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October 2016

Personal Growth

If you had only 500 words of wisdom

LIFEGRID – 500 WORDS TO LEAVE HUMANITY

Honesty, worth and love towards yourself and those within your life is what will connect you to your passion, values and unique abilities, which you deserve to share with the world. The world is screaming out for YOU to be YOU and for you to Inspire yourself, your family and millions of people around the world.

 

Fear, shame, guilt and judgement towards yourself and those within your life will disconnect you from your passion, values and unique abilities. Pull back the layers which have been thrown upon you by friends, family, media, society and unleash the true greatness you have within you, that is just waiting to make an impact on the world. Your world, your family’s world and the world in which we live.

 

As you walk down the path of life be sure to listen in to the internal talk of your mind, open up your heart, feel the abundance of worth and love you have within you, smell the beauty all around you, but most importantly know that this is your life journey, you are your own best friend and that you will be the only person by your side for your entire journey of life.

 

Life is a game and you are a character within this game. Now imagine you step out of the game and take control of your character, within the game. Automatically any fear, shame, guilt or judgement is released and you can choose as to which path this character takes within the game of life.

You know that all the other characters within the game are doing what is best for them, what aligns with their values and what can provide them physical, emotional and financial health.

 

Why are they doing this?

 

How can you control your character in a way that plays the game, while aligning with the character’s values and that shares the character’s unique abilities with the world in an impactful way?

 

Know that your character is unique and the single greatest character on this planet is YOU!

 

You carry with you a positive mental attitude, great physical health, amazing emotional health, guaranteed future achievement, a willingness to share and collaborate, the ability to do what you love as an occupation, passion, compassion, peace of mind and sufficient money.

 

While you strive for money, you understand that money will buy you a great deal, but it will not provide you happiness or fulfilment in your life, however it will play a part in helping you achieve happiness and fulfilment in your life, if combined with honesty, worth and love towards yourself, your family and the world.

 

YOU are unique, YOU are YOU, YOU are the greatest asset in this world, so go out and share that great asset, that is YOU with the world today!

 

 

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Innovation & Business

Why Business Strategy Should Be Guided By Your Personality

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I am so excited to be a contributor to Life Grid Magazine! With my first article, I should reveal the breaking point that led me to be a personal branding and marketing strategist.

What many people don’t know about me is that I had shifted from operating as CEO and public persona for marketing organisations in the European tourism industry and began my own business consulting entrepreneurs, celebrities, and business owners on merging ethics, authenticity and personal values in their branding. I strongly related to the need for “Good Business”. In my work, I often emphasise the long-term value of establishing principles in your business early on. It is not only a professional priority, I’ve come to realise that these values can create longevity in our personal lives.

As the public face of a successful company, I found myself in front of televisions cameras, featured in news media, at conferences, and business events all guided by an external script of my personality – written by others. I somehow got caught in a situation where the personality presented to the public was very different from my own personality. At some point, this no longer worked for me. This could be fine for a short period, but it could be detrimental for the long-term health of a company – and for you. Your personality reflects the values and interests in your business. This is especially true for personal brands. The problem is that most people get stuck in the personality they think the market will respond to, but eventually, this hinders their ability to innovate and grow.

There are effective strategies for thriving in your market – even when your authentic personality is infused in your business. My work is to show you how.

I am a personal branding and marketing strategist. I help entrepreneurs shine by finding their unique business style and an authentic voice for long term integrity that will always stand out in a noisy market. Strategic marketing is my talent and my passion.

After years of being successful, but admittedly inauthentic, my wish is for more people to find happiness in their work.

Yes, I believe this is possible. And necessary.

I find value in helping people find solutions that suit them. I aim to make a difference in the world, and not a small one.

I am constantly amazed by those I work with. What I know for sure is that the people I work with make the world a better place. The more of them I help, the more positive impact I have in the world.

Personally, and in my business, I take a firm stand for authenticity. It is one of my guiding principles. Recently in the personal branding space, you hear the word “authenticity” everywhere. Well, I notice this because I am constantly engaging with others in the field. The word can seem abstract, and even overused – but for good reason. This is one of the biggest limitations in businesses connecting to those they serve. I am interested in finding a new language in this field, but until now I haven’t found a better term to capture its meaning. Some other principles that equally matter to me come close: Integrity. Commitment. Transparency. Accountability.

