Authenticity

A decade of wonder

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Authenticity, Connections, Virtual Assistance | 2 comments

Ten years ago this summer I took a leap of faith. For me at that time it felt like I was standing on a precipice with no bottom in sight. What could be so scary you might ask? Meeting people; People who were important to me; People I’d been the real me with; People who were supporting me in creating a brand new business. I was halfway through the virtual assistance training program offered by AssistU—I hadn’t even graduated and become a Virtual Assistant but I was planning to attend a face-to-face event hosted by AssistU’s local chapter in Maryland. Yes, I flew from Florida to meet people I’d only met virtually in order to connect and take our relationships to—to whatever was next! Hence, the leap of faith. Anastacia Brice founder of AssistU happened to be my course trainer and had already changed my life forever by creating the possibility for me to become a successful business owner doing work I loved. She’s impacted my life personally and professionally in a gazillion ways and I am thankful every day for the work she does and the difference she makes in lives. I met her in person that weekend and have loved her every day since. Thank you, Anastacia.  Our hostess was Dawn Goldberg (now Schuler) who opened her lovely home to virtual strangers (pun intended) and shared her delightful daughters. Many of us sat at her kitchen table into the wee hours and played a card game called Bullshit which my novice status and friendly innocent face made me quite good at! Later my connection with Dawn and her love of language and writing combined with her gift for teaching would help me polish and hone my writing skills dramatically. I’m forever grateful, Dawn!  Antonette was already a successful VA and her small packaging (five foot one) did not keep her from BIG things! She had a live wire running through her and a contagious laugh that attracted people from way across the room! Over the years she has become my sister from another mother and along with my family we have been adopted by her entire family.  I cannot imagine this past decade without your love and laughter AA! I connected with many other VAs that weekend and have continued to learn and grow from our connections. If a fortune teller had predicted I’d be here in ten years with a thriving VA practice, unveiling a new website and blogging about a decade of doing what I love, with people I love to work with—I’d have smiled politely and thanked her. But I wouldn’t have believed her! Yet, here I am doing exactly those things due to the serendipities and connections that were created at that picnic ten years ago. Because I took a leap of faith. Because I practiced the life lesson I was handed: feel the fear and do it anyway. Because I was willing to be authentic and vulnerable.  Because I believed in possibility. I am thrilled and proud to unveil a new new website after almost ten years in business and I have two talented women to thank for making it a reality. Terri Moore created WOWVA’s wondrous new logo. I wanted a tree theme to play on the idea of nature and wonder; a client being rooted with a VA partner; and branching out as an entrepreneur to include a VA. You may see more of Terri’s work and connect with her at  Graphic Ventures.  My Digital Marketing Maven, Aletha McManama is responsible for the personalized design of my WordPress theme and it all...

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a dress for tess

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Authenticity, Connections, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Jenn shared Amy’s post (scroll down to Richmond) about Patti’s daughter Tess. I liked A Dress for Tess on Facebook and images of this small child having the courage to put on a dress to face the unknown besieged me. Tess is a wise, wise soul. I have procrastinated, resisted, and ranted about rewriting the ending to my screenplay. Enough! Tess knew you see. All I needed was to put on a dress and sit down and write. Dear Reader, what will you tackle once you slide into a dress?    ...

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celebrating…ME

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Family, Food and Drink, Gifts, Love, Self worth, Wholehearted | 1 comment

During the past decade and a half I have grown emotionally and spiritually in ways I never would have foreseen. An inextricable foundation for this blossoming has been practicing extreme self care. I shifted from a place of believing that taking care of myself was selfish and silly to a life affirming empowering practice of giving to me as a reflection of how deeply I love and approve of myself. The chasm I crossed was huge, Grand Canyonish. And so the summer days leading up to my birthday were planned around being unplugged from my purple 'puter, filled with family and friends and surrounded by delectable food, laughter, and joy. Celebrating my birthday is all about being loved, and I am blessed to be loved in so many ways by so many precious people. Then the rain started and didn't stop—it still hasn't stopped. And I learned again (wash, rinse, repeat) the grace of flexibility and spontaneity as I canceled some plans due to weather and created new ones on the spot. I experienced the truth of my coach's wise words, Whatever is good and right for you is almost always what is good and right for everyone involved. Every day Friday through Monday has been a unique celebration of my first breath and I am still reveling in the love. There are unfortunately no photos of Jeff and I at Crescent Beach huddled under our bent beach umbrella (the wind was that strong) waiting out the sudden downpours until we could sit back and read again. (I love you JS!) The ocean was wild and magnificent and my soul rose up in mirror image of nature as a force of action envisoining the endless possibilities awaiting me, in this, my forty-eighth year....

