When Crochet Is Like Real Life – Accepting the Need to Frog

Really Big bill

See the bill on that thing? It is so getting frogged

If I give it a lot of thought I start to see that I have been living the handmade life all of my life. My mother taught me how to sew at an early age so that I could make my school clothes,  There were 5 of us kids and  she was a single parent with a deadbeat ex, it was just cheaper to go to Pitkin Avenue and buy bags of fabric than to go to Korvettes or Mays and try to outfit 5 children for school. Or who knows maybe she felt about fabric the way I do about yarn – if it’s on sale it’s going in the cart LOL.

I recently took a cruise with all of my aunts and uncles and as my Auntie Vida showed me how to crochet with thread, I realized that each one of the women there had been instrumental in my “becoming”. Had they not imparted certain pieces of knowledge to the prepubescent me, I would probably not be as imaginative or creative as I am today ( or maybe I would still be imaginative but just not have the wherewithal to turn that into anything concrete). Anyway, thank you aunties (that includes you Verna) for giving me the building blocks of my handmade life.

Let me start by saying that I crochet just about all the time (when I’m not working or sleeping that is), this does some things to the body, I’ll tell ya. So I could say that lesson one is – work through the pain LOL. When I first started crocheting I lived in fear of starting over. I  absolutely dreaded  having to rip anything out once I had put time and effort into it – whether that time was one hour, one day, one week or one month.  Fortunately, over time I learned that no matter how far you’ve gone

*It’s OK to frog  and start over

Six years ago when I was laid off, I made several mistakes and miscalculations because I thought that I could not compete for jobs with smartass kids who were using laptops before they were potty trained. I was afraid that I was too old and set in my ways to be of value to an employer. Oh I did try, but one or two rejections was all it took to make me throw in the towel and accept the fact that I was obviously so not the sharpest knife in that drawer. In retrospect, I was fine, but really I was just afraid of having to start over with a new company, new technology, new co-workers.

Like Trinity in “The Matrix”, I’m not afraid anymore. I know that starting over isn’t the end, it’s just a new beginning. Starting over means giving yourself a chance to :

  • Fix a past mistake
  • Learn something new
  • Face your fear of the unknown
  • Provide a quality product (even if the product is yourself)

This knowledge has made me a better crocheter, a better worker, and a better person.

Are you afraid to frog? Care to share your story?

*Frog – rip it rip rip it

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Keeping Hope Alive – Behind the White Noise and Shiny Objects

recessionAs you probably already know my recession started in late 2006 following a (in retrospect) bad decision on my part to accept a new position in another division of my company. I was let go and then I had to learn how to let go:

  • Of resentment
  •  Of anger
  • Of fear
  •  Of material things (like my house and my car)
  •  Of the past

 

Four years later, even though I have worked several decent paying gigs:

·         my bank account is light

·          if you ask a financial adviser they’ll tell you that my retirement plan is looking a lot like a job as greeter at Walmart

·          I don’t remember what an annual physical or mammogram is like because I belong to one of those (insert number in thousands or millions depending on your party affiliation here)  people with no health insurance

·         I do not possess a credit card or a high credit score

And you know what? I’m fine with all of that. Every day is a beautiful day, a blessing to be cherished. I appreciate what I have and what I can actually afford to buy [I bought my son a laptop and paid cash, I was so proud when I realized what I had done]

 

So, Where are YOUR Bootstraps?

 

And I’m telling you this because….

  1. I want you to know that no one is going to come and “fix” your personal economy. Once you get far enough away from a steady income and deep enough into debt, it’s a long road back
  2. I want you to realize that you can’t blame the government for your situation, then say the government is too big, and then blame the same government for your situation – yes I repeated myself, reading it makes as much sense as doing it does.
  3. I am slightly angered by corporate sponsored candidates who will tell you that if government stepped out of the way, companies would step in and take care of the “community”. Bullshit, is what I say. Why aren’t they doing that already? There is no legislation stopping these companies from taking care of the community now!  So why would you believe for even one moment that the people with the real power (jobs) to turn the economy around, who have not exercised that power, are going to make things better if they gain political power. Yeah they’ll make things better – for them.
  4. I tripled my yearly earnings under Clinton, lost everything under Bush, and gained some of it back under Obama. But I’m not assigning credit or blame to any of them, because this is my life and my responsibility, and it’s my hard work, foresight, intuition that causes me to gain or lose. I want you to stop blaming the wrong people for where you are. As a matter of fact, I want you to stop blaming altogether, that’s a lot of your spiritual power that you’re giving away there.
  5. I’ve learned that if you turn off the external noise – friends, family, media – and turn inward to the place in you where God is – he really will make a way where there is no way. I have never considered murder–suicide – not mine, not the President, not my family – as an alternative. You see I know that in 10 years, the past 4 years or so  will be just that – the past, and life and the world will have moved on and the angry people will find someone/something else to be angry about, and I’ll be living and crocheting in Europe (which is a dream of mine and honestly nothing personal against y’all).

