Word Wednesday - Seminal Moment

seminalmoment Ok, get your mind out of the gutter…this isn't naughty!

Everyone knows the definition of "moment" so there's no need to define that part of today's Word Wednesday phrase.  Here is the actual definition of "seminal."



1. pertaining to, containing, or consisting of semen.
2. Botany. of or pertaining to seed.
3. having possibilities of future development.
4. highly original and influencing the development of future events: a seminal artist; seminal ideas.

A seminal moment is that brief lapse of time in which something happens that is potentially life changing, or changes the course of things. It is that instant when the seed is planted to develop into something bigger! We experience seminal moments every day but often, we're simply not aware that the seemingly insignificant experience is about to change the course of our entire lives.

My co-worker and I were just discussing one such event.  Several years ago, well over a decade, a customer called me to ask if we could help them with a rush order.  It was a super hot rush and if we were going to make it happen, we had to act quickly.  I called our supplier in California to see if they would be able to turn the job that quickly but our sales rep wasn't yet in the office. Given that it was such a hot rush, I was pretty persistent and asked if there was anyone else who could help me. I was transferred to Trudy,  a sales rep for a different territory.


Trudy (pictured above) wasn't even our sales rep for Oregon but she was a huge help and we worked it out that her company would be able to help us with our rush order.  At the time, this just seemed like another typical situation which we both experienced on a daily basis.  It didn't seem too significant at the time, but that phone call, that seminal moment, changed the course of our lives forever.

After I had placed our order and we buttoned up all of the details, we were able to spend a moment on the phone just visiting.  Trudy casually mentioned how much she loved Portland and somewhat-jokingly asked if we were hiring. That phone call, those few brief words, were the beginning to a pretty awesome change for us both.

Trudy flew into Portland to interview with our company. Given her quick and friendly response to our urgent needs, we already knew she was going to be fabulous.  Within just a few weeks, she moved to Portland and joined our team and has made a huge difference to the company where we work.  Since moving to Portland, she's married her husband and had many other awesome life changes.

Neither of us knew at that moment, the significance of that one single phone call. We both laughed today wondering what would have happened if I had been a little more patient and waited for our Oregon Sales Rep to call me back?  Because of that rush order and my need for a prompt answer,  Trudy's life and all of our lives,  have been forever changed.

It isn't always this easy to identify that single life-changing, seminal moment.  Seemingly insignificant events or interactions with others can actually have a huge impact on our lives. The smallest actions or decisions could actually set our lives on a completely different course.  This…this is what makes me happy and excited to be alive.  In nearly everything we do, we're planting seeds for the future and I'm just so excited to see what grows!

Word Wednesday - Trachle



noun, verb, tra·chled, tra·chling. Scot.

1.  an exhausting effort, especially walking or working.
2.  an exhausted or bedraggled person.
verb (used with object)
1.  to fatigue; tire; wear out.
2.  to bedraggle.
The Portland Marathon is in one month and having just completed a 24 mile walk this past Sunday,  the hardest part of training is behind me and it's now downhill until the trachle of race day.


This will be my 4th marathon, and oddly, training for this marathon has been the most challenging of all.  My time was so slow this past Sunday, if I were to do that same pace come Marathon day, I would be among the very last finishers.  There came a point on Sunday when I thought to myself that I should just back out.  I shouldn't do the Portland Marathon this year. In fact, there were several points along those 24 miles when I thought to myself that there is no possible way I could do the marathon this year and I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was going to opt out.

That sort of psych-out and mental battle is all part of training for a marathon.  You have to go to war against yourself in training sessions so that come race day, you know you will cross that finish line no matter how loudly your brain tries to convince you otherwise.  Part of the mental war of training is so that you can go into the marathon having been beaten down a few times during training and knowing that you didn't give up!  The battles you fight during training will give you confidence knowing that you can pick yourself back up and drag your own self across that finish line!

Eventually, I made peace with myself.  I'm still going to do the Portland Marathon. I will cross that start line and I will cross that finish line!  I will feel no shame or regret if my time is significantly slower this year as long as I can look back on the race and feel that I had given it my all (mentally, physically, or both) at every mile of the race. It is going to be quite the trachle to cross that finish line - but I'm determined to make it happen!

Word Wednesday - Vivify



verb (used with object), viv·i·fied, viv·i·fy·ing.
1. to give life to; animate; quicken.
2. to enliven; brighten; sharpen.


I've noticed among my friends and acquaintances that we're starting to really feel the urgency to vivify our dreams and goals.

When we're in our twenties and early thirties, it feels like there will always be time to make our dreams a reality.  If you have unfulfilled dreams when you hit 38ish, or if you have dreams you've never even started to chase, the motivation (or pressure) to make those dreams a reality can be overwhelming and thought-consuming.  Go with it! Use that pressure to help fuel you as you begin to make those dreams a reality.

I've started to pursue so many new things in just the past couple of  years and I've caught myself feeling a lot of regret over not having started earlier.  This is not productive, I know.  But I think a teensy-weensy bit of regret has actually been somewhat of a healthy motivator.  It sort of feels like I've wasted all that time, now I just need to go for it and go for it with all I've got.  Of course, we can't sit around wasting time thinking about all the things we could have done. But if you're feeling like you've let the time pass, it is going to continue to pass unless you take action.  Start right now.  Whatever it is that you've been wishing for, or dreaming of, just take that first step!  When you take that first step, the momentum builds and before you know it -  you've accomplished your goals and you're living your dreams!

