26 December 2007

Create Your 2008 with Purpose

As we move into the New Year, it is a time to let go of what no longer serves and create new behaviors that will bring total peace and prosperity. Taking a page from The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles tells us:

“You must get rid of the thought of competition. You are to create, not to compete for what is already created.”

This was eye-opening for me and I plan to move into 2008 with a creativity mindset; leaving behind thoughts of competing for the space I need to be in this world.

My new year’s challenge for you is the same. Release the thoughts of limit and lack, and cultivate the habit of creation. We are children of the Divine Creator, it is in our DNA to create the things we need. Look around where you are right now. Everything came into existence from a thought. There was a need, and someone filled that need.

What are you needing to happen in your life? Is it a better job? Is it creating your own business? Is it more peace in your life?

Whatever it is, you have the power to create it. Set the intention and take the action.

Let me know what your 2008 intentions are.

I will hold you all in my heart and thought as you create your 2008!

Create your 2008 with purpose!
Coach Carolyn

09 December 2007

Give Purposeful Permission

Living a life of passion and purpose means surrendering to our own wants and desires in favor of the miracles the Divine has for us. Sometimes we think we know what is best for ourselves, yet we end up with so many people and things in our lives that do not serve us. Then we spend so much time, money and energy trying to undo the things we have done to allow the situations to happen.

When we can take the actions and release the outcomes, our circumstances turn out so much better and we and the results are more peace-filled. Not to say that we become complacent or do nothing to create our realities. But we sometimes need to just stop -- remember stopping is a spiritual action. We need to stop, allow the Divine to work a miracle, then be in a state of radical gratitude.

How difficult is it for you to let go? Are you in need of being in control of everything? Can you give the Divine permission to create for you a life filled with passion and peace?

Have you taken a moment to say "thank you" to someone today?

Give permission, live passionately!
Coach Carolyn

01 December 2007

Take A Breath ... Spiritual Breathing

"Breathing in I calm my body. Breathing out I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment!" ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

When you are in doubt, when you feel frustrated, when you are angry, stop… and take a breath. Breathing is the one thing you can do anywhere at anytime. It does not cost you anything, but it may gain you much. Remember that stopping is a spiritual action; and so is breathing.

Physical breathing transports oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. Breathing supplies over 99% of your entire oxygen and energy supply.

Spiritual breathing is like physical breathing in that:
*When you exhale, you release anything that does not serve you, such as negativity and limiting beliefs. Breathe out negativity…
*When you inhale, you breathe in the power of love, peace, and joy.

Usually, we don't think about our physical breathing. But spiritual breathing is something that requires conscious action.

“Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours.
” ~ Swedish Proverb

Take a breath... purposefully!
Coach Carolyn

15 November 2007

BWP Goes Facebook

Okay passionate and purposeful divas, Becoming a Woman of Purpose has gone Facebook! Yes, I have launched a BWP Group on Facebook where women can join the conversation from all over the globe. I am quite excited about this because my mission with BWP is to equip, empower, and encourage women worldwide with the message of inner peace, passion, and purpose.

Facebook is a social networking site that not only allows you to connect with friends, but it has so many cool and funky apps. I go to my profile page and just play. I have also made some rockin connections with some cool folks. I have joined many groups, social justice causes, super poked friends, adopted a pet penguin, given and received gifts from friends, and just plain had a blast.

Facebook has become my latest drug of choice! Yes, I am totally addicted. Perhaps you can tell that from my photo on the sidebar of this blog. I so prefer it to MySpace, because being an HSP (highly sensitive person), I find MySpace a bit “loud” for my system. Facebook is a lot calmer, more peaceful. I can stay on Facebook for hours, whereas I can only take MySpace for a few minutes – the intensity of the music and colors are too overwhelming for a sensitive soul like me. I do have a MySpace page that is only a page – nothing on it, except my mug shot.

My Mogulette sister Carmina Perez, who is one of my Facebook buddies, has just gotten bitten by the bug! She has an awesome post about Facebook on her blog, Mogulettes in the Making. Check out her post called Facebook Basics if you are still a bit skittish about yet another social networking site. As Carmina says, "Facebook is networking on steroids!"

So if you are on Facebook, look me up and give me a poke; and I’ll poke you back!

See you on Facebook!
Coach Carolyn

12 November 2007

Being Grateful on Purpose

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Living with passion and purpose means living with an attitude of gratitude. When you are grateful for your present light, it becomes brighter. When you are grateful for the things you do have, more will come into your life.

Take a moment to think of five things you are grateful for. Write them in your day planner on this day. Then smile for those five things. Your day will become a little sweeter for having taken the time to love.

Live in the spirit of loving gratitude,
Coach Carolyn

Being Broken on Purpose

“God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

When a tragedy strikes, our hearts are broken open, allowing us to be absolutely present to and for another person. We put our own needs and agendas aside, placing ourselves in the shoes of the one who is suffering and in pain. We stand with them, sit with them and hold their hand as they grieve.

Then, all is well and our hearts close again. Not that they become hardened, but they just close. A closed heart is a complacent heart, an apathetic heart, a heart that merely goes about the day to day without thought to anyone else’s day to day. Yes, there are extremely humanitarian people who care deeply about the injustices of society; this is not what I am speaking of. I am speaking of the ordinary; just ordinary people in ordinary situations doing ordinary things.

Then another tragedy strikes, be it a personal tragedy like a loved one dying from cancer; or a public tragedy, like terrorism. Our hearts open again, as we go about doing for the common and greater good. Yet one day, our hearts will break to the point when they can no longer close, but remain open. We no longer become indifferent to what is going on anywhere except in our own little worlds. We think about our neighbor whom we haven’t seen for a couple of days. We think about those who have no running water and make the choice to not waste water. We stop thinking that it is someone else’s concern, someone else’s fight, someone else’s struggle, and remember that we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

Maybe we can smile more. Perhaps we can make eye contact with someone distributing flyers on the street. Maybe we can make a way that our hearts become so soft, that they just remain open, not just waiting for tragedy to happen in order to break our hearts.