 

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I Believe…

Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.“~~Peter Marshall (1902–67) Senate chaplain

water-lilies Since I started blogging here on the interwebz, I have struggled with the desire to say what I want, when I want  and still maintain my privacy and some sense of anonymity. Sounds strange I know. However, a good writer has to sometimes set their other half free, otherwise you just become some chick with a marketing blog, right? Right, so this morning I was thinking about what I believe to be true (not what some unknown “they” tells me is true) and good and right; and why it is that I think we the people  have strayed off the reservation so to speak.

I believe that life is more about the journey than it is about the destination and you absolutely have to live in the “NOW”. If you are the one sitting in the backseat impatiently asking “Are we there yet?” then please let me remind you that the only “there” involves a box and a hole in the ground (or ashes in an urn, your choice).  Life is after all, to be lived – that means that you have to experience everything in equal parts whether it’s the high of being in love or the messy events leading to the breakup; your first paycheck with 4 figures before the period or the check wrapped in a pink slip. Today’s lows will be tomorrow’s memories, heck you will probably talk about them with a smile someday.

I believe in Karma – I agree that the game of life is a game of boomerangs and “what you throw out comes back to you star”. Someone called me the other day to explain why they were unable to do something that I desperately needed them to do, their excuse was word -for -word one that I have used frequently in similar situations! The higher your spiritual awareness, the faster those boomerangs come back, so be careful out there and temper your truths with kindness – it’ll soften the blowback:)

I believe that it is done unto you as you believe.  For example, if you believe that the world is a bad place, then your world probably is, or is surely about to become so. If you believe that things are “getting better all the time”, then your conditions will begin to improve and will continue to do so . On the other hand if you are the patron saint of gloom and doom, whining and complaining constantly to anyone who will stand still long enough to hear it – well then you know where that puts you.

I believe that there’s a little God in all of us, which gives us the ability to formulate and create the life that we want to live. I believe that if we use this ability in a bad way , we will eventually reap what we sow.

I believe that before you can receive a lot, you have to give a little.

I believe that we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, until we learn our lesson.

What do you believe? Do you believe that I am full of it?

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Part Two: Applying The Four Agreements to Your Business & Life

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Merry Christmas To You & Yours!

In my last post I discussed two of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” and how they can be applied to your life and business.  I was not surprised by some of the responses to my last post since at one point or another,  we all have trouble getting out of ourselves and interacting “correctly” with others. The first two agreements tell us that our work is always with ourselves in that we have to be impeccable with our word & we must not take what others do personally – remember you aren’t the center of the universe and everything is not about you.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Making assumptions wouldn’t be so bad if you acknowledged that “yes, I am making an assumption which may be an incorrect reading of this person or situation”; that never happens, you and I make assumptions every day, believing that each assumption is the truth.  And because we approach people and things in this way, we create drama out of nothingness.

One of the incorrect assumptions one can make in the weight loss business is that if you hand someone your business card, you’re insinuating that they’re fat and need your product. So you assume that it would be insulting to even approach people and you just keep it to yourself.  How much money can you make doing that?

Consider if you will the state of matrimony, starry eyed brides and grooms make a big assumption – they each assume that the other holds the exact same views that they do!  This leads to many problems down the road because each assumes that the other should know what they want, what they are thinking from one moment to the next, what their expectations are! The road to divorce is paved with incorrect assumptions; the road to a long and happy marriage is paved with incorrect assumptions which were then clarified because one or the other of you asks a question such as “Do you mind if I play poker with the guys every other Friday night?”. In some relationships it may be assumed that if there was a poker or girls nite out before,  then marriage won’t interfere with that. hmmm.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

To live a happy, healthy, and  productive life you must always do your best.  Doing your best puts you on the up side of your  slight edge and keeps you moving forward in a positive direction.  Face it you aren’t always going to remember to be impeccable with your word – your sister will call and you will suddenly find yourself gossiping about your brother’s new girlfriend or you and a co-worker may engage in a water-cooler talk about a fellow employee.  Sometimes when you are in the middle of a sales or prospecting call you will forget that it’s not about you, you will take something personally, and then you will find yourself unable or unwilling to do another call. And yes of course you will make assumptions – you’ll assume that someone is unapproachable when they aren’t, or that your new husband’s parents don’t like you, or that someone is flirting with your girl, when in reality  they are just being nice.