I  chose this word because I just wanted to share a little encouragement with you. I've been receiving encouragement from so many sources lately and I just wanted to give you a little boost. I hope that you'll believe in yourself and give yourself a chance to pursue your dreams and give them life. I know you can do it. You just have to start. Vivify…

Word Wednesday - Serendipity

ser·en·dip·i·ty  [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]  


1.  an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2.  good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.


I had nearly talked myself out of starting my 365 Day People Picture Project challenge but I had a moment of serendipity while I was out walking on one of my favorite trails.  I did 14 miles on Saturday and since I don't listen to an iPod on my walks/hikes, I spend a lot of time thinking.  The start of my walk was spent trying to talk myself back into the challenge.  I was thinking about everything from how I would find my subjects, to how I was going to pack a camera and laptop around every day for the next year, along with my lunch bag, gym bag, and purse.

I was near mile 8 and I had been thinking about the Epiphanie Belle camera bag/purse I had picked up on ebay, and totally love, but I wishing that I also had the larger Clover style bag which could accommodate a laptop along with a camera body and lenses.  I was so bummed and stressed and thinking that I shouldn't start the project until I get the larger Clover bag.  I knew I was creating one more obstacle to prevent me from starting the challenge. I came to my senses and convinced myself that I can easily get by with the smaller bag, and a tote for my laptop, until I have it in my budget to purchase the larger bag.

Keep in mind, I'm out on a forested trail, fairly early in the morning.  It's not out in the middle of nowhere, but the beauty of the trail is that it makes you feel as though you're out in an isolated forest.  As I'm having this mental debate, I'm rounding a corner which takes me from an area of the trail which is pretty dense with trees and then enter a cemented area which is actually a private boat ramp for the fancy-schmancy homes in the area and all of the sudden I see it…an Epiphanie Clover bag right there at the start of the boat ramp. WHAT?  How could this very unique and specialized bag be sitting right in front of me just as I'm thinking of it?


I looked up to find its human and saw a woman taking pictures of the lake.  I asked her, "excuse me…is this an epiphanie bag?"  I knew it was. I've been obsessing over them for the past month or so.  She said "yes, feel free to take a look."  I poked around a little and told her I didn't want to break anything. She had several lenses and was obviously a professional. She came over and we chatted for several minutes about how great the bags are. It turned out that she is a wedding photographer.  I told her I was thinking about starting a 365 day photo challenge, explained I'm not a photographer and really don't even know how to use my camera properly, and asked if she gives private lessons. I liked her immediately. She made me feel completely comfortable and I thought she would make an excellent teacher.  She said that she didn't give lessons but her husband does and she gave me his card.  I could have visited with her all day but I realized that a very patient young couple, her clients, had appeared and were ready for their session.

Talk about a lucky discovery! Serendipity!  In one moment, right as I'm having in internal debate on whether or not to start the project, I run into a professional photographer whose husband  happens to give private photography lessons and I get to see the bag I've wanted in person. (I determined it is exactly what I need to help keep me organized for the project.)    I figure her husband must be as friendly as she, so I already know that I'd like to take a few lessons from him.  I don't even feel the need to shop around.  Not only was this encounter serendipitous, but it was also a big fat neon sign. I'm on the right path.

Meeting the photographer at that very moment just reinforced that everything is going to work out as long as I have the courage to try.

Word Wednesday - Simplify




verb (used with object), sim·pli·fied, sim·pli·fy·ing.

to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.

"Simplify" is one of those buzzwords that we've been hearing for the past couple of decades, but have you ever set out to truly simplify your life and surroundings?  The first assignment we received in the Entrepreneur Workshop for Women, taught by      Stephanie Lynn, was to simplify our life in three ways.  The driving point that Stephanie made was that in order to prepare our lives for greatness, we had to first clear our lives of the clutter and the things which caused us stress.  It hit me…we have to prepare for greatness!  Of course, everybody knows that we feel better and function better when the house is clean and orderly, but we can simplify in ways which are even more strategic than a spotless house. (which, mine is definitely not. yet.)

I felt like I had so much in my life that needed simplification, I wasn't even sure where to start.  Here are the questions I had to address to help me prioritize my immediate needs for simplification.

-What are my time-suckers?

-What causes me to run late for work?

-Where am I wasting money?

-What is interrupting the flow of my day?

-What are the frustrations that nearly bring me to tears or to the point were I'm swearing?


The answers to these questions were primarily centered around my morning routine of getting ready for work in the morning.  The same silly little problems were causing me a great deal of stress, wasting limited time, and had even caused issues for the mister. (Looking for lost items, trying to figure out what to wear, trying to locate what I decide to wear, and spending too much time getting ready in the morning.)

Here are the three things I did to simplify my life to complete the assignment, and a few more tips that I've learned the hard way.



