Category Archives: Inspiration

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

An Awesome Attitude Can Make a BIG Difference

by Deborah Shane

How important is attitude?

There is an expression that “when you look at challenge differently, it starts looking different to you”. There are a few people lately that are amazing examples to me of “attitude in action” in dealing with their own life altering situations. They are going through personal and professional crisis that really can try a person’s faith and belief, but they persevere with grace and poise. Some days they are just not ok and good, but they share that with their support team anyway.

All around us there are people we know in crisis and change, from jobs to homes, to health, family and finances.Which people in your sphere’s have that “awesome attitude” and how can that make a BIG difference not only to them but to others?

I know for me, the past four years has been a relentless series of changes on all the areas I mentioned above and yet I am choosing to stay positive, keep evolving, growing and moving forward. There are many things that are NOT the same, but I still have love, health, family, friends, opportunity and fun in my life.

So what is attitude?

T-time management

What defines your attitude? Never underestimate how it can help someone you don’t know or haven’t met yet!

Coming Early 2011-

Career Transition-make the shift
The 5 Steps for Successful Career Reinvention

Deborah Shane, is an author, entrepreneur, speaker and expert. She is the founder and Chief Motivator, Educator and Catalyst at Train With Shane, which delivers business education and professional development through speaking, events and training in the career, sales, social marketing, and motivation fields. Deborah is also founder of the Women’s Empowerment Series Conferences and The Career Transition Series Intensives. Her new book Career Transition Make the Shift-The 5 Steps to Successful Career Transition comes out early in 2011. Reach Deborah through,, her blog on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at Deborah Shane, and at

You can listen to the audio from when Deborah was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Image & Identity, Inspiration

Anger and the lizard brain.

<div class=\"postavatar\">Anger and the lizard brain.</div>

by Gail Z. Martin

I’ve told the story about the two warring wolves inside each of us—the light one that is brave and true and the dark one that is dangerous.  The wolf that wins is the wolf we feed.

I tackled my own “wolf problem” when it came to feeling angry.  Now I’ve already shared my reaction to the over-hyped, over-dramatized TV news.  But once I realized how much the doom-and-gloom drumbeat of the news affected my mood, I went looking for other culprits in order to take back my wolf.
A friend of mine who is a psychologist told me that the oldest part of the brain is focused on survival.  It’s programmed to fight, reproduce and grab all the resources for itself, because that’s how wild animals survive.  Interestingly enough, this old part of the brain is what lights up when we’re angry.  And even more interesting, when we’re angry, the body redirects blood from the more advanced parts of the brain (that control logic, reasoning and decision-making) to fuel the fight-or-flight old brain.

Do you realize what that means?  When we’re angry, we’re using our lizard brain, not the new improved frontal lobe reasoning brain.  In other words—and this is important—anger turns off the ability to think.

Now consider how angry our society has become.  Road rage. Politicians who barely avoid fist fights and call each other names. Flamers and trolls on the Internet who post nasty comments.  School bullying that makes kids commit suicide.  Talk radio. Anger turns off the ability to think.
What would happen if you pulled the plug on the anger-makers?  Skip the morning drive talk radio show that leaves you with an upset stomach and a bad mood.  Stop reading the Letters to the Editor and the comments on news blogs.  Look for a non-partisan source for news that tries its best to provide the facts and let you decide.  Take time to breathe.

Anger turns off the ability to think—and it also drowns out your intuition.  When you’re angry, there are too many survival chemicals flooding your system for you to hear the soft whisper of intuition and opportunity.

Make just one change this week to pull the plug on the anger-makers and let me know how it changes your life and awakens your intuition.

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Filed under Balance, Gail Z. Martin, Image & Identity, Inspiration, Passion & Potential, Personal Transitions

How are those resolutions coming?

by Gail Z. Martin

Just a month ago we watched the ball drop in Times Square and the new year looked like a bright, shiny penny.  Resolutions for a better 2011 seemed easy to make.

Now we’re one whole month into the year, and making some of those changes seems a little harder than it looked.  That’s why I asked—and I really want to know—are you making progress on your resolutions?

Here were my resolution list for 2011?

–Make this the year I actually lose the pounds I gained “birthing” my business and books (joined Weight Watchers and I’m down 4 pounds so far!)

–Set up speaking engagements in Montreal and Toronto (I don’t know where, when or for whom, but it’s on my vision board!)  (Not yet, but I’m going to Vancouver in April, which is also on my vision board.)