Live in loving brokenness,
Coach Carolyn

09 November 2007

Positivity, Purpose, and Passion

Week of Positive Blogging Day 7: After blogging about positive things for a week, what affect has it had on you and your life? What blogs that took part did you find the most inspiring? What do you plan to do to inspire the world going forward?

Positivity is the backbone of what I do – it is the beauty of what I love and do. It can only have a peaceful affect on you. I pray that this week’s posts have had a peaceful and passionate affect on all those who visited and read. Thanks to all for the comments, on and off post.

I enjoyed reading all of the blogs that participated in this week’s posts. I cannot single out any one, as anything positive is a great thing, no matter where it comes from. The one thing I loved the most is connecting to new people in a profound way. I blog for that reason, to build relationships and create awesome connections. I can truly say that I have done that and hope to continue making those wonderful connections.

To inspire the world? I plan to keep on keepin’ on! I’ll just keep doing more of what I am doing until I have no more life to do it, or everyone in the world is operating in love and not fear – whichever comes first!

I want to thank my brother, Ehav Ever for this amazing opportunity to share more of my positivity with the blogosphere. His love and bright light is what this world needs. I am truly honored to be standing in his rays. I also thank my fellow positive bloggers who sojourned on this trek.

Okay, Ehav, what’s next?

Live positively on purpose!
Coach Carolyn

Words of Wisdom on Purpose

Week of Positive Blogging Day 6: Before you take your last breath in life, what words of wisdom would you want to impart to the next generation.

“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.”

Live a life of inner peace, passion and purpose; and whatever you do, do it in love!

Live passionately,
Coach Carolyn

08 November 2007

Saving Lives on Purpose

Week of Positive Blogging Day 5: Discuss a time in your life when you helped someone or saved someone's life.

As a Spiritual Life Purpose/Life Transition and Leadership Coach, Spiritual Grief Counselor, Inspirational and Motivational Speaker and Writer, teacher, facilitator, blogger, singer and storyteller – that all goes without saying. I am privileged to help and save lives daily.

I am so blessed to be living a life of passion and purpose; being given the opportunity to be a guide, a coach, a counselor, and a mentor to so many women and men. I get daily emails from someone who has either attended one of my seminars, workshops, or has read my blog telling me how I made an impact on their life. I either gave them a new way to look at a present situation, I told a story that resonated with them, they were ignited by my passion or calmed by my peaceful demeanor – or charmed by my winning smile! I do get that, too!

Whatever the circumstance, I have traveled the road less traveled because it is a painful, lonely and dark road. I had to travel it in order to come through it. Now, I am in a privileged position – as Spirit Woman guide for others traveling that same dark and lonely road. I do not know every individual pain and trauma, but I do know pain and trauma, this accredits me as traveling companion and guide.

As I opened this week with the quote from Rumi, “Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do,” my beauty is my Spirit Woman emerging from my spirit center, embracing all that hurt and all that live in fear; bringing them to a place of love – living with inner peace, passion and purpose!

Live your beauty with passion,
Coach Carolyn

06 November 2007

Spending $30 Million On Purpose

Week of Positive Blogging Day 4: If you had 3 months with which to spend $30 Million in order to change the world what would you do?

I teach at the St. Francis of Assisi Adult Education Center and every night that I leave there, the homeless men and sometimes women congregate along the sidewalk of the church to sleep. They are allowed to sleep in front of the church, and no one tells them to move. Every morning at 7 am, the church distributes sandwiches, coffee, and a word of encouragement.

Leaving there last evening, some friends and I were talking about the sad state of this wealthy nation not being able to house these people. Thirty million dollars may not be able to do everything, but it can get the ball rolling. What has happened to the SRO’s (single room occupancy) in the city? We need to work towards getting the people off the street and into dwellings with addresses – addresses then lead to work. Being able to work is part of the dignity of the human person. Even if someone is unable to work because of a disability, where would their disability check go to? The street?

Again, thirty million dollars is not enough to “fix” all the ills of society; but it is a start. And even if we start small, the effort would hit critical mass and then who knows? There is enough wealth in this country to fix the ills of society. The heartbreaking truth is that society has turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to those ills. I don’t have $30 million, not even close, but I do have time and I can pray. I exercise both in an effort to combat the social dis-eases of our time. Bringing awareness to these issues is also half the battle. What people know, they must be responsible for. That’s where the deaf ear and blind eye comes into play. What we are ignorant to, we cannot be held responsible for.

Live passionately,
Coach Carolyn

The Good News of Living on Purpose

Week of Positive Blogging Day 3: Post about some good news that has taken place in your city, community, etc. that has happened in the last 3 months?

Good news? In New York City? As if!

Okay seriously though, I must admit this post did give me a bit of trouble. Not because this is New York City and nothing good ever happens. But because I have conditioned my life to only see the good. I have fasted from mainstream news for the past ten years, so I do not pollute my brain with the barrage of media crap. I have exorcised most of the negative people out of my life, including the boyfriend. Oh well. Yes, there will always be some negativity, but I can magically make it go away with my winning smile! Okay, seriously again! At least, I try.

This is not that I turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the social injustices that are going on. Absolutely not. It is because I can live in a positive space that I can bring awareness to social injustices, being an advocate for peace and justice in our world.

So, on to the good news. I would have to say that when I live my passion and purpose, nothing but good news can come from it. I am empowering women and men to live their passion and purpose. I am in the midst of teaching a course called A Spirituality of Purpose and I am absolutely in love with the class! The students give of their time to come and listen to me carry on for an hour. How cool is that?

The Becoming a Woman of Purpose Meetup Group is simply divine. I meet wonderful purposeful women each moth who come to share and give and receive support on their journey to a live of passion and purpose. There is wonderful discussions and I come away knowing that I have made a small difference in the lives of these women. This is what I was put on this planet to accomplish.