If we look at what is going on in this world, there is also another reason for this pull towards “Good Business”. The vast part of business culture is motivated only by money, external possessions, seeking power and influence to gain even more profit – without much concern for impact on humanity. Profit doesn’t have to be unethical. We have too many examples that tell us so. Still, far too many economic initiatives are missing out on sustainable principles. You can probably name a handful of successful corporations or businesses that disregard the long term impact of their business model. From all of my experience within the business world, my conviction is that working from a place of authenticity, integrity, and accountability will nudge the business-world towards a place that contributes for the better. It will also create more demand for ethical business models.

Many people do awesome work, but unfortunately, don’t have a voice to make themselves heard. That’s what I aim to help change. Good Business always has a tidal effect.

I love to see people shine and thrive in what they do. My focus is always on seeing the “bigger picture” to help clients cultivate their personality brand from the inside out. I guide them in honing the values that will be at the core of their business foundation. The thing that excites me about this is that the more people take on this approach to business, the more it becomes a movement.

How do your personal values show up in your business? What is your business vision? Most likely it is something that impacts more than you. It might be so big that it can be intimidating. That is a sign that you are on track. You need this frightening energy, this excitement, as a consistent driving force to make things better in this world – and move towards that vision coming to fruition.

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Personal Growth

Silence is Not Golden

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“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

 

You have something to say. I know you do; we all do. But there’s something holding you back. Is it fear? Fear of what people will think when you let the words out there? Fear of how people will receive your story? Fear of retribution from those involved in your story?

Here’s the thing – your story is your own. Though there may have been other people involved, YOUR feelings, YOUR takeaways, do not belong to anyone else and should not be influenced by what they might think. Own your story. Sit with it. Analyze it. Understand it. And remember the quote above.

We all know there’s such thing as sibling rivalry, but what happens when it turns physical? Some would say depending on which side you’re on, the scars run deeper than marks left on the body. at one time, having been there, I would have agreed. However, I now know that everything I’ve experienced is a story that someone else needs to hear to heal their own pain.

As a child, knock-down-flip-me-over-the-bed-dent-the-toaster-with-my-head kind of fights were a regular thing. Being on the receiving end and coupled with childish hero worship, I thought this was the way relationships were supposed to work. So I carried that belief through all of my relationships into adulthood.  It left me battered and bruised and almost dead.

The worst of it is, I suffered in silence. No one knew what was going on; not my parents, teachers, or even my friends.

Contrary to the popular cliché, silence is not golden. Silence is painful. It is lonely. Mostly, though,  it’s detrimental.

The thing about silence is that it’s self-imposed and leads to a place of self-destruction. You begin believing that you are not worthy of anything other than what you are receiving. You expect and accept it.

I was reminded by a friend that I am loved, I am valuable, and I am worthy. Another friend recently added to it with the simple words. I am enough.

I’ve come out on the other side, stronger than I ever thought possible. By learning to love and trust myself and my heart. By taking care of me rather than staying silent to please other people.  Now I’m passing this message on to you.

You are loved.
You are worthy.
You are valuable.
You are enough.

You have something to say.

Own your truth. Don’t suffer in silence. Speak up, ask for help and  share your story.

Your tears are words waiting to be written to heal the world.

 

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Retail Therapy

How organizing events can give you business clarity.

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Having a serviced based business as a sleep coach for adults I am my business.

It took a bit to become comfortably with the idea that people actually buy me and not only my service.

You can simply say: “we clicked”. But in reality there is much more to it.

Business coaches often talk about your ideal client and how you need to talk their language. This is of course important but even more so is the fact that you need to

a) know your ideal YOU and

b) be ready to be that YOU

This can sometimes be tricky. Because we often know who we truly want to be but that person can be very different from who we have been in the past. It isn’t always the person our friends and family have known for so long.

And ‘coming out’ as that person can be daunting or even downright scary.

So how do events help you to push yourself with that?

When you organise an event, most of the time, you need to find sponsors and those look at 2 things.

1) The nature of the event and whether it fits their business.

2) Whether YOU are trustworthy and convincing.

The only way you can pull off the second point is when you are crystal clear on your mission.

This year I am the Luxembourg Ambassador for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. I am super proud, of course. But I also had to become clear on why I wanted to spend my energy and time on this project and why it is important to me.

Some of my answer came very quickly though.

This movement isn’t just about local or national women entrepreneurs but for women worldwide who want to make their own fortune and control how they want to support their families. And they do so remarkably well if you look at the figures.

Statistics show that women pay back microloans, to launch their businesses, at a rate of 97%. On top of that the invest 90% of whatever money they earn after that into their families and communities.

So that was obviously a no-brainer for me to support.

