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If At 1st You Don’t Succeed – Try, Try Again

November 16, 2010

Just yesterday I sent all of you faithful subscribers and readers on a bit of a wild goose chase. Granted you were able to read

The 10 Things I Hate About You or The Taming of My Own Shrew

but I’d asked you to re-subscribe at my new web location and subscriptions weren’t working. Thank you Dawn and Sally for telling me. But the problem is now fixed (thank you Michelle) and I hope that you’ll try again to subscribe. Cherry

I’ve Switched Sides|Hope You’ll Join Me

November 15, 2010

I’m now blogging on WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com. It provides me with some features I couldn’t get here. And I could take my archived blogs with me! But I couldn’t take my subscribers along.

Hope you’ll come on over and read my latest post:

10 Things I Hate About You or The Taming of My Inner Shrew

and sign up as a subscriber. I’d love to continue our relationship. Cherry

Five Things I’m Sick Of | Do They Resonate With You?

October 27, 2010

1. Exclamation points!!

2. Mugs, traveling or otherwise as giveaways. Conferences, companies: Please save your $ and save the earth. You’re only advertising  on the Goodwill shelf anyway.

3. SEO companies contacting spamming me on my website to tell me how they could help me – especially since they haven’t read my site. Be smart enough to comment about the site and what I do. That wouldn’t be as obnoxious and would cause me to pause and read about you vs. immediate deletion.

4. People answering their cell phones when they’re having lunch or a biz meeting with me. Folks – next time we can just talk on the phone instead of getting together to meet since the phone seems to be your preferred mode of communication. Or if you’d feel more comfortable we can still meet and I’ll be like the delightfully quirky Fitch on Detroit 1-8-7 and call you from across the table to tell you things about how I feel.

If my ire isn’t enough to change your behavior consider this extremely powerful example of why the constant tuned-to-technology behavior of “not stopping to enjoy the present moment behavior” needs to stop. Thanks to @Pamslim for tweeting this.

5. People who mumble. This is beyond Jerry Seinfeld’s low-talkers, these people aren’t enunciating their words. What’s that about? Do they not want to be heard? Are they afraid of their own opinions? Do they have a form of lock-jaw?

Thanks for listening. What pet peeves or things you’re sick of would you like to add?

Mission Accomplished|In The Winter Of My Life I’ve Grown Up

October 25, 2010

It’s true. I’ve grown up. I accepted it fully at Vision 2020:An American Conversation about Women and Leadership on October 21-22, 2010.

National Constitution Center

Actually it was quite fitting that the recognition of my true coming of age would be in the powerful  embrace of The National Constitution Center
in Philadelphia where all around me was the enthralling evidence of a birth of a nation.

It was also invigorating that the acceptance of my growth coursed through my body, mind and spirit while in the presence of extraordinary women delegates from 50 states and the District of Columbia who had come together to help shape the future of women’s leadership in the next decade. (At the end of the Conversation, the National Delegates return to their home states to mobilize resources to implement elements of the Vision 2020 Action Agenda.)

So What Happened?

I listened and talked with women who had founded a symphony, The White House Project and many successful businesses and non-profit agencies; also professors, college Presidents, Pulitzer Prize Winner, lawyers, doctors and yes, Indian – Native American – Chief and …

I was impressed but I never diminished myself.

I was awe-struck but I never struck my accomplishments down.

I was inspired without saying “I could never do that.”

There in the halls of history, I made history. I did not compare myself and find myself short. In fact, I didn’t compare myself at all. I recognized the unique abilities and contributions of each of those women, just as I recognized my own unique abilities and contributions.

No more comparison. No more stinkin’ thinkin’. “I ain’t gonna be a face in the crowd, you’re gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud. It’s my life. It’s now or never. I ain’t gonna live forever. I just wanna live while I’m alive.”

Click below and join the sing-along with Bon Jovi and me. It’s my [your] life!

The Stories You Tell Yourself About Who You Are| Can You Change Them?

October 18, 2010


Book with thought-provoking words and paintings by Marylou and Alan Falstreau.

 

It is the stories that we tell ourselves – the good, the bad, and the ugly - that shape how we see ourselves. Through awareness of our thinking – our assumptions, our all-or-nothing thoughts, our habituated patterns, our acceptance of media myths – we can change it. I changed mine to see:

The Beauty Of Aging

My wrinkles tell the story

of a life of experiences

adventures

comedy

drama

love

I am grateful for every one

for they’ve brought me to today.

The end.

 

Your Inner Neander-Babe|When Do You Use It?

October 14, 2010

” Take a deep breath and think way back. Once upon a time, say 40,000 years ago you were a Neander-babe. You had thick, gnarly legs and a tribal chic hairdo. You coddled your young one minute, then stomped ugly snakes and speared marauding bears the next. Your nurturing and aggressive natures seamlessly entwined. You knew that you could be dangerous; could be a predator — not just prey. Melissa Soalt in her October 14th Huffington post.

Entwined Natures

Soalt says although women have evolved since the Neanderthal days, they still contain both aggressive and nurturing natures.  I agree.

When it came to protecting my kids I always knew I had within me a Neander-Babe.

Neander-Babe Faces Off  With Coach Bully

My older son (6 or 7 yrs. at the time) was playing Little League baseball – his first year after T-ball. He was assigned to the team with the gruff, coarse, head coach I had hoped he wouldn’t get. Although I considered asking to have my son switched to another team, I decided not to because he would, at some point, encounter other gruff, coarse people in the world.

