Posts Tagged: intention

Baby You’re a Firework!

fireworks, bluefeet

Today marks the end of the first half of 2019 (in the Gregorian calendar)!  Have you achieved your goals yet?

Me neither. I’m not feeling much like a firecracker — yet.

Last year I celebrated July 4th as my own personal Independence Day — the day I officially vowed to throw myself “into the arena” as Brene Brown is fond of saying when quoting Teddy Roosevelt’s famous poem. I promised myself to be in the world in bigger ways so I can help my clients and myself share our gifts more.

Independence doesn’t mean going it alone because, truly, if there was ever a recipe for failure in life that must be it. It doesn’t mean ignoring loved ones, colleagues or community. It means being intentional and making clear and conscious decisions about why, where and how you want to be in this world. That may involve moving directly toward greater connection. Or it may mean stepping away from those that aren’t working for you.

Mostly it’s about conscious, intentional, self-determination. Being proactive, rather than reactive. It’s fine to just go where the wind blows you at times, as long as you don’t get caught in its gust for too long! And when you do get off track, come back to it with grace for yourself, over and over again, as many times as necessary.

I invite you to take a 5- or 15-minute mid-year pause to remember where you were headed and pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve sailed so far this year. In fact, I’ve created a worksheet to help you do just that.

Personally, this is new territory for me. I’m not good at congratulating myself. The downside of thinking big is that I don’t appreciate the small steps I’ve achieved along the way. But every firework is made up of lots of little sparks, no? That’s what makes it beautiful.

I think those of us who have this disease of discounting our successes dishonor ourselves. And that does not help us get where we want to go.

So, I’ll start by sharing some of the sparks I’ve made so far this year:

  • I write to you weekly, and sometimes you write back. (I love that!)
  • I go live on Facebook every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., and sometimes you show up and even comment. (I love that, too!)
  • I completed in-person beta tests of my new workshop — What You Want: Creating Your ideal Work Day.
  • I wrote an eBook about how to ask for a raise that will make its way into the world at some point.
  • I’ve hired a new team member knowledgeable about online course marketing, and I’ve tried out some others that didn’t work out.
  • I’ve manifested an awesome new corporate client for me and my team.
  • I performed at Disney Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  • I performed wearing a toy duck on my head (not at Disney Hall, but it was really fun!).
  • I’ve made some very specific asks of the universe and she has delivered exactly what I asked for. I am awestruck.

And I did all of this with remnants of grief that at times required a bathroom cry break, though this is happening less and less. I did some of this with the malaise of a low thyroid (now adjusted, thank goodness).

Do I wish I’d done more these last 181 days? Sure. Always. But I lit some sparks, and so did you. So download your Sparks of Achievement worksheet. And let’s celebrate what we’ve done so far this year to light up our own lives and the lives of others.

In the words of that great female empowerment diva Katy Perry:

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine

Just own the night

Like the Fourth of July

One little spark at a time.

Have a great week! Stay safe and enjoy the fireworks!

I Didn’t Die, But My Way of Life Did

bluefeet, Lilli Cloud, intention, career, change, accident, PTSD, work, intentional life

It started out as a typical morning, but it turned out to be a day that changed my life forever.

That day I was on my way from Los Angeles to be with the staff I managed in Orange County, about 30 miles away. I was stressing about a client who was not doing what we recommended. Should I call her now? Later? I was rolling along in my favorite lane, the far left, going about 70 miles an hour.

It was much later that I understood the chain of events that changed my life forever. But it started with someone making a bad lane change.

They clipped the front of the car next to me, then she moved to her left, sideways, towards me. I turned the wheel — too far. Then jerked it back, lost control and sped across all five lanes of traffic until I made impact with a propane truck.

I hit the giant tire of the truck a glancing blow and went airborn, landed upside down and began the worst journey of my life back across the freeway, headed right for the median wall, the roof of my car scraping across the concrete at high speed.