Yet it became even more clear when we visited a major bank here in Luxembourg and the person in charge was actually saying that he thought that any pure women focused events were obsolete.

Don’t misunderstand, he said that because in his eyes women had already reached the same level as men and (in an ideal world) there shouldn’t be any differences anymore. Meaning that you shouldn’t have to raise awareness to something that isn’t true anymore.

Unfortunately, that is in an ideal world.

As the following infographic shows the reality is far from men and women being equal yet.

It is much trickier than just saying it is about modernising. Behind these numbers is a history of a patriarchal society and those voices and opinions are still nestled in the back of our heads.

Even with good will it is hard to shake them off.

So we need to be conscious of them and detect any voices that might be subjective when it comes to men versus women in business.

This is also true within ourselves.

Me personally, I am still intimidated when I face a panel of men. Especially if they are older and all in suits with stern looks on their faces. I immediately shrink and feel like a little girl again (working on it though).

So for me this event was crucial in terms of that I am much more aware of who I am as a woman and that I have to learn to greet those archaic voices in my head and then tell them to bugger off and let me do business.

I truly believe that putting yourself into the spotlight for a cause, will help you become clearer on who you are and what you stand for.

So which event can you support, create and launch?

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Travel

What Frida Kahlo Taught Me About Life

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I’m looking out my 10th story hotel window in complete awe of Mexico City. I’m here because I simply could not pass up the opportunity to be in one of the world’s largest cities. I have to respect a place that can draw twenty million people. 

Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect and I was more than a little intimidated.

The one place I knew I wanted to visit was Frida Kahlo’s house. La Casa Azul was the birthplace of Kahlo and is also the home where she grew up, lived with her husband Diego Rivera for a number of years, and eventually died at only forty seven years old. It is now one of the most visited places in Mexico City.

When I arrived at her home there were at least one hundred people waiting in line.

As I took my place in line I wondered if she could have imagined the impact she would have on the world. She is one of the most admired feminist. She is considered one of the greatest examples of authenticity and passion. She is celebrated as one of Mexico’s most famous artists. 

And yet in her life she experienced loads of pain and disappointment. 

She contracted polio at a young age. She survived an accident that left her in constant pain and with limited mobility. She was never able to have children, something she wanted deeply. She experienced the betrayal of the love of her life. She actually had a very limited number of art exhibitions and she died young. 

What if she judged her life by what she saw in her living years?

She could never have imagined that sixty years after her death hundreds of people would be lining up to see her home and art all day, every day. She would not have seen that her image would one day be on her country’s currency. That she would be responsible for bringing a huge amount of revenue into her country. That she would inspire artists, women and human kind. 

My pilgrimage to Mexico City and the Blue House has graced me with perspective.

I felt a range of emotions and went for a long walk to digest all that I felt being so close to what she held dear. I kept thinking to myself what if she thought she didn’t matter and that her work didn’t bring beauty and healing? What if? In my final moments of mediation before returning to my hotel I heard this…

Stop judging your life.

Live if fully.

That is more than enough.

 

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Life Changes

How did I end up here?

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The following entry was one i submitted to an online contest a few months ago. There were a few topics to pick from, and this one resonated with me. I had read wrong how long it had to be, so this original entry had to be shortened, much to my dismay. Needless to say i didnt even make their top 10 lol (i don’t think they were looking for an essay about life, but rather a physical journey somewhere) , but as i re-read it the other day i realized it speaks my truth, and i wanted to share it somewhere. Well, that somewhere is LifeGrid  magazine, and the time is now.


Life’s an adventure that will take you to unexpected places.

Even though I’m already forty years old, with a lifetime of memories and experiences, I feel like my real journey started about three years ago. At that time, I was busy with a job I had been doing for over twelve years; one that I was good at, had built myself a good reputation in and I was settled in very solidly and comfortably. But even though things were good in theory, something within me wasn’t right. I wasn’t as happy as I thought I could and should be.

Looking back on it now, I didn’t feel challenged at work; it was mostly about just having this routine that involved doing something I was getting a pay check for. I was no longer innovating and excited about going there every day. In truth, it started becoming more of a chore than something I enjoyed doing. But it wasn’t just work. Personally, I felt stuck too; like something was missing. So in hindsight, it wasn’t that there was anything wrong with my job; the problem was me. Every single day was exactly like the one before. I was living a routine that was suffocating me, and I wasn’t even aware of it. And that’s when my real journey started…

I woke up one day and realized that I simply needed a change; something had to give. I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t know what I had to do, but I just knew that I needed to try something different. I couldn’t stay doing the same thing any longer. If i didn’t try something then, I felt like I was never going to do it. That’s when I decided to visit an old neighbour who was a holistic doctor, just for the heck of it. I didn’t feel good about myself physically either, so I figured I would give that a try, because one of my sisters had worked with her, and she gave me good feedback. It’s funny, I had known her for years, but I had never thought about seeing her until after she moved away. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had seen her earlier; but then I realize that maybe I just wasn’t ready. We can’t be pushed through the door; we have to walk through it when we’re ready and willing to do so.

