Category Archives: Sheryl Eldene

Sheryl Eldene Has Moved

Exciting new endeavors have led fellow blogger, Sheryl Eldene, in new directions.  That new path, unfortunately for us, takes her on a separate and different journey than the BigDreamsAndHardWork blog.  We’ll miss Sheryl, but we wish her well.  Gail and Faith will remain with the blog, so join us for fresh insights on business with an intuitive twist!


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Avoiding Burn-Out

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

We’ve all all had those days when there’s a small voice in the back of our heads that says, “Here’s a quarter, please go call someone who cares.” At that moment you get it that unconditional positive regard doesn’t live in your chair anymore. Here’s some tips to help recover your energy, your love of your work, and your own unconditional positive regard – for yourself.

Tip #1: Give your attention to your own physical well-being. Stretch between clients, jog in place. Try the Cat Response. You know, when the cat gets up from her chair where she’s been for a while, the first thing she does is yawn, stretch, not in any particular way, although there is a yoga stretch is called cat stretch and downward dog. You sit still for 6-8 hours a day, discover ways to move that just feels good.

Tip #2: Give your attention to your own emotional well-being. You’ve spent your day listening. A few minutes at the end of your day to practice mindfulness can be very powerful. Breathing to quiet your mind and your internal emotional cocktail. Take the names of each person you saw today, or any other person that comes to mind. In your imagination, see yourself standing near a brook. Write the name of that person on a leaf, if you have a prayer practice, invite the Divine to bless that particular person/problem, and with that blessing, release the leaf onto the water, and watch it float downstream. Continue with each person until all that concerns you has been released, just for now.

Tip #3: Give your attention to your own mental well-being. Many of us have a job that engages our mental acuity constantly. The tip here is to find things that suit you that either quiet that mental chatter, like a mindfullness, or puts it into a hypnotic state, like TV, computer games. Some folks also find release in hobby type experiences that bring them into flow, that state where time stops and the moment consumes your attention. I’ve inserted a 15-20 minutes island in my day when I first get home, before preparing my dinner when I just sit with a glass of  wonderful cup of tea and watch the clouds go by – my own puppy-on-the-couch moment when I intentionally accomplish nothing, think about nothing, solve nothing.

Tip #4: Give your attention to your own spiritual well-being.  If you have a religious or spiritual practice, make sure that daily (2-5 minutes, even as you fall asleep) you turn your attention toward that focus.  If you don’t have any particular practice, use a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to do something that brings your focus outside of your inner world – enjoy a moment in nature, connect with a pet, close your eyes and list the parts of your day you are particularly grateful for, enjoy music.  Even just focusing on your breath can quiet the monkey mind and give you some peace.

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Good Grief

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

This month is all about transition.  Many transitions need to move through a stage of grief.  What’s the difference between “good grief” and a pity party? As a business decision, I closed my massage practice of 17 years last week. I knew it was the right decision, but I’ve been grieving the loss of my connection to many wonderful people, and my chance to contribute to their lives.

I really wanted to avoid the pity party, but in doing so, I also ignored a very real emotion that was welling up, and I found myself with a lump in my throat that I even tried to imagine was a cold coming on!

“Good Grief” for me this week is self-care:

  1. Crying when I need to
  2. Sleeping when I want to
  3. Staying in meditation as long as I can
  4. Allowing a wound to heal

It made me think, that if I were cut, I’d take care of the wound, keep it clean, keep it safe from any further tearing, and spend very little time in a pity party. I’m learning a lot about good grief.

What resources do you use to give space for grief while honoring your own integrity and intention toward your future?

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Filed under Business Transitions, Inner Coach, Intentions, Personal Transitions, Sheryl Eldene

Got Your Big Girl Panties Game On?

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

Put on your Big Girl panties and go for the gold. Women often do business “politics” with pull-up diapers and wonder why they aren’t achieving the goals they set out.
I’ve been wondering what the difference is between how men operate in the workplace and how women operate. In my corporate career, the most challenging job I had was managing a group of data entry employees, which were all women. [Of course, they were all women, it was one of the lowest paying jobs at the company!! – but that’s entirely an different discussion.]  The cat fighting for status was brutal and for years I’ve been trying to perceive what makes a team of men different than a team of women. Yes, it can be partly that we’re from Venus and we’ve been trained to listen to our emotions more than those Martians.

