Category Archives: Courage

Miles and Scars

Two years ago today this kid walked into the hospital and had a little brain surgery. It has been one of the most challenging things my son  and I have ever had to endure. While we continue to battle this beast, I’ve learned some valuable lessons along this journey. 

~ Children are always watching adults to see how they act, react in every situation. 

~Never allow our fears or past mistakes to steal our joy and sense of humor in the present or moving forward.

~Learn how to communicate openly, honestly, calmly

~Look at every difficult situation with a growth mindset.

~Use our struggles/scars to help others where possible. 

Never give up!💜

Nature’s Arena

Risks…

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach for another is to risk involvement.

To expose your ideas, your dreams,

before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To believe is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the

greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The people who risk nothing, do nothing,

have nothing, are nothing.

 

They may avoid suffering and sorrow,

but they cannot learn, feel, change,

grow, love, live.

Chained by their servitude they are slaves;

they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

~Author Unknown

img_9557

Pisgah National Forest

How to Build Bridges in Business and in Life

My Grandpa was a cabbage and lettuce farmer and for many years as a young curious girl,  I watched  him work and helped him harvest the crops. There is nothing else he would have rather done. It was in his bones.  I asked him one day if  I could take a turn driving  ‘Ole Blue’ as he called his rusty and reliable tractor.   He responded, “Have you been paying attention?  Yes Sir.”IMG_0032

Pulling his hankerchief from his pocket, he wiped the sweat off his brow, stepped down and said,  “Well, get up there and give it a go.”

 Like my Grandpa, many of us  feel driven by a purpose or calling- to start our own business,  become a life coach, create a blog,  write a book,  or get healthy.  Or perhaps even wish to master the art of staying calm under pressure. Yep, a few of these are on my list too.  So, how do we do this and meet with success?  

There are four key factors in building  bridges and accomplishing our goals: 

1.  Know the leaders/competitors 

Seek out and study those in the industry  and in life who have thrown themselves In the Arena and become champions in their field. What skill sets, resources and connections do they possess?

2.  Be their customer/follower

Listen to their story. Pay attention to the characteristics and behaviors of those you wish to emulate. Demonstrate loyalty to their product and service and reciprocity is sure to follow.

3.  Be their partner

True leaders want to see and help others succeed. What will your contributions be in this relationship? How can you help build them up? 

4.  Create your own niche

Be authentically You.  Focus on your unique talents, skills, traits and passions . This is one of the most important tools needed in building bridges in both our professional and personal lives.

Here are a few of the leaders in their respective industries that I follow and partner with who encourage, motivate and greatly inspire me to  step  In the Arena  in accomplishing my goals and reaching my dreams.

pressfield 2

*Steven Pressfield author of The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Legend of Bagger Vance- made into a major motion film starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.  Pressfield   offers invaluable wisdom  and great insight on  beating Resistance often disguised as our Muse.

*David Scott Mann– 

Founder of Lead Strong  leadership coaching, author, real estate investor , mentor and veteran- Lt. Colonel(ret), Army Special Forces Green Beret.  Scott’s expertise and skills extend well beyond the battlefield; training others to connect, succeed  and leave deep tracks  in this world through the power of storytelling. An Elite Leader like no other.

*Danny Ray Jr.–  Contributing writer- Life Hack,  and creator of  Dream Big, Dream Often .   Danny is a visionary  and community leader both on and offline with a seemingly inexhaustible reserve for helping others recognize and reach their dreams. A dedicated servant and advocate for those whose lives have been impacted by Multiple Scerlosis. The world could use a few more Danny’s.

Dreams

“Pay attention and give it a go”  Grandpa 

 

 

For Love of the Game

Opening day for another great season of baseball.

As it does each year, it brings with it the reminders of why we love the game…
The National Anthem played while the boys stand there with their hats held across their hearts, the smell of burgers and popcorn fill the air, volunteers everywhere, little siblings running up and down the bleachers-laughing, screaming, crying because they just dropped their ice cream-parents cheering for each and every kid on the team as if they were their own.

Yes, a sense of family is born each season- and with that, means teaching the boys to be humble for days that end with a win and dust off the clay when losses come their way, learn from them and keep on, keeping on.  I venture to say this is true in most aspects of our lives.

42

What made today really awesome not only for my son but for all the players and parents was the umpire.

Charles is unlike any other. We have had the pleasure of getting to know him for a few seasons now. An Army veteran and former player himself-once upon a time was recruited and played for a Minor league team with dreams of making it big before repeated injuries set him on a slightly different path. Charles has a true passion for the game, and brings with him a genuine care and concern for each and every player. Often taking time to offer words of encouragement, give specific pointers, strutting his goofy dance moves on the field, always calling a fair game and keeping the kids and parents laughing with his amazing sense of humor and love of life.

