating goal actualization. They will also help you see your blind spots. Listen to their rational advise.
When a door stays closed, bless it and move on remembering that the devil always looks good and maybe this was one of those times. And, when that new door appears and is opened wide, you can be grateful you left the closed one behind.

You might also enjoy these : A State of Acceptance and Yay for New Doors! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gals, you, too, can make it happen!

Have you ever asked yourself, "If I keep on the way I'm going, will I get where I want to be?" Yeah for you if the answer is yes. For many, the answer is probably not. The number one reason for many women is that they haven't set their own goals and priorities. The wants and needs of others drive them.

Here are some additional reasons why women hesitate to set goals:
  • They are not convinced of the value of goals
  • They are so busy coping there is no time to think about goals
  • Goals imply commitment to action
  • Women are busy helping others reach their goals
  • They fear they'll fail to reach goals
  • They fear they'll succeed
  • They don't know how to set goals
Which of the above apply to you? Are you willing to work on overcoming your obstacles? To get where you want to go, you must set your own goals and priorities. Then plan your day with these priorities in mind. Learn to say "no" to requests that are incompatible with these objectives.

When setting goals, you must make them specific, motivating, measurable, attainable, realistic, and have a specific timeframe. What would a goal look like with these attributes? Say you want to loose weight for your high school reunion. Your goal statement might look like this: "My goal is to loose 15 pounds. I will look great and feel good when reuniting with my old friends. I will be a size smaller, so will need to buy new clothes. This goal is within reach because I know how to cut back on my food intake and can fit in 20 minutes a day of exercise. Fifteen pounds is a reasonable weight loss because I have six months before the event."

Goals are necessary both at work and in your personal life. Top priorities are those activities or projects that move you toward your goals. A good question to ask is, "If only one thing could be done today, which activity would be the most important?" Set this as your top priority. Then, if only one additional thing can be done, what is next in importance? Prioritize according to importance, not ease of completion.

You may be waiting until requests from others come in before organizing your day. Then, you schedule your important activities in to the time you have left. A better way to organize is to block out time on your calendar for vital projects and protect those times. Then schedule appointments for the remainder of the time. It is important to occasionally take a timeout to see if you're going where you want to. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Push through adversity

It takes a determined person to hold on to their vision. Push through adversity, it's a sign that things are gonna change!

Need help working through chaos and confusion? SHINE has compassion and enthusiasm for your process and is ready to equip you with tools to manage transition. Connect with us at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What are your thoughts on gossip?

I have a friend who just can't wait to share the next juicy bit of scandal about people we know. Sometimes, I have to admit, it's wildly interesting and amazing! Then, I remember how it feels to be the subject of such conversations. Ouch!

Gossip is killing

A few weeks back, my pastor delivered a word about gossip. She pointed out that according to several biblical references, gossip (or backbiting) is as offensive as murder! And, is it not a form of murder? After all, spreading dirt or scandal about another is in essence killing the subject's reputation.

Whether one is whispering a little tidbit about the neighbor or engaging in a salacious smear campaign, talking about another behind their back is demeaning and does not allow the opportunity for defense. We certainly wouldn't do that in a court of law; that is, prosecute without representation. But, we do it everyday to those who we work with and who live in our communities.

Why do we engage in this kind of talk? There must be some powerful stuff there, as we spend all sorts of money on gossip magazines and watch hours of it on television. What is it that keeps us coming back for more?

Knowledge is Power

I've observed that it is powerful stuff to be the first to know something about another. Nobody likes being in the dark. If you don't know, and I do, then I have one up on you. This goes across the board from girlfriends to the evening news.

There are many studies about why people engage in gossip and what the negative consequences are. As a society, we really do know that it is destructive. But, in reality, it is a way of life for many. What should you do when the notorious gossiper says, "I heard it by the grapevine...?"

Stop the smack talk

Try one of these tactics, they are a sure fire way to stop the scandalmonger in their tracks:
  • Find positive ways of sharing with others things that don't require talking negatively about the victim.
  • Ask for verification when you are told something about another person. Trusting that what is said is true without challenging it's authenticity, makes you a partner in perpetuating gossip.
  • If you hear damaging or harmful talk, refuse to listen and politely attempt to stop the speaker.
  • Ask the gossiper if they have anything positive to say about the person they are criticizing.
When we honor others with our words, we live with dignity and without repute. Seriously, classy women (and men!) don't gossip!