Wasting time looking for my misplaced wallet or keys, has nearly brought me to tears.  Actually,  I had a near melt-down one day because I was so frustrated at myself for having misplaced my keys.  This is pretty ridiculous.  Why was it so hard for me to keep track of these things?  I finally made the declaration that I would always put my keys and wallet in the front pocket of my purse.  The front pocket of my purse was going to be their forever home.  My husband would reminded me if he would find them elsewhere.  I've finally ritualized the habit of putting both my keys and my wallet in the front pocket, I now do it automatically.   If I get my wallet out to make a purchase online, I return it to my purse immediately.  I've tried the key hook or basket in the past, but the front pocket works best for me. It was simply a matter of stating out loud that this is the way things are going to be from now on, and then sticking to it.



This was a huge, drastic change.  It may sound like something very simple, but it was a huge step for me.  I can admit, and confess, I'm somewhat addicted to make-up and other girly products.  My mom is a hair stylist so I've loved make-up and hair products since I was a child. I did a three-part make-up simplification.

1 - I cancelled my Birchbox subscription and my subscription to the BareMinerals eyeshadow club. This sounds silly, but I was actually sad to cancel these subscriptions. (all the more reason to do so.)  The Birchbox subscription is a monthly club in which they send a package of sample sized make-up, hair product, and other fun goodies.  The price was only $10 per month, but I was starting to accumulate a big box of product that I wasn't going to use and had no intention of ordering in a full size.  The bareMinerals eye shadow club is actually a very good program and the only reason I cancelled, is because I've finally accumulated more eye shadow than one girl could ever possibly use.  And, I've finally reached the point where I could actually say that "I have enough."  The bareMinerals program was just a little over $30 and they ship 3 full sized eye shadows and a brush, every three months.  In canceling the two subscriptions, not only did I reclaim some shelf space, but it will be a savings of $210 per year.

2 -  I tossed anything that didn't fit inside my train case.  (this does not include skin care.)  I realize that a train case full of make-up is still more than a girl needs, but it was very good progress for me.

3 - I simplified my make-up routine and will continue to do so for the rest of the summer.  I use to waste a lot of time going through my entire make-up collection, trying to figure out how I wanted to wear my make-up on any given day.  My work is so busy right now, I need to get out of the house as fast as I can and get to work. I think it is still important to look put together, but I've been wearing as minimal make-up as possible, while still looking like I took the time to pull myself together in the morning.



Over the years, two of the spare bedrooms had become catch-all rooms to the point where they couldn't even function as guest rooms or even as a comfortable office.  We didn't need the rooms for anything, so they basically became storage.  (Storage is a nice way of saying they were the room sized equivalents of a "junk drawer".)  Part of the contributing factor to always losing my keys and wallet, is that I didn't really have a place to call my own.  My clothes were spread out over two closets and a wardrobe rack and it was impossible for me to get organized.  We needed to get the spare rooms back into functioning order so that we could get the rest of the house to be like we want. We emptied both rooms, purged what we didn't need or want,  put in new flooring and painted, and now I finally have my very own closet/changing room/office.  I'm minimizing the effort that went into clearing these two rooms.  This was a huge undertaking and one we had been dreading for a long time.  I'm intentionally minimizing the effort in order to be encouraging. If you're avoiding your own junk drawer or junk room, just make the decision to simplify and you'll be pleased with how quickly things come together.    We make things out to be so difficult in our minds but when we finally make up the mind to do something, it is never as bad as we thought it would be.  We just have to start. We spend more time dreading something than we spend actually doing some tasks.

I've continued to be aware of areas in which I can simplify my life and make little improvements each and every day.  One thing I've realized, ironically, is that sometimes in order to simplify, we actually need "more".  This is counterintuitive in that most of the time when we think about simplifying, we think of eliminating. (like the giant room-clearing project.)  However, there are times when in order to help your life run more smoothly, you may need to add "duplicates" of certain items so that you can have things in multiple locations.

-Stock your gym-bag with duplicate necessities so that you don't always have to transfer items back and forth from home and to the gym.  For me, this mean't buying another hair dryer, skin care products, and filling a make-up bag that would be specifically for my gym-bag.  The duplicate grooming items would stay in my gym-bag and I wouldn't have to give it another thought.

-Wear only one kind of athletic socks.  I now only wear one type and color of athletic socks.  (if you're curious, here they are.)  I no longer waste time looking for mates.  They're all mates!

-Follow the instructions that you give to your kids. (set out your clothes for the next day and prepare a lunch.)  I hear funny stories from friends who have children that their kids are pretty self-sufficient in the mornings but it's the parents who are running around in the mornings trying to put together their own outfits and pack their own lunch.

-Buy multiples of the apparel items that you love.  I wear black leggings several times a week. Instead of constant laundry, I now have about 10 pair of leggings. I never have to do a last-minute load of laundry. I always have a clean pair ready to wear.  The same goes basics such as tanks, camis, t-shirts, and even the headbands I wear when working out.

