The Next Step

There’s an old adage that says, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.”

8096103-your-next-step--phrase-in-vintage-wooden-letterpress-printing-blocks-isolated-on-whiteI can’t argue with that logic.

But too many times, we stop there.  The journey may begin with the first step but it’s the next step (and the next and the next….) that gets us where we want to go.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit this week.  I am humbled and I appreciate the opportunity and can’t wait to see some great friends again!

That’s my next step.

What’s yours?


Just Dance

You know how sometimes, at the end of a long day, you get caught at a red light and your mind just starts taking in the scenery?  That happened to me last week.  I was sitting in traffic on a beautiful stretch of a busy road, checking out the stately homes and landscaping. Decompressing.  And then, I saw something unexpected.

I saw Jesus walking down the street.

I don’t think it was the real Jesus.  If I’ve ever been face-to-face with the real Jesus I don’t remember it – and I’m pretty sure I would.  This guy looked like the Jesus in the pictures most of us grew up with.  Shoulder length brownish-blond hair, clear eyes.  His clothes were neither baggy nor bespoke.  He wasn’t wearing the telltale backpack that the university students wear or running gear.  There was no dog on a leash with him.  He was just a guy walking down the street.

Practicing yoga.

Oh yeah, there was that.  I had not realized that yoga is a mobile endeavor but I soon learned that, at least for one person, it is.  He would bring his hands together in front of his chest as if he was about to pray.  Then lift them straight up, stretching into the air, look up, bring his arms out to his sides, down, around and back up to the start position.  Then he moved his arms in a way I’ve seen done in the warrior position.  Back to start.  All while walking down the sidewalk of a busy street during rush hour.

It was awesome.

I love the phrase, “dance like no one is watching.”  Sometimes I start to follow that advice and then I remember what I look like dancing and I’m pretty sure that someone might be watching so I stop myself.  But now I think if a Jesus look-alike can walk down a busy street practicing yoga, so can I!

And now I’m encouraging you to do the same.  Be content, be joyous, be downright happy, and don’t hesitate to let the world know.

But most importantly for all of us, be you.



Speaking Hallmark

Does anyone else speak greeting card?

I am fluent in speaking greeting card.  I remember cards from years ago that made me laugh, cry, roll my eyes.  I’ve never understood how someone I’ve never met can sum up my emotions and relationships in three sentences or less.

But they do.

Years ago, during one of my many “I’m going to get fit” phases, a friend left me a voice mail message asking how my workouts were going.  In response, I sent a card.  It said:

Cover:  “I decided to get in shape so I took up jogging,”

Inside:  My thighs rubbed together so hard my underwear caught on fire.”

It painted a picture that, while not literally correct, summed up my feelings perfectly.

Although no one has admitted it to my face, I think my friends hate to go card shopping with me.  I make it an adventure.  Regardless of who I am with, I always find the perfect card for them.  I’ll hand it to them and say, “from me to you.”  And then we’re off and running.  I get so caught up in finding cards for my shopping companion that I forget to look for the card(s) I actually need.  On the upside, we usually end up laughing so hard we’re in tears.

Recently, my son and I were shopping for cards when I came across one that read, “I got you something for your birthday…”  On the inside, “You’re holding it.”

Immediately, I said, “Hey, Jax, I found the card I’m getting you for your birthday.”

As I predicted, he grabbed it and read it and then looked at me with a combination of exasperation and fear that only a pre-teen can give.  You know the look.  It means “yeah, right” and “you’re joking, aren’t you:?” all at the same time.

“Ha, ha,” he said.  Then he began looking.  Within a minute, I heard, “Here, Mom.  This card is for you.”

Overjoyed that my child had picked up on my love for “giving” cards in the moment, I took it from him.

On the front:  “We are only young once…”
Inside, “and your time is up.”

All I could do was laugh out loud.

“You had to know it was coming,” he said with a smile.

“Yeah, I did.  I just didn’t know you were already so gifted at selecting birthday cards,” I replied.

I think speaking greeting card should be a recognized talent.  Or maybe it’s just a gift.  Like the one Jax may get for his birthday.



How Many Zero’s Are in Your Dreams?

Have you ever played the “if I ever win the lottery” game?  You know what I’m talking about.  You hear the commercials for the multi-millions (it usually has to be mega millions to get my attention) and start spending in your head.

Sometimes I do that with my goals.  I’ll spend some time thinking about what I’d do to move my business or career ahead if I had “X” amount of extra cash.  It helps me to think about creative ways to do those things without the extra cash.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to hear a woman named Carolyn Hardy speak at a conference.  She’s a dynamic woman with a business track-record you can hardly believe.  As she was transitioning from one career into business ownership, she told the crowd, she sat at her kitchen table and asked herself, “What would I do if I had $25,000,000?”

I gotta tell you, outside of the lottery fantasies, I had never, ever asked myself that question.  After hearing Carolyn, I wondered why I hadn’t.  Why, I suddenly asked myself, did I limit my dream cash to an extra $250?  Or $2,500? Or even $25,000?  As the old saying goes, time is money.  So is effort.  So, it seems, are goals.  At least they can have a monetary component.  So why were mine so….small?

I can tell you they aren’t any more.  No, any time I find myself thinking, “if I just had an extra ‘X’ amount of cash,” I make sure I add an extra 0.  Or two or three or six.  Why?  Simple.  The more 0’s, the bigger the dream.  The bigger the dream, the more creative I get to be and the more people I need to include.  Adding 0’s is about making a bigger impact not having zero impact.

So, how many 0’s are in your dreams?  Who would have thought there could be so much power in zero?