Do you have a policy in place addressing talking about others? Backbiting is destructive in the work place. Think about it...and then let your people know what your standards and expectations are.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Loving your gifts and talents

Lately, I've been reading and hearing so much talk about loving yourself -- that it's the first step to loving others, it's the only way to truly be happy in life, and, our success in our jobs and relationships depends on it.

But, what does it mean to love one's self? Some of us have so much bad that's been piled on us from broken childhoods, toxic marriages, demeaning work experiences, and a host of other damaging experiences, that the concept of loving our self seems crazy!

Greedy people suck, literally

First of all, let's say what loving one's self is not. It's not about putting yourself and your needs above or at the expense of another. That isn't love. That's selfishness. Having a greedy attitude with money, attention, power, or any other resource comes from a sense of neediness. And, neediness is not self-loving. Sucking the life out of others is most assuredly not loving others or oneself.

The martyr gives it all away

Also, playing the sacrificial lamb is not self love. Giving away your dreams, position, opinions or any other personal expression is denying yourself of joy and accomplishment. You wouldn't do this to your best friend or someone you cherish. Why would you think to do this to yourself? Never give your life force away without giving to yourself at the same time.

Loving your gifts and talents

Loving yourself, right this very moment, means celebrating the very essence of who you are. The God-created spirit who moves on the earth, who has been formed with gifts and talents built into your very DNA. It's pretty amazing when we think about it; we have ideas, inspirations, dreams, and adventures embedded in us. They are unique, too! Every single one of us has something to offer mankind that only we can deliver.

How does that translate to loving ourselves? 

When you have an innovative approach to how you or your employer does work, finding a way to honor that is loving yourself. When you speak your truth about a subject you know well, you love yourself. When you celebrate your ability to delegate, organize, inspire, envision, nurture or create, you love yourself. Hopefully, you get the picture here -- honoring your uniqueness, acknowledging your gifts and talents, all equate to loving yourself.

What if you don't know those good things

Some of us have been so busy with our noses to the grindstone doing the job or taking care of others, that we have lost the connection to who we are, what our gifts and talents are, and how to live our purpose. You might say that you don't have time for all of this esoteric, touchy-feely stuff. Okay. But, what if I told you by getting to know and love your core self you'd be a more productive business owner/parent/spouse, that you would have more energy, and people would respond to you differently, you probably would take the time, wouldn't you?

Most of us don't do this kind of work well on our own. Some of you think you do, however our blind spots, hurts, and beliefs almost always get in our way. I suggest that you invest in yourself by taking some time with a counselor, coach or consultant. These are professionals trained to help you mine the nuggets of gold deep inside of you.

And, once you know and own those nuggets, you can begin to love your gifts and talents!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Your Thoughts... Your Habits....

“For as a man thinks, so is he.” ~Proverbs 23:7

Have you heard enough yet on the power of your thoughts and words? Are you catching the idea that your brain is exceedingly powerful?

For me the concepts are so exciting. Yet, I have to admit, there's been a gap between concept and actually applying
 it to my real life. I mean, I have habits and ways that I do things.  I find it difficult to see my blind spots and it's uncomfortable to change my very familiar routines. 

I ran into this progression and it's all starting to made sense:
  • You have a thought  
  • You speak the thought  
  • Your words produce an action 
  • You action creates habits  
  • Your habits determine your character  
  • Your character determines your influence and legacy  

Little thoughts, like little choices and actions, are what carry us to our destination. Is it true, what we have in our heads is what we end up becoming?


If it really is so, I have to ask myself these questions:
  • What kinds of images, music, reading materials do I return to over and over again? 
  • What do I talk about with my friends? 
  • What choices and decisions have I really made, rather than just fantasizing about?
  • What garbage thoughts needs to be removed to make room for positive ones?
Today, just for today, I'm deciding to have thoughts that are specifically pointed to what I want and where I need to be. They might just be little thoughts. And, if I keep it up tomorrow and the next day, I'm pretty certain those little thoughts are going to make a difference. 

Your thoughts.... Your Habits.....