One thing I’ve understood from Games your Mother never Taught You, a book I read in the ‘70’s is that men, more often than women have been able to play team sports – football, basketball, soccer, although that that is gradually changing. They learn from that experience to rely on team-mates, that the team wins or the whole team loses and there is praise for the individual that made a game point for the team. They also learn that a single skirmish is just a single skirmish. It is an opportunity to learn more about how this specific game is played – about the opponents strengths and weaknesses. Without that bedrock perspective, a skirmish takes on an entirely new meaning.

For many women, losing a skirmish is devastating, shameful and cause for revenge or escape. When you lose a bid for a position, especially to another woman, or lose a contract to another firm, even one that played “dirty”, or are assigned to work under an incompetent, annoying boss, what do you do? It seems to be a girl’s response to attempt to sabotage the person who got the job you wanted, post nasty stories about the dirty company on your facebook page or blog, and mean gossip talk your new boss. All those responses are responses of a victim acting from a place of powerlessness. Yes, we live in a male dominated society where the male way of doing things and being in the world is the standard, but what is the female standard that we want to create – that acknowledges our access to feelings and visions and proceeds from knowing that we are powerful business women?

What skirmishes in your life have you allowed to derail you and take you out of the game? If those skirmishes were a long time ago, you might be able to see a bigger picture by now. That’s what those Martian boys have that helps them get a different perspective on each skirmish – they are in the game to win, and losing a skirmish can, if you let it, teach you how to play with more skill, more resources, and more power —if we can remember not to sweat the small stuff, and on the journey to our vision, it’s all small stuff, just minor course corrections as we stay on track toward our life passion to those Big Dreams of yours.  (Check out for more ideas on how women do and can play the business game.)

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Low Hanging Fruit

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

I live in the Northwest where we have lots of wild (annoying) Himalayan Blackberries. While I was walking the other day, I spotted a large, juicy, very ripe berry about eight inches off the ground. As I was reaching for it, already salivating with anticipation, a picture from a few years ago flashed in my mind.

I used to have a loyal Beautiful Abyssinian cat that would follow me around.  I just adored him and loved hanging around outside with his company. One day, I was picking blackberries in the field next to our house, and he backed up and sprayed everything his little sprayer could reach. With that picture in my head, I decided to leave that low hanging fruit right where it grew, thank you very much.

It made me think about the recommendation that we hear so often to pick the low hanging fruit first. Yes, it is the easiest to get to, takes the least energy, but is that really the best use of time?

Had Bill Gates chosen to pick the low hanging fruit, he probably would still be picking easy fruit, and wondering where his Big Dream disappeared to. What are the visions that you have that require you to stretch? Maybe that would be more fun, taste sweeter, and support your business better that the easy target?

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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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Level Five Spin Ninja

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

One of my favorite comics is called “Non Sequitur”. It has an interesting little girl who makes some wild pronouncements about the world. Recently, she said,

“The Spin Ninja code states that luck favors the prepared
My goal is to become a level 5 Spin Ninja”.

That has gotten me thinking about the link of the Law of Atrraction and the Law of Action. Really, “Spin” is just a way of thinking about a thing – your life, an event, a job, whatever. We think of “Spin” in terms of attempting to convince someone else about something. President Regan was said to be able to turn anything even failures into a victory with his suave spin savvy. Unfortunately, it is also said that President Carter wasn’t able to use spin to turn a victory into a victory. Spin is another word for the Law of Attraction, whether you’re using spin to define your own world or attempting to lead others to define the world according to you.

How about you, are you able to find the victory in your own events, and to use spin (in your thinking) to support yourself to create positive outcomes from your daily events?

And what about the “luck-favors-the-prepared”?  How prepared are you to receive those things that you are trying to create?  If you’re looking to bring a spouse into your life, is there room in your garage and your bathroom for another person?  If you’re looking to grow your business, is your current calendar filled completely with no room for those new clients or customers, even if they came?  If not, consider some preparation might be in order, and that is using the Law of Action with your intention.

I’m aiming to be a Level Five Spin Ninja, how about you?

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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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The Wrong Thing Well -OR- the Right Thing Poorly?