Christmas is a bad time for a lot of people. I have never understood this. Why are you stressed? Do you tense up just thinking about Christmas dinner? Are you approaching the season with joyful anticipation or intense  trepidation?

Relax, be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions about the presents that you give  or the presents that you receive, just enjoy the season and do the best that you can at all of these things.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you all!

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The Elephant in the Room| How I Crossed My Racial Divide

guesswhoscomingtodinnerBack in 1997 when my teenage son began dating the blonde haired, blue-eyed girl next door, my reaction can almost be called hypocritical. After all, hadn’t I spent the years after my divorce specifically dating only Caucasian males?

Well perhaps it was this specificity in my past choices, which led me to believe (as many still do) that just as lesbians and gay men “choose” to be homosexual, so do teenagers “choose” to date outside of their race.  I was distraught over my son’s choice because I felt that in choosing to date a white girl, he was rejecting his  Black mother, and all of the other Black women in his family tree.

So, what did I do? Well what could I do?  You know from my previous posts that I love my children just the way that God gave them to me – unconditionally. And, for  that reason, I would never allow them to feel less than loved by me.  When my son was 5, he said to me “Mommy, how come you’re white and we’re black”.  Hmmm,  even at 5 my boy had deep thoughts ; as you well know, I am not white, but I am less brown than my children are and I mention this only to illustrate that kids don’t start seeing color and differences until we point them out.

When it comes to people, our childrens’  likes and dislikes are based on their feelings about those people, and race and ethnicity don’t even come into play for them. That is until we start to point it out. I think that my reaction to his choice of girlfriend freaked my son out because I am the last of the hippie chicks, the love everybody equally generation, the don’t judge a person by what’s on the outside school of thought.

And there I was being a big fat hypocrite when my son did exactly as he was taught and didn’t judge the book by it’s cover!

12 years later I am older, wiser and more accepting. I know now that you love who you love, and like Michael Jackson so eloquently stated “it don’t matter if you’re Black or White” . I know that my childrens choices when it comes to their partners is not a rejection of me or their race. I believe that if we leave them be, our children will obliterate the racial divide – if we let them.

Unfortunately, I saw on Mamapedia that there are parents who are now entering the struggle.  I have a friend who is white and her  teenage daughter likes  a Black  child in her grade. They are unofficially dating, I don’t have a problem with it, but my friend does, even though she has never mentioned it to me.  I feel like there is a big old elephant in the room every time we are together, that there is something we should talk about but don’t. We discuss husbands, diets, raising kids – you name it. But I see the elephant out of the corner of my eye, and I so want to mention him.

I know in my heart, that she will come around on her own, 12 years from now she will probably laugh about this and wonder why the situation upset her so much. You see when our children date outside of their race it’s not about us, and if we will remove ourselves from the equation we would not be upset about the color of the other person and we would be free to judge them on “the content of their character”,  just the same way we judge anyone who dares to date our child.

I think it’s telling that this interracial relationship is totally accepted by her child’s peers. The future looks bright after all.

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Cleaning Out My Closet | What Happens When Your Child “Comes Out”

Défilé de PASTT à la Gay Pride à Paris en France
Image via Wikipedia

It’s summer, I’m traveling, I have Marching Band camp and I’m launching a new application at work. Finding myself in this blogging topics dead zone I checked Mamapedia to see if there were any questions that struck a chord. I stumbled upon a Mom whose 18 year old son told her that he is gay.  I thought to myself ” well there’s a topic with teeth “;  why? because I have been there and done that and quite a few years of experience that I can bring to the table.

I don’t recall exactly how long ago it was that my handsome boy came to me and said “Mom, there’s something I have to talk to you about”. I had no idea where the conversation was going to lead when we sat down in my “meditation room” to talk.  He was very straightforward and said “I’m gay”.  I don’t remember my reaction (resignation?), I recall asking a lot of questions and being a little hurt that I was not the FIRST person that he told.

I do remember telling him to never forget that I gave birth to a boy and not a girl and I’d better not catch him being a flamer. In retrospect that was probably a mean thing to say, but he has honored me by respecting that one request. Of course I  worried about him being out there in a world that can be so mean to people who are different – after all as hard as it can be to be a black hip-hop looking kid, how much harder to be a Gay black hip-hop looking kid?