Our monthly Women in Transition Group is such a blessing. It is amazing to be a witness to women going from loss to abundance. The women have bonded so beautifully and when new women join they are embraced, validated and loved into newness of life. I am so honored to be a part of this process.

So in living out my divine assignment, I find a daily dose of good news in that. As long as I stay on the path of my purpose, accomplishing it with passion and peace, what better news could you hope for?

For good news, live passionately on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

05 November 2007

Dying on Purpose To Live

Week of Positive Blogging Day 2: Post about a person who inspired you to excel in life or who actually saved your life.

When two people decide to become one and pledge their lives to one another, part of what they pledge is “…for better or for worse… till death us do part.” A young couple could never imagine that worse or death could come so soon. Their heads and hearts are filled with beautiful dreams, lovely hopes, and bright plans and pictures for the future; never thinking about health care proxies, end of life issues, or cremation arrangements.

One of the most difficult realizations is knowing that in order for one of us to live, one of us had to die. Yet this realization also revealed that both had to die in some fashion. So, he died. In his dying, my life was not only spared, but I was resurrected because I too had to die. I had to die to what was not growing, what was stagnant and not flourishing, and that what me.

It was tragedy and grief that inspired me to excel and become a woman of passion and purpose. My work to empower women would never have been realized. My light would never have begun to shine so magnificently. My heart would never have been so broken as to remain open – open to others whose hearts break through life transitions and loss.

I do miss him terribly. I am eternally grateful for the lessons, the light and the love that I have gained from being reborn. He is forever a part of all that I am and all that I do. Probably no one will ever truly understand my journey. But it doesn’t matter because you see, I can walk with you in your pain, silently. That is my gift.

Visit the initiator of the Week of Positive Blogging, Ehav Ever's blog, Hochmah and Musar; and visit the other bloggers participating in this week of spreading positive messages.

Live each moment on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

04 November 2007

Positive Blogging - On Purpose

So, last week I blogged about bathrooms, this week I am participating in A Week of Positive Blogging, initiated by my blog brother from Israel, Ehav Ever. The blogosphere is so amazing – I have met folks all over and had some awesome connections. I have to tell you, if you are not on Facebook, get yourself over there. I have been having a blast on Facebook, and have not even scratched the surface. Yes, I have nothing better to do. NOT!

Anyway, for the first day of the Week of Positive Blogging, we are asked to blog about any person, place or thing that has created a positive memory. Well, I don’t have that much time and my fingers cannot type that long – so I will narrow that down a bit. And although I could list many, many things here, I will focus on one of my favorite quotes from the Sufi poet Rumi:

“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.”

When I first read that quote, I was just getting into personal development and empowerment work. I love empowering women and being a witness to their “aha moments.” This I find extremely rewarding and an honor. Because I have found my passion and purpose, I have also found so many ways to manifest that in my life and in the world. This blog is just one of the ways I make my passion come alive. I am able to connect with so many women, and men, across the blogosphere.

When I allow the beauty of what I love and what I am passionate about to become what I do, not only does it create positive energy in my life but also in the lives of all those I come in contact with.

When you can allow the beauty of what you love to be what you do, you will find that more of that beauty coming to you. You cannot help but draw to you more beauty and more passion. Operate in beauty and love, and receive more in abundance.

Live in beauty and passion,
Coach Carolyn

03 November 2007

Creating Your Own Reality

This past week, I had an executive board meeting for the Pink Collar Club. As part of the opening, our wonderful servant leader, Randee Krumwiede, asked each of us to name one pet peeve we were dealing with. Now, if you have been reading my blogs, you know that I don’t have just one, though they all amount to the same thing – fear.

So, I shared that what gets me is when folks are wanting to make changes in their lives, they say that they want change in their lives, yet, are unwilling to take the action to make the change happen. Randee quipped, “Spoken like a true coach!” Well, it’s true! People want the results, yet are not willing to do what it takes to get those results.

I have been really meditating over this because I want to get to the root cause of this. I want to unlock the block with folks. I know the block is fear. This morning I opened my email and received my ipopin, my daily, one minute affirmation from my blog sister, Kirsten Harrell. Today’s affirmation is “I create my own reality.” I must find out if Kirsten is bugging my brain because her daily affirmations are just what I am working on, either in my own life or with clients.

This all reminds me of the Tea Cup Story. If I want my life to be filled with passion and purpose and surrounded by peace, then I must do what I can to make that a reality. I have the power of choice – I must first choose to want to change. This story tells is all.

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup.

There was a time when I was brown and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'let me alone', but he only smiled, 'Not yet.'

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. Stop it! I'm getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet.'

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head, 'Not yet.'

Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. 'There, that's better,' I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Stop it, stop it!' I cried. He only nodded, 'Not yet.'

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, 'Not yet.'

Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, 'Look at yourself. And I did.

I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful.'

'I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up.

I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked.

I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life.

And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.

As Kirsten says, “I create my own reality.” Your first step? Being willing to create your own reality. So I invite you to stop... sit and have a cup of tea... and think about the changes the teacup went through to be the beautiful teacup you hold right now... then make the choice to create your own reality.

Create your reality passionately!
Coach Carolyn

02 November 2007

Being Passionate and On Purpose

Just a brief roundup as to what’s been going on in the life of the Becoming a Woman of Purpose consortium – meetup group, blog, newsletter, and other stirrings.

At our October Meetup, we gathered and discussed living your dreams. We were in the wonderful Elizabeth Seton Women’s Center and enjoyed a lively discussion about following your passions and living your dreams. I learned that several of us will be on Oprah together!

One tip on living your dreams is to write down your dreams. Get them out of your head and into your life. Dream big and let the Divine take care of the “how.” You just focus on what you want your dream to look like and don’t worry about how it will show up. If you take your right actions, the Universe will do its part.

I was honored to give a seminar to the Sistahs in Unity Meetup Group on Fears, Negativity and Limiting Beliefs. The sistahs were wonderful, the conversation was stimulating, and the aura was on purpose. Although it was pouring rain that evening, the ladies gathered. When sistahs want to live a life on purpose, a little rain won’t stop them! Thank you ladies for gathering with me.