Well, going to that first consultation with her was a wakeup call. This woman didn’t really hold back, and told me some things that I hadn’t even realized or simply didn’t want to look at about myself. Let’s call them hard truths. The main thing was that it was time that I took responsibility for myself. I had to stop blaming my problems and unhappiness on situations and on other people. I’m the one responsible for myself, and I create my life every single day with the decisions I make. So I decided to start a treatment with her that involved many things, including changing the way I ate, the way I thought and what I did and how I did it. It was two years of a very different approach to living that I just hadn’t thought of doing or imagined it would ever work for me. Working with this woman changed my focus back to me. And I had to let go of so many limitations I had imposed on myself out of fear. I came to realize I was filled with fear. And letting go of that fear enough to take a step forward, and forgiving myself for how I’d become, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t an easy path, but once I started on it I realized I couldn’t go back to how I was. More importantly, I didn’t want to. I made a commitment to myself, and I was determined to stick to it, no matter what. I felt the best I had ever felt in my entire life: healthier, happier, clearer, more beautiful. Even my mood had improved!

I kept working on myself, and so last year arrived. I decided, after almost seventeen years at my job, that I wanted to leave. It was time. This was something that I had been thinking about for a few years, but just didn’t have the guts to do. I spoke to my boss, who was extremely supportive since she had seen the process I was in, and I told her I was leaving. I’d never been more scared in my life. I was offered time off without pay, in case I just needed to get away for a while, but I declined. I wanted nothing to hold me back or keep me tied down. If I was going to take a risk, I was going all in. Something within me kept telling me I had to let go of this control that I felt I always needed to have and just be free, for once in my life. So I quit my job.

November 21st was my last day at work. November 25th I was on a plane to Australia on vacation to visit my sister, who lives there in Perth, Western Australia. I’d never been there either, so I was both excited and very scared, since I had never been so far away from home before. To make it easier on myself, because it’s a very long journey from where I live, I decided to stop in Dubai for a few of days, which was somewhat of a halfway point. Even though I was so excited for this new adventure, I hadn’t realized just how scared I was, until I had a bit of a panic attack as the plane was landing in Dubai. I had to breathe and remind myself that this was meant to be a fun moment in my life; a brand new adventure, and that I should just stop thinking and analyzing so much and to just embrace it.

Dubai was an intense short period in which I tried to see as much as I could, and managed to fulfil one of my childhood dreams: to watch the sunset in the desert. I did a safari tour (with some dune jumping!) followed by a dinner in the middle of the desert, which was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was liberating, exhilarating and breathtaking. I felt connected to myself and everything around me again. I toured the city, seeing as much as I could too. I’d had such a great time, and I was only at the start of my journey!

After leaving Dubai, I got on a plane again and finally landed in Perth. Despite the jetlag, I felt so happy. Not only was I visiting my sister for the first time, but I was doing something I had only dreamt I would ever do. I was in a place where everything was new!

What can I say about my Australia experience? It’s June and I’m still here, that ought to give you an idea of how much I’ve loved it. I also managed to visit Bali, and had myself another wonderful adventure. Words cannot express the richness of what these experiences have brought me.

I could sit here and write about how I saw kangaroos, koalas, visited amazing places like Margaret River, Janchep; or write about how much I’ve enjoyed Perth and its people; how I even managed to see wonderful tennis matches at the Hopman Cup; how I’ve drank some amazing wine and had wonderful food. I could fill pages with my stories, but in truth, this story isn’t so much about my physical journey, but rather about my inner journey, because having that journey is how I ended up here. How I managed to reconnect with myself and start to find my voice with writing, something that I’ve always loved doing but never really thought I would get the opportunity to explore.

Because our adventures in life aren’t so much about the places we go. I could have probably discovered all of this back home, with no need to travel halfway across the world to find it. But for some reason this journey was laid out in front of me, and I took it. I guess I had to find physical space in order to go deeper within and connect with myself. A connection that I had neglected; the most important one of all.

