Monthly Archives: October 2016

In the Arena Spotlight

I love reading posts that make me smile, laugh, encourage me to think  and help me grow. Please check out these wonderful posts by truly awesome people!  

Have a beautiful Sunday!

arena spotlight

 

Make It Ultra

*How to deal with Emotional Vampires

 

Thriving Under Pressure

*Turning failures into opportunities

 

Greater than Gravity

*Life lessons from a season of baseball

 

HarsH ReaLiTy

*Love affair with words

 

Dream Big, Dream Often

*Results of your efforts

 

Rooftop Leadership

*Leaving tracks in this world

 

 

Taking Control of your Dream

Four years ago, a terrified look much like a deer in headlights  came over Lydia’s face as she knew the moment had come for her to stand in front of her peers and present her argument in the class debate.deer

Her shaking hands said it all… this was an absolute dreadful moment at the beginning of her high school career.  She stood up, collected her thoughts, and looked at her notes. Standing beside her, she looked at me and whispered, “what if I make a mistake”- we all do-it’s okay- I responded.

Lydia spoke for less than a minute…  sat back down and let out a huge sigh.

With a teeny little smile on her face, “I can’t believe I did it.”    Believe it, kiddo.

A week prior to the class debate, she came to me and said, “I’ll have to take the zero for this, I’m not good at public speaking.”  I asked her to sit down and we chatted about what she was good at.

“I’m a good swimmer  and  I love writing” she replied.  Our discussion led to her desire to study writing in college and eventually write her own book someday.  Only, someone told her she shouldn’t so she buried her dreams.

I’m sure this is something that resonates with many of you, I know it certainly has for me.  Whether it is a  family member, teacher, lover or friend trying to extinguish the flame of what keeps us going towards our dreams- always keep the embers burning.

Ever heard of Catherine Lanigan?  Her professor told her she didn’t have what it takes to make it as a writer.

romancing-the-stone

Ever seen the movie Romancing the Stone?  

Yep, I thought so.  Great movie!  How about Jewel of the Nile?  These  movies were only two of the 35 books that Catherine went on to write after her talents were dismissed by someone who told her she shouldn’t.

I’m not- is easier to believe than- I Am.

I can’t- is easier to believe than- I can.

Do the work.

I shared with Lydia the story of a guy I went to high school with who had a true passion and talent for making videos and telling stories.  He would enlist the help of all his pals and could frequently be found in his backyard creating what most would consider very bizarre films and according to some “a waste of time.”

It wasn’t for Tom.

He went on to become a camera and film director for shows such as COPS(whatcha gonna do…), Amazing Race, Dating Naked(never a dull moment on that set!) and directing several documentaries on the war in Afghanistan.   Rather than ignoring his critics, he took them along for the ride so they too could see what it looks like when your dreams become your reality.

It took my favorite author Steven Pressfield twenty years before he saw his first book published- Legend of Bagger Vance also made into a major motion picture starring Will Smith and Matt Damon. Pressfield has gone on to write many more outstanding books such as The War of Art, Gates of Fire and Turning Pro.

Now in her final year of high school and in my class once again, Lydia is a  confident, young lady -who is also the president of our literary club and upon graduation in 2017 will embark upon her college years. Her major… Creative Writing.

Thanks, Catherine, Tom and Steven.

You never know who you might inspire by being authentically You.

big-pisgah-mountain-in-the-fall-duane-mccullough

See ya on the mountain

Adversity & the Middle Finger

My sister gave cancer the finger and lived 5 years past what the docs said she would. 

My grandmother gave cancer the finger, had a mastectomy and lived into her 90’s. 

My sister-in-law is now telling cancer to fook off & recently had a double mastectomy-currently going thru chemo/radiation. 

May we always fight the demons who try to invade our mind, body & soul for what is sure to be a worthwhile life. 💖💖

The MDL

Sitting around a campfire awhile back at a leadership conference with three people I had never met before and a kind, father like figure to me, I told my story.  This was not the bits and pieces I had offered up on rare occasions with a couple close friends over the course of my lifetime. I spoke the truth of the physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect that I endured over the course of several years and survived as a young girl, the overwhelming sense of shame that I felt and how this ultimIMG_3825ately determined my purpose  while here on God’s great earth.

From the words of a dear friend, this was the Mission- Decision- Line.  It meant there was no turning back- I was now on a forward trajectory in continuing  to share my story.

I feared judgment and waited nervously for feedback as I was ‘sure’ they were anxious to change the serious tone of our campfire outing.

 

That didn’t happen.

 

A slight sense of relief quickly came as they embraced the personal battles I had “overcome with tremendous inner strength.”

Shame has no power when given a voice.

While this was an obvious ‘tap on the shoulder’ moment, the true M-D-L came to me a number of years prior- standing along a beautiful scenic overlook along the George Washington Parkway on a cold, early April evening.

For the first time in my life, I took a leap of faith and decided to trust someone.

That spot is sacred ground to me- and will always be one that remains so vividly in my heart and mind. Standing there with a cool drizzle coming down upon our heads overlooking Memorial Bridge, the calm waters – I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, tranquility and a need to free myself of the pain buried inside all those years. Earlier that evening, TS had trusted me enough to share some painful experiences of his own. Oblivious to what he had just done; he opened the door of healing- I believe for both of us.

That night, I chose to give up my dependency on pills. I chose to cross the bridge of trust.

I chose to open my heart. I chose to live and serve others.

I am forever grateful.

Personal and professional growth often comes with a price-discomfort. Lingering thoughts and questions are often thrown about in our minds when facing obstacles and the ever looming uncomfortable thought of “I am not enough”-

Will I be judged?  Most likely.

Will I make mistakes? Probably.

Can I trust others? Only one way to find out-by giving it a shot.

Our scars and the miles we run on this journey  are what makes us unique, strong, beautiful, imperfect, courageous and hopefully  provides us with enough fuel to  cross the finish line of what is sure to be a worth while life…

231-adversity 

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