-If it's broken, fix it. Immediately.  Don't complicate your life with silly little broken items that can then become big broken items.  My car remote became separated from the rest of the keychain because of a broken screw.  If I had troubles keeping track of my keys before, this situation could have caused a very expensive nightmare.  I dealt with the broken key chain for a good month until I finally realized that if I didn't fix the darn thing, I was going to lose either the remote or the key, most likely, when the the car was locked.  I purchased the car without a spare key.   The expense in replacing the remote and/or paying for a pop-a-lock would have been a few hundred dollars. Finally, I made it a point to spend the time to find the right sized screw and fix the remote.  The screw and a new battery for the remote came to a grand total of $6, and took about 10 minutes of my time.  (and a month worth of losing either the key or the remote and then stressing about it.)

-Get a wallet that is a contrasting color from your purse.  I've always purchased black wallets to go in my black purse and sometimes I'd waste time looking for my wallet when it was already in my purse, right where it was supposed to be. A brightly colored wallet has now solved that problem. (that, and the fact that my wallet now only goes in one spot - has pretty much eliminated any issues of a misplaced wallet.)

-Use the right "tool" for the job.  When I first decided that I wanted to start a blog, I would pack my purse, lunch bag, gym bag, camera bag, and laptop bag, to and from work each day.  It got to the point where I wouldn't bring my camera anywhere because I couldn't pack everything around with me.  I missed out on a ton of opportunities that I can never get back.  I just discovered the Epiphanie bags!  They're the answer to every camera-packing girl's dream!  I'm so excited for mine to arrive because a camera is critical to having a successful blog. (you'll notice, I'm really lacking on photos which leads to a lack of content. It's a much needed area of improvement for me.)  If you find yourself saying, "there's got to be an easier way," take a moment and google it.  The "easier way" probably exists and if it doesn't, hey - there's your great business idea! I discovered the Epiphanie bags by googling "camera bag purse," and there it was!


-Solve the problems that are sucking away your time!  This is a silly little example but taking the pictures for the Word Wednesday word of the day was quite laborious. I stored all of the letters in a single box.  It would take forever to dig out the appropriate letters, of differing colors, to spell out the day's word. I knew it was a time-sucker so I tried to figure out how I could do this more efficiently. It became apparent that I needed to keep the letters already-sorted.  Such a simple little solution  - I purchased a craft storage container and separated the letters alphabetically.  What, in your life, is sucking away your time, and is there a way you can improve on the efficiency?  The answers are all around, if we just take a moment to identify that there's a problem to begin with.

simple organization tricks can cut down on so much wasted time.

I hope that you have a renewed view of the process of simplifying your life and things around you.  I used to think of it as a chore, but now I realize there is more to it than that.  Clearing our life of the things which are slowing us down and causing us stress, will ready us to welcome in all of the wonderful new things that we're all working so hard for.  Sometimes it is as simple as cleaning out a junk drawer or junk room, and sometimes it may be as difficult as clearing out a few people from our lives.

What are ways you've simplified that I haven't thought of?  I'd love to hear your tips!

Word Wednesday - Contrarian

contrarian contrarian


a person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion, as in economic matters.

I've mentioned a few times that I intentionally surround myself with positive and motivated people who leave me feeling recharged and enthusiastic by merely being in their presence. (I'd like to hope that our energy exchange is mutual and that I also help encourage those people in some way.)

Having just finished the audio book, "The Art of Non-Conformity," by Chris Guillebeau,  I've realized that many of the people I find so inspiring, are contrarians.

I'd like to clarify what I mean by contrarian as it can have quite the opposite, negative, connotation.  I'm not speaking of a contrarian as a person who will take the opposing position simply for the sake of an argument or simply to get a reaction.   We all know those kinds of people and at it's core, I don't think the word contrarian is supposed to be so negative.

Rather, I'd like to think of a contrarian as one who follows their heart, and their gut, even when everyone else arounds them tells them something is foolish, wrong, or that something can't be done.

Since reading "The Art of Non-Conformity, I've been thinking about people who are living life in somewhat of an unconventional fashion; artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs and the otherwise self-employed.  You know, the people who were probably told several times, "don't quit your day job." Well, these contrarians have managed to carve out wonderful lives for themselves without the security of having an employer.  I love my job and and although my life is more conventional and traditional, I'm inspired by the "non-conformists" to pursue my burning desire - which is to write a screen play. If they can be brave enough to pursue their dreams without a safety net and when all the odds are against them,  then I have no excuses. I have the pleasure of having a "day job" that I love, and a schedule that will allow me the time to write in the evenings.  The only thing that has been stopping me is my own self-doubt.

Think of the contrarians in your life and embrace them.  We can learn from them if we let their courage serve as inspiration.

Word Wednesday - Respite

Respite - a short period of rest or relief from something difficult res·pite

noun, verb, res·pit·ed, res·pit·ing.


1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.
2. temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve.
verb (used with object)

3. to relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying; give an interval of relief from.
4. to grant delay in the carrying out of (a punishment, obligation, etc.)


There are times in life when things become so stressful, all we want to do is escape on a tropical vacation. Ironically, it is often the most stressful times in life when we're least able to jet away to an island paradise.

It's taken me a while, but I've realized that vacation is a state of mind. You may not be able to physically jet away from stress, but you can provide yourself with respite from the day-to-day stressors by going on vacation…in your mind. If we give ourselves enough self care and mental breaks, we can cope with everything our busy world gives us and still keep our sanity.

