Posts Tagged: personal development

Calm, focused, successful

meditation, mindfulness, bluefeet blog, Lilli Cloud

Mindfulness has been described as the new killer app, the new caffeine, and a must-have tool for every 21st century leader. But is it all that?

Oh yeah.

This is #2c of my series Lessons from Luxury Goods— radiate a calm presence. So you can show up like you’re worth it, which you are.

Step one, from August 5: stop overscheduling.

Step two from August 12: stop multitasking.

Step three: meditate so you can be more mindful.

Wait? Is it mindfulness or meditation? Or is it mindfulness meditation?

Think of it this way:


Say you decide you want to get strong so you can look great and impress your friends by lifting heavy objects, or at the very least, be able to get your suitcase into the overhead bin all by yourself. You know getting strong will help you:

  • maintain balance
  • prevent injuries
  • dance, bike, run, play ping pong or whatever you love to do
  • get down (and up from) the floor to play with small children and animals
  • do every physical movement better and easier

How do you get strong? You do strength training.

You go to the gym. You hire a trainer. You lift weights regularly and often. Over time, you become stronger and more able to do everything with greater ease.

Consistent training helps you stay strong and get stronger so you can take on even greater physical challenges.


Now, replace the word strong with the word mindful.

Say you want to get mindful so you can:

  • focus and get more work done
  • be less upset about past slights or disappointments and move on to what’s happening today
  • achieve a goal like getting strong, eating fewer carbs or running a marathon
  • give your your boss, colleagues or loved ones the attention they need and deserve
  • manage physical or emotional pain
  • be calm and even happy sitting in traffic or standing in lines
  • radiate the calm energy of executive presence
  • experience every joyous, precious moment of your life

How do you get mindful? You meditate.

You can go on an in-person retreat; to a class at a yoga studio, church or meditation center; take a class or do a mini-retreat from the comfort of your own home with my teacher. Heck, there’s even an app for thata bunch of them.

Consistent meditation keeps you mindful, and helps you grow even more mindful over time so you can handle any challenge better — physical or emotional.

Besides being a productivity hack with all of the above-listed benefits, the mindfulness you get from your meditation practice will help you focus when you’re interacting with a boss, colleague, board member or funder. You’ll make them feel important and heard, and you’ll come across as a person who has their act together — because you do.

Have a great week, hopefully filled with more mindful moments. And for more on radiating presence, please tune in to my weekly facebook live streams Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. PDT


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!

Live – What You Want Workshop Now Open – Limited Offering

bluefeet, workshop, Lilli Cloud,

If you’re going to go for it, wouldn’t it be great to know what it is?

Let me coach you through a process to find out just that with five other people like you who also want to have a career and life of intention.

Whether you’re in transition, ready for a transformation or looking for a reset, this day will give you the momentum you need to move forward with work that serves you.

This is a limited time offer for interactive, small-group coaching workshop in-person. By this fall, I’ll be turning this content into an on-demand, online course.

Here’s what you can expect in this live, day-long workshop. You’ll:

  • Claim the work you love and let go of what you loathe
  • Envision and plan your ideal work day
  • Create an action plan to get you there
  • Get a lot of personal attention with only six participants max

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what you really wanted your career and life to be like. Take a day for yourself to reclaim, reset and relaunch.

You have more power than you think to make your ideal work day a real work day. Get fueled to go for what you really want.

There is only room for six people max in the workshop session. Will you be one of them?

Click the workshop link to enroll today:

Friday, June 7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., In-Person, Downtown Los Angeles


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.

The Number One Personality Test to Get You the Job You Want

Some people say personality assessments keep people stuck where are they are. I say exactly the opposite. For career marketing, this stuff is gold, especially Gallup StrengthsFinder, which is what I use with my clients.

You can find out more about this in my Facebook Live on personality tests and job search, but here’s a rundown of some popular personality assessments and tips on how to show your strengths to get the role or goal you seek.

Personality Assessments


The letters stand for: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness

Well respected by and widely used within the corporate world.

Measures how you do in your natural and adapted (or under pressure) states, which is one reason why companies like it. The letters are the shorthand for your type, but it’s not as fun to talk about as some other assessments.

You can definitely use this for career marketing, but not so fun to talk about on a date.


Best for personal development, not for career marketing unless you’re applying at a yoga studio or similar.

It is freakishly accurate and excellent for self-discovery. It’s more spiritual and way more complicated to figure out than some other assessments. I know a lot about my type, but not a lot about others because it requires more in-depth study.