Pictured: me with Alexis Etheridge, the CEO of Sistahs in Unity (in white blouse) and the sistahs!

Our Becoming a Woman of Purpose Blog was listed among other women blogs on the Virtual Woman’s Day Blog List of inspiring women blogs. Rockin’! A passionate thank you to Heidi Richards for the love link.

Also, the W Magical List is still alive and growing. I get emails daily from women wanting to add their blogs to the wiki. If you are a woman blogger and have not joined the wiki, then join the wiki!

Becoming a Woman of Purpose was also featured as the Facebook W List Weekly Meet n Greet Blog. If you are on Facebook, look me up and hook up!

If anyone wants to subscribe to this blog’s feeds, fill in the box on the sidebar. If anyone wants to subscribe to the BWP ezine, then shoot me an email. I am stopping the print edition and only doing a online version. Saves paper and trees.

Other stirrings: I am putting the finishing touches on my ebooks, and am praying about Internet talk radio. The Spirit is moving and sending whatever is necessary my way. Just too much to ignore. Will keep you posted on that.

But do connect with me, shoot me an email, Facebook me, link up on LinkedIn – I am easy to get to, except by phone! Lord, do I loathe the phone! Let me know what’s working for you and what you need.

Living passionately and on purpose is a collective journey and I am here to be your Spirit Woman guide. Thanks for visiting.

Live passionately,
Coach Carolyn

Meeting in the Ladies Room - Part Trois

Okay, as we wind down our Bathroom Blogfest, I have to share one of my bathroom pet peeves – stall size!

Of all the rooms in the home, the bathroom is the one room that must go on the road! There are no public kitchens, unless someone somewhere suddenly got the urge to cook up a meal. So, the bathroom is a public concept. Department stores, malls, arenas, airports, bus stations, railway stations, zhanga halls, everywhere the people gather, there are public restrooms. Well, at least there should be.

Having said that, I personally have been in many a public restroom. Remember, I have the kidney bean-sized kidney, and I do drink lots of water (no laugh tracks, please). When there is no line, which is rare, I tend to go into the stall that is wheelchair-accessible. Simply because it is big! There is room to turn around and pull things down and up and around.

I am a big girl, tall that is. And when I was a tall and very wide girl, those tiny stalls just weren’t working for me. I could barely turn around to shut the door, let alone pull things down and up. This kind of strategic maneuvering just isn’t working for me, especially not in the toilet. I don’t go to the toilet to practice strategic maneuvers.

I do understand that there are lots of women, and the need for many stalls in the ladies room is great. But we are ladies, not girls. I remember being at a conference given in a high school. Well, going to the “girls’ room” did take me back, but the stalls were for girls, of which I totally outgrew.

Also, being tall, I like high toilets, and the toilets in the wheelchair stalls are higher. I am a squatter, have been all my life. This is how my mother taught me. Never sit, she would scream. So, I squat. I need to squat high as I am not a low squatter. And although my kidney is pea-sized, the lake that is extracted can amount to a good minute and a half of squatting time. Low squatting for more than thirty seconds can wear on the legs. Those bars on the sides of the stall also helps with the squatting action. Yes, there is a method to my bathroom madness!

When I had the cane (for chronic sciatic pain), waiting for the wheelchair stall was more acceptable. Now, my only excuse is size; and I don’t give a crap who sees. Why aren’t there stalls for big and tall girls? Men only have to aim and shoot. We women have to maneuver! I mean, can I add “personal hygienic strategic maneuvering” to my resume?

I’ve got a meeting in the ladies room…
I’ll be back real soon…
After I have done my personal hygienic strategic maneuvers!

Check out the Bathroom Blogfest and visit my fellow bathroom maneuverettes!

Kate Rutter—Adaptive Path
Laurence Helene Borel—Blog Till You Drop
Iris Shreve Garrott—checking out and checking in
Susan Abbott—Customer Experience Crossroads
Maria Palma—Customers Are Always
Becky Carroll—Customers Rock!
Toby Bloomberg—Diva Marketing
Stephanie Weaver—Experienceology
Linda Tischler—Fast Company Now
C.B. Whittemore—Flooring the Consumer
Ed Pell—K+B DeltaVee
Helene Blowers—Library Bytes
Claudia Schiepers—Life and its little pleasures
Katie Clark—Practical Katie
Sandra Renshaw—Purple Wren
Reshma Anand—Qualitative Research
Marianna Hayes—Results Revolution
Sara Cantor—The Curious Shopper
Anna Farmery—The Engaging Brand
Dee McCrorey—The Ultimate Corporate Entrepreneur
Katia S. Adams—Transcultural
Katie Konrath—Get Fresh Minds
Jennifer Brite—Kitchen and Bath Business

Squat high, live passionately!
Coach Carolyn

30 October 2007

Meeting in the Ladies Room - Part Deux

Living in New York City, I and many others have the challenge of finding decent public restrooms. When I say decent, of course I mean clean and not foul-smelling – don’t want to have to decide whether to sit or stand, if you know what I mean! Anyway, because we here have the problem of homelessness, clean public restrooms are a real challenge. And in the wake of 9/11, the challenge has become even greater. It was easy to duck into a hotel lobby restroom; but since 9/11, the concierge started asking to see your room key.

Still, there are several public restrooms for us out and about-ers. Any Barnes and Noble book store can accommodate your urgent needs. After you go, grab a book, purchase a latte and sit and rest. Although B&N has restrooms, there isn’t much resting going on in them; unless you rest while waiting on the line for the stall. I must say that Borders Booksellers have fabulous restrooms – clean, spacious and with foamy soap. Like B&N, you can rest with a good book once you are done.

I have become addicted to Starbucks’ Vanilla Lattes. And guess what? Yes, you guessed it – there is a public restroom. After a Grande Vanilla Latte, there had better be a restroom; though some of the smaller Starbucks don’t have public facilities. Take your own paper goods because there is rarely any toilet tissue or paper towels. But there is a toilet. So far, so good. I have noticed that not many street people use the facilities at Starbucks. They are probably put off by the price of a cup of coffee. Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s is more their style – fast, cheap and yes, a toilet.