When training for our first marathon, my buddies and I hit a real turning point the first time we broke 20 miles. I'm not saying that everything leading up to that point was easy. It definitely wasn't, but there was something about the day we broke 20 miles that nearly broke us in the process.

As we were approaching 20 miles, I was feeling as though I needed to take a short break to sit down, stretch, and fill up my water bottle. One of my training buddies, Sandra, was 100% in agreement with that strategy.  We both felt like the only way we were going to finish our miles that day was if we gave ourselves a break.   Our other training buddy, Barbara, disagreed with that plan 100%.  She was convinced that if we stopped, we wouldn't continue. We'd then have to hitchhike back to our car because we didn't have bus or taxi fare.  Barbara is normally the jokester of the group and typically brings humor to even the most dire of situations.  That day, she was dead set against stopping and she found no humor in any of our jokes.   In order for her to finish, she had to dig down so deep, she found a part in her that I didn't even know existed.  She dug down deep, got angry, and she just blasted on down the trail, telling us she'd see us at the car.  We just had to watch her dust as she blew past us and we had no choice but to kick it in and follow.  We didn't get our respite.  We had to keep going.

It was on that long distance day that I realized I  had a choice on how I could respond to that situation. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cuss. I still wanted to stretch. I wanted to cry some more. I seriously didn't think I could make it.  I know Sandra was feeling the same way, but we kept going.  (ok, so, maybe there was some cussing.) How does one keep going when every cell in your body tells you that you must STOP?!?   I couldn't stop my body, but I could give my mind some respite.  It is in those situations where a little bit of healthy detachment is what helps to push you through the rough patches.  We had to keep up with Barbara. We had to keep going. Barbara was right - we couldn't stop. She knew it and she had to make herself angry to push through.  The trick to getting through that day and those last few miles, was that I sent my mind on little vacations whenever I would start to think that I would collapse.  I couldn't obsess about every pain in my body. Instead, I allowed my brain to take momentary respite when the pain became too great.  It still takes effort to concentrate on form and pace, but whenever my mind would want to give into the temptation to stop, I allowed my mind to drift away, even for just a few moments at a time. Had I focused on the pain my body was feeling, I wouldn't have been able to keep going.

Had we taken the actual physical break when we wanted to, like we thought we needed to, we may not have finished that day and it's possible it would have discouraged us from even doing the marathon.  That day was as much about conditioning our minds as it was about conditioning our bodies.

Normal life stressors aren't quite as physically painful as that long distance day, but they can be "painful" in different ways.  Here are a few tricks I use to go on vacation in my mind and how I give myself respite in little ways each day.

-Exercise! (my preference is for a walk/hike, in nature or a park.)

Spend time in nature to recharge body, mind and spirit.

-Sit down to eat, no matter how busy you are! (The other day, I was feeling quite stressed at work.  To give myself a real break, I put my lean cuisine meal on an actual plate and sat down on our beautiful patio and ate my pathetic lunch on a real plate, with a real fork, and pretended that I had all the time in the world.  I felt recharged after my lunch break and I was ready to take on the rest of the day,)

-Meditate/Pray - or even take a moment to express gratitude for all that you have and for the beautiful earth around you.

-Enjoy a sunrise or a sunset, and feel gratitude for being alive to appreciate the beauty

Spend time near water, appreciate the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, and feel gratitude for our beautiful earth.

-Spend time near water. (I love to walk near the lake, sit and admire the river, or even spending time near a man-made fountain is rejuvenating to me.)

-Did I mention spending time in nature? Nature recharges us.  If I'm feeling stressed, down, sad, upset, or nervous, spending time with the birds, trees, mountains, rivers, lakes, bugs, squirrels and the rest of nature is always the perfect remedy.

-Be silent. (turn off the music and the television and just allow yourself some silence. For some people, the opposite might be true. Some people need to actually turn on the music.)

-Make your morning routine a mini-spa treatment, rather than a stressed rush to shower and get out the door.

-Unplug from (personal) social media. (There were a few days that I was feeling so much stress, I forced myself to stay off Facebook for a few days. I think in doing so, I focused on myself instead of others and I was able to give my own life the care and attention that it needed.  I love Facebook and love keeping up with my friends and family, but I won't hesitate to take a break if I start to feel too tense.  Unplugging for a few hours or days provides immediate relief from stress.)

-Take a look at the people around you. When you're maxed or stressed out, take a break from the people in your life who drain you.  (It doesn't mean you have to unfriend them or avoid them. While you're providing yourself with respite care,  try to surround yourself with people whose energy helps to charge you up and people who leave you feeling better, rather than those people who injure you in some way. Sometimes, this may even mean a few solitary days. (It's not healthy to completely isolate yourself but rather, just spend quality time alone in spurts.)

-Hug and love your pets! (Again, this is instant stress relief for the both of you. Your animals love the attention, and in return, your mind and spirit will feel instantly better when you allow yourself time to love your pets.)

-Pull yourself together and fake it, if need be.  (There are days when I feel pretty darn rotten and could really use that tropical getaway, or at least a calgon bath.  It is those days when I actually take the extra time and effort to go all out with my hair, make-up and clothes.  The funny thing is, by time I get myself all ready - I usually feel better just by dressing the part. On the off chance I wasn't able to convince myself to feel better, then at least the rest of the world won't know it.)