Could be fun to talk about on a date if the other person has taken it. Definitely will help you understand others.

Meyers-Briggs (MBTI)

No longer popular or well-respected in the corporate world. Not recommended for career marketing unless the interviewer brings it up.

Originally introduced in 1943, there are newer and more respected assessments. In fact, some organizational development people disdain Meyers-Briggs and a recent book about it, The Personality Brokers, doesn’t help either.

But it’s fascinating and many find it insightful. Definitely talk about this on a date, unless you’re out with an OD person.


My favorite and the one I recommend for career marketing. Here’s why:

1) Well respected by and widely used within the corporate world.

2) Published by Gallup – this gives it a lot of credibility.

3) Easy to understand – the names of the strengths are pretty intuitive.

I’m strategic, connectedness, activator, relator, belief. Maximizer and ideator also show up once in awhile on my StrengthsFinder.

4) Leadership domains give another layer of where your strengths lie:

Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, Strategic Thinking

How to Share Your Strengths

1) In Interviews and Networking Conversations

Get beyond your last job title by giving people something more interesting about you. Not just what you did but how you did it. This is where your strengths come in. This is especially important if you want to move in a new direction where you have to move beyond the last job title.

I get great content out of people with this simple question:

How do you use your strengths in your work?

And then: Tell me a story about how you use your strengths.

Remember, the answer to every behavioral interview question is a story, so why not make it a strengths-based story?

2) On Your Resume, LinkedIn, PowerPoint or One-Sheet

Add your strengths to your resume with a short description (one line) pulled from the report. Here’s the description I use for strategic: Sees solutions before others know there is a problem.

Add your strengths to a short PowerPoint deck that sums you up. Devote one page to strengths. Wouldn’t this be a more interesting way to introduce yourself to a new boss? See an example here from a page I use.

My Strengths from the Gallup StrengthsFinder Assessment in PowerPoint format

Find Out More

Listen to the whole video for more details on my Facebook page. And good luck showing your strengths! The world needs what you have to offer.

bluefeet goes to Harvard

Kim Perez, Harvard Sustainability Masters Program, bluefeet blog

This blog is a brag, a congratulations and a we’re-so-proud-of-you all wrapped into one. Our head writer, Kim Perez, was recently accepted to Harvard University’s Extension School program for a Master’s in Sustainability.

Woo hoo! Way to go, Kim!

Besides all the great material she creates for bluefeet clients, Kim is also studying things like urban planning, energy, land use, systems thinking, and even statistics.

Kim’s goal – to fix something.

She does that for bluefeet clients every day. People always tell her she takes the chaos in their brains and makes it clear. Over time she’s figured out what she’s drawn to is systems – making complex things simple. (If you’ve ever read her blog about efficient, minimal travel, you know she’s been simplifying things since childhood).

But what does this mean in the context of sustainability, and what is sustainability, anyway?

Global sustainability means making sure we humans are doing things in a way that ensures life today as well as tomorrow. It’s the ultimate design challenge for someone who likes to tinker with systems to make them more efficient.

Kim’s always looking for ways to be better, to grow and learn. So far, she’s researched and written about fair trade, visiting artisans in El Salvador and producing a short web film about meeting coffee growers in Nicaragua. She reported on delivering healthcare to remote villages in Malawi for, and wrote a white paper on rainwater harvesting for a client. She volunteered in a fair trade retail store.

A few years ago she looked out at 10-year goals and realized she could go deeply into an area of interest, be the academic she always wanted to be, and get a new degree with years to spare in her career. She was thrilled to discover the degree program in sustainability at Harvard, and she’s almost half-way through.

We’d love to put Kim’s knowledge and sensibilities to work for clients in this area. Let us know if you need help with:

  • Telling stories about what your organization is doing related to sustainability, so your customers, investors and employees know about your results.
  • Inspiring employees and partners to get excited about your company’s green initiatives.
  • Making the case for changing the way your company or community does things.

And anything else that involves turning chaos into clarity – finding a simple way to share your complexity.

Kim Perez, Harvard Sustainability Masters, bluefeet blog

Music to Work By

music to work by focus bluefeet Lilli Cloud meditation


I peed my pants up until the time I was six years old. I was engrossed – in play. Playing something too important, too fascinating, too-in-the moment to be interrupted for something as mundane as a call of nature. Read the Rest