Category Archives: Purpose

Who’s in Your Corner?


Have you ever felt like life keeps beating you down?  Been dealt a bad hand? Had your heartbroken? Fallen ill with no support? Or perhaps  hard financial times have knocked on your door more than once? The light that paves the way towards your dream has all but faded?

Yep, that’s what I thought…

 Me too.

Now think about a time  when you were able to jump over that hurdle, cross that bridge and win the fight or know someone who did.  How did you or they  do it?

Chances are, someone was in your corner and you had the will to get back up.  I used to think growing up and as a young adult that I could handle all of life’s challenges on my own.  Man, was I wrong!  Most often, it was lack of trust in others, my own pride and stubborn ways that kept me from accepting help or support- I. needed. no one.

rocky quote

I finally came to my senses that the only way I could overcome my obstacles, serve a purpose other than myself  and strive to reach my dreams was two fold-  work hard and have a team of supportive people by my side. We are not alone in the fight.

This is not to say that everyone should throw the towel in  and rescue you from yourself and your troubles- struggle can bring tremendous personal growth.  This is never more true right now than with my teenage daughter who wants everyone to give and do everything for her(yes, the word entitlement comes to mind).  However, I am her Mickey- she just doesn’t realize it- yet!

Mickey was always there to push Rocky past the point of comfortable, work hard for what he wanted and move in a direction that not only led to wins in the ring but in life. In fact, most of the characters in the Rocky movies all played a different yet vital role in motivating him- especially his opponents- have you seen Ivan Drago?!Drago

This David and Goliath fight was not only to avenge Apollo’s death but more importantly it was a brilliant metaphor of how big life’s challenges can be- yet- if we have the will to win and the right people in our corner, we can be victorious.



You may be wondering how you find your Mickey?

Be one…








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…


Nature’s Arena

Making a lasting difference in the lives of others often happens in the small, quiet moments. Listening to a veteran and helping him through dark times- encouraging and believing in the quiet, shy student who’s afraid to speak up- caring for a sick child.



What ripples will you create today?

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.


“Pay attention and give it a go”  Grandpa 



In the Arena – Weekly Spotlight

Hope all of you had a wonderful week.  Mine was spent enjoying time with my kiddos and Momma in the Appalachian Mountains. It was nice and necessary to unplug from the world wide web and instead plug into breathing in nature’s beauty and precious moments with family.

Please take some time this weekend to click on these wonderful blogs featured in the Weekly Spotlight. 


 Behind the White Coat Coming from a family who mostly works in the medical field, I think it’s important to recognize  that doctors, nurses and others in this industry are more than a diagnosis or treatment they provide – they too are human who not only have their own stories but often times carry the  heavy stories of those they treat in their hearts and minds forever. 

Two are Better than One Michelle has a servants heart and demonstrates rooftop leadership in all that she does.

Kim Bailey Deal –  Kim is able to paint a raw yet beautiful image of the tremendous healing power of ‘breaking the silence.’

Dream Big, Dream Often – Danny can always be counted on  to deliver thought provoking  posts that are full of encouragement with the occasional polite ‘kick in the pants’ when needed.

TomSlatin –  Tom has a way of capturing seemingly simple photographs that compel the viewer to reach inside the image and give breath to its story. 

Random Writings on the Bathroom Wall-  Jim is keeping it real with his ‘small blog on WP.’ I can definitely relate. I may have written on a bathroom wall –  once. ; )

arena spotlight


Have a wonderful weekend!





Connection – Grandpa vs. Gary Vee

I’m sure there are more than a handful of you out there who are like me-children of the BCCI Era- before cells, computers,  and internet.  Thank goodness too- I’m pretty sure I would still be grounded!  Yep, you too huh?  

Before the world went and got itself in a big darn hurry, some of my best memories come from sitting under a giant Oak tree that shaded my Grandpa’s home where we lived for a time. He told the best stories- the kind that made us  laugh til tears streamed down our face, the kind that convinced my brother and I that working in his  cabbage fields was far more fun than sleeping in on the weekends.  The kind that made us realize how blessed we were because there was always someone who had it a little bit tougher than we did, and the kind of stories that have kept me wanting to connect with others and helping my children understanding the value of storytelling and connection.IMG_0034

So, does it matter How we share our stories?  I think  we must first know Why we are sharing our stories and who is your audience?  Is it a means of earning money?  A way of processing the scars we’ve had to endure, or perhaps because we love writing and/or helping others. It could be a combination of all of these and that’s ok, too.

Like, Grandpa, I’m old school and seem to have a love/hate relationship with this  21st century way of connecting  online with people – it  can be pretty scary and overwhelming at times.  I like to see and feel someone’s emotions in person when I hear or share a story. Can I translate that raw  human emotion through a text,  blog, IG, Snapchat(I don’t have this for the record), Tweet, or FB post?    I can operate a car, a Bissell, help build a non-profit organization, and a relationship with each of my 100 students but ask me to load a photo on to Instagram… well, you can take a look at my Instagram and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And  Twitter? –  I have resisted it like there is no tomorrow!  I think I’m well over the 140 character count by now with this post!

It is part of a growth mindset  to remain open to new ways of connecting.  I have met via online some amazingly, inspiring people-  umm, hello have you met Danny @ Dream Big, Dream Often?!  Or Kerri @ InsideOutFitnessandNutrition – more than once I’ve said to myself “what would Kerri do- exercise or not?”  Of course she would choose the former so off I went… Thanks, Kerri!  🙂

Grandpa would say…

social media rabbit

 Can someone really meet with great success and tell an effective story with a picture or in three short sentences?   Well, you be the judge…

Gary Vee would say…

gary vee story



 While I  will always be most fond of the ‘grab a chair under the old Oak tree’ kind of stories or quick to grab my journal and pen – I think there is room and a need for both the traditional means of telling stories and connecting and those that well… require wifi.

Here’s some food for thought by Gary Vee  on the need to stay with the times if we want to stay connected in the 21st century.






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