-Give yourself permission to pause.  (I've been so excited about missellanea.com and I have such big dreams but things are rolling out at a much slower rate than I wanted.  It's like that day when we first did the 20 miles. I'm not stopping. I'm not sitting down. I've just slowed down a little until I catch my breath and let my mind wander a bit,  but we're still moving forward and we're gonna make it just fine and when I get to where I'm going, I'll be stronger than when I started.

Do you have any tricks you use for instant respite, even if it's only in your mind?

Word Wednesday






1. enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit: Her latest novel lacks verve.
2. vivaciousness; liveliness; animation: I like a teacher with plenty of verve.
3. Archaic. talent.

You know those people who are so enthusiastic that being in their presence can make you feel like you've just downed a cup of coffee and you're ready to take on the world?  You know those special people who seem to have just a little more shine than most people and it has nothing to do with their appearance? That enthusiasm, that shine, is "verve" and lucky for us, it's contagious.

I just completed a two-part Entrepreneur workshop for women, taught by Stephanie Lynn of Sweet Spot Skirts.  My motivation for going was simply to surround myself with verve.  All of the other women in the class either owned their own business or were in the process of staring their own business.  When we made our introductions to the class, I confessed that I wasn't a business owner but that I was there to absorb the energy and enthusiasm to help propel my writing and my blog, and that attending the class could  benefit me in being a better employee.

If you're in a business strategy class filled with 25+ women entrepreneurs, being taught by a woman who oozes passion and enthusiasm, and sitting next to your friend who holds down a full time job and essentially owns two other businesses, you can't help but soak in the verve. I left there feeling motivated, enthusiastic, and determined to implement some of the things I learned in class. By surrounding myself with verve, I re-ignited my own spark. More importantly, I was amazed and impressed by all of the women and their new endeavors and it reminded me how special and important it is to support small, local, businesses.

When we live our life with verve, we don't always have to have all the right answers. People are a little more forgiving, as long as we are genuinely enthusiastic.   Over the years, I've sat in on several interviews at my current job and my previous job, and one thing I've determined is that it is much more refreshing to interview with someone who may lack experience and qualifications, but who has an upbeat personality, enthusiasm for the position in which they're interviewing and a little bit of "sparkle," than it is to interview with someone who may be completely qualified and experienced but who is disinterested or detached.   I realize there are certain positions for which a hire must be based strictly on qualifications and experience, but there are many other positions where your verve is going to get you just as far as a strong work history and experience.  Customers want to work with someone who has verve and people want to work with co-workers who have verve.

When you're in a customer service or sales position, or in a situation where you need to market yourself or your services, such as interviewing for a new job or starting new business,  if you can convey your verve - you will be successful!

I've intentionally surrounded myself with enthusiastic people and I place myself in verve-rich environments  in order to boost my own level of enthusiasm and creativity.  People feed off of the energies of those around them, both good and bad, and I want to make it a point to surround myself with verve.  If you're ever feeling a little demotivated or discouraged, it is important to place yourself amongst others who have a surplus of enthusiasm and especially if they share the same objectives as you.  It is a constant process of give and take, and energy exchange.  One day we're the beneficiary of another person's verve but the next day, we're on the giving end and someone else may be inspired by our enthusiasm and the spark we share with them.

I want people to be able to feel my verve, both personally and professionally and if we're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, people will pick up on that. As I write this, I realize the best way to really let our verve shine through, is to be  focused on the current moment and completely present for the person with whom we're interacting.  If we can temporarily set aside any other stressors and distractions, and give that person our complete attention, then our verve will shine brightly!



Word Wednesday

auspicious aus·pi·cious [aw-spish-uhs] 


1.  promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable: an auspicious occasion.

2.  favored by fortune; prosperous; fortunate


What do you do when absolutely everything is stacked against you and nothing about your situation is auspicious?   Well, if it is something you really want and if it's something you're motivated to make happen, then you dig deep down inside yourself and you persevere.

The first step toward making anything happen for yourself, is to make the the decision to do so and following close behind as the second step, is to believe that anything is possible.

If you haven't noticed, I've failed at maintaining my self-imposed editorial calendar for this blog.  The only feature I've been able to keep up with, consistently,  is "Word Wednesday"  and even that takes more effort than I could even begin to explain.  In short, nothing about my schedule is conducive to making this blog fly. It would be so easy to give up. If I decided to give up, my "one" reader, Shelly, would pat me on the back, tell me I gave it a nice shot and we'd get on with life. (If you're not Shelly and you're reading this, thank you for taking the time out of your day and spending your valuable time here. If you are Shelly, I know you wouldn't really let me off the hook this easily.  I know you'd bust out the pompoms and cheer on anyone who needed encouragement.)  Anyway, I could give up. But, I'm not.