Now, except for the bookstores, ladies don’t look for a mirror. And no resting or socializing. Starbucks is a one-person-at-a-time facility; so no groups. But when you gotta go fast, it’s convenient. And when you really gotta go, you lose the whole socializing thing anyway. As for hotels, if there are restaurants, shops, and a bank of public phones (remember those?), then there are public restrooms. These are my personal favorites. Hotels restrooms are real meeting rooms. Women can sit, rest, socialize, and have decent conversations. The restrooms in the hotels have a sitting area, the stalls, and an area to spruce up. It’s like a condo! And everything works; there are enough paper goods to last through a flood. Hot water is hot and not lukewarm. And the paper towels are the quality kind, you know, lint-free. Good for dusting and cleaning. Okay, so I take a few. What, do they want them back? But I digress….

When I counsel clients in grief, especially women, I always tell them to honor their feelings and when you need to have a meltdown, duck into a ladies room. It is socially accepted, no one is going to stop you from needing to go to the loo, and it is full of tissues (at least we pray that it is) and, there is a mirror; except Starbucks. Wonder what’s up with that? With the prices they charge they should be able to afford bathroom mirrors, don’t you think? I mean, what's a restroom without a mirror? Just a loo!

"...I'll be back real soon..."

Coach Carolyn

29 October 2007

Meeting in the Ladies Room - Prelude

Welcome to the annual Bathroom Blogfest, which runs from October 29 to November 2, during National Kitchen and Bath Month. Bloggers from around the globe write about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience with photographs of great and terrible bathrooms. Their posts come from a wide range of perspectives that include sociology, marketing, research, psychology, environmental, customer experience, and user-experience design.

To meet all the bloggers and read their posts, visit the official Bathroom Blogfest Blog. Also check out the hilarious bathroom videos. I want to thank the instigators and animators of this fest: Stephanie Weaver, Susan Abbott, and C.B. Whittemore.

C.B. asked me if I would participate this year. And just having come from France and visiting so many WC's, I said of course. So here is my kickoff. Enjoy!

In honor of the 2007 Bathroom Blogfest, I thought I would focus on the ladies room as the meeting room. Back in the day, 1986, Klymaxx, an all-female band came out with a song called, “Meeting in the Ladies Room.” The chorus went:

“I got a meeting in the ladies room,
I’ll be back real soon…”

Unofficially, women have made the ladies restrooms a gathering place not only for rest, but relaxation, refreshment and conversation. Women of all ages gathered and took their place in front of the huge mirror. And by the way, because of the lighting in most restrooms, did you notice that every flaw is magnified? What’s up with that? But I digress…

I have always been intrigued with this notion of meeting in the ladies room. Why is it that women go to the ladies room in pairs or groups? Because it is a meeting room! Yes, there is the urgent business to take care of, but then there is the real business – socializing. And you socialize while you “fix your face.” Never understood that one, but I go with the flow. When you situate yourself next to another woman in the ladies room, find one with a “normal-size” handbag. She’s got everything you need in that bag! She may even have a spare roll of tissues. She has the sprays, the fix-its, the gels, and the Krazy Glue. I cannot understand the women who carry these teeny-weeny little handbags. All you can fit in one is a lipstick and a mobile phone…. As if! But again, I digress.

I am one of these women with a kidney the size of, well, a kidney bean. So I need to visit the ladies room quite often. What do I look for in a ladies room? Once upon a time, I wanted comfort and a clean smell. Today, just give me a toilet! I can manage the rest. No tissues? No worries, I travel with my own. No soap? No worries, I travel with my own. What, no water? No worries, that’s what hand sanitizers are for. Yes, I have been in many a ladies rooms, so I know lack.

My tip for the day: Always travel with a pack of tissues, a pack of soap leaves and/or a small bottle of hand sanitizer. If the ladies room has a toilet with a door, you are ahead of the game.

I got a meeting in the ladies room…
But I’ll be back real soon…

My Fellow Rockin' Bathroom Bloggers:

Kate Rutter—Adaptive Path
Laurence Helene Borel—Blog Till You Drop
Iris Shreve Garrott—checking out and checking in
Susan Abbott—Customer Experience Crossroads
Maria Palma—Customers Are Always
Becky Carroll—Customers Rock!
Toby Bloomberg—Diva Marketing
Stephanie Weaver—Experienceology
Linda Tischler—Fast Company Now
C.B. Whittemore—Flooring the Consumer
Ed Pell—K+B DeltaVee
Helene Blowers—Library Bytes
Claudia Schiepers—Life and its little pleasures
Katie Clark—Practical Katie
Sandra Renshaw—Purple Wren
Reshma Anand—Qualitative Research
Marianna Hayes—Results Revolution
Sara Cantor—The Curious Shopper
Anna Farmery—The Engaging Brand
Dee McCrorey—The Ultimate Corporate Entrepreneur
Katia S. Adams—Transcultural

Again, the round-up is at the Bathroom Blogfest Blog.

See you in the ladies room,
Coach Carolyn

24 October 2007

Choosing to Change Your Life

One of the classes I have begun teaching is called A Spirituality of Purpose. It is a mix of men and women and a very interesting mix, I must say. In listening to the introductions and why people are taking the course, I always find some common threads. When the discussions begin, I find that people want to find their purpose, they want to live a life of passion, but they just don’t want to work at making that possible. If passion and purpose could just fall into their laps, without them having to do too much, then they would be satisfied.

I find that folks want a neat little packaged answer with a carefully mapped out blueprint detailing exactly how to live and what to do. Well, I’m here to pop that little fantasy balloon and tell you that it just does not work that way. Most of the fun of living a life of purpose is in the discoveries that we continue to make. I wouldn’t like it if my life was handed to me on some platinum platter with all the answers to all the questions. Yet, this is exactly how some people live their lives. Their parents, their family members, their peers, their community, or society has imposed their life purpose on to them; and now they are following a script that was written by and for someone else.

