Friday, February 26, 2010
Do you remember playing in the rain as a child? I do! It didn't matter that it was cold, or that the water in the gutters was dirty, there was just something magical about playing in the rain. Add to the joy a rainbow and you've got an experience you're not soon to forget! Heck, it's been 37 years since I was a 6 year old girl playing in the rain and seeing Mason today, well, it makes me feel like I am that same 6 year old girl all over again!
The heart of Intentional Winning in Life is being happy, truly happy from the bottom of your heart. When you feel joy, you emit a vibration that brings joy from everything you do. Seeing happiness in something as simple as playing in the rain is just one little piece of the big picture that makes up your happy life!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This morning I sat on the Ventura boardwalk curb with my feet in the sand, journal on my lap, and watched surfers glide on baby waves in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I needed to write, needed to cry, and desperately needed to release my pent-up anger and frustration that I’d been carrying for the last two weeks.
Fresh were the wounds of my recent move, where my professional moving company took negligent and scandalous care of our belongings by overcharging, classic bait n switch, “losing” irreplaceable memorabilia, damaging and destroying 75% of our possessions, and downright stealing certain things, one of which was our $450 Stainless Steel Sonoma BBQ Grill. The fight I would have to take to them for vindication required exhausting time and money; neither of which I had extra to donate at the moment as I got back on my feet in a new city.
I’d been robbed six times in the past at varying degrees, and every time that gut-wrenching feeling of violation is like taking a punch to the stomach. It hurts a lot and will knock the wind out of ya. As I pondered the meaning of abundance and being able to replace many of the belongings someday, the hate welled up and toppled over my eyelids in the form of tears at the feeling of helplessness. Bad people had planned to take advantage of me, and they continue doing so to others. I wanted to punish them.
At my side was a book I’d grabbed to bring with me to the beach for post-run meditation. When I had thrown it in the car with my running gear and journal, it hadn’t crossed my mind why that exact book ended up with me at the beach; it had not been a conscious decision. Now I wiped the tears from my eyes, focused on it and gasped. Sitting next to me was Viktor Frankl’s, “Man’s Search For Meaning”, a tattered and yellowing paperback copy that had altered the way I viewed life, purpose and suffering.
Frankl was a Jewish Author-Psychiatrist who endured the Nazi death camps during World War II. He watched all his possessions, including life’s work manuscript, stripped from him, and his entire family and wife, excepting his sister, perish in the camps and sent to the gas ovens. Through this life-changing account of absolute injustice, hunger and cruelty, he volunteers himself as his own experiment to examine suffering and the true meaning of existence. He boils life down to the very essence, and while not even having control of his own naked and starving body, he still is responsible for the thoughts he thinks and how he chooses to perceive life; Exist with hate, apathy and anger for the horrific misery he and his family/friends and Jewish people undergo, or find meaning in what most perceived as senseless suffering.
At that moment I started laughing on the beach, which caused nearby dosing homeless guys to pick up their heads and give me a half glance. I couldn’t have scripted better irony than this! Here I was, a blessed woman in my prime, my brand new house minutes from beautiful beaches and living a charmed life; I was crying over my lost barbeque when courageous people like Viktor Frankl had endured such suffering! As I gazed at his face on the book I could hear his words to me, “Let it go, Amie,” and I agreed with him.
One of my favorite spiritual leaders is Lester Levenson, and he said, “Peace is non resistance, complete acceptance, identification with the all, with everyone, everything.” I had been resisting like a crazy woman and hurting myself in the meanwhile, and what came with it was more negativity, tension and bad news. We all know what you resist persists…and I was so ready to live in peace.
Was it possible I set up this lesson for myself so I could learn to let go, release, and not be attached to anything? My beliefs take me down the road of reincarnation and pre-ordaining (not pre-destination, as free will is sacred) opportunities and signs along the way in life to evolve as a human being through the contrast of good and bad experiences. If so, ouch! My soul must be a little dense learning and re-learning through remedial courses this time around…
Buddha says, “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” My un-checked emotions had taken me over and I lost awareness of how it affected everything I was doing and being.
It caused me to contemplate the last 24 months of my whirlwind life, and as I did so I realized I had already let go of so many things: unhealthy friendships, poor business relationships, two companies of which I poured my lifeblood into, a network that took me 10 years to build, credit/cash, and family members who passed away. Letting go = freedom. Attachments and aversions = pain. What do I want to feel? Like Frankl learned in the Nazi concentration camps… your mind is the only place you can find freedom, it is not in our external situations.
“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” -- Viktor Frankl
With the sun on my face and healing seabreeze in the air, every wave the surfers caught and rode, a little more of my anger was released with each and went out with the tide. I choose to be free.
Visionary. Teacher. Fearless Leader.
Monday, February 22, 2010
As promised for those of you who heard the call and want the mandarin-cranberry-oatmeal cookies, see below. Oh, and I didn't forget the picture of me with George Clooney. Now that was a prize I'm glad I won!