Today I write this not so much for anyone that might read this, but I write it for myself. I have no idea if anyone will ever read it, because I don’t know if I’ll have the guts to send it. So I guess I can call this a confession of sorts, to finally make peace with myself. Maybe others can identify with my situation if they ever get the chance to read it, even if their circumstances are different than mine. I think that at the end of the day we all just want to be happy and enjoy our life, living the way we want to live and doing something that makes us fulfilled both professionally and personally; something that brings us joy and inner peace. But our fears and insecurities are overpowering our desires, and we just conform. We get stuck in a routine thinking that there’s no way we can escape it, because we have responsibilities. We don’t have to neglect those responsibilities we’ve committed to, but we can find a way to take a deep breath and find joy every day. I think it’s important that we do.

I’m far from having all the answers. In fact, I sit here writing this mortified with no idea about my future: what will I do next, what kind of work I want to do, how am I going to make a living… because there’s days when I can only hear the voice of those people who say that you can’t make a living from writing, that it’s a silly dream to have, that I need to get my head out of the clouds and put my feet back on the ground. An you know what’s worse? That voice sounds a lot like my own. All I can come up with as an answer is this: I don’t know. The only thing I know is that I love to write. It’s my passion. I could sit down for hours and do it without even realizing it. I can get lost in whichever imaginary world I come up with and love it. I’ve found what I love, and I can’t turn back now. I don’t know how I will do it, but I know this is what I enjoy; what makes me feel alive.

What’s your passion? What’s your calling? Maybe you think it’s too late, but it isn’t. It’s only too late if you think it is. I truly believe we’re here on earth with gifts that we must share with the world, to make it more beautiful and a better place.

So this is how I ended up here, wherever this here is. I’m probably going to be somewhere else tomorrow. In fact, I know I’m meant to go home soon, and I’m all right with that. For a while I was scared of going back, because I don’t know if I’m going to go back to my old habits and conform again. But I have to trust myself enough to know that I won’t. It’s a constant fight with myself you see, trying to deal with my fears. I thought I had banished fear away, but I haven’t; not fully. I don’t know if it’s even possible to eradicate it completely. But at this point I don’t think I need to work so hard on trying to be rid of it. All I can do is to try and not let it rule me and control me. I can’t do something because I’m scared; I don’t want to stop myself from doing something because I’m scared either. Decisions made out of fear have never worked out well for me, so I just don’t want to go back to that.

And if I fail, so what? I’ll just start over, and try something else. What is failure anyways? Sometimes an apparent failure opens up doors we never dreamt of. I firmly believe that there aren’t failures if we manage to learn from every experience. I’m actually a lot more scared of not doing something because I’m scared than doing something and failing in the eyes of those around me. I know some very likely judge me these days behind their smiles, and think I had some middle aged meltdown that made me drop everything and run off; or that I’m cowering from responsibilities or whatever else they might think. That’s fine. People will always think what they want anyways. I’d rather they think that than think I never had the guts to do anything.

So perhaps at the end of the month I’m going to be back home in the Caribbean, in the middle of summer, swimming in a bright blue ocean, which doesn’t really sound bad either, does it? I’m bringing a lot with me, and I’m excited to find a way to share it with everyone. I feel like I have so much to say, so I just have to get my voice out there, and trust that those who might need to hear what I have to say will find a way to it. I don’t presume to be smart and know better than anyone. But I do know I write with my heart in my hand, coming from an honest place and wanting to do some good, and maybe bring some hope and light to someone who might need it.

Maybe reading about this experience can make someone smile, or help them get to wherever it is that they’re going next, who knows. This is only my journey. We all have our own. You can ask yourself “How did I get here?” the same way I did, and I’m sure we’re going to get amazing, unique stories each time. We might cross paths, or maybe we’ll go opposite ways, but wherever we end up we must make our journey our own.

There’s a certain kind of magic to travelling. For a moment you’re able to leave everything behind, and look at a brand new journey in front of you. Travelling enriches you; you take way more than the physical aspects of the places you visited and the memories you made. Travelling fills your soul; it makes it come alive. It shakes you out of what you know and exposes you to people, cultures and situations that you probably didn’t even know existed. I know that what I’m taking back from my travels to Dubai, Bali and Western Australia go beyond the pictures and souvenirs. Ten years from now I’m probably going to still be thinking about it, and when I look back I’ll realize something that escapes me even now.

And I know I will return. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know I’ll be back here in Australia, to continue where I left off. So you see, where I am now isn’t set, not at all. In fact at times I feel that my journey is only starting. And that sounds amazing to me!


