Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dreaming With My Eyes Open

Dreams. Hopes. Aspirations. All things that we have, and each one is as unique as we are. And, as I got to dissecting why I have been so grouchy and so ornery for the past few days, I realized that my wellspring of impatience came from dreaming with my eyes shut.

So I opened them.

What’s the difference?

When you dream with your eyes closed, you aren’t focused on a pragmatic course of action to get to where you need to be. It’s at this point that you tend to become scattered, flustered and are more likely to veer off course. You plan to plan, you don’t plan to execute. You focus so largely on the big picture, you overlook the details required to get there.

As I have.

Allow me to explain….

You can’t have a planned destination without a navigation system to guide you.

When we dream with our eyes shut, Murphy’s Law tends to rear its rather large and ugly head, putting obstacles in front of us that we have no idea how to contend with – enter the last few weeks of my life. From here, we stress, we spiral and we knock ourselves back down to square one.

When we dream with our eyes open, even in the wake of Mr. Murphy, we can at least create a plan to dig our way out.

And while many people make fun of me for my Mind Maps, my spreadsheet obsession and the fact that I live and die by a task list – which has a plethora of overdue items at the moment – I learned that if I dream with my eyes open, if I take the time to create a plan, I get a tiny little adrenaline rush as each item on my list becomes complete. I resolved to the fact that once you have a plan, and you begin to see that plan come together, even if outside obstacles remain in force, you can begin to take things more in stride. So I am segmenting my day, I am saying no and I am not paying heed to the multiple distractions that keep bombarding me from all sides.

In other words, I’m awake now.

Which leaves me with only one question: How are you doing to dream?  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Confessions of a Working Girl


Not that type of working girl. The other kind.

Get your minds out of the gutter.

This last month, I threw down a blogging challenge to one of my agents. The agent I often (lovingly) refer to as “mini me”. You see, out of all of the agents I work with, he has most closely adopted my marketing model. And I can’t help but beam with pride as I watch him inch ever closer to the success that eluded him for seven years in real estate. Or a time that I like to refer to as BS -- before Shauna (that was a joke people, I’m not that arrogant, but it still strikes me as funny.)

You see, I want him to beat me.


Seriously. I WANT him to beat me at my own game. In fact, the entire reason I created the blogging challenge I did was so he could beat me. So he could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the rules of marketing have changed, and are constantly evolving. To showcase the fact that if we do not evolve with them, we will lose client after client.

Despite the fact that my “model” doesn’t give someone overnight success is why it works so well. They have to be consistent. But when it hits, it hits BIG…and it’s a high from which no one who has used it successfully ever wants to come down from.

But Here’s the Confessing Part
My days lately have been inundated, busy and leave little time for me, even at the end of them. You see, I spent every day from 8:30 in the morning until 5:30 in the evening in my little cave…developing, thinking, creating and improving what I want to teach. Why? Because I want my pupils to be better than I am at this. Because I know they can be. In addition to this, I am making appointments with new agents every day, all of whom want to come onboard…and many because of the model I am using. It’s an exciting time, but an exhausting one nevertheless. (If you build it, they will come.)

From there, I am still overseeing the reconstruction of my home -- yes still. I have another project I am working on with an investment firm. I am helping ‘the man’ in my life build his real estate investment portfolio. I am working on a column for a magazine. I am writing part of a feature about myself as well. And…as part of my blogging challenge, I have committed to five blogs a day for 30 days. Even though I haven’t quite gotten there, there is still time in the rest of the month to make up my deficit. Between all of these things, I have had little to no down time, and if it wasn’t for the man in my life, I probably wouldn’t take any. For him, I am grateful. He helps me realize when I have to pull away, as opposed to push myself off a proverbial mental cliff. (I don’t know when to shut down most days.)

Yet, even though my days start at 6:30 in the morning and don’t “end” until well past 10 p.m. most nights, I can say that I am gaining some traction, building some momentum, and I’m watching as more and more of my agents are not only embarking on my blogging challenge, but starting to realize the importance of it. Already, for May, I have five commitments, whereas in April, I only had one.

All because I want them to beat me. All because I know that they can. The only question left is, “When?” 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Blog About Them...

People, in general, as a whole, have a misconception of my life. They think, they believe, that I live some sort of charmed existence, some manner of magical realm that isn’t real. A life where everything is wonderful and perfect and there is no pain, there is no striving (everyday) for better, there is no challenge. The truth is, my life is murky, complicated and difficult…on a daily basis, yet, no one would ever know it’s truth depth, unless I tell them. And for the few (the very few) who know my battle, I earn their undying respect. And it is because I always play eight moves ahead. I know the endgame. I have seen it, and right now, I lay in waiting. Now is my time to exert patience above else, and even if the players do not understand my strategy, I do. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with pain, suffering and challenges on my part. Because…it does.  

