Have you ever entered the space where your picture of what life is supposed to be like is so far past where you can be at that moment that it seems impossible. Maybe you’ve said too many yes’s maybe you’ve spent too much on Christmas. Perhaps you just ignored making a choice until the choice was made by avoidance of choices. Maybe your intentions were for an amazing gathering but your organization made soup and sandwiches happen that time.
Not making a conscious choice is a choice too. God honors preparation, though its never been my experience that He actually lets you do YOUR plan….but never the less He honors the thought…. and then the show begins…it turns out we don’t have to be God in our lives…we just have to allow Him to be our lives to be filled with Him.
We sometimes picture the American family as one who gathers round the tree and sings carols. Of course the house is clean, of course the family is happy each moment. Who would dream it any other way? But teens have lives of their own, parents and friends face life issues that are often less than romantic. We so want to be who we are, but we simply paint the picture with such perfection that we cannot find our way through the mask of hiding. What are you hiding from in your life? Is it personal appearance? The lack of connection in a marriage or with an extended family member? Is it the best of the best of what you wish you could do but are afraid to do?
Different is doable…but you have to begin where you are.
The first step of any new space in my life has always been to define where it is that I am. The last few years I have more or less been apprenticing new skills in media and instructional leadership development because I value the power of preparing speakers, teachers & speaking 1:1 thousands at a time via streaming internet and distance education. As an educator, a teacher of teachers, it was thrilling to me when this technology arrived in Arkansas so many years ago. It was one of the most efficient ways to cultivate state-wide projects in education and to connect educators. Twitter is now my preferred method, for in listening carefully I can find who is talking about the topics I am passionate about. My friendships from the Twitter as my friend calls it, are real, have transitioned from virtual on Skype to 3D form at conferences at on trips. It has allowed me to find my tribe, as Seth Godin would define it. A group of people I get…”sawbu” as Lolly would say and they see me. Breathtaking energy.
Right now, as I sit early on a Christmas eve’s eve, I am aware that life changed 23 days ago. A time of preparation bore fruit and I recognized that every.single.goal we set for a project for a client came together when we realized the impossible was done but it was based in doing it differently in a doable way. The traditional odds were against us, the clock was ticking, the joy of the experience gone. It was simply time to define the moment and to make the moment defined. Different is doable. You’ve seen me on Twitter most likely cheerleading a project I am so very excited about. Allyson’s Lewis, the author of The 7 Minute Solution. The book has direct methodology to use tracking and goal setting to support your MORE life…more fun, more awareness, more inspiration, more faith, etc. The seven areas of life are managed in a format that I truly “get” and it’s gotten into me.
In less than 3 days after reading the advanced copy of the book, my perspective shifted. Les and I are facing some serious changes in our world in his position and my own. It’s been a wildly successful year in a way that was unexpected. I have had the privilege of seeing clients labors bear fruits and the tragedies of clients whom I believed in choose to find another path when success could have been theirs.
I work with entrepreneurs, start ups, speakers and authors, and one thing is common across the board. To engage in excellence, you have to begin where you are and make doable differences and work your way up. It is disheartening to me when a speaker, author, or business self destructs and tears down those in their paths. My nature is to educate, support, and empower people with anything I can do to engage them in success, but there is many things a strategist cannot do for a client. They cannot keep them from choosing a different path than one that leads to a healthy, balanced succees.
Different is doable, ask any successful athelete, underprivileged leader, broken and restored speaker, or someone coming back with a winning attitude. It may not be easy, it may not be welcome, but different is doable. We most often sidetrack ourselves from success, its an old story: greed, hurt, pain, arrogance, or unkindness sets us on the sidelines…obedience, even when peppered with mistakes, God honors. After all, David was a man after God’s own heart. Abraham messed up too and spent time in silence while he figured it out. The Biblical stories all play the roles from a place of imperfection without Christ.
Heroes are every day people to me. They’ve managed to make a choice to be who they are. A.Choice. Over and over again they face the same life we do, but they do it with resolve to be who they intend to be. Some of those heroes in my life are:
- Thom Whitby- Extraordinary Educator, who developed the PLN Professional Learning Network, a community of educators collaborating online. #PLN
- Allyson Lewis-Time & Lifestyle Strategist, who developed The 7 Minute LIfe System and authored books that directly support my style of productivity #just7 (they are giving away a NOOK to online purchases through B&N on December 27th…wheee!)
- Allan Branch- Who each month delights my heart though we are not close, because each time he writes, I learn,…regardless of the topic #lessconf LOVE his Less Accounting for my business!
- Jesse Lamb- An amazing mind and heart who simply excels, and showed me that the right pond makes all the difference and was brave enough to face the change of ponds from attorney to creative. My personal tech hero…and friend.
- Sarah L Cook- Author of Raising CEO Kids, so smart she squeaks if you take on organizational structure management….an amazing heart too #SWS Systems with Sarah!
- Rachael Anne Ridge- HomeSanctuary.com, author and far away friend who helps others take small steps to find sanctuary at home each day
- Melinda Emerson- Who dreamed it, did it, let me walk along side her and continues to grow in educating how to end Small Business failure…. amen! #SmallBizChat @SmallBizLady (I’m Lead Strategist on that team!)
