Monday, June 29, 2009

Successful friendships

I can count my best friends with just a few fingers, but they are the ones who have been there for the long haul, and me for them. We have shared good times, bad times, arguments, make-up hugs, laughs and tears. We have been separated in time and distance and reunited more than once. 
Over the years we have become pillars in one another's lives, and every time we meet up again in person we take up exactly from where we left off. Not one moment of awkwardness or a what if.
In order to be successful in business, professionally, creatively and in other relationships, it is vital to have a solid network of friends. 
This creates balance, support and perspective and helps us keep on track when we temporarily go adrift. My best friends are those who I feel like calling immediately when I have great news to tell or sad news to share. And when others do the same with me, I feel complemented and reciprocated.
No matter what is going on in our lives, successful friendships will always fuel the other areas of our lives. Don't forget to nurture them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The ability to make the best of everything

I am a risk-taker and even when life throws curve-balls and I get hit by them, I have discovered I have the ability to bounce back and make the best of everything. Of course I fall and get hurt, but that doesn't mean I have to stay on the ground crying it out. I get up, dust myself off and keep on going. 
Recently I took a chance that figuratively turned out to be a slap on the face. And still, instead of wading in self pity, I found myself thoughtfully trying to make the best of it. And I did. 
An author is an author, is an author ... and if I had not taken that chance I would not now have a request from one of my publishers for my next book, number 16 in my publishing career.
Even if we are not guilty of the difficulties that we experience, we are responsible for facing them and turning them to our advantage and if possible, to the advantage of others. That is what I try to do in my non-fiction books. 
So, no regrets, ever ... simply get on with life and make THE BEST OF EVERYTHING. Nothing is good or bad. It is up to us to tip the scales in one direction or the other. Live, love, laugh ... and above all, keep taking chances. As long as I can feel, I know I am alive.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stepping out to step up

These are challenging times worldwide, no doubt. For a lot of us, they are also challenging at a personal level. 
I have had the unexpected opportunity to step out of my habitat, my usual environment, and travel to my other country. This has been a gift that I will always cherish ... 
One of the things that stepping out of your daily life does, is give you a different perspective of problems, of how to approach those huge mountains that seem so scary on a daily basis and turn them into molehills, instead of the other way around. 
One thing we must keep in mind is that we are NOT our circumstances. We are who we are, and whatever difficulties we are going through at present are circumstantial. They will pass. But they will pass because we will rise to the occasion, after having gathered strength and perspective and a plan of action.
Getting away from it all need not be an escape. In fact, it should not be an escape, but a trip to our soul, to our inner strength.
Sometimes we get ourselves into the wrong situation for the right reasons, and then find ourselves in dire straits. Some of us have stayed too long in a bad marriage for the kids, some have lived off of credit to keep the wheel turning, hoping things would change. But they didn't ...
Nothing is really a mistake ... we made choices, and as long as they were made for the right reasons, according to our values, and not recklessly and with abandon, we should forgive ourselves and others and forget. we must deal with the cards we dealt ourselves, and keep on going. Never let anyone judge you for the mistakes you made ... and certainly do your best not to judge others either. We all know it is far easier to fix other people's problems than our own.
Far from my habitat, in my home country, away from what I see and do every day, I am learning that I am not the mistakes I made. I am a strong person, a happy soul, a good friend, a loving mother, a fantastic woman, and ... simply me. That is the best thing to be, not only for myself but for everyone. 
Now, issues and challenges ... move over .... I'm back on track!
You can do the same, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Realizing one's shortcomings is the first step towards change. Step out and step up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One for the ladies!

Now that I am a single mom by choice, I am more attuned to women my age who are without a significant other, or who are in an unhappy relationship or who are simply settling for far much less than they deserve.
Granted, love relationships are a give and take, and require a little molding here and there to adjust to the other person and, hopefully, viceversa ....
But why is it that beautiful (inside and out) capable, strong ladies are settling for bums who cannot support themselves, have drug problems or are clearly married to their careers to the extent that they will not take the chance of a lifetime to be satisfied in another very important area of their lives?????
A male friend told me today: "do not pause for anyone ... keep it moving ..." and it hit home. 
If at the beginning of a relationship he does not take time every day to call you or write you a text message, in a world where there is no excuse for no communication (I couldn't find a phone .. DUH! or .... I didn't have Internet Access ... yeah right! PUHLEASE .... ) .... later on, he will continue the same pattern and you will wonder why the heck you settled for those stale crumbs he threw your way ... 
If at first he is aloof or unwilling to go the extra mile for that trophy that is you, baby, he ain't worth your time. Take it from an expert, from someone who has researched, written and published several books on relationships, and especially lived through them and yes, survived them. So far, anyhow. 
Of course we ain't perfect either ... But I see too many qualified women settling for guys that are clearly either not that into them or simply not worth being into!  This is not only sad but indignant.
Women are emotional beings, nurturers and multitaskers. We would do anything for love; we have time and energy for love even when balancing a career, financial struggles, kids, and a hundred other obligations.
We deserve to be treated like queens because we are queens ... You need a man who is at least half the woman you are. 
If your heart tells you you deserve better .... even if you don't want to admit it to your best friends ... trust me ... you deserve better. Life does NOT wait. Move on. The love you need lies within YOU. 
Kiss as many frogs as you need to, but kiss them, and then keep on going. If you don't, you will never find that Prince you deserve and who deserves you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't let pride stand in your way.

There are as many interpretations of success as there are people in this world. Success for you may not be what is is for me. 
I consider myself successful in the sense that I discovered my life-purpose at a relatively young age, and was rash enough to pursue it independently from whether other people thought it was possible, feasible or even rational. I have accomplished most things that I set out to do in life and I am in the process of setting new goals.
I am a communicator, and in that arena I have satisfied my life-purpose. I use every means available to me to get across inspirational, motivational and informational messages to as many people as I can, from books, to blogs, including e mails, letters and even text messages ... and make a living with it. 
However, even those of us who are successful in one area, may occasionally be in need of help in another aspect of our lives. 
The fact that many people look to me to provide answers, comfort and insight that I offer through my books ( ) sometimes means that I feel the pressure of always having to appear put-together, positive and strong. However, I have learned that being vulnerable, upfront and real is what connects human beings and that opening your heart to others is the only way to let in any kind of help. 
Before I had children, I was rather proud ... and always wanted to do things without help or with the least amount of help possible. Now I have two young kids who are a part of most everything I do. As a single mom struggling to put her personal and financial life back together after a huge fallout, I have had to sidestep my pride and, thanks to that, have renewed my hope in people due to incredible and unforeseen gestures of help: financial, gift-wise and with moral support that I never asked for, but got anyway ...
I accept them because my daughters deserve to be fed, clothed and carefree. The unexpected and much appreciated help I am receiving in dire straits simply fuels my desire to work harder to repay those giving me a helping hand. Those gestures are engraved in my heart and I will always be there for those who were there for me ... 
What goes around comes around, and not necessarily from the person you originally gave to.