Living an Amazing Life.

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Beautiful Young Woman Outdoors. Enjoy Nature. MeadowUntil  I had the courage to dream of a better life, I wasn’t able to have one. Dreams are what life is made of. They give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and a reason to go to bed early at night, so you can wake up and start all over again.  But like anything worth having, dreaming takes work, which often requires that you walk through something that you’re afraid of.

You’ll encounter many obstacles along the road to living your dreams.  Some obstacles may be real, while others may be imagined. One of the real obstacles that can definitely stand in the way of living your dreams is negative core beliefs!

We are what we believe. And we create our reality based on what we think. Like it or not, your beliefs influence your attitude and your behavior – and how you behave is what defines you.

When I believed I wasn’t smart enough to go back to school, my actions supported my beliefs. So I didn’t even try. But once I realized that to live the life I wanted I had to honestly confront the things that were holding me back. I knew that I would have to face my fears head on and just walk right through them! And when I started believing I could really do something to change the course of my life, I took actions that supported those beliefs. That’s when I finally enrolled in school.

Despite the negative feelings I often had about myself, I became willing to behave contrary to those feelings. Every time I accomplished something that I didn’t think I could, and got to the other side, I felt great!  Each small step brought me closer to living the life I always dreamed of living.

So ask yourself what your core beliefs are. But you may find that seemingly simple question tougher to answer than you think.

One thing you can immediately do to better understand your beliefs is to listen intently to what you say. The words that come out of your mouth can often reflect what you really believe, as do the thoughts you keep in your mind.

So what do you dream of?

Are the words you are using and things you are saying compatible with your dreams, or do they conflict with them?

What beliefs are you holding that are restricting you from taking positive actions towards living your dreams?

Remember, the more you resonate with your dreams, the more likely you will start to live them.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.n.

 

 

Machu Picchu. Bucket List.

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Bucket List.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Not sure why it’s taken me so long to publish this post, but it has.  Some might call it lazy, but lazy I’m not.  Some might say, I was too busy to focus on it. But if the truth be known, I was not too busy; I was just a procrastinator. In any event, here we go!

A few months ago, I was watching a segment of Sunday 60 Minutes called, the Children’s Village. I was touched by the humanity of India Howell and her business partner, Peter Leon Massy.  Their love of and desire to help children was heart-touching. It also reminded me of my recent adventure in Peru.

Machu Picchu. Bucket List.

Machu Picchu was never on my bucket list.  No, I was not jumping for joy at the opportunity to travel 12,000 feet above sea level—in hiking boots.  I mean the truth is, I’m a high heel kind of girl—5 inches high, I might add.  Yet, much to my surprise, when given the chance to journey to Peru in July, I was willing and able to show up.  That’s how life works. When we are open to the endless possibilities presented to us, we get so much more than we planned. At least that’s my experience.

12,000 Feet Above Sea Level.

Because I had never ventured to such a high altitude, I was a bit concerned. So, I prepared myself for the journey. I spoke with several friends who had trekked up the mountain, and had a conversation with my doctor about appropriate actions to take.  But the interesting and most telling thing is that I took the suggestions offered to me. What a novel concept. That single action allowed me to avoid the sickness often visited upon high altitude hikers.

First Class Travel, not so shabby!

The actual flight to Peru was delightful. Because I travel a lot, I’m an elite flyer on American Airlines and a lifetime member of the Admirals Club. Being an Executive Platinum has its perks, and there is something to be said for first class accommodations.  It makes a difference. So even though I arrived into Cusco at 5am Sunday morning, I felt rested.

The Bread House.

But the real fun began on Monday, which was our humanitarian day.  We left Cusco at 6am headed for the Azul Wasi Orphanage.  But let me step back. On the way to the orphanage, we stopped by a bread house.  Peru is a relatively poor country, so folks make money in whatever way they can.  Many bake and sell bread in their homes, hence bread house. The bread was so delicious that I took several wheel-shaped loaves home.  Perhaps because I love bread, but also because it was my small way of supporting the economy in this poor village. Three months later, I’m still eating bread.

Azul Wasi Orphanage.

From the time we arrived at the orphanage, I felt like I was steeped into a magical experience.  Nineteen kids greeted my small group with bear hugs and kisses. Wow! What a sweet and pleasant surprise.  They were so happy to see us, and made sure we knew it.  From that moment until we left the orphanage hours later, my heart was cracked wide open. Had I returned to San Francisco after that day, I would have felt fulfilled.  But there was more to come.  It was the start of an affair to remember.