It was at that moment I said: God, if you have something I’m supposed to do with my life, something needs to change, fast.

The scraping sound slowed and my car slid to a stop, a couple of feet from the wall.

Miraculously, I hit no other cars coming or going across the freeway. Miraculously, I walked away from the crash with all of my bodily parts intact. But my brain was broken.

It took over a year to dig out of the pit that is PTSD, but when I did, I was ready to make my life matter.

Before that, I’d just been along for the ride, so to speak. I started college with no idea what to study, but like most people I meet when I do workshops and coaching, I ended up in a career that made use of my talents.

I got promoted frequently and if I didn’t, I moved on to another job. I was even able to use my experience to work abroad for several years. When I came back to the U.S. I was at a fork in the road — one direction I could do well at, the other I really enjoyed. But I needed a job, and the one I could do well at called first.

After a few years, it was soul sucking. Then I freelanced for a year or so, but ended up at a similar, but better, company. I loved the incredibly talented and creative people I worked with at that job, and they gave me unconditional love and support after the accident and all through my recovery, but in the end I needed more meaning in my life, and career is a big part of life.

That was when I decided to quit riding the tide and live an intentional life. I’ve never worked for anyone else since.

You don’t have to have a near-death experience to be ready to have a career of intention. You don’t have to have your own business, become Mother Theresa or run a non-profit. To me, a career of intention is simply this:

  • Knowing what you want
  • Understanding your gifts
  • Sharing them with others

You can decide at any point in your life to be in charge, to be intentional. You may be at a point of transition, but transformation can happen even right where you’re at.

I’m at that point myself. I’ve helped a lot of people, and I can honestly say I’m proud of the work I’ve done in training, coaching, consulting and also with my team of designers and writers. I’ve been able to connect people to each other and causes to actions.

I’ve been honored to help people uncover their gifts and express their brilliance — to help them get the job that’s right for them and to succeed in that job by communicating in ways that are clear, compelling and authentic.

In 15 years of trying to live with intention, here are three things I’ve learned:

1) It’s easy to get off track.

Life happens. In ways good and bad.

A family tragedy, illness or other circumstances that require you to stay with the status quo. Time goes by.

A different opportunity comes along;  you go off and explore it. That can be a good thing, and you may find that it’s not your thing.

You forget. In the day-to-day of living life, you just forget your intention.

2) A regular refresh can re-energize and re-focus.

Ever get interrupted while you’re in the middle of something, go off to handle that thing, and then say: now, where was I? You pause for a moment and remember.

A regular refresh can help you do just that with your life and career.

Often, people do this at the New Year. Many religious traditions have a time to reflect and reset: for Jews, it’s Rosh Hashana. For Christians, it’s Lent. For Muslims, it’s the Hajj. We all love the idea of a fresh start.

That the opening of baseball season coincides with the dawn of Spring is fortuitous. Whatever happened last season is over. We are starting fresh. Hope and optimism are reborn in the wake of a cold, dark winter.

3) Someone needs to know and honor your vision.

It’s hard to believe in yourself if you don’t have anyone who knows your heart and mind, your intentions and ideas.

It’s true that having an accountability partner can make you more successful. But I don’t think it’s just about being accountable.

It’s about being heard and believed in. Someone to say, yes, that iswho you are. Yes, that would be awesome. Yes, I believe you can do that, be that. Yes. You.

It all starts with intention. My intention now is to help more people get and succeed in the career they want. That means taking my coaching and training online. I truly believe when we’re doing the work that’s right for each of us and expressing our brilliance in ways anyone can understand, the world is a better place.

Grandiose? Perhaps. But even if I can only help you make your corner of the world a better place, I will be grateful for the opportunity.

Would you join me? I’ll be launching the first of my online workshops (working title: Creating Your Ideal Work Day) later this year.

To get you started now, you can download a worksheet I use to help people get clear on what they want the world to walk away with when they’ve said yes to the life and career you want.

After all, if you’re going to go for it, it’s a good idea to know what it is.