I have seen, dealt and met with sorrow and tragedy that would leave most people spinning; things that would make most people break in half to never recover. I write things in my head that will never see the light of day, because the darkness of such things is not ready to be exposed…at least, not yet. The trivial, petty problems that most folks gripe about are things I am all too well acquainted with, yet they do not affect me. And it is not because I am better or saintly, but rather, because I am far less than saintly. It is because I am one of those people who have lived through seven circles of hell. So we don’t discuss that life, not because it doesn’t matter, but not much else affects us after that.

Everyone in life is given only what they can deal with. I get that. So with that being said, know this, light will always eclipse darkness, even if it takes 100 years to do so. Sometimes, most times, the best souls have to earn the right to exercise patience to a degree that is near saintly, in order to help those who need it see the light.

So here is an exercise in my own….it’s a blog about “them” that I wrote two weeks ago.
In recent years, I haven’t talked much about my children. At one point, I remember that was all I ever did. Then, a series of unfortunate events knocked me a bit off kilter. Now? I find myself drawn to discuss my roots, to go back to what molded me, to what made me, and the first thing that popped into my mind when I began pondering this thought where my three children. So this? Well, this is all about them.

I miss her. I miss her more than words can say, more than my heart can ever express. She will never know how many times I have been at the mall, on the internet or online and see an owl (her signature thing), and my heart well up in my chest…feeling like I am going to burst into tears at any moment. Yet she, as stubborn and bull headed as I am, remains estranged, and that is my fault as much as it is hers. And she probably will for many years. But what I miss about my college aged girl is her drive, her tenacity, her spunk, her care, her compassion, her loving and gentle nature. She (and she is going to hate this with a passion), reminds me of me at her age. So full of love and second chances, but with the capacity to be so cold and unforgiving, all at the same time. Regardless, her work ethic, her drive, her ambition will give her the keys to set the world on fire. And, even if we never speak again, I hope she knows that I love her more than words can say, and my heart hurts every day that I don’t see her beautiful face. She will do amazing things, of this I have no doubt.

My DD. My sweet, precious Deaunna. You were probably one of the most difficult babies I have ever encountered. Always colicky, always fussy and eternally high strung…but with one of the purest hearts I have ever known. Even when we butt heads and argue, even when everything seems to be going wrong, that girl will be the first to cry, but also the first to say she is sorry, even when she has nothing to apologize for. Never in my life have I met someone more combative, but also more willing to want to try and do the right thing. Of you, I could not be more proud. Whatever road life takes you down, I have no doubt that your street smarts will help you navigate. You remind me constantly of where I failed as a mother (even though I tried to do my best), not because you are hateful or vindictive, but because I see where I needed to do better. You have become a woman I am incredibly proud of. And, no matter what I always will be. You? You are the flagship. You just don’t know it yet. When you have finished navigating your stormy waters, I have faith that you will see that. Regardless, know that I love you beyond measure…and I always will.

It took you 12 years to get to where it took me 34. You? Out of all of my daughters are the strongest. And, unfortunately, out of all of them, the most like me. You have a heart of gold that you mask in sarcasm. You were my greatest student in that regard. Yet, as such, I know you. I see you. Inside you want to be seen, even if you want to be invisible. But you? You have a gift. Your art, your music and your passion will fuel the fire to become one of the greatest women anyone has ever met. Your potential is unlimited…never forget that. No bully, no person, no parent (not even me) can break you. You are better than that. You always have been and always will be unbreakable.

But all Three of you…Know This…Above All
 I have no favorites between  you three. I value you each differently…for different reasons…but know that I speak to you differently based on that assessment. You? You’re different, and I couldn’t be more pleased that you are. Never embrace normality. Ever. You are meant to set the world on fire. And I know you will. Find your medium, find your platform and embrace your destiny.

What scares me most is that each of you represents a stage of my own personality, as I have evolved through the years, using your own unique viewpoints. I see so much of me (good and bad) in each of you. As your mother, what I want for you is only the good I have left, only the good I have given you…and sadly, I have given you bad as well. I have never been perfect, and I will never be. But what I want for each of you (what I have always wanted) is for you to be better than me. In some ways, you all are, in others you aren’t (and that is just life experience talking, you are all more than capable). So now, I adjust my goggles and say that I want you to be the best YOU that you can be, and no matter what, I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, your mommy I’ll be.