The only person that can plan your life is you. Someone else can help finance it, but even then, there may be restrictions. Get in touch with your own authenticity – you have an authentic self, you know. When are you going to start finding out who that self is and start making her happy? Living a life of passion and purpose means living from center, your center, and honoring what is in your core. As women, we tend to take care of everyone around us, which is not a bad thing unless it is at the expense of taking care of ourselves. I always say that we cannot give away what we ourselves do not have. If our love tank is empty, how on earth do we expect to fill someone else’s?

Last week, I signed up for a women’s workshop called “Spark Your Fire.” I wanted to be at a workshop where I was being taken care of and not facilitating for a change. I went with no expectations, only wanting to connect with self and other women. Boy, did I connect with self! After the deep breathing exercises, which left me feeling as if I was melting into the floor, I felt the traumatized Carolyn and knew I needed to pamper her. Again, I am so about taking care of other women, that it is too easy to neglect my own self care. But I was so held and honored that evening; it was all about pampering me. I shared my feelings with one of the facilitators at the end, and she was so supportive and caring, hugging me and reminding me to honor my feelings.

All this to simply say, I honored myself and filled my love tank. To do the work I do with women, I must have a full tank, or I absolutely could not hold anyone sacredly or safely. I would be too toxic. And worse, I wouldn’t have the presence to shield other’s toxins. Pretty scary!

One way to live a life of passion and purpose is to choose to want to live a life of passion and purpose. If you want to and hold that intention, then it will begin to show up for you. If you do not, then you will get a whole lot of what you do not want. First begin by choosing to live a life of purpose. If you want to change your life, then you have to work at it. The Law of Attraction includes the Law of Action. Make the conscious intention, then take the necessary steps to create the space for it to start showing up for you.

Start by choosing to change your life,
Coach Carolyn

21 October 2007

Lessons on Love and Fear

During one of my Artist Dates, I had a lovely epiphany. I want to live more in love than in fear. Brilliant, huh? Well, yeah okay, what I mean is… I want to operate my entire life, including my coaching practice, in the love realm. The more speaking engagements I do, the more workshops I conduct, the more students I teach, the more clients I coach, the same issue always comes up: what blocks your living a life of passion and purpose? FEAR.

In my leadership coaching, I teach leaders how to love those they lead. However, this should not be confined to just those in traditional leadership positions, but to anyone who is in the position to influence someone. Guess what? That’s everyone, including you! When we can focus on loving, I believe there will be no room to focus on what we fear. And as I mentioned before, fears will always be a part of our stories, but they should not be to paralyze us, but to bring us to a new awareness. Fear means that something exciting is about to happen.

So are you wondering how do I teach people how to love? So glad you asked! Four simple words: Love as a verb! We need to wrap our brains around loving as something we make a conscious choice to do. Love is not about how we feel; we need to act our way into the feeling. When we behave lovingly, the feelings will come. Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the Church Fathers, said: “Love is the effective willing of the good of the other.” Fancy, yes? Simply put, we choose to behave toward the other for their good. We want only the best for the other, acknowledging the other as other.

We can sometimes get in the habit of lumping groups of people together and classifying or labeling them; those people, that group. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote, "When you label me, you negate me." (I love the Kierkster, as I affectionately call him) We must see each person as an individually-made expression of the Divine. This is part of our purpose, to recognize that we are uniquely made expressions of the Divine and live that to the fullest. When we live this, fear has no hold on us; we only operate in love.

Lovely epiphany? I think so. I look forward to your epiphanies and your comments on my epiphany. Take yourself on an Artist Date and dream. You never know what the Universe has in store for you.

Live purposely, in love,
Coach Carolyn

16 October 2007

Becoming a Confident Woman

Last evening was the first of a follow-up coaching session to The Confident Woman workshop. Most of the women returned, and a few new women joined us. It was one of the most enjoyable and fun-filled sessions I have ever facilitated. I know, I say that about all my workshops!

But this one was different, as it was not a workshop but a group coaching session. So thoughts and questions came up and the women were instrumental in tapping into their own inner spirits to discover what their own confidence blocks were and we discussed ways to break through those blocks. Again, we spoke a lot about operating in a spirit of love as opposed to operating in a spirit of fear.

One of the biggest blocks for many women is finding the time and space to get in touch with the inner spirit. Though we say we want to build a relationship with ourselves, we don’t make it a top priority. We need to schedule an appointment with ourselves to take ourselves out on an Artist Date. And we must keep the appointment as we would any other appointment.

What is an Artist Date? Well, I am so glad you asked! In her ground-breaking book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron speaks of two ways of tapping into the inner creative or inner spirit: Morning Pages and Artist Dates. Morning pages are just long hand, stream of conscious writing in a journal every morning without censorship or edit.

Then there is my favorite, the Artist Date. Take yourself out on a date, just you and perhaps your journal and just be. I love long bus rides. So I will hop on the bus and ride all the way to the final stop, with no destination in mind. I usually end up in my favorite café where I write about anything that has come up for me. Sometimes, I just go to Central Park and sit near the water and watch the ducks and the swans. Other times, I do a combination of things, all the while carrying my journal to capture any dreams, thoughts, ideas, or just musings.

If you are having a difficult time tapping into your inner spirit – the only way to really know who you are and what you want – then I suggest picking up The Artist’s Way. It is a fabulous read and I believe for any of us to really become confident in our lives, we need to know what and who is inside of us.

Another tool I shared was repetition. When I find a book, podcast, article, or any other resource that has what I need to work on, I read or listen over and over and over and over again; until it has permeated my soul. I only want my soul filled with positive energy – so I will fill it with only positive things. The negative is far to easy and in abundance.

The second follow-up session is in December. The women have some tools and techniques on living a confident life. Can’t wait to see what unfolds.