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dearest laura

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in Authenticity, Healing, Inspiration, Writing | 2 comments

On Day 36 in March I opened my Verb Tribe daily prompt to read the directions 'write a love letter to yourself'. Instant resistance. I do love myself, a million times more than I did a few decades ago, but I wasn't ready to commit it to paper. I balked for a few days. Then there was a moment of clarity, my heart shifted and said, do this. The rest of the prompt instructed us to seal letter, address it to ourselves, and give it to a friend to mail it within the next six weeks and not say when they mailed it. I gave it to Brin and eventually forgot about it. In May I wondered where it was and almost asked once but didn't. In the middle of a difficult week: I was stuck with my writing, mired in self doubt, overwhelmed by life when I opened the little metal mailbox door with my sticky key and there was my salvation. (Thank you Brin for your ideal timimg!) This beauty of a reminder. I'd hand written it in a blank card the same as I would for a dear loved one and wrote from my heart what I knew my heart would most need to hear on a challenging day: the things I adore about myself. Dearest Laura, You are SO gorgeously enthusiastic; you glow with radiance and possibility. You shine. Your heart is huge and filled with seeing the best in others; seeing their potential. You share your love freely and openly and honestly. Never change that. You mirror for others with your unconditional love what they most need to walk on their journey. You are an inspiration. You are the wind beneath the wings of those who love you. You are a treasure. Your smile lights up the recipient’s heart like flowers blooming in winter. Keep giving. Keep loving. Keep being who you are. Love is the answer—no matter the question and you know that deep in your wise self and you live it beautifully. When you write authentically you touch people with your passion and realness—keep sharing your words and stretching yourself you are capable of so much more than you imagine. You are possibility. You are love in action. You are love. I love you, always and all ways, ~L.   I had no recall of what I'd written, I'd let it go. These simple truth filled words brought tears to my eyes and the biggest grin that I could not hide. It feels good to be loved. It's our purpose as human beans: to love and be loved. Loving ourselves is an especially rare seed we usually plant in dark corners and tend hesitantly. I encourage you to shine a ray of possibility on that seed, open up and be vulnerable—write yourself a rockin' love letter and ask a loved one to mail it to you....

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who was I then?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Celebration, Family, Healing, Love, Wholehearted, Writing | 1 comment

Day 19 of Verb Tribe we were asked to choose a childhood photo and look at it and then write, Who was I then? I have always loved this photo of me and mom but I've only looked at 'her' for clues to what she was thinking, what that hidden smile meant, how she's holding me. The photo says 1967 making me three but I look younger. I thought this photo would trigger loss and sadness but I feel only joy and love looking at it now. Here are a few excerpts from my bag: "On my God! I was gorgeous—I look like a plump angelic cherubim—my eyes are wide with wonder and I am besotted with my mother—I love her with every iota of my being and she belongs to me." "My happiness bubbles up from a hidden well and this pure joy cannot be contained—I laugh, I spin, I run, I swim, I play; I am love in action. In my heart there is only me and my mother—I am safe." My mom knew how to love and dote on me as a child—I was her life (she'd been told not to have another child after my sister, eleven years my elder). But she was relationally and emotionally unavailable as I grew and in my adolescence I fought (as only a teenager can) for my freedom and left home at sixteen. We were still close after that but on my terms. When my daughter was born she transferred all the love and doting to her. Mom became ill with dementia about ten years ago and I was finally able to celebrate the independent spirit she gave me and the example of living as a non-conformist and always doing things her way as a business owner and optimist. I did not love mom like I did in this photo until the last few years of her life as her caretaker, our roles reversed. I would always tell her she was safe and loved as I tucked her in (exactly as she had done for me, I was terrified of the dark) and I gave her my lifelong Teddy to keep her safe and I would say I love you…and often she would parrot the words back and sometimes not respond at all. But one clear night after a particularly good day I said, Goodnight mom, I love you. And she said with emotion and joy, Oh, I love you more every day. That's what this photo means to me and who I was…and who I am still today.  Mom would have turned eighty-one today—happy birthday mom!...

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writing a peel

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Authenticity, Creativity, Food and Drink, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Day 6 our Verb Tribe prompt was to describe a banana and write it on the banana peel! Then we wrote on our bags how writing was like peeling a banana. This was one of my FAVS—it had great appeal! I loooooooved writing on my banana! I am aware I want to bring that same sense of excitement, wonder, adventure to every page. To laugh out loud and say, that's so crazy—where's my banana! I had NO idea what to write on my bag so I started here: So the HUGE aha for me was 'how to peel a banana like a monkey' this cute YouTube video I watched a few weeks ago. How? From the other end! Why? It's so much easier 😉 I had never in my whole life even considered peeling a banana from the other end! On my bag I wrote: "…come at it from the other end, backwards, upside down, inside out, mirror image, flipped, slipped, and dipped" "peeling it looked like a flower blooming—an ivory tower flower with word petal leaves…it revealed the inner core of deliciousness and vulnerability that must be handled with tenderness and respect—or bitten with teeth and devoured!" "it's a strip tease, a revelation, a hidden goodness and wholeness…perfect just as it is…" "Oh my, peeling a banana is like writing b'cuz they both reveal works of God." Did I really write all...

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