You-owe-it-to-yourself-to-be-the-best-you-can-possibly-be-inbaseball-and-in-life

He serves as a wonderful reminder that regardless of the obstacles we must overcome and where we work, we can do it with passion, to the best of our ability and  seize   every opportunity to make meaningful connections with others.

I thank him for his service to our country and to the kids in our community especially #42.

IMG_9967

 

Nature’s Arena

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

~Arthur Schopenhauer 

This has been a difficult time for many in our community- countless firefighters and other first responders working tirelessly to put out this massive wildfire in our area- many elderly impacted by the enormous amounts of smoke, people without power, school children evacuated, can’t get to work, stuck in traffic and can’t get home.

Yesterday, one of my students and his family now have no house to go home to. None of their belongings were saved.  Yet they are simply happy to be alive.

“I once cried because I had no shoes then I met a man who had no feet.”

Keeping life in perspective.

I hope this serves as a small, gentle reminder to begin and end each day with a grateful heart.

The Comforts of the Shadow

In the shadow of ourselves we worry not. We punch the time clock promptly @ 5 pm and hurry home to prop our feet up and forget about the day. Not a minute more will we exert ourselves for that  crappy paying job.  In the comfort of the shadow, we proclaim the police or local neighborhood watch group will take care of the recent string of burglaries wreaking havoc all around us. Never does it occur- that we should stand guard.

The shadow is our safety net; it is what author Steven Pressfield refers to in his book The War of Art as Resistance.  Resistance is the consummate lover of fear, rationalization as to why you can’t or won’t do what your heart longs  to do. This clever enemy will suffocate your soul with self doubt and familial critics.

It is a slow and sinister dance with the devil disguised as your Muse.

Steady your gait, feet properly aligned, eyes fixated on the rope, slow your breathing. Yes! You’ve done it. You peer back at the tightrope with great adulation. The rope is 20 feet off the ground and the net gleams with pride. With a sly grin and a wink of the eye, Resistance calls it a night. His work is done.

Nik Wallenda, the American acrobat has set nine Guinness World Records walking tightropes and riding bicycles at great heights soaring far above packed soil.

He got out of his way and chucked the net.

Ever breathed in the endless beauty of Yosemite National Park? Walked quietly among the Badlands?yosemite-national-park-landscape-scenery

Teddy Roosevelt stepped out of the shadow of his unspeakable grief and preserved these natural wonders and wildlife  into an everlasting gift of 150 million acres of national forests, created the USFS and many national parks throughout the land that we still enjoy today.

Whatever calling or gift we possess within us- story teller, healer, protector, acrobat or conservationist must be excised from the soft silhouette and catapulted into the world.

Be not among the timid souls but dare greatly in stepping out from the comforts of the shadow and into The Arena.

Lessons from the Trail

She broke the world record by hiking the entire Appalachian Trail which runs from Georgia to Maine… in 46 days.  

Pretty dang impressive!

The calls and requests for interviews came quickly for Jennifer Pharr Davis. What were her stats? How many calories per day did she eat per day? How many pairs of shoes did she go through?  As she stood in front of our high school students recently sharing her remarkable and courageous journey she noted that ‘not one of the reporters asked her what she learned or how she felt, what obstacles did she endure and overcome’ while trekking through fourteen states. She admits she was pleased with this record however that was not what was most important.

appalachian-trail

She had made this hike before as a young recent college graduate looking for something greater then your typical 9-5 job.  She found it on her first hike -which on average takes 5-6 months, hiking through the 14 states that make up the AT.  With a wry sense of humor about her extreme exhaustion, foul smell and wanting to quit, she pressed on… one step at a time.  Battling nature’s elements, meeting people from all walks of life(if you ever get to hear her speak, ask her about the stalker), seeing her inner strength shine through in a way she had never seen before and most importantly, discovering and learning to love and believe in herself.

jennifer-pharr-davis

Since her capture of the world record in 2011, someone else has gone on to beat her by only three hours.  While she admits that stings just a bit, it’s ok because no one will ever be able to take away the incredible journey, lessons and love for the Appalachian Trail.

Her experience has in fact led her on a different path; one that she didn’t plan or anticipate.  She has gone on to travel the world hiking many of the long trails on six different continents including hiking all 50 states with her now four year old daughter. And has since started sharing her passion and love for hiking and nature with others by founding the Blue Ridge Hiking Company and gave her first Ted Talk awhile back.

What I know for sure… there is a tremendous opportunity to connect with others through storytelling.   When we truly take the time to listen, ask questions, show empathy and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with our stories,  we often will see ourselves through their journey. This connection can happen anywhere- with students in the classroom, book clubs, chatting with an old veteran or coworkers working the midnight shift at the hospital.

While many of us are driven towards accomplishing our goals and dreams, perhaps the greatest moments and memories of our lives are when we trust the journey of the path unknown.

img_9449-1

 

 

 

« Older Entries