Category Archives: Dreams

From Driven Diva to “Happy to Be ME!™”

By Valerie Sheppard

Happiness can feel like a land far away.  A place that once we arrive, the stay is brief.  This was my experience for most of my life.  I would hit a great place, feel unbelievably happy, and be convinced that I would feel that way forever more.  But soon, the feeling would wane, and then disappear.  I used to wonder why something so wonderful was so elusive, and why it had to be wedged into such fleeting periods between periods of ‘not-very-happy-at-all.’ I’m glad I started asking myself questions like that. One-by-one, they led me to where I am today:  Happy to Be ME!

But back in 2005, I was stressed out, overworked, and driven.  What I affectionately call a “Driven Diva” in fact.  A serial over-achiever, striving day in and day out to get to success and fulfillment.

  • I would push to make things happen.
  • I believed I had to be poised even in the highest stress situations.
  • I often felt like there was a double-standard keeping me from having it all.
  • I had to do it all because I figured asking for help would be a sign of weakness.
  • I was smiling on the outside, but secretly mentally and emotionally exhausted, and a little resentful on the inside.

The happiness I was looking for would come in external occurrences:  praise or recognition from bosses, vacations, expensive meals, promotions, a good bottle of wine, a fun date.  But deep down, I knew something was missing.  I knew happiness wasn’t supposed to be the way I was experiencing it.  I knew there was much more, I just didn’t know how to access it; I didn’t know what to shift to have the kind of happiness I deserved.  And I was envious of people around me who looked like they did.

Thank goodness those days are behind me!  Thank goodness for that momentous day in Hoag Hospital Emergency Room, where I asked another question that started the journey into the biggest shifts in my life.  Thank goodness for the “radical sabbatical” that started in 2006, and all the things I’ve experienced that have helped me connect to the authentic happiness within, and keep the happiness flowing in my life no matter what is going on around me.

Why is my focus on happiness?  Because one of the things I’ve learned is that happy people have stronger immune systems, are more successful and live longer.  Yes, all those years I was chasing happiness as a result of success, I had it backward!  So if you want to feel more healthy, fulfilled and create more success in your life, take a trip inward and tap into your own innate place of joy!

Where is this you ask?  It’s actually who you really are.  You are Magnificent Essence – the ME in Happy to Be ME! – the spiritual nature of you that is having the human experience of your life.  True and lasting happiness is already a part of who you really are, and therefore available to you every minute.  The longer you look for happiness in things outside you and that you can’t control, the longer you’ll be unfulfilled and unhappy.

“Finding” authentic happiness is about a journey within; it’s about creating a deep relationship with yourSelf.  You have to go beneath the personality, identity, story and woundology of who you are – that’s  the me in “mighty ego.” Instead, remember the Truth of who you are as “Image and Likeness of the Divine.”  As that Truth, you are Peace, Love, Freedom and Joy.  Everything you seek is always already inside you.  I have lived in 10 states, moved 22 times and visited 27 countries on 5 continents, and the journey into me has been the most rewarding one I’ve ever experienced.  And I never had to go anywhere to take it!  How magnificent is that?!

Here are some tools you’ll want to have on this journey:

  1. Desire to be free of limiting beliefs and behaviors that hold you back and willingness to take committed action;
  2. Some specific steps to take that can be your roadmap;
  3. A guide to help you through the tough spots;
  4. A support structure to keep you going as the journey unfolds.

We live in the human realm, and here, there will always be human experiences … struggle, lack, limitation, fear, frustration, disease.  But when you tap into the Magnificent Essence of you, you will transcend the debilitating effects of these experiences and authentic happiness will be a part of your life even in the midst of those and other things that would ordinarily make you unhappy.

In the end, it’s about free will.  You get to choose how your life will be.  You can choose to continue to search in struggle and suffering for fleeting moments of external happiness.  Or you can choose to give yourself the only happiness that matters:  that which is the real you.

For people ready to choose the latter, I am standing by to help.  There is nothing more rewarding than to give back and share what has worked for me.  The Heart of Living Vibrantly™ was founded on my desire to help others find their own roadmap to authentic happiness.  Every time I share an insight or a tool that shifts someone’s life for the better, I am deeply grateful and fulfilled.  It is rewarding in a way that all my past successes will never be.

