A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making a difference for good

I received the quote below in an email newsletter and it echoes a sentiment I truly believe.

It is not by accident that the happiest people are those who make a conscious effort to live useful lives. Their happiness, of course, is not a shallow exhilaration where life is one continuous intoxicating party.

Rather, their happiness is a deep sense of inner peace that comes when they believe their lives have meaning and that they are making a difference for good in the world.
- Ernest A. Fitzgerald

It also happened to fit with my day today. Today' was Soup Kitchen Day and I spent time at the  Norwalk Emergency Shelter  volunteering at the Soup Kitchen along with some ladies from my church, my mom and friend/customers Sandra. I've been going there for about nine years and really can say I feel like I've seen it all there!

There have been plenty of heartbreaking scenes and stories, and even though I know they'll never be reading my blog, out of respect, I won't share them. But there have been lots of laughs as well. The real message though, is that as much as I think I'm
making a difference for good in the world, I get a lot back in return.

Each time I leave there grateful for the blessings in my life and hopeful that I've contributed something positive to the world.

How will you make a difference for good today?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Authentic Friendship

The last time my friend Beth and I got together was at her wedding three years ago. Before that it was another four years prior at my wedding.

Our friendship now spans 40 years. We've evolved through Barbies, bras, report cards, mortgages, recitals and career changes. During the course of our friendship I think we've lived in a combined total of eight states.

We met recently for lunch, margaritas and shopping when she drove down from LA to meet me while I was vacationing in San Diego. We picked right up where we left off.

We always do.

That is one sure fire sign of an authentic friendship. In catching up, the conversation is immediately real. We do not try to paint a perfect picture of our lives. We do not give all glowing reports about how wonderful everything is, like a Norman Rockwell Christmas letter (you know the ones!). 

We don't need to, because we know better.

Sometimes people put so much energy into projecting a particular image, they may miss out on an truly authentic relationship, conversation or moment.

I am grateful for true friendship and I know authentic friendship, like I share with Beth, is a gift.

It is good to be reminded of this, and so when we said good-bye, we agreed not to let another three years pass.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Change of plans & taking a break

I'm getting ready to head to the West Coast for some fun, so I definitely have play time on the brain right now.

I also had the rest of August pretty well mapped out, but had a big unexpected change in plans.

As the saying goes the best laid plans...

And now I have to be open & flexible to a change in plans for now (ooh, how I hate that!)

So, other than work, I'm faced with a fairly blank slate for a change. Rather than be frustrated (ok, I'm a little frustrated). I decided to embrace the change to take a break, maybe even play a little more.

In writing this I googled Taking a Break (actually I was just looking for a photo to use for this post, but nevertheless...) What did we ever do before Google?

I came up with this information on About.com .

Ten Tips for Taking a Break from Life

If you feel like you can hardly remember the last time you took a break, check the following ten tips to taking a break from life, reality and yourself. You are guaranteed to start to feel rejuvenated, revitalized and ready to take a real break sometime soon.
  1. Make a shopping trip especially for something new to wear which is bright, colorful and just perfect for breaks and vacations. Then leave right away and enjoy your purchase.

  2. Take a break from skipping lunch at work and making do with eating fast food. Instead, eat something simple, colorful, fun, exotic or with wild flavors and textures. Enjoy!

  3. Take one day out of your life and vow not to say a single word. Relax, enjoy the peace and silence.

  4. Take a break from routine. Drive to work a different way. Break your usual daily habits. Expect the very best all day and be ready for the unexpected.

  5. Dream a dream of your perfect break or vacation. Promise to put a little money aside regularly to make it happen. You'll be amazed of how easy and painless it is to do.

  6. Take a break from life as you know it by sitting down and being still for ten minutes. Close your eyes and relax. Let your thoughts come and go. Focus on your breathing. Allow your body to relax and your mind soar.

  7. Take a break from the image that you have of yourself and the image that you project. Just let yourself be whoever you feel like being in the moment. Give yourself permission to be you.

  8. Make a regular practice of stopping whatever you are doing and checking in with yourself to feel how, who and where you are in the moment.

  9. Take a break from reality. Look at a simple object, a flower, a tree, or a building. Imagine you are looking at it as if for the very first time.

  10. Take a break from barriers and boundaries. Do something you did not know you could. Overcome your fear and amaze yourself.
It gave me some good ideas and challenged me to come up with some of my own. While I'll still be working, I've decided not to work quite so much during the rest of August, and play a little bit more. Now I'm looking for some creative ideas and maybe some company too.

Anyone up for a play date?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

No regrets: An anniversary & inspiring video

This past Saturday, July 31s,t marked eight years since my departure from corporate America. I traded heels, a good benefits package and cubicles for the unpredictable challenging entrepreneurial life.

I can't say it's always been the easiest road, but it was definitely a leap of faith. Single at the time, with a Fairfield County size mortgage, I made the choice to follow my passion.


I choose to live with no regrets.

My story was featured in Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business (McGraw Hill) and I am still proud of my choice.

What choice can you make to ensure you live without regret? It doesn't have to be a dramatic change, and it certainly doesn't mean a job change or giving up a really nice salary (unless that's what you want). But it should be a choice that never once leaves you pondering the question why didn't I ?

And if you need a little extra inspiration,
this woman says it best.