Have I ever told you about my marathon training buddies?  When I decided to do my first marathon, two other friends made the commitment with me.  We probably weighed 700 pounds between the three of us.  Yes, you just read that right. Three big girls, a combined weight of 700 lbs., and we decided to do a marathon.  Day one of training wasn't pretty but when we woke up on the day of the marathon, 10 months later,  it was indeed an auspicious occasion.  There was no doubt about it - we were going to finish that marathon because we had put in the training to make it happen.  The conditions were not in our favor when we started but the one thing we had working for us was our complete dedication to crossing that finish line. I think we even, jokingly, strategized on what to do in the event that one of us should go down and how the other two could drag the the 3rd person across the finish line.  We made the decision to finish a marathon and we believed, completely, in our ability to make it a reality. Our circumstances didn't start out in our favor, but with determination and proper training, we were able to cross the start line auspiciouslly, and crossing the finish line was a certainty.

If you're struggling with something, like I am, keep on going and persevere through the rough patches.  Struggling with something can sometimes be a much needed part of the process and the process is as important as the outcome.

If we make up our minds to do something, if we're truly motivated to make it happen, and if we truly believe in the possibility of success - a person is capable of accomplishing just about anything they envision. It doesn't matter if it seems like it is a impossible task, if you believe in the possibility of success and if you have confidence, you will change the impossible, into the auspicious.

Word Wednesday

"Always absorbing everything, everywhere, all the time" - from the movie, "Detachment" Have you seen "Detachment?"


If you've seen the movie, I'm certain you recognized today's phrase immediately. "Detachment" is an unforgettable movie and worth checking out.

"Ubiquitous Assimilation," as defined by the movie, is: "always absorbing everything, everywhere, all the time."

I haven't been able to clear this thought from my head since the first time I watched the movie, nearly 6 months ago. The thought "ubiquitous assimilation" enters my mind at least once a day.

What are we feeding our minds? Just as important as the nourishment that we choose to feed our bodies, is the nourishment we choose to feed our minds. What is fueling our thoughts?

I realized quite some time ago, that I'm one big fat sponge and because of ubiquitous assimilation, I need to be hyper aware of the environments in which I place myself,  the company I keep, the news and television shows I watch, and the books I read.

I love(d) Howard Stern.  I would listen to him from the moment I woke up, which was sometimes as early as 4am, until the time I arrived at work around 8am. (Sometimes, I would listen so long, the show would actually start to repeat.)  When Howard made the switch to Satellite radio, we didn't make the switch with him. I thought I was going to die.  I was off my routine for several weeks.  We kept intending to get satellite, but we just didn't make the jump. Then one day it hit me - since I had stopped listening to Howard Stern, I was happier!  Well, I wouldn't say I was happier, because I actually grieved for Howard. It felt like a close friend had died or like I was experiencing a break-up.  What I did notice, was that my attitude had improved and I didn't complain as much. I absolutely love Howard, but I was absorbing bits and pieces of his personality and attitude and it was actually affecting the way I felt and acted.  I always thought it was so ironic how much I loved Howard because I would have been the type of girl that he would have just torn down and torn apart because of my body size. I didn't care.  I loved him anyway.  But, after the realization that I wasn't wound quite as tightly since I had stopped listening to his show, I decided to finally kick my Howard habit for good.   It was tough, but I managed.

I'm working on limiting my exposure to negative influences and have surrounded myself with people who "got it goin' on" in one way or another. I've attended a couple workshops which were filled with women who have hopes and dreams and goals and who have visions of a better life for themselves. (I don't mean just financially, I mean - people who aspire to do something, to create, to be bold, to put themselves out there for the world.)

When you surround yourself with women who are striving to make their dreams a reality,   you'll discover a powerful group of ladies who will encourage you to succeed as well! I've observed women who "should" be competitors, but instead - they build each other up, network, and help each other to succeed.

If we're "always absorbing everything, everywhere, all of the time," what are you allowing yourself to assimilate?

Word Wednesday

wwindefatigable in·de·fat·i·ga·ble


incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.

It was difficult to choose a word for today. Like everyone, my heart has been heavy for Boston and my thoughts have been consumed by images and stories of the victims in Boston.  No word seems adequate. Every word is insufficient.

I narrowed the focus and decided on word that defines the spirit of a Boston Marathon athlete  - indefatigable.

A marathoner's mind tells them, "keep going," when everything else is telling them to stop.

The bombing in Boston comes just a few months after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the Clackamas Town Center shooting, the Aurora theatre shooting and countless other tragedies which occur daily, but are not as publicized as these horrific events.

It feels as though we've just started to heal from the last tragedy, and now the wounds have been re-opened and our sense of security has been shattered once again.  It would be a natural emotion for us to want to retreat, shut down, and shut ourselves off from other people. It would be understandable for us to be tired.  Now,  more than ever,  we need to channel our inner marathoner (whether or not we've ever gone the 26.2 miles) and persist. We must live life the way a marathon athlete trains.  We need to tell ourselves, "keep going," even though everything else is telling us to stop. We must be indefatigable.

A runner reaches a point in a marathon when their body feels as though it could betray them at any moment and it feels like the only rational and logical thing to do would be to sit down and rest a spell.  The marathoner's mind will again persist and declare, "keep going, finish strong."

A marathoner, barely hanging on and fighting their own internal battle, will encounter another runner who is also clearly just hanging on and the two will draw strength from one another.  They will lift each other up and push one another. One will say to the other, "keep going, finish strong," and the other will say in return, "you've got this."  They will persist. They are indefatigable.