Live confidently with passion,
Coach Carolyn

15 October 2007

Living Green on Purpose...Revisited

This post is in honor of Blog Action Day!

Unless you have been away from the planet for awhile, I am sure you are aware of the green movement -- the effort to create a more eco-friendly environment. This movement has many different layers, from recycling to carpooling to growing things. This move was brought to a new level with An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore's award-winning documentary about global warming.

Passionate congrats to Al and IPCC for winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Living on purpose is about holistic living -- mind, body and spirit. And this involves our global home. When we do not take care of our health, parts of our bodies begin to whither. When we do not keep our minds sharp and entertained, slowly we lose our emotional and mental acumen. And so it is with our planet. Unwittingly, we are slowly destroying our global home. It is very easy to say this is not my responsibility. Ah, but you see, it is! It is ALL of our responsibility.

Some of us are complete greenies! Some of us have never heard the term. Okay, maybe I made it up, but you get my point. Ignorance does not exempt you of responsibility. So get in the know! Three little words that I have heard since I was a child: Reduce, recycle, reuse. Not difficult at all. Take one a day, like a multi-vitamin. It is like any muscle, when you do not use it, it atrophies. Frequent and constant use will strengthen and become a habit. Then it will become second nature.

Start small. Use a mug instead of Styrofoam cups. Run your dishwasher when it is full. Throw cans and bottles in proper receptacles. Use rechargeable batteries. Reuse grocery bags. We often throw things away that we think are no longer useful. Do we do that with people? Of course not. We think of other ways to be of use. Purpose has no expiration dates.

So, think of ways to reuse the things that no longer seem usable. I would be interested in your comments and ideas.

Live green on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

10 October 2007

The Confident Woman

This past weekend, I conducted a new workshop called The Confident Woman. It was a blessed experience. The women were awesome and the sharing and caring was tremendous. We shared, prayed, laughed, cried, ate, and hugged in a sacred space that made us all feel like family.

One of the stumbling blocks to being confident was fear. I have spoken quite a bit on this blog about fears and how they keep us from living a passionate and purposeful life. Fears block our confidence. Just imagine the things you would try if fears were not limiting you.

A building block to living a confident life is gratitude, again an old friend of this blog. Living in an attitude of gratitude opens the door to abundance giving you the confidence to live a life free of negativity.

I am a firm believer in visuals. Visuals create a picture in the mind that mere words cannot top. One of my dear friends and workshop participants, Kathleen bought me a beautiful perfume bottle for my last birthday. I asked the women if they would love to have this bottle. They all said they would. I then explained that it is filled with poison (not the fragrance). Now would you like to have this bottle? Of course, this time all said no. Yet, I explained, when someone offends, demeans, or insults you, you take that and ingest it – like poison. Realization! Don’t you love it?

To be a confident woman, you must make the conscious choice to not attend every pity party, anger-fest, and offensive gathering that you are invited to. Just say, “Thank you for sharing; I choose not to receive that.” And move on. No need to give further explanation; which only leads to further confrontation.

We were given an awesome power – the power to choose. Yet, sometimes we do not exercise that power wisely. Stopping is a spiritual action. When we are in the midst of a major or even a not so major decision, stop, take a breath, and then choose. And remember, making no choice, is also a choice. Make the choice to live an amazing and confident life.

Live passionately with confidence!
Coach Carolyn

05 October 2007

Forgiving on Purpose

I posted the topic of forgiveness on my leadership blog, Equip and Empower after giving a talk on leadership to a class of seminarians. The topic was a lively one and very provocative. I love purposeful, provocative conversations -- they are so filled with passion!

You can read the post I wrote over up the block, but I wanted to just bring up the topic here because it is a sticking point to living a life of passion and purpose. I wanted to bring up some points for you to perhaps meditate and journal about over the weekend.
  • Do you have an issue of unforgiveness in your life?
  • Is it upsetting your peace?
  • What would you like to do about it?

Three simple questions to meditate on and journal about. I believe an exercise worth looking at. Forgiveness is such a loaded and provocative issue that these three questions are all we need to handle at one time.

If you are so willing, please share with me what came up for your in your journaling time.

Live free and on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

Lessons in Facing Your Fears

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” ~ Anne Frank

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” ~ Marie Curie

“All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required.” ~ Dave Barry

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." ~ German Proverb

"Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it." ~ Lt. John B. Putnam Jr.

Live fearlessly and passionately,
Coach Carolyn

25 September 2007

Living with Passion or Living with Fear

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Whenever I teach, coach, counsel, consult, or speak, the subject of fear always seems to rear its overpowering head. Of course in the culture in which we now live – a culture of war, terrorism, lack of job security, diminishing health care, and the like, fear is a major player in our lives. Yet, one thing I have come to discover is that one cannot live the life they were destined to live if these fears are not dealt with.

Dealing with fears does not mean ignoring, denying or avoiding them; it does mean being able to walk through the fears and embrace them.

A fear is an unpleasant feeling of perceived risk or danger, real or not. It is one of the basic emotions. We were born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned. We all face fears, which is perfectly normal, unless they control our lives.

When we allow fear to take over, fear diminishes freedom of action. However, when we can learn to embrace the fear, then fear is a signal that there is something for me to learn.

One of the catch-all scenarios I hear is about fear of the unknown, which is absolutely unfounded. Fears are “perceived” dangers; risks that we know about and are aware of. If the risk or danger is unknown, then what is the basis of the fear? When one speaks of fear of the unknown, then the fear is usually about an outcome that is unknown to us; and that outcome has a name: fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being mistreated, the list can go on.

In order to begin to face and embrace our fears, we must first name the fear. We need to call it what it is. Until we can name our fear, we will continue to deny or ignore it.

Live passionately and fearlessly,
Coach Carolyn

21 September 2007

Blogs, Iguanas, France, Passion and Purpose

Well, passionate folks, I have returned from my very first trip off of the continent. And I live to blog about it!