–Expand the size and type of organizations for which I present workshops and keynotes (it’s starting to happen)

–Spend more time on social media reconnecting (still struggling for time to hang out as much as I’d like).

The point is not to feel guilty if you’re not already done with your list.  Hey, it’s only a few weeks!  The important thing is to keep making progress—even if it’s only baby steps—in the right direction.

We get discouraged when we compare our progress to other people’s gains (we always see their wins but not the work or obstacles they overcome), or when we get impatient with steady progress.  But the truth is, every journey covers inches before it covers miles.  It’s better to see steady slow progress than to give up entirely because the goals didn’t happen fast enough.  Hang in there!

What are your resolutions—business or personal—this year?  I’d like to know.

***My new novel, The Sworn: Book One in the Fallen Kings Cycle, is now in stores!***

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Transitions

Bare Branches

by Gail Z. Martin

We don’t get a lot of snow here in the Carolinas, but we can get ice.  I love it when I can see every bare twig and branch glittering with ice or dusted with snow.  All of a sudden, the dry, bare, leafless branches don’t look dead or sad.  They’re alive with light, glittering like diamonds.  Until the temperature rises, all those bare trees that wouldn’t have gotten my attention are suddenly miraculous.  I’m suddenly aware of the stark beauty, the symmetry, the complexity.  Something ordinary and unremarkable is breathtaking because the ice makes me see it as if for the first time.

There are some things in my work and life that I need to re-imagine this year.  Right now, those areas seem as bare and fruitless as the branches of the winter trees.  It’s easy to look right past them.  But the ice reminds me that there is hope and beauty in waiting, and that even things that haven’t blossomed yet are worthy of appreciation for their complexity and promise.  So I will try to take a lesson from the ice and apply it to the “bare branches” in my life.

What “bare branches” do you need to re-imagine this year?

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration, Intentions, Motivation

On becoming an advocate!

by Meredith K. Bromfield, M.A. Ed

Wow as life seems to hand many women life-changing challenges my job has changed. I am an author, an investment advisor, a counselor and now an advocate. I have taken all these skills and put them together to be that person in a women’s life to help her navigate the challenges she will face when an event occurs that rocks her world. The event may be a divorce, a death of a spouse, a retirement or becoming a caregiver. These events in of themselves are very overwhelming but then to have to navigate through the fields of paperwork and dealing with attorneys, CPA’s, life insurance companies, and human resource departments and all that they are requiring can be overwhelming to say the least. My company, Crossing Your Bridge, is here to help. With a network of resources and personal one-on-one treatment, unlimited phone and email contact you never need to face this situation alone.

You can listen to the audio from when Meredith was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Business Planning, Image & Identity, Inspiration

Determination and Creativity

by Gail Z. Martin

I happen to love the squirrels in our backyard.  I wish I could bend like that in my Yoga class!  We have several bird feeders right outside the kitchen window, and I love to take a break with a cup of tea and watch the squirrels perform acrobatics to get to the suet cakes and bird seed.

I hope I can have the determination and creativity of the average gray squirrel this year.  Mr. Squirrel lets nothing get in his way!  If he has to hang upside-down by one toe to get a bite of corn, he does it.  Perch on a thin, wobbly garden stake?  Fearlessly.  Leap from the bird feeder to the window screen?  Without a second thought.  Wow, I need some of that moxie.  I want to be just as quick on my feet as the squirrel is (especially when he knows the dog is heading out the screen door).  I want the confidence to navigate business tightropes as gracefully as the squirrels run along the back of the fence.  I want to make leaps of intuition and take leaps of faith with the perfect balance that the average squirrel uses to jump from one flimsy branch to another.  And I want to store up enough of a cushion with my investments so I can hibernate during retirement if it’s cold outside.  Add that to my New Year’s resolutions—I want to be a squirrel!

Have you ever gotten a business or personal insight from something in nature?  Please share!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration

Insights from Nature

by Gail Z. Martin

During the summer, our backyard is a lush garden.  At this time of year, it’s just a shadow of its former glory.  Sometimes when I look out the window, I feel sad because what’s left is scrubby and pale.  I feel that way on bad days about life in general, too.  Some days it just seems like the color has been leeched out of everything.  Then I remember the garden.  I know we’ve planted dozens of tulip and daffodil bulbs out there.  Many of them came from my late mother-in-law’s garden, so they are a wonderful reminder of what a strong, loving woman she was and how important an influence she was in my life.  I can’t see those bulbs right now, but come spring, they’ll be fantastic.  Most of the plans are perennials, so although they look scrubby now, they will be amazing when it warms up.  I try to remind myself that although on certain days I feel far away from the results I want to accomplish, in reality, the seeds and bulbs have been planted and in due time they will blossom, just like the garden in the backyard.