Update: Yes, i did return home to the Dominican Republic in june. I sit here melting (since it still feels like summer, ugh!), trying to start my own business (the ups and downs of it merit a brand new post!) and wondering what my next adventure will be, and where i’ll go to next.

My time in Australia is still resonating and i discover lessons from it every day. I wondered why i left, and i believe now i know why: something magical was waiting for me here, ready for me to reconnect with it. So i’m embracing this time and learning from it.  

But now i also know that i’ll be back to Australia. I started something there that i must finish. And i know my soul sister Jodi is waiting for me, for she’s become a friend for life. Time difference means nothing when one finds beautiful people that help you on your journey. She helps me even from a 12 hour time difference! She truly is a magical lady.

So, stay tuned! Things are about to get interesting…

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Personal Growth

A love story: self-love and sisterhood

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“Sister, open your heart, fling your hopes high and set your dreams aloft. I am here to hold your hand.” (Maya Angelou)

 In the beginning

My adventure with self-love has had many twists and turns, and I’ve learnt a lot along the way.

In my 20s I was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping medication, told I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I found myself pursuing a career in law and struggling at every level.  I was carrying a broken soul from a terrible car accident and I was stuck in my belief that I wasn’t worthy of happiness.

Two weeks before my 30th birthday, my partner walked out. Looking back, I can’t have been fun to live with! I was addicted to wine and drama and to my own unhappiness. I used up all my sane moments at work; once I left the office, I self-destructed.

The Adventure

Despite the reality of my days, I had a deep knowing that life was meant to be enjoyed, not endured. I yearned to find that feeling of joy. I read everything I could about health, healing, wellbeing, spirituality and happiness. I embraced food as medicine, went to my first yoga class and tentatively started to meditate.

I dabbled and explored and I experienced pleasure and moments of bliss. However, I continued to push myself at the gym, use coffee and chocolate to get through the afternoon and I hung on to my wine with a vice like grip!

I had an unwavering belief that I was here for a reason and there had to be more to a life than a mortgage, a company car and health insurance.  I left my career and went travelling to find answers.

I searched for clarity, I sought wisdom from those who had it, I studied to gain knowledge and I experimented to see what worked. I learnt a lot and I started to listen to myself.

Love and Success

Our lives reflect how much we love and accept ourselves, how we take care of ourselves and our needs, how we empower ourselves, how we treat ourselves, how we embrace our quirks and gifts and how we choose to show up in the world.

What does success mean to you?

Write down your definition of success in a sentence or two.

Do you truly believe that you deserve it?  If not, you will sabotage yourself as you progress towards it.

When we truly love ourselves we can:

  • receive more than we’ve ever received;
  • say yes to opportunities that scare us;
  • nurture our families whilst creating our dream; and
  • reach into our well of self-belief to sustain us.

When we combine this with sisterhood, we are poised to create our best lives and help change the world.

Love and Sisterhood

Cultivating sisterhood is to courageously share our stories and celebrate each other’s successes.  The women in our world are both the catalyst to our success and a reflection of what’s in our hearts.  Embrace them, listen to them, encourage them, love them and celebrate with them.

Wherever you are on your journey, keep taking the next step. Commit to your self-care practices, create your self-love rituals and reach out to your circle of sisters.

I invite you to be guided by the following principles for the next 30 days and see where they take you:

  • Authenticity – make your choices based on your core values and beliefs and definition of success
  • Self-respect – choose behaviour that supports your higher purpose
  • Emotional maturity – recognise challenges as invitations for growth
  • Self-confidence – understand that you are always in the right place at the right time and that it’s your job to believe in yourself
  • Humility – let go of needing to be right
  • Connect with your heart – tune in to the language of your soul and listen carefully
  • Be present – all you have is now
  • Sisterhood – honour your female friendships

The Quest Continues

What ties the pieces of my journey together is embracing self- love, accepting myself just as I am in this moment, and connecting, collaborating and celebrating with women on a similar path.

My personal growth is enhanced daily by the challenges and joys of being a mother and nurturing my business.  This has delivered me to a place where I can provide insight for others. It has inspired me to create a movement based on self-love, sisterhood and soulful strategy to support women in business to live their best lives and support each other. In this space, we ask questions, renew our sense of self and catch sight of our long-forgotten dreams.

We are in this together; loving ourselves and cultivating sisterhood is essential to our collective success.