Each month I offer a FREE Coaching Call and Meditation.  If you are ready to take committed action and step into a more vibrant, heartful life centered on your own declaration of “I’m Happy to Be ME!,” I encourage you to join me.  You deserve to have the Peace, Love, Freedom and Joy that is available.  You deserve to have all of You.

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Filed under Coaching, Dreams, Guest Blogger

Lead a Life of Fulfillment Through Values

by Richard Schultz

Living and leading our lives through our values is one of the foundational elements of fulfillment and true success. By living authentically from our core values, by making our decisions based upon them and by matching our behaviors to them, we trend to the higher side of life experience, cherishing each moment with few or no regrets.

When we are true to who we are at the fundamental level of our core values, then life just naturally changes for us. Relationships will become deeper and improve because others experience us as more authentic and are more open to trust us. Decisions will become much easier because our values consistently inform them. We will find ourselves more within the flow of life because we have clear inner guidance for each step in each moment. Values are like lighthouses that keep us in the deep  clear waters; keeping us from running aground as long as we pay attention to them.

What are Values?

Values are deep. Each person has a set of values that is uniquely theirs. Although we are all different, if we find someone or some group that has similar values, then we will have found a rewarding relationship and a feeling of being home.

For a value to be true value, it must be lived. To commit to a certain value is noble, but it is not real unless our behavior matches our words. That is where many of us fail. We will speak one thing and do another. When we do this, others see us as being in-congruent and out of integrity. That creates distrust. For a value to be real, we must be able to walk the talk!

Values = Beliefs + Behavior

Values are seeded in our subconscious belief systems, so it is important to bring them into our conscious awareness so that we can make conscious decisions through them. It is also important to examine and change any limiting subconscious beliefs that might prevent us from being in integrity with this essence, no matter what situation arises.

How do you discover your values?

Values, like our purpose, is a discovery process. They are already there within you. The essence you came into this world and your life experience has shaped them. It is just a matter of uncovering what they are.

  • One way to find your values is to look at a list of values and pick which ones are important to you. While this is helpful and effective, sometimes when we pick off a list, we might “shop” for values which we “should have” rather than discover the essence of what is authentically present within us. You could also take the list to some people that know you well, and ask them what they believe your values are in order to get external feedback. Others may see what you do not yet see.
  • A second way to discover your values is to “mine your life experiences” for the essence of what has brought you fulfillment. What makes you happy & what are the values behind that? What are some peak experiences in your life and what are the values behind those? By examining our lives as we have lived them we can discover what “makes us tick”. Values bring us into a higher energy in life when we are living them and can bring us to a lower energy when we don’t.

Questions for Reflection

What are your top 10 values?

Where and how could you live in more integrity with your core values?

What decisions might you make if you were consciously leading your life from your values?


WisdomWays (  has a couple of offerings that can assist you in getting to know what your values are, in changing any limiting subconscious beliefs you might have or in living your authentic life.:

1.  The Living a Values-Driven Life On-line Workshop.

2.  WisdomWays Life Coaching:

3.  Private belief change sessions:


Richard Schultz – WisdomWays-

Richard’s passion is to create & facilitate “sacred” spaces for personal and organizational transformation. For the past decade he has been internationally teaching and facilitating a powerful subconscious belief change process as well as working with individuals using state of the art concepts and processes for deep and rapid change.

Presently, Richard is stretching into a bigger game where he can use his talents and expertise in collaboration with others to facilitate and support the mass awakening of human consciousness. He sees the internet as a powerful ally in this vision and is currently developing new change technologies, e-books and courseware to serve on the edge of this wave.


Register for Richard’s free on-line values workshop.

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Filed under Dreams, Guest Blogger, Motivation

Confessions of a Success Sherpa

by Faith Monson

Sherpas are the guides who help mountain climbers safely reach the crest of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.  I don’t climb mountains, but some days, it feels like it.  Instead, I help my clients reach their personal peak—in business and in life.

Sometimes, it feels as if we’re climbing up hill, carrying heavy baggage, breathing thin air.  When that happens, it’s my job to know the safe trails, recognize the skills and limitations of my client, and be a ceaseless source of encouragement.  It’s a combination of recognizing real-life pitfalls, knowing the path, and believing that my client can do what he or she has set out to do.  It’s hard, but it’s worth it for the view from the peak.