Practices with the head coach were alright, tough but nothing abusive. The games were fine too, at least while our team was winning. Then came the game with our team’s main competition and we were losing. Coach Joe revealed his true persona – that of a bully. He was screaming at the kids and demeaning them. His most offensive behavior was towards the pitcher, his own son.

My son could field but was a poor batter. Not surprisingly he struck out. I was sitting on the edge of the bleachers, coiled and tense. The coach threw his hat down and let out a few damn-its but that was all. He acted out similar behavior to the next kid who struck out, but with more intensity. Typically, that boy was also not a good batter.

Our team lost. I was apprehensive about what would happen in the bull-pen so I walked over, watching at a distance. Coach Joe/Bully was on an abusive tirade. I waited for the assistant coaches to step in. They didn’t. Coach Bully, near apoplexy, turned directly on my son and the other kid I mentioned. He screamed the “P” word first and my Neander-Babe burst out – smokin’ mad. Within nanoseconds Coach Bully and I were nose to nose. He  called me names and used the f-bomb. I don’t know what I said but remember that I didn’t budge. Now the assistant coaches intervened, pulling me away. Me?

I always thought they chose to pull me away because they were afraid of Coach Bully, but after reading Soalt’s post, maybe they just saw the Neander-babe in me and realized the coach was going down. (Note: Coach Bully stomped off the field after our confrontation and quit being a coach in the league.)

Defending Yourself Physically

Soalt, aka Dr. Ruthless, provides examples of women like April Marchessault who at 5’1″, with no prior training, fought off a 200-pound, level-two convicted sex offender who slipped into her home one night while her children slept.

She also tells stories of women who fought off rapists and robbers. Soalt believes that sharing these stories is important:

  • Because courage is contagious
  • Because we’re already inundated with stories of women being overpowered and becoming victims on the pointy end of male aggressions
  • Because drinking in these stories is good medicine, a curative tonic that bulks up the fighting heart and helps heal the ills and impotencies imposed by fear
  • Because each woman’s story adds kindling to the fire that could one day save you or a loved one

Soalt advocates self-defense lessons for protection, making it easier to tap your Neander-Babe when needed.

Defending Yourself Verbally

I also advocate learning to defend yourself verbally in order:

  • To speak up and say what is true for you
  • To be willing to say no without guilt
  • To ask for what you need and want
  • To directly tell someone that you find their language, racial, ethnic, gender, and/or cultural slurs offensive and not to speak that way in front of you
  • To do these things for yourself, not just for your children, family or friends

I consistently found these behaviors easy to do to protect my children, as you saw with the Coach Bully story. I also spoke up for other family members and friends but didn’t speak up enough for myself. That’s not true anymore. I stopped telling myself I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t deserving, or that speaking up for myself meant I wasn’t nice. Pure poppycock.

I rewrote the story I told myself about myself and now speak in my authentic voice. The chapters in my story are now happier and more fulfilling.  If I can help you reach the same place, let me know.

I’d like to hear what you think. Feel free to share any Neander-Babe stories you have. Recounting your story can be a tonic for someone else.

A Successful Bootcamp|What’s It Mean For My Future Success?

October 11, 2010

The following can be sung to the tune of the Kingston Trio‘s MTA.

Let me tell you the story
Of a woman named Cherry
On a tragic and fateful day
She put money in her pocket,
Kissed her son and family
Went to ride on DC’s sub-way

Cherry gave her metro card
At the Ballston Square Station
And she headed for G. W. U.
When she got there the conductor told her,
“One more nickel.”
Cherry could not get off that train.

If you’re familiar with the song then you know that Cherry  [Charlie] never returned, destined, in his case, to ride the streets of Boston for the rest of his life. I’m willing to blame that song for the fear that I have of taking a subway after a long hiatus (there are no subways where I live).

 

DC Subway Map

 

But no amount of subway apprehension was going to keep me from attending and participating in the pilot SisU Bootcamp: Your New Mission in the Sisterhood of Success at the George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Sisterhood University is the testing ground for research gathered by the Hot Mommas® Project, which is the world’s largest collection of teachable role models and mentors (aka case studies) for women and girls particularly in the area of leadership.

Riding the Orange Line and attending SisU bootcamp were well-worth it. I connected with amazing women. I met face-to-face with Kathy Korman Frey, with whom I’ve tweeted @ChiefHotMomma and participated in a coaching call with but never met. I learned about the power of a structured forum (click on the link for an explanation written by another participant, Cindi Thomas), as well as the magic of five for increased success in our work:

“We all need a group of 5 supporters in our professional life if we are going to reach our potential. Period.” Kathy Korman Frey, professor and researcher

So, as part of my boot camp assignment, I’ve identified 5 supporters/mentors to work with that can help me in the 5 areas I’ve identified where I need help in order to be more successful. SisU will provide a template for me to follow when working with my mentors. I’m excited, looking forward to the process, and will let you know my results.

By the same token, if any of you need a mentor in the area of Borderless Thinking please contact me.

Upon leaving the session after gaining ideas, contacts and hope I can tell you that my preliminary results showed am improved outlook by me – I was smiling broadly and looking forward to getting on the subway…so much easier than driving in DC traffic.

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