 

Flower Shower - The Photo ForestWith love and gratitude

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Life Changes

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

What is Halloween? It’s a super fun day where kids and adults get to dress up a their favorite character, or someone they wish they were. It’s the one day a year where weirdness, wildness, extreme colors and wackiness is accepted and normal……and no explanation is required.

Have you ever noticed that for most people Halloween is when they allow their true personality and flavor in public? Do you find it odd that we require a holiday for this? What if we didn’t need a reason or a holiday to truly be ourselves?

Do you suppose the world could handle the  zany, wacky, craziness you truly be? What if you had so much self-confidence that you could be you 365 days a year?

I was raised in a home where conformity was taught. How I got to dress, how I was supposed to act, think, talk, and be were all based on the structure that we were “striving” to conform to.

It created for me personally, ill health, depression, anxiety and patterns of codependency. I was not aware of this so I carried these patterns into my marriage. It took drastic measures and me leaving that space to actually see what was going on.

I will be the first to tell you that it’s not easy to end patterns of codependency, establish self-love, and rebuild self-esteem. I do not pretend to be a master at this, as it is an ongoing process.

I will say that because I have lived it, been there and done it, I do have a few tricks up my sleeves for coaching clients through this. One of my specialties is coaching women who are codependent, to rekindle self-love, self-confidence, and self-esteem. I do this in my program called Living Your Life For You – Not Someone Else.  You can find my schedule link on my about page!

Have a happy and wonderful Halloween! May magic and blessings be with you. May you also have more treats than tricks!

I am Janie Lin Smith, you’re Energetic Alignment Coach

~Changing lives one message at a time~

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Retail Therapy

3 steps to control your voice for greater influence

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3 things you must know and control 

Does your voice quiver when you are standing on a platform?

Do you feel your voice lets you down?

Are you wanting to

1. Your voice is a carrier of information about you  

When you speak people feel your words more than hear them.  They feel your emotion and character and whether you really mean what you say and say what you mean.  They will connect with you if they believe you are authentic.

There are times when your message may need to be more assertive or energetic and times when it may need it to be soothing or comforting, this will vary depending on what you want to communicate.

“It is also important to keep in mind that your emotions will affect your voice”.

Their are nerve pathways that go directly to your larynx that are stimulated by your thinking and thus your emotions.

Your voice is you and you are your voice, it cannot be hidden or separated.

How do you know what your audience is really hearing?

The only thing you can do is to record yourself and listen back and then you will hear what everyone is hearing.  Don’t be surprised.  Its ok your listeners are used to it and its time you heard yourself too.

VOCAL TIP    “Use your voice muscles to create tone”
When your larynx is lower you have a deeper sound that makes your message stronger and serious.   When you slightly raise your larynx you will create a brighter sound that makes your sound softer and friendlier.  Smiling when speaking will help you sound brighter and energised, while having a more serious facial expression will deepen your voice for when you need to convey a message with more authority.

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2. The wrong vocal tone creates misunderstandings 

Have you ever had anyone say

‘It’s not just what you have said; it’s how you have said it?’

You may be sending one message verbally and another message with your non verbal cues. The way you talk can have a particularly profound effect on how others interpret what it is that you are saying because of how you are feeling at the time that you speak.  Everyone loves the feeling of connection through words that carry authenticity.  Your words have the power to create connection when they are supported with the right tone that comes from an authentic heart that is passionate about the message.

Have you ever felt you were misunderstood by others?

VOCAL TIP:    “BREATHE”
Don’t hold your breath when you speak, by locking up your stomach muscles.  Breathe more air deeper into your belly and expand the ribs.  Stop breathing too high in your chest and running out of breath when you are speaking.   Speaking with more air will make your voice sound warmer, friendlier and approachable.

Check out in my FREE  resources a video on BREATHING be at ease when nervous 

3. Have a friendly speaking tone in relationships  

Many of us have a tendency to listen half-heartedly to a number of the people that we meet. The truth is that we’re more likely to pay attention to a friendly voice than to one that is dull, monotonous, or frustrated and angry.   Your voice must be confident and clear as this will attract your listeners and keep them engaged. This will also help them trust you and rely on your words.  What this means is that you will feel that you have been heard and you are making a difference by creating the influence you want to have.

Does your voice convey intimidation or approachability?

Someone once told me

“The amount we get paid is measured by the degree that we can emotionally evoke passion in others”

 

Vocal Tip:   “loosen your jaw and tongue”
When your jaw and tongue is relaxed you will sound freer, your vocal tone will flow better and you will sound inviting. When you speak drop your jaw and make your tongue soft by resting the tip of it lightly behind your bottom teeth. Stop holding back your voice by closing your mouth too much and restricting your speaking.