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

I’ve learned an important lesson this quarter, and it’s about the “Hard Work” part of the Big Dreams and Hard Work we talk about here. I’ve always been a focused, hard worker – you know that “Protestant Work Ethic” idea?  And I have a strong confidence in my own ability to do anything I set my mind to, and I pretty much always have done that (except for my forray into raising rabbits – I’ll talk about that next week).

The curse of being able to do a lot of stuff, like code web sites, sew clothing, can beans, grind wheat, make bread from scratch, clean house, create gardens, train dogs… that it just isn’t possible to enjoy all those things. I’m not a professional seamstress or a skilled web designer, but I often get myself caught in a “should” of since-I-know-how-to-do-that, I SHOULDN’T pay-someone-else syndrome. I know one thing:

“Many high performers would rather do the wrong thing well than do the right thing poorly. And when they do find themselves in over their head, they’re often unwilling to admit it, even to themselves, and refuse to ask for the help they need.”

I’ve been stuck for the last several weeks, trying to do some wrong things, and struggling to do the right things poorly.  Last week, I hired a professional to do some things that I know how to do, albeit poorly, and it’s an enormous relief to my schedule, to my creativity, and to my day.

What on earth have I been ‘thinking’ all these years? What are you able to do, albeit poorly that you could ask an expert to help you with?

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Flash your · · · — — — · · ·

By Sheryl Eldene, MBA, MA

Before the era of 911, everyone knew the Morse Code for SOS, (· · · — — — · · ·).  Since we don’t use that anymore, I’m giving SOS a new meaning:


Master these 7 Signs of Strength and the help can come in the form of improved relationships, greater joy and connection with yourself, better self-care, enhanced communication, and greater success toward your goal.  Over there on the left under “Author Audios” you’ll find an exercise to help you identify your own unique character strengths, be sure to give that a listen today.

  1. Respond instead of react. When we react, we are usually acting from defense and from weakness.  If you respond from your strength, the response is very different.  For example, one of my character strengths is curiosity.  When my husband lands on my for leaving dirty dishes in the sink, my reaction is to recount all the time he leaves hairs in the shower AND junk in the garage, I’ve pretty much launched WWIII and have no idea what any sign of strength might be.  However, if I can respond from my strength of curiosity, wondering why this particular afternoon, those dishes where a difficulty, then I have launched a discussion that might not be all lovey-dovey, but can result in my putting those dishes on the counter on Monday’s so he has space to prepare for his evening with his buddies with the munchies he promised to bring.
  2. Identify and learn from your judgemnts. Judgments are often a reflection or our own inner needs and values. Really, when I judge you as negligent and rude when you use the merge lane to jump in from on ME, I’m acting from my own value of patience, of order, and of structure.  It’s a lot easier to talk to myself as you try to cut in front of the line by saying that “Yes, structure and order are important to me – not so much to you, and I see that fast and me-first is more important to you.  I wonder what part of my life would benefit from more order – my kitchen counters, probably”.
  3. Reach out when you need it. Asking for help is not a weakness.  Although our country is build on independence, and that is a strength, you can also use the strength of community, sharing, and mutual support.  That support must go both ways for each party to feel strong.
  4. Keep your word – especially to yourself. Any strength put on like a coat just for company isn’t really a strength, it’s a show.  If you have a value to keeping your word to others, but fail to exercise, avoid sugar, go to bed early, whatever, because when you cheat on you no one knows, then your word is just for show, and your heart suffers.
  5. Take time for yourself. This isn’t narcissistic or indulgent – it’s absolutely necessary.  The airlines got it right when they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before putting on your child’s – because if you don’t, the child and you might not make it.  Caring for yourself helps you care for others better, and models for those around you what a healthy lifestyle looks like.
  6. Know what you want. While meandering through life is fun, without knowing what you want, you’ll just get more of what you have today, which might be just fine.  Take time to figure out what floats your boat, not what should float your boat, but what really does.
  7. Don’t take things personally, even if it sounds personal, it usually isn’t.  As a matter of fact, I believe that we are simply not capable of judging others.  If I tell you you’re beautiful, I’m really saying that you have a feature, or a manner, or a style of dressing that I’d like – which is about me, not you.  If I tell you that you’re fat, I’m really saying that I have a value of slim-ness that I haven’t achieved and I’m afraid that I won’t achieve that – otherwise your shape wouldn’t even get my attention, let alone get energy for me to say something.

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