 I love you all more than words can say, and I cannot wait to live to see the day that you all three set the world ablaze better than I ever could. Because you can…and you will. Do it. Live it. Learn it. Make it happen. There are no three women in the world better equipped to change it than you three, together. There is strength in numbers and in love, and between the three of you, I have never seen more strength or love than I see with you girls. Do your best. Do your worst. Do it all. But just do it. Make the change in the world that I couldn’t. If there are three women who can, it’s you. And the entire reason for my existence? Well, it was for you three. You are the best things I could ever hope to leave on this Earth, for as long as I live. You make me proud, every day. All of you, for different reasons. Never stop being you, and never stop living in truth. Ever. Challenge yourselves…every day.

All my love,

Your Mommy

Friday, April 4, 2014

. I Would Rather Be Your Respected Enemy Than Your Agreeable Friend.

Life is….Interesting

To say the least, life is interesting. It’s challenging, it’s interesting…to say the least.

Those Who You Think….

These people, they become your "core". You think you cannot live without them…but you do. And when you do, you find that life is actually a better, more “normal” place. Recently, I have cut people out of my life, people I believed I needed, but I didn’t. And it isn’t that they are bad people, but they are on a different path than what I am on. Funny thing is this: Since I have cut them out, great things seem to happen. Sometimes we have to let go of people we love, in order to get to the ‘us’ we are supposed to be.

And My Confession Is…
I don’t miss them. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. I have recently gotten redirected (in life) with people who are more on my wavelength, individuals who understand where I want to go and who support that. And how did I meet these people? Facebook and in person…the two mediums I know work.  

I am Who I am

Good, bad, ugly and indifferent, I have never been afraid to show you all who and what I am, nor will I ever be. It isn’t bravery that leads me to do so, it’s integrity. And yes, I have made many enemies in the process, and that bothers me not in the least. Not only do I not want to be everyone’s cup of tea, but less than that, I don’t want to be everyone’s friend. I understand that you can earn respect without friendship, and I am perfectly okay with that. I would rather be your respected enemy than your agreeable friend. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Talk is…Cheap

 In my 34, nearly 35 years on this planet, I have concluded one universal truth…talk is cheap. And I will tell you why:

1. Just because someone talks, doesn’t mean they have something worth saying
In my years on this big blue marble, I have (time and again) run into two personality types: those who talk just to talk, and those who prefer to let their actions speak louder than words. I can say this with abject humility, because I have been both of these people, and I have learned from being both of these people. And what I can tell you is this: If someone is constantly trying to convince you of their value, they don’t see their own.

It’s those who know their value, who will drop everything and be there when you need them; those who do kind things without announcing them and with no expectation of reciprocation that are worth keeping. Voices? Well, voices are just that…white noise, little more.

2. Communication means nothing unless actions back it up

I have (over the years) become a non-communicator -- at least in one on one conversations…well, most of them. Why? For a few reasons. Personally? I am a very public persona with a very private side -- whether you believe this or not is of no consequence to me, you don’t pay my bills, so your opinion of my life holds little bearing for me. But for me, I have very little filter. I tend to say what is on my mind, in my way, on my terms. I keep my circle of one on one conversations limited to five people. And while those five people change from time to time, I limit that for a reason…and those reasons are my own. But, I am willing to share this: I keep my private life limited to five people because I can manage that, and because, in truth, there are only about five people I can trust. Take a look at your own life, and you will likely find that you are the same in many ways. I prefer to show who I am and how I feel in my way and on my terms. I prefer to be the person who can be counted on, not just the mouthpiece. Actions > words. Always.

3. The thing is…I don’t care

Hold on. Calm down. Here is the deal. I care more and far more deeply about other people than they will ever realize. I spend my time paying it forward in a multitude of ways each day; through small interactions, favors and conversations than others do talking about it. (Actions > words) However, I don’t care what they think of me. Mine? My choice in life is to be the person who guides and steers and who stays in the background, who shows the example, but who doesn’t interact with more than a select few. There is a certain honesty in mystery. There is more honesty in someone who shares for the right reasons, not for the sole purpose of pushing their own selfish agenda. Because, you see, mine has always been one purpose: to teach, to educate, to help others through my own pain, through my own mistakes and lessons (of which there are many). 

But there is beauty in this. You see, I don’t have to have a million one on one conversations to do this, I only have to have one conversation with a million…and if that conversation inspires one, changes one, awakens one, that is what makes me happy. And knowing it has, and that it does, is why I write. And…why I always will. 

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