On one hand, being with the kids was joyful. But on the other hand, it was sad. For most of these children, being at this orphanage was a place filled with more love than they have ever known.  Most of them had lived on the streets since they were barely able to walk. Their ages ranged from 3 to 19-years old, yet you could see in their little faces that they were old beyond their years.  Drugs, alcohol, and the streets were all some of them knew.  It was sad to hear their stories, and for the most part, we couldn’t discuss it with them. The memories were too fresh and painful.

I, more than anyone in my group, understood their plight. While not an orphan, my childhood was lost to drugs, alcohol, and a sordid lifestyle.  I lived homeless on the streets of New York at 18 surviving in whatever way I could.  I know all too well what one must do to survive.  Yet, I was granted a reprieve, an opportunity to turn the tide. There were angels in my midst.  So for me, this trip was not just a trip to Peru, but one more opportunity for me to say thank you and give back. And as in my life, there was an angel for these kids, and his name was Alcides.

A police chief for 30-years, he got tired of seeing these street kids come through his station. So he saved and saved and vowed when he retired from the police force, he would buy land and build a place where these kids could come live, grow, get an education, and become productive members of society.  A place where they could feel safe and loved.  Alcides has obviously succeeded, as evidence by the fact that while the kids are free to leave at any time, not one has chosen to do so.  How lucky they are and how blessed I was to get to speak with Alcides.

Sacred Valley. Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu.

The next day we were off to the Sacred Valley, and then Machu Picchu. What I can say most about the Sacred Valley and then Machu Picchu is how awestruck I was with what the Incas accomplished. We often like to think we are superior to other people and cultures. Yet, when one is able to witness firsthand what these courageous people created, we think twice about our assumption that we are better than most. Like the Romans, the Incas built structures that are still standing.

The most exhilarating part of the Machu Picchu day trip was that I became willing to do something I was afraid to do.  In anticipation of a bumpy upward climb, I gave myself permission not to go to the top. Once there, I allowed myself to take one baby step at a time, and before I knew it, I was on top. Being atop Machu Picchu was wonderful, but being willing to get there was awesome!

Someone asked, what was my favorite part of the trip? My answer was – the entire trip!  From the first day at the orphanage with the kids, to interviewing Alcides, to interviewing two of the children (Alfredo and Dante), to visiting a bread house, to visiting the Sacred Valley, to climbing Machu Picchu, every step of the way was a piece of the puzzle that made for a beautiful picture.  The final piece, bringing the puzzle all together, was the group itself.  I went to Peru, primarily, to support a friend’s charity (Legacies in Motion), engage in humanitarian work, and visit one of the NEW 7 wonders of the world. What I got was so much more. Yes, the actual act of climbing Machu Picchu was awe inspiring, but what impacted me was the fact that I was even willing to go.

A Life Filled With Endless Possibilities.

Today my life is filled with endless possibilities, and I am grateful to be alive and fully present enough to participate in this, my journey.  There was a time when I sat on the sidelines judging those who showed up for life.  People who, even if afraid, had the courage to take risks, go for their dreams, and possibly fail.  I was always afraid to fail, so I made safe choices.  Making safe choices keeps you protected and out of harm’s way, but also keeps you and your life small.

After 37 years of trying new things, I take a stand for those who are courageous enough to show up for their lives, try new things, meet new people, and live a life of limitless expansion. Life is so short; don’t waste it. Before you now it, it’s over.

Here’s to you!   Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter

 

 

Life Choices. Stress. Choice.

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Life Choices.

Life Choices. Stress.

Life Choices. Stress.

Recently, I was in a taxi headed to La Guardia Airport. It was 4am and except for one car driving ahead of us, Second Avenue was almost bare. That is perhaps the only time of day when the streets of New York are not bustling with throngs of people and vehicles. The car ahead of my taxi was going slowly, perhaps because there was no need to rush; it was, after all, 4am.  Suddenly my taxi driver started honking his horn at the slow moving car in an effort to get the driver to move to another lane.  I wasn’t quite sure why, as there was more than enough room for everyone. So I asked him to stop honking and move to another lane. He reluctantly did so. I found it a bit strange that he didn’t do so of his own volition.

What I realized was that, in an Age when we have so many choices, we often choose stress.  More often than not, on any given day, we choose to put ourselves in unnecessarily stressful situations by choosing to be angry and pissed off. And yes, these are all choices!  It was 4am on Monday morning with hardly anyone on the street. Yet, this taxi driver CHOSE to try to intimidate a lone driver on an empty 3-lane roadway, when he could have easily moved to another lane. He could have avoided being mad at 4am, when his day was just getting started.

How often do you choose to be mad, angry, pissed off, or stressed? On any given day, how often do YOU choose to take the path that sets you up for a bad day or bad experience? How often do you allow a minor incident or inconvenience to ruin what was potentially a good day.