When I told my husband and older son they gave me a “so?” kind of look, they always knew and wanted to know why I didn’t. I think that helped me to get through the process faster than a mother who is on her own with a revelation like this. And, yes, I think that I probably knew all along but was in denial about it. I think Moms know their children better than anyone else and when a child “comes out” they’ve really just voiced what we’ve known for a very long time.

Well back to the Mother on Mamapedia, she’s devastated, upset because she will never have grandchildren from this child (she has others), and has actually removed his pictures from the house because she can’t stand to look at him.  I fully understand how she is feeling. You see as parents we tend to see our children as both an extension of ourselves and the path to  fulfillment of  our unrealized hopes  and dreams. We think our children and their lives are about us, when really it’s about them. And that’s where we go wrong.

Imagine how hard it is to sit down with your mother  (your first love, your lifeline, your shelter in all storms) and tell her something that you hope will not cause her to cast you away. How does the child feel when their Mommy does exactly that? Throws them away, letting them know without words that they are useless and worthless because they’ve made a “bad choice” (yeah like a kid would choose to be a pariah).

My son told me that he’d known since he was young  that he was probably homosexual. He said that when he was 15 he tried to kill himself becaus eof the kids at school and his own confusion. I didn’t hear the whole story because blood rushed to my head and i blacked out with my eyes open at the very idea that I could have lost him and never known why. My children are undeniably the loves of my life, I would never for any reason stop loving them. Being gay is small stuff, being dead … well that’s pretty final.

For some, a child coming out of the closet is  in some small way like a death in the family, you will go through the phases of grieving:

  1. Shock  – you may experience feelings of disbelief or may be momentarily unable to feel anything at all.
  2. Denial – this is where you decide that it’s ” just a phase” and send your teen to counseling or a church “re-training” program.
  3. Bargaining – usually with God, but you may try to bargain with your child too (“I’ll buy you a new car if you promise to stay away from your homosexual friends”)
  4. Guilt – “What did I do wrong?” , “Was he too much of a Mama’s boy?”, “I shouldn’t have let her play sports”
  5. Anger is another totally natural part of the grieving process. Unfortunately, in these cases all of the anger tends to be directed at the child, mainly because parents think this is a choice they made out of defiance or some such.
  6. Depression – this can be alleviated by remembering that your child is still here, they didn’t die, it’s only one of  your expectations for them that died. Remember that Gay men and women do become parents, they go to college, they attend church, they live the same types of lives that we do.
  7. Acceptance  – I have read of parents who refused to speak to or see  their children after they’ve come out. What an absolute waste.

I have never been to a meeting (never thought about it actually) but I hear that PFLAG can help parents through to acceptance. Check their site for a chapter near you.

While having babies doesn’t come with a “contract” like marriage and business relationships, the act of conceiving, birthing, and keeping your baby creates a binding contract. You promise to love that baby unconditionally, treat it fairly, and set it free when it’s time. People who deny their children based on a condition ( sexual orientation, choice of marriage partner, not meeting expectations) did not deserve those children in the first place.

I did not personally go through all of the stages of grieving, I’m a pretty modern woman, have been lucky to have fantastic Gay friends (yes even in the Marine Corps back in the 70s) and was able to get over myself fairly quickly. My son has been with the same person for almost a decade and they plan to make it official some time next year –  and of course I will be there -:)

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When quitting is the only option

Are You A Quitter? I know I am. When the going gets tough the tough may get going but the niseylee usually gives up and moves on. From academics to relationships, I always assumed that I just was not cut out for the hard stuff.

I think it’s the commitment that sticking with it requires. For example, if you yourself have been hurt in a relationship or you’ve watched your parents engage in a combative and painful relationship- it would make you gun shy wouldn’t it? Definitely not apt to stay in a relationship long enough to get to the part where someone could actually hurt you.

In business, the chronic quitter does not stick around long enough to be placed in a position of authority and responsibility. Guess they are afraid they will “let someone down” or actually have to “show some results”.

So what’s a commitment phobic under achiever who craves success to do anyway? I’m glad you asked:

  1. Define what success means to you (lose weight, earn more, have happy healthy kids etc)
  2. Based on this definition, set some short term ( 1 -12 months) and long term (1-5 years) goals
  3. Accept responsibility for your past actions and their present consequences
  4. Live your life on purpose, nothing is accidental

Let’s face it quitters never win because they just don’t ever finish what they start. So are you a quitter?