Every good guide has his or her own tools for tackling the trail.  Here are few of my favorites:

A 360 evaluation.  Since people are usually blind to their own true strengths and areas for improvement, I take a look at what others have written, such as testimonials or interviews.  It’s amazing what will surface when we step back and see what other people value about my client that he or she didn’t even think was important.

Competitor research.  I look at my clients’ competitors until I find something new and different or better and excellent or something that gives me a new perspective on my client’s approach. I want to see the variety of ways the best people in their industry are presenting themselves and their services.  Once we have a fresh look at the competition, we can best decide how to differentiate, where we can adapt something they’re doing, or where the market sees a gap we can fill.

I’ll be sharing more of my Sherpa Secrets over the next few posts, with a goal of helping you think about the tools, mindset shifts and approaches that can help you get unstuck.  There’s a reason people hire Sherpas to climb Mt. Everest –it’s because they couldn’t get to the other side without help.

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Filed under Coaching, Dreams

Swimming Against the Tide

By Gail Z. Martin

When I was at the beach a few weeks ago, I had the chance to take my chair out into the surf and watch the waves come in around me.  I love to feel the water swell up over my feet and legs, and watch it glimmer in the sun as it rushes back out.

As I watched the sun make patterns in the surf, I noticed the small silver fish who were swept in with the water.  I love to see these little minnows swirl around my ankles when I walk in the surf, but I noticed that they were doing something curious.

They were struggling mightily against the tide.  Not only where they fighting the entire power of the ocean, but the tide was struggling to save their lives.  The fish only knew to swim onward, but “onward” would have mean beaching themselves in the sun to die.  And I realized that I know a lot of business owners like those fish.

How many people do you know who are committed to moving “onward” but who aren’t really paying attention to what would happen if they arrived at their supposed destination?

I know people who want to be famous, or who want to build a national franchise, or who want to land a huge national contract.  There’s nothing wrong with those dreams, but it’s important to understand where your version of “onward” is taking you.  Like the minnows, you might succeed in fighting the tide only to end up beached in the sun.

Here are some things to ask yourself, to avoid ending up like those minnows:

  • Why do I want this?  (Is it to impress other people, or for a valid business reason)
  • How will my life have to change to make this happen?  What might be the stress points or ramifications of those changes?
  • Can my support structure handle the stress?  (Your marriage, your family, your employees, and others to who depend on you.)
  • Have I laid a foundation sturdy enough to support  the level of success I’m seeking?  (Many people achieve their goal only to lose what they’ve gained because they didn’t lay a proper foundation capable of sustaining the activities required to maintain success.)
  • What will it take to strengthen my personal and professional support structures to lay a solid foundation for the success I seek?  What can I begin doing immediately to start to make that happen?  How long will it take to achieve?
  • When I achieve my goal, what then?
  • At what point will I be satisfied?  (Warning—if you really believe that “too much is not enough”, you are headed for trouble.  Dream big, but know when you’ve reached a point of sustainability that permits both personal and professional satisfaction.

We Americans love the rebels that swim against the tide.  But before you invest enormous energy in fighting the power of the tides pulling on you, take a few moments to make sure that you’re headed for a healthy destination.  Let go of the compulsion to move “onward” for the sake of moving, and chart your own course and speed.

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Filed under Dreams, Gail Z. Martin

Got a Backbone?

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

Remember those cute minnows swirling around Gail’s feet yesterday? They have intact backbones and really aren’t succeeding. Neither are the jellyfish stranded on the sand in the outgoing tide. Many people understand that BACKBONE, will, drive, Hard Work and discipline are critical to success.

As we look at obstacles to business success, consider the obstacle of no WISHBONE – no time to set vision, create focus and intention. Yes, we talk about annually an quarterly stepping back to create vision and specific strategies, but have you considered bringiing that practice into the month, the week, the day, or even the next hour?  Setting vision for the day or the hour, is more like setting your intention for this day to be _______(productive, nurturing, energized, giving, fulfilling – fill in the blank) and holding that intention as you take on your action steps for that day.

What I see happening so often, is sitting down at my desk, with a carefully prepared list of action steps that may or may not match my strategy, then working very HARD with all my drive, will, discipline until my neck hurts, I’m cranky and I know, from my work on professional burn-out, that I’m on my way down that path, fighting the tide and finally ending up as food for the big players. [OK, that’s a little dramatice, but you get the point].