We have a Choice!

Many of us are so used to reacting negatively to relatively benign situations, that we may not even realize we have a choice in the matter. The reactions almost become a reflex. In this state of mind, we often fail to understand the implications of our actions – our choices.

Next time you feel anger, frustration or stress boiling to the surface in a situation that does not really warrant such a response, pause to take a deep breath and realize that your response is your choice – you have that power!

Choose to be Grateful. Choose to Make a Different Choice.

Make today different. Choose to make today a truly good day, one filled with gratitude and joy.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.

Chris Borland. 49ers. Self esteem.

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Chris Borland. 49ers. Self esteem.

Self esteem.

Self esteem.

Self Esteem Comes from DOING Esteemable Acts, and it’s an Esteemable Acts to have the courage to make tough choices.

How many people, yet alone a 24-year-old, would walk away from a multi-million dollar NFL contract and the opportunity to make much more in the future? I bet not most folks.  Yet, that’s what San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland did on Monday.  Self esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts. Amazing!

Chris Borland just completed his rookie season for the 49ers, when he announced that he was retiring from pro football. His reason: mental health and physical wellbeing.  He chose not to be one of the many NFL casualties, who suffered long-term repetitive head trauma due to concussions.  Head trauma and its severe consequences is not new to football, but of late, the issue has become more public.  And, a few young athletes have made the choice to walk away, rather than live life like a vegetable.  Chris Borland is walking away from a lucrative four-year contract, with the 49ers, worth about $3 million, which includes a $617,436 signing bonus.  Some call him crazy; I call him courageous and smart.  Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts.

Head injuries and the NFL.

Repetitive head injuries have become a major concern for the NFL over the past several years. Many ex-NFL players are suffering from chronic long-term neurological problems as result of concussions and head trauma they suffered during their careers.  Everyone knows this is a problem, yet money is more powerful than common sense.  In fact, how can any thinking person say if you repeatedly get banged in the head that you will not suffer severe injuries?  According to a PBS report from 2014, 76 of 79 deceased NFL players were found to have some form of “brain disease.” In 2013, the NFL settled a $765 million class action lawsuit brought on by ex-players who said they suffer from illnesses due to head trauma. The suit alleged that the NFL covered up the long-term effects of head injuries.

Chris Borland said he began having doubts about his NFL future after what he believes was a concussion he suffered during his rookie training camp. He played through the injury because he was trying to make the team. Borland told ESPN, “I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing? Is this how I’m going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I’ve learned and know about the dangers?” It was after consulting with concussion researchers and former NFL players and discussing his concerns with his family, he came to the decision to retire.

And what a gentleman, he has decided to repay the 49ers part of his salary.

Money vs. Health and Well-being?

How much money is a person’s long-term health worth? Would you risk debilitating illness for your entire life for a chance to make millions of dollars?

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn

 

Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts. Derrick Coleman. Live Your Dreams.

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Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem. Esteemable Acts.

Self-esteem comes from doing Esteemable Acts. And, it’s an Esteemable Act to have the courage to live your dreams.

Living your dreams requires a deep seated belief that anything is possible, even if the dream feels out of reach. It also requires a willingness to stay the rough and rocky course, regardless of the detours you encounter along the way. Self-esteem is a result of right living. Self-esteem comes from taking a stand for what you believe. It’s an Esteemable Act to go for the gusto!

Derrick Coleman.

One of my new favorite public figures is Derrick Coleman, a fullback with the Seattle Seahawks. Derrick has been deaf since he was three years old. And despite one person after another saying he couldn’t do certain things, he has consistently proven them wrong. Indeed, he is an NFL football player. A recent Duracell commercial says it all—Trust the Power Within.

It’s people like Derrick who have consistently inspired me to move past my fear, toward my dreams. I remember when I decided to become a lawyer, I knew the road ahead would be difficult. I was a high school dropout, with a colorful past. People like me didn’t become lawyers, we paid lawyers. Without question, there were many people who held that same belief about my ability to succeed. One day at a time with a big dream and a willingness to do the work necessary, my dream became a reality.

This year I celebrate 25 years since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, and 23 years of practicing law. Who would have thought?

What about you…what do YOU dream about? A new career? A book deal? A screenwriting opportunity? A far-away trip? A new home? A new car? Improved education? Enhanced skills? Your own business? It’s all possible. With a big dream, some focused effort, and a willingness to—at times—be uncomfortable, your dreams can become a reality.

If you need a little help at getting started and are open to some coaching, give me a call.

In the meantime, feel free to share your dreams on either my Esteemable Acts Fan Page, Google+ page, Twitter page , Pinterest, or in one of my LinkedIn Group discussions.