It is this spirt with which we need to lift each other up and encourage our friends, family, and community to "keep going."

We can't give up yet.  We have to believe in each other.  We can't grow weary or tired  - we have to keep going. We have to live to honor those who are no longer here. We have to resist the desire to isolate ourselves and instead,  we must keep going.  We must embody the spirit of a marathon athlete - we must be indefatigable.

If you see someone along the way, who is struggling just a little more than you, extend a hand and an encouraging word.  Tell them they're looking strong and eventually they will believe it.   Keep going. Indefatigable.  Keep going.


Word Wednesday

wwinculcate in·cul·cate


[in-kuhl-keyt, in-kuhl-keyt]

verb (used with object), in·cul·cat·ed, in·cul·cat·ing.

1. to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly (usually followed by upon  or in  )

2. to cause or influence (someone) to accept an idea or feeling (usually followed by with)

"Inculcate" is a powerful little word and in my mind I think of it as a marriage between "incubate" and "infiltrate."   It helps me to remember the meaning by thinking of it as an attempt to "infiltrate" a person's thoughts, beliefs, or basic operating system and "incubate" a new thought, belief, or operating system.

It is my desire to be able to influence others by inculcating them with the belief that they are capable of reaching goals and achieving their dreams. I want to encourage others  to take the first step on the path toward reaching a goal or realizing a dream.  One method to inspiring others is constant and frequent encouragement in order to "infiltrate" the negative self-talk that one is telling themselves, plant a little seed of encouragement and incubate it until the negative thoughts of self-doubt are replaced by thoughts and feelings of determination.  I want to inculcate others with the thought that they are capable of achieving their dreams and reaching their goals.

Parents, coaches and teachers inculcate their children and students with certain beliefs, thoughts and traits, each and every day.  Children are under constant inculcation of right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, safe vs. unsafe, and good choices, vs. bad choices.

If you've been on Facebook lately, chances are, you can think of a Facebook friend who has an agenda to inculcate you with a particular political stance.  You know the one I'm talking about.  They post multiple times a day or week, in attempt to sway your opinions toward one belief or another. I'm simply pointing this out as an example to which most of us can relate.

"Inculcate" is neither good, nor bad.  We each have the power to inculcate a certain mindset.  You can influence your social circle, by inculcating upon them a desired mindset.  For example - I have a group of friends and among this group is one extremely fit and athletic individual and she is constantly presenting us with fitness challenges of some sort.  Through her process of inculcation, some of our group are actually making positive changes in their lives as a result of her fitness-inculcating tactics.  Have you ever heard the cliche, "if you hang out in a beauty shop long enough, you're going to get a hair cut?" This cliche is the perfect example of inculcation and also explains why we should be mindful of whom we choose to align ourselves.  Who is influencing you, and what influence are you having on others?  Who and what, are you inculcating, and who and what is being inculcated upon you?

Word Wednesday

The first "Word Wednesday," is a French phrase, which is sort of ironic considering that I took two and a half years of french and only remember how to say "Je ne sais pas. Je ne parle pas français."  The translation: "I don't know.  I  don't speak French. raisondetre3


rai·son d'ê·tre [rey-zohn de-truh; French re-zawn de-truh]



reason or justification for being or existence


How's that for our first word?   I figured we could pause to consider our existence, question the meaning of life, and our purpose on this planet.

It seems there are people out there who have known their purpose, really, since they were born.  There are others of us, who stroll though life, not knowing exactly what we're "supposed" to do to fulfill the reason of our birth.  We feel and hear a calling, but we're just unsure from which direction it's coming.  Seeing those who are already fulfilling their purpose, can make a wanderer feel entirely insufficient.  When one doesn't have children, this can double the feelings of inadequacy.

I love my job and I feel it's been one of my "raisons d'ê·tre, but I've always felt there was also something else I was meant to do, in addition.  The need to find my purpose has been swelling the past few years and the pressure was building so much that I was feeling as though I would burst if I didn't figure myself out, quickly! Does everyone in their early forties feel this way?  Or, just the wanderers? Do the artists, musicians, mothers, chefs, teachers, nurses, and business owners who are so clearly fulfilling their raison d' être, still feel a pressure to contribute more?

I was recently re-introduced to the phrase, "raison d' être," and it was in re-discovering this phrase that everything started to fall into place and a vision began to form.  I can't identify one single source of the inspiration or revelation, because it felt as though "answers" were pouring in from all directions.  A theme was starting to develop among the things I would hear on the radio, see on television, read in a book, or even discuss with friends.

The thought that came to my awareness, was that discovering our "raison d' être," shouldn't be a cause for stress.  You know when people say that they have to leave at a particular time so that they don't have to "battle traffic"?   Think of that for a moment. How, exactly, does one "battle" traffic and does "battling" traffic expedite the commute?  No.  It makes it miserable and dangerous.  You just have to enjoy the ride, somehow.

We don't have to stress. We don't have to battle ourselves to find our raison d' être.  Our reason for being was already fulfilled the moment we were born.   The rest is all a fabulous journey of self discovery and awakenings and the beautiful thing, I believe right now, is that at any moment - we can define for ourselves a new raison d' être.