My site is not all about winning prizes, it's about winning in life. In my life, that includes prizes, but it all happens the same way, intending the best situations, the best outcomes, and ultimately the best life you can live!
Award Winning Cookies
2 ½ C Flour
1 Tsp Baking soda
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
6 Small Mandarins or 1 Large Orange
1 C Raisins
1 C Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Lt. Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbs Mandarin zest
2 oz Grand Marnier
1 C Dried Cranberries
In a bowl, mix flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and nutmeg. In a food processor or blender, combine mandarins and raisins and process until finely chopped. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, mandarin zest, and Grand Marnier until completely blended. Stir in mandarin mixture and then gradually add flour mixture. Add dried cranberries. Mix on low until completely mixed. Cover and refrigerate dough for one hour. Spoon dough onto ungreased or lightly greased cookie sheets 2 inched apart and bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.
*1 C Chopped Walnuts - optional
16 oz Powdered Sugar
¼ C Warm Water
1 Tsp Orange Extract
1 Tbs Meringue Powder
1 Tsp Mandarin Zest
In a mixing bowl add powdered sugar and warm water and start mixer on low speed. While mixing, add orange extract, meringue powder, and mandarin zest. Stop mixer and scrape down the bowl making sure all dry ingredients are mixing in. Mix on medium speed adding more water if necessary 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency. Using a pastry bag, plastic bag, or spoon, drizzle icing on cool cookies and let icing set.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
WOW! This is such a highly charged topic and rightfully so! It seems that the problem goes deeper than women who are skilled in technology or not. It speaks to women being allowed to be entrepreneurs as well as mother's and "women." No matter how you dispute it, we are wired differently than men, not less than, differently. When I have to miss a meeting because my son is sick, #1 I feel terrible. First because my child is ill, and second because I know I am being judged as a woman who doesn't care or is less professional because I'm not at work. #2 I AM being judged, (by men and women, this is not an attack on the male gender. It's an accepted attitude across the boards.) as less of a professional or someone who is less able because I've made a choice to care for my child. Of course I chose my child! Men do, too when there is not a woman there to pick up the slack. The difference there is he is then a better man! A hero!
The point is that there will be more women entrepreneurs when women don't have to feel the weight of all the worlds on their shoulders. I'm lucky, I don't. I make it clear in every business situation that my family comes first. Businesses will come and go, but Dave and Mason are one of a kind. If more women had that kind of conviction and sense of what's really important, there would be more women entrepreneurs and less judgement!
Friday, February 19, 2010
What do you love? If you had to narrow it down to one thing, could you? I can't. Life offers so many opportunities and I want to experience as many as I can. Share with me what you love and what you would like to find out if you could love. For me, I want to paint. I bet I would love painting, but who knows, maybe I won't be good at all and that will take the allure out of the dream. I also want to sew. That's a whole blog post in itself! Laughing!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I can attest to this! Entrepreneurs I know sleep very little! Especially in the early years when they have to work for a paycheck, they build their businesses while others sleep.
People ask me all the time how to bring their product to market and then proceed to tell me they don't have a minute of extra time. I immediately ask them when they get up in the morning. 6 AM might be the reply. Then I ask them when they go to bed. Most say by 11 PM. I give them an hour instantly, sometimes two! Get up at 5 AM and work on your business until 6 AM, or go to bed at midnight and work from 11-12. It's really easy and frankly, people can give up an hour of television and right there is time they need without losing an hour of precious sleep. It really comes down to if you really want to commit to making your dreams real.
I find that once I start seeing some progress on my work, I make more time to make things happen. Television becomes insignificant, and I can even operate on a few hours less sleep each night. Take that first action that will lead to the second, that leads to the next, and so on. Before you know it, your idea will be taking shape. Start!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I love getting over hump day not because of the weekend, but because I love Fridays! Fridays are still technically part of the work week but it's the gateway to the weekend, a small window of time after the day job when you can grill up some dinner, have a glass of wine, or a beer, and ramp up for the work coming the next day. It's a magical time that happens for me each week. What about you, do you have something about the week that you look forward to?
Monday, February 8, 2010
- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's
'Nuff said. Do something, start. The next step will be obvious if you just take the first step, any first step, just start.
Friday, February 5, 2010
You all know the stuff I do for ZipperBack Gloves and you all have house work to do for your own families. I think the thing that sets people who are true entrepreneurs apart, is we don't think in terms of, "I can't come to your party this weekend." We think in terms of, "I'm sorry I won't be there, I have XYZ that has to be done." The difference is that there is a driving force in an entrepreneur that doesn't surface as we are missing something, it feels more like though we don't want to disappoint someone, we have something else we must do to move our survival forward. Yes, survival. It feels that serious, as if whatever has to be done, simply cannot wait!
Even to me this seems extreme, but I've lived it many times. Those of you close to me know I've missed gatherings, going away parties, and any number of other social events because I had to "work" that weekend. Those of you who have the entrepreneurial gene completely understand. Those of you who don't, think we need to lighten up, take life less seriously. I'll go out on a limb and say us serial entrepreneurs agree with you, we should lighten up, if only we could!