- Miss Bobbie Smith- Who faced all odds, including starting over in her 30’s, put herself through college, has become a speaker, leader, and creative as she graduates college this spring, an amazing force of fireball energy and brains. @TheMissBobbie
- Irene Bullock- a friend who not only lost her husband at a young age, but went on to raise her children and others in such a way that we are all amazed and blessed by her presence in our lives. She has given me the gift of hope and support throughout the journey to be who I am becoming
- The TCK Team- Who are simply the BEST at supporting and engaging the needs of special needs kids and their parents and professionals. Truly an amazing group @TheCoffeeKlatch #TCK
- Heather Hetchler- Cafe Smom, who like myself, believes in a joyful place called home….even differently. Creating support structures and materials for mothers and stepmothers (S’moms) everywehre. ~Brilliant! @CafeSMom
- Wayne McEvilly- Who simply makes my world a happier place for what he shares with audiences of all ages in conversation, voice in writing and in performing. What a tremendous joy to know of his existence.
- Jason T Bedell- who loves his family and passion for technology in education in ways I have first hand experienced. His vision was simply to begin TeachMeet Nashville and it made a difference in my life. #Thankyou @JasontBedell
- Kate T Lewis- The Civilized Minute author, whom I have yet to hug her neck in person, but who in less than a year has captured my heart and joy in a way I cannot explain through her writing, Skypes and joyful country spirit. @KateTLewis.
- Sohan Singh Who taught me how to laugh again. An amazing spirit who simply loves to learn and has given me perspective of why the right team matters, and how to fly without eyes even in the dark of the difficult there is light in laughter. @SohanWins
- Cybraryman1 A lifelong educator and one whom I trust and cheer on from any court he appears….an educator whose passion is to share amazing resources for educators andparents. @Cybraryman1 Jerry Blumengarten (and his wife quilts!)
- #LessChicks The valiant technology ladies who are clucking Brilliance….I .love. these .women. #LessConfChicks #LessConf
- Gail Hyatt Who grows me every.time. I read her blog or hug her neck on the way by in Nashville. Real. Responsible. Intentional. Fun. Excellence in motherhood and personhood….I.simply.value.her. @GailHyatt
- Kelby Carr who taught me a hole in one lesson at Type A Family Conf when she, in the middle of the wild, did what mattered, supported her family in a calm and amazing way as she led the amazing experience. Kelby is not someone I know well, but I sure intend to. @KelbyCarr
- Sarah Mae Blogs- Creator of Relevant Conference, a blog conference for Christian bloggers….again, never have met in person, but oh so cheering her on from here. She.is.doing.it. Changing lives, educating hearts, and sharing the journey. @SarahMaeBlogs
- Allison Worthington who invited me into her home and heart (and has the most fab green toile loveseat) and who has taken up residence in mine even when we work and live in different worlds…I’m a full time fan and supporter of anyone who makes the world smile and aware in her smart sassy way. @AlliWorthington #Blissdom
- Rick Dean, who inspires me with his win/win/win scenarios in business and in arts…@DeanofMusic…he’s one to watch and has the happiest Christmas this year ever….your friendship to Les and I rocks!
- David Bullock..who is a friend at many levels, always there in a storm. He literally talked me through the Alabama tornadoes when I was alone in the level 5 place with no one to tell me what was happening and no where to get to safety. His presence is trustworthy in any storm and he shows me that storms simply help you define what’s important. @DavidBullock
- David Cooper` who has for over 38 years mentored entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers and has the gifts and abilities to help them fly on all planes of success. He has given to my life so many gifts of encouragement and empowerment through educating me at the level I can play. He is loved like non other because the truth is, he isn’t selling soft sales, he’s softly selling truths. @AskDavidCooper
- Thelma Wells @ThelmaW who is often known as MamaT….a wordsmith extraordinaire and one who has captured my heart for life. Her words feed my soul and her ever giving heart not only gives me the courage to do this, but her books are a continue read or listen to in my life…what a blessing she and Vikki are in my life.
- The Chatty Momma Tonia Sanders, who has given me the gift of joy in every situation we’ve worked together whether over lunch or in person. Family comes first &Tonia rawks! @TheChattyMomma (one of my favorite people of all time, a forever friend who has the gift of connecting with hearts of all ages)
- Lisa Leonard, again, from afar, but her inspiration for her business, her personal and professional growth are as beautiful as her spirit. AMAZING (just love cheering and praying Lisa on…if ever I could be a cheerleader and prayer warrior, this is one heart I invest with pompoms shaking high!)
- Karen Rabbitt who forever changed my world with a book. Trading Fathers. She identified that which I could not. Her wisdom and work on forgiveness is amazing @KarenRabbitt www.tradingfathers.com
- Lucy Ann Moll- @LucyAnnMoll, author, Christian counselor to hurting women and the women who lead them. Great friend, amazing spirit. Lucy is someone I truly am in awe of, her heart, her leadership and her transparency is beautiful.
- Peldi @Peldi Who in one speech, forever changed my life at Less Conference and I will forever thank him for that moment. Entrepreneur extraordinaire, his speech at Less Conference in 2009 simply changed my world forever…his continued kindness to me a gift as he inspired our daughter to be who she is…what a joy to witness his words blooming in her life.
There are so many more people to list but the jest is, no one had perfect lives, they made different doable. This moment in time is so poignant as I simply see that we can face anything if we begin where we are. Where are you? What is in your heart of hearts to do this moment of your life? What is step one?