To bring joy, success, as well as long term contribution in my field, I engage both bones. Here’s my check list:

  • Is what I’m about to do consistent with my intention for the day?
  • Is what I’m about to do consistent with my strategy for the quarter?
  • Do I have the energy to do this with my full attention and my full heart?
  • Can I do this from a place of power and energy, or from a place of just surviving?

No to any one of these questions may suggest that I’m driving and striving, just like those little minnows and maybe I’ll still be fighting the ocean when the day is done.  As you look at what obstacles may be limiting your success, consider the marriage of both your will and your self-discipline (BACKBONE) with your visioning, your intentions, and your heart (WISHBONE). This is the essence of linking the Law of Attraction to the Law of Action – and that marriage real Olympic Gold.

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Filed under Business Planning, Dreams, Intentions, Sheryl Eldene, Strategy, Uncategorized

There are No Loopholes in Intention

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

One of the Laws of Attraction that I attend to is the awareness that wherever I put my attention, I’m also placing my energy and thereby, my power. I also know that any words that I speak are filled with my energy and become powerful in my life. Since I know there are are no loopholes, no way around this law, I was shocked to hear what came out of my own mouth this morning as I looked at the scales – which haven’t moved in a month or so – and said “I just can’t lose this weight, what’s wrong with me, anyway”.

Based on this Law of Attraction, I just set in motion a self fulfilling prophecy.


I’m also the strengths based coach, so taking energy to discover what is wrong with me, might not be the best use of my focus. Here are my notes-to-self that I thought you might appreciate, too:

  1. What has actually improved over the last month that represents my real priority?
  2. What strengths do I have that will support my intention to be heathly and smaller?
  3. Assuming, I’ve been living On Purpose, what has the purpose of the past month been?
  4. What is the intention for this month?
  5. What is the one thing I desire independence from and what is the one dream I desire to celebrate at the end of July?

OK, world, here are my answers:

  1. What has improved? I’ve added walking regularly to my habits and am beginning to feel more energy.
  2. What are my strengths? My strength this month is my loyalty to the health of my puppy, who needs to walk every day.
  3. My true purpose? My true purpose for this last month has been to adapt to Sammy, and to survive getting up a couple times in the night to let him visit his favorite puppy-pee places.
  4. My intention for this month is to keep my focus on my business, to continue healthy walks, to find a way to be alpha dog while protecting the puppyhood of His Littleness.
  5. I want independence from a preconceived idea of how my body wants to return to health and vitality and I want to celebrate comfortably zipping up my favorite shorts.

As we move into a new month, and the third quarter of the year, remember, there are no loopholes in the link between your intentions and your results.  Thoughts and words are things – chose the good ones.

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Filed under Business Planning, Dreams, Intentions, Motivation, Sheryl Eldene, Strategy

Amnesia, anyone?

By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

I’ve been fascinated with movies about people who wake up, usually in the hospital and don’t know their name, and don’t remember their roles (wife, husband, employee) or their habits (happy guy, quiet person, music lover).  While on the one hand, that seems like a nightmare that you’d want to wake up from, my fantasy is that it would be the most freeing day of the year.  As we talk about being your own coach this month, what if you could start tomorrow on an absolutely clean slate – what would you create for your life?

An important part of Big Dreams is the ability to dream them.  So often yesterday’s definitions about who you are, what you can do, and how you act keep yanking you out of your dream.  If tomorrow were actually the first day of your life, and you’re starting with the advantage of you can already walk, talk your language, and you know some social mores like shaking hands, smiling when spoken to, remaining clothed in public – you can go forward into this brand new day anyway you like.

We’re suggesting this month that you exercise your inner-coach-muscle.  How about beginning with as blank a slate as you can and moving forward into your day with new Big Dreams.  If you catch yourself making the month’s plans by rote, just because it’s how you’ve always done it, see if that inner-coach-muscle might flex in a different way.

I’m doing a big break-out from the mold this week.  I’m taking a vacation by myself to a health spa, just because.  I’m sure that if I woke up some day in a hospital and couldn’t remember my name, as soon as I remembered how to travel, and discovered that I had enough money in my accounts to cover a few days at a spa – I would jump on the chance.  So I’m doing it – and I even remember my name and my husband and children’s names (although maybe for just a few days out there on the ranch I won’t even care what my name is).