Here is a SoundCloud file to listen to how a tight jaws and tongue effects your speaking voice

Watch this 7 min video for instruction and tips for:

1. Deep Breathing strategy
2. Warmups for energising your voice speaking
3. How to not reach and strain for projecting high and low sounds when speaking
4. How to not sound monotone by releasing a tight jaw and tongue
5. How to increase your resonance and have a confident, certain and credible voice.

Click Here for  5 tips you can use to control your voice and speak with ease and more freedom on any platform. 

1If you want to get a professional opinion about your presence on a platform or your overall communication strategy book here a complimentary strategy session.

My book  “The Art Of Powerful Communication”  gives you tips and information on how to use your voice, message and mindset to impact your audience.

Click here to download first two chapters for FREE
Maria Pellicano - The Art Of Powerful Communication KINDLE Best Seller

Thank you for reading this post.

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Personal Growth

Spiritual snobbery: it’s a real thing

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inhale exhale

What does it mean to be spiritual? Just like everything else in modern society, spirituality is now being marketed as a thing, but more than that, there’s an underlying culture of spiritual snobbery that exists. It’s subtle, it’s sly, but it’s there. Yes, I’ve done it. I think we’ve all been guilty of spiritual snobbery at times, but once we have an awareness of it, it can help our own journey.

Let’s get one thing straight; everyone is spiritual. According to the World Health Organisation, there are five aspects of health; physical, mental, social, emotional AND spiritual. The knowledge or belief in a reason for existence is a very human thing. Humans have been trying to explain why we are here since they painted it on the walls or told it through oral stories that have been passed down throughout history. For me religion and spirituality are not the same thing, but for other people, their religion is their spirituality – to dismiss their beliefs as lesser or not as good as our own is nothing short of ignorance of that person’s journey. We don’t have to agree with their path, but we do have to honour where they are.

Yes, I understand that thinking someone like Donald Trump as a spiritual being is difficult to swallow, but as Deepak Chopra recently observed, he’s operating from the base chakra. Whether we like it or not, all beings in the universe are made up of consciousness. What we share is that consciousness; we are all one. When we separate from each other in believing that we are more or less spiritual than another, we are operating in the ego and therefore creating more separation in the universe, not more unity. Consciousness is an intangible entity that all beings possess and to judge a person for not being spiritual enough or too spiritual takes away from your own spirituality, it allows the ego to drive, not the essence or spirit of who you are.

JP Sears has a fantastic series of videos that call out this snobbery, just because you are vegan or wear the latest yoga pants or meditate daily doesn’t make you more spiritual; your actions and reactions to events in your life does. How often have you held a conversation with someone and walked away because you felt that they were looking down on you in some way? No-one is better or worse than us, they just are where they are. Ultimately one’s spiritual journey is a very personal thing and there are multiple ways to get there – wherever there is!

For me, spirituality is three things:

  1. Accepting each being for who they are
  2. Accepting ourselves where we are
  3. Loving what is

I’m not saying this is an easy path, some days it can really challenge me, but it is where I am right now and that’s what it is. Embodying acceptance and unconditional love in thought, word and action is sometimes very challenging.

For me spirituality is allowing the divine light of spirit to drive you through life and to become of the voice of ego that says that “I’m better,” or “they’re not evolved enough” or they are “operating at a lower frequency”…that may very well be the truth that Donald Trump is operating from the base chakra, but that’s his journey and our own journey is to focus within to the inner voice of spirit driving us towards love. But if that is not your experience, that’s fine! I’m not here to judge.

Being spiritual isn’t about staying in a state of constant bliss, but it is about being aware within you of when you drop out of it. It’s not the fault of the workplace, the relationship or the car that swerved in-front of you, but it is about holding a space of love and acceptance for what arises within us. Recently I spent a fabulous five days in Tantra Practitioner training and when I returned to my teaching job, it was literally like I was coming back down to Earth – I was surrounded with unhappy teenagers who were in survival mode – I found myself not wanting to be around these dense, negative energies and craved to return to the bliss of the tantric experience. When we allow the situation to take us away from who we really are on our journey, that’s when we learn the most, that situation taught me of my own fragility and how easily I allow my energy to be swayed. This, in-turn showed me a new path of growth.

Spirituality is not a competition – it’s a journey; and it’s the most magnificent journey to be on and I for one and am so very grateful to be here on this Earth having this amazing spiritual journey at this time, what a time to be alive and what a time to bring more love and acceptance to the world.

 

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