Have you ever gotten a business or personal insight from something in nature?  Please share!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration

Three Ways to Overcome Your Fears!

By Melissa Wadsworth

It’s natural to think: “If I feel passionately enough about my dream or my goal I will act to make it happen.” Yet, this isn’t always true.

No matter how badly you want something, you can still experience blocks to action and manifestation. In fact, have you ever found that the more important something is to you the more blocked or stuck you get? How about times when you  push and push something to happen and it feels like your pushing a rock uphill?

Awareness of what dynamic is blocking you from successfully achieving your dreams is the key to truly believing in your dream and moving past blocks with renewed enthusiasm.

Here are a few typical blocks and tips for bridging your fear with inspired action that aligns your emotions to your desire and affirms your intention to succeed.

1. Fear of failure. When something is really important to both your sense of security and your sense of self, like creating a successful business, fear can rear its debilitating head.  The mental chatter tape starts to play: “What if I try and can’t make it happen? Then what do I do?”  Your ego mind may be convincing you that it’s worse to try and fail than to not try at all. So your precious dream remains a mental construct that doesn’t manifest into physical reality. It remains a “safe” possibility you can cling to and aspire to.

Solution: Believe your vision through step-by-step action. Once you hold a vision for yourself, make a mini-action plan. Remember, you aren’t trying to make your dream come true in one giant leap. You’re taking steps that can be evaluated for effectiveness as you progress. Progress is the operative word here. When you take steps with good intentions you can’t really fail. You’ll always be moving forward even if you feel like you’ve made an error. Each step informs the next step so you can always learn and self-correct. And if you celebrate the small steps, the small successes, you’ll create a habit of rewarding yourself for living the dream!

2. Fear of inadequacy. It’s common to psyche ourselves out when it comes to our big goals. We imagine how our lives would change if only we…. (You fill in the blank). Yet, when it comes down to taking a concrete action all of a sudden there’s all kinds of reasons that “you can’t “do that!” You’re not prepared enough or experienced enough or lucky enough, or smart enough to make it happen. You might even imagine that other successful people have that magic something you just don’t possess.

Solution: Appreciate that you’re the whole magnificent package. You came to this life with specific talents, gifts and interests. These have led you on a path of developing additional skills and knowledge. Life circumstances have produced further reservoirs of abilities and capabilities. When you understand that your life is not a mistake, you understand that you are fully enough to make your dreams happen. No one has the exact talents, skills and capabilities you do, because your life purpose is meant to unfold YOUR WAY. When your brain tells you different: don’t believe it!  Laugh, inventory your strengths, affirm your amazing individuality and gladly take a step that affirms your goal.

3. Fear of looking stupid or being unrealistic. I just spoke with a woman who has felt BORED and RESTLESS for two years. “Practicality” keeps her stuck in an emotional space that is getting increasingly uncomfortable.  When practicality helps you to simplify your life great! When you hear yourself saying you have to be practical and your heart feels heavy and you sense your dream life just got down-sized, not so great. Our culture tells us to be practical, yet daily supports irresponsible risk-taking behavior (a contributing factor to why our economy burned and crashed). What’s a level-headed big dreamer to do?

Solution: Balance dreaming and practicality. These desires aren’t polar opposites, no matter what you’ve learned from a parent or teacher or boss. Your best resource for balancing these two is your intuition. Don’t wait for intuition to pipe up; directly ask your intuition for input related to your dream or related to a specific action you’re considering, This is will help you  relinquish the habit of letting your brain override your intuitive wisdom. You can ask your intuition whether particular steps are best for you right now. You might get an immediate answer that pops into your head. You may feel a physical reaction. Acknowledge the feedback you get. If inspired, act on it. Also, stay open to the information the universe sends in support of your goals. Notice it!!  Intuitive dream boards are a great way to access your intuitive intelligence and to even see your future in a wondrous way.

Fears that aren’t keeping you safe in the moment are fears that don’t have your best interest at heart. Don’t believe everything you think! Rather believe what you can imagine, believe what you can intuit and believe in what you can take a few beginning steps toward. Believe that the universe has your back and wants you to succeed.

Melissa Wadsworth is a creative personal growth visionary, intuitive dream board expert, author and inspirational speaker. She has helped thousands go from blocked to brilliant through her books, personal guidance and workshops.

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Inspiration