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Filed under Dreams, Motivation, Passion & Potential, Sheryl Eldene

WHAT matters, check HOW at the door….

By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

I ran across a quote of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week which really caught my eye –

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

This is especially appropriate as we finish this month’s focus on setting intention. So many times, our choice of a goal gets dumbed-down because we can’t figure out how it’s going to happen, or, as Dr. King said, we can’t see all the steps between here and there. Part of the art of setting intention is just setting it and having trust in your own inner courage and power to move in that direction, knowing that there is a way, and your feet will find it – maybe even in spite of your mind which is wildly trying to think up HOW.

Years ago I used to write down everything I wanted in my life as a New Year’s day activity.  Since I was flying private airplanes at the time, one of those things was to have a home that backed onto a private airstrip so I could just pull my plane out of the hanger next to my house and take off.  Of course I couldn’t see the end of that staircase, but it went on my list anyway.  Same with the swimming pool I thought would be lovely in my backyard, and the business I wanted to start.  None of those dreams came with a how, they were just MY DREAM.  Truth be told, a year or two later, I wasn’t interested in the pool (too much to clean, and too risky for my children’s safety) or in the home on an airstrip (too noisy and isolated from the city) and I’ve run my business successfully now for 18 years even though I put that on my “Dream” list 30 years ago.

WHAT intentions would you set if you didn’t have to come up with the HOW first?

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Filed under Dreams, Inspiration, Intentions, Sheryl Eldene, Uncategorized

This is MY Dream….

I fell in love (for the first time) with “Alice in Wonderland” this week. When I enjoyed the Disney film decades ago, it was fanciful and faguely interestiing. Today I’m very interested in the role of intention to the outcomes of our lives, and I’m a new groupy to the ALICE “cult”.

OK, just kidding, sort of. In the course of the film, Alice says “Ever since I fell down the rabbit hole, I’ve been told what I must do and who I must be. This is my dream and I will decide where it goes from here”.

In the sequel to the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know”, titled “Down the Rabbit Hole” the producers continue their discussion of how much the role of intention plays in the outcome of each person’s individually lived movie.

I never understood why they would call the sequel that. Now I do. Ever since I was born, I, too have been told what I must do (keep your knees together and if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all) and who I must be (wife, mother, successful, hard worker, femme fatale – but not too fatale).

This really is my dream, and I am deciding where it goes from here. I love working, and I love being feminine, and I love being successful – that’s my dream. What’s yours?

Written by Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

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Filed under Dreams, Intentions, Sheryl Eldene

Reality Check, Please

By Sheryl Eldene, MBA, MA

As we begin the second quarter of the year – it is finally Spring, after all – I’m inviting us to do a reality check on where we are compared to our original intentions. Whatever you are doing now with the majority of your day, is that what you wanted to be doing when you started this endeavor? For most of us, what we do with the majority of our day is a job or a business – what we do with our energy and our time in exchange for assets/money. Of these four types of intentions, where did you start, and where have you ended up:

  1. IT’S A JOB. When I started this job/business, my intention was to make money to support the lifestyle of my dreams. I wanted this job to be lucrative and to provide security. I wanted those two results as a result of using my skills and talents and possibly learning new skills along the way.
  2. IT’S A CAREER. When I started on this track, I intended to create a path that I could follow over many years. I hoped that it would create wealth (“Do what you love and the money will follow”), but my main intention was to engage in a field that would bring me passion and joy just in the doing of it.
  3. IT’S A CALLING. When I started this endeavor, I felt called by the Spirit that helps direct my life. I felt that my engaging in life in this way would fulfill a greater mission and would serve my family, my community, my world, my contribution to heaven-on-earth for all of us.
  4. IT’S DEEP SATISFACTION. When I started this work, I imagined that it would complete my heart. Although I do not have a sense of a ‘Calling’, this work felt like something that I have always longed to do, and succeeding at this endeavor would be the high point in my life.

This month is all about setting intentions. What intentions did you set, and how has that progressed for you, or did you unconsciously shift your focus from, say ‘satisfaction’ to ‘a job’, or from ‘a job’ to ‘a calling’?

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Filed under Business Planning, Coaching, Dreams, Intentions, Passion & Potential, Sheryl Eldene