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Are Americans Thinking Their Way Into A Recession?

My husband and I had an argument the other day because someone on one of the forums he frequents said that we are not in a recession, we just think we are. I agreed with Mr Anonymous, hence the argument. So to clarify for my husband and anyone else who cares to listen in, here are my thoughts on the subject.

” If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”- Henry Ford

This one sentence describes exactly what is happening to this economy right now. The television tells us the economy is bad, the DOW is down (who is this Dow guy and what does he have to do with me anyway?), retailers are quaking in their boots in anticipation of a bad holiday season . So what can we do but hold on to the money we have for the “just in case scenario”?

  1. Just in case we join the ranks of the jobless
  2. Just in case we are unable to pay holiday bills
  3. Just in case gas prices go up again
  4. Just in case our 401K continues to decrease in value

And what does all this just in casing (yes I know that’s bad grammar but bear with me) lead to? Retailers don’t make any money so they don’t hire as many seasonal workers, they pay less than they did last year to the ones they do hire, and they will definitely let people go when January rolls around.

Did I mention that they probably don’t order anything from their manufacturers, who then don’t order from their suppliers, who have to cut costs probably via layoffs and so on, and so on until our deepest darkest fears become reality and we have to take a pay cut or join the ranks of the unemployed.

Bottom Line – Our thoughts and beliefs, decide our fate. If we think that we live in an abundant world then we do. If we focus on what we fear the most, then it will come to pass.

Go out and spend some money on toys and clothes and stocks and jewelry. It will boost the economy and cheer you and someone else immensely!

Don’t Try This At Home Kids!

I was speaking with a prospect the other night, great conversation, cool dude. We finally got around to talking about why I had called (hey, I work from home so I get in some human contact when/where I can) and he said “Oh, I think I tried that already, I got my kit and looked inside and just decided that I didn’t want to do it”.

Note bien kiddos: “There is no try, there is only do..or do not” this from the first dog whisperer, Yoda. Either do the thing or don’t do it, you’re in or you’re not – there’s no fence-sitting allowed when it comes to being an entrepreneur. And that applies double if you’re a network marketing entrepreneur you have to make a commitment to do whatever is necessary to be successful.

OK, so what if when you were born your parents said “we’ll try this parenting thing” What does that imply? That if it doesn’t work out they’ll drop you off at the hospital the way some parents dd (with kids as old as 17) in Nebraska recently? That they’ll give it a shot but your grandparents have to promise to take over if they screw up? That they’ll do it only as long as it’s fun, rewarding, and doesn’t take too much time away from what they really want to do? Or maybe just that they need an exit clause on your birth certificate?

You know of 100 people who start in a home based business, only 3 (yes THREE) will actually continue to do the business to the point where they are making a beyond comfortable living at it.

What happens to the other 97? Well, some quit because it’s just not for them (can’t get over the phone fear, their Mom said it was stupid, they didn’t have the time they thought they would have) which translates to “Just way harder than I expected” and others (ignoring the advice from their upline) throw too much money at their business and end up broke and disgusted. Then there are the business straddlers who are in 4 or 5 different businesses and never quite make it to the pinnacle of any one single business – because “trying” isn’t the same as “doing”.

Well I went on that rampage just to say – if you will stop “trying” to be in business for yourself and instead give proper time and effort to the business that you are in… well you just might be successful.

Stop Worrying…Be Flexible

In my last post I discussed how to stop worrying. But there is more to say on the subject.

If you want to chase your stress and worries away you must learn to be flexible. All of our lives we’ve heard “Stand up and take it like a man” or “You’ve got to face your adversity”. On the contrary, I say that when life throws a punch at you – duck. Don’t agree?

Well let’s consider a tale of two trees the palm and the oak. Both trees are standing by a roadside in coastal Florida when a hurricane comes ashore. Both are tossed about by the strong winds and the palm tree bends to touch the ground. The mighty oak stands tall against the storm.

Morning finds

the palm tree standing stronger than before, but the oak has been uprooted and lays on the ground

Be flexible like the palm and that which doesn’t uproot you will certainly make you stronger.

It’s also important to know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Yep, in debt, or jobless, power or gas turned off, cold canned food for dinner or wherever it is you are right now, it’s where you are supposed to be – right now.

Your thoughts and your words have created the life you are currently living; if you don’t like where you are, fix your thoughts and change what comes out of your mouth.