I just spent a week on a spiritual pilgrimage in France. Lots of time to think about my purpose and what I am passionate about. France is an interesting place. I got to use my 10+ years of French. However, in school we never learned words pertaining to airport security. What the hell is "Too many liquids?" in French anyway?

And by the way, did you know that in Paris, powered makeup is considered liquid. There's goes the American advertisements. I tried to explain that I just don't wake up looking this gorgeous -- I have to work at it! They did confiscate my toothpaste. There goes my dazzling million dollar smile.

Being on pilgrimage meant no blogging. I nearly died from the withdrawal! I did take my laptop along. But forgot the adapter. And there are no blogging methadone clinics in the spectacular mountains of the French Alps. So, I had to drink of the springs of spirituality. It worked, sort of.

So, what did we do for seven days? Visited no less than ten churches, ten airports, five hotels, six towns, but still no blogging. And because these people are "spiritual," I couldn't even mention blogging because no one knew what I was talking about. Go figure! I mean, what is spirituality with stuff like blogs, mp3 players, and iguanas?

So, I was excited to get back -- still groggy and running on Paris time -- and find a post about a bloggers get together here in New York City. The pilgrimage worked! My prayers have been answered. Blog talk, at last!

Because the lovely Diva Toby Bloomberg was descending on NY, the fabulously illustrious CK decided to have a little martini gathering last night at the Cafe Iguana, which is just slightly north of the theater district. I desperately needed a fix. Or is it a hit? So, I drowsily headed to the Iguana.

I am still drowsy, hence all the over the top adjectives. In France, I had to conjugate verbs; in New York, we work in adjectives.

I met some of the most fantastic folks. CB Whittemore was just a dream. We chatted about blogs, bathrooms and France. How totally normal is that?! And, I had a boob graze moment with the lovely Ann Handley. Yes, New York is one helluva town.

The fellows were simply divine. Then there was Curious George. Yes, the monkey. Okay, why am I mentioning all this? Because I went to France to confirm my passion and purpose; and returned with the confirmation of getting together with the very people who add value to my purpose and passion. Bloggers.

As one dynamic coach always says, the answers are in the same room as the questions. My passion and purpose are so apart of me. I know it because I totally missed it when I was abroad; and was drawn to it when I returned home. How flippin' amazing is that?!

Glad to be home. Glad to be blogging again. There's no place like home and the blogosphere!

The W List Women:
CB, Toby, CK, Ann, and

Photo courtesy of the dazzling Steve Woodruff, who referred to me all evening as the Wild Wiki Woman. Don't you just love it? These are my people, n'est pas?!

Live your passion,
Coach Carolyn

06 September 2007

Breaking Through the Either/Or Syndrome

Here's a fabulous article on limiting beliefs by Lisa Jimenez of Rx-Success. Enjoy!

Let's take a little quiz. Read the following five questions and answer them as honestly as possible. Ready? Begin...

1. Do you want a successful career or a close relationship with your family?
2. Do you want to earn a fortune or do the work you love?
3. Do you want to enjoy a delicious love life or grow your business?
4. Do you want to give to your favorite charity or invest in the new car?
5. Do you want to travel the world or make money?

There's only one answer to all of these questions.

The answer is... BOTH!

One of the most powerful habits that can bring more abundance in your life is the habit of thinking, "Both".

Rich people live in a world of abundance. Poor people live in a world of limitation. Poor people think there's not enough to go around in the world. They come from a fear-based mindset.

Their answers are "either/or", but never "both". In a poor person's mind-set they go for security above love, safety before self-expression and protection over possibility.

What about you? Are you a possibility theorist or a fear-based thinker?

Rich people live in a world of abundance. Poor people live in a world of limitation. Rich people understand that with a little creativity, a willingness to be unconventional, and an open mind, they can have both. When you build your business (and your life) on the "Both" mentality, you will see opportunities that you were once blind to.

I invite you to begin today to alter your mind-set. Get in the habit of saying "Both!" Try it for the next seven days. Anytime you're asked to decide on two options, say both and then use your creative genius to make it happen. You're asked if you want peanut butter or pralines and cream. Say both and then do a double work out that day.

You're asked if you can write that article or take your daughter to soccer. Say both and then skip TV that night. You're asked if you want to spend a week at the lake or a week at the beach. Say both and sign up for a house exchange.

You're asked if you want to attend Yale or Berkeley. (Ha! This is the questions my daughter Auriana poses as I write this E-Zine.) I say, "Let's jump on a plane, tour the campuses and make a choice. To which my 18-year-old daughter replies, "And whatever college I don't get my Bachelors from, I'll attend for my Masters!

Just say, "Both!"

Only you can make the decision to break through the limitations put on life. YOU have the power to change your beliefs about abundance and prove to yourself you really believe in enjoying "both!" Your first homework assignment this month is to practice saying, "Both" for seven days and notice the changes in your life. Your second homework assignment is to celebrate those changes and all the abundance that you will begin manifesting into your life.

Live passionately on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

29 August 2007

Purpose and Katrina

It is hard to believe that it is the second anniversary of the Katrina disaster. I have a difficult time with that because it is also the sixth anniversary of my beloved's death. So time kinds of meld into itself. In my own reflections on disaster, tragedy and adversity, I have learned that in all there is purpose. Now, you may ask what purpose is death, destruction and devastation?

Well, I believe it is to bring the rest of us up a little higher; calling us to a different place. We can become so immersed in our own little worlds with our own problems and complexities that we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. We are not on this earth mainly for our own amusement. We are not here merely to satisfy our own insatiable appetites; but to learn and teach valuable lessons.

After going through my own grief journey, I realized that all that I went through was not just for its own sake. I now had an incredible responsibility placed at my feet. I was now bestowed with a one of a kind task that only from my experience could be accomplished. And what was this great task? To empathetically journey with another in love.

I was no longer free from ignorance. No, I now had knowledge, experience and the wisdom needed to move from my own world into someone else's world -- someone also going through pain and adversity. It is a very daunting task, but one that is absolutely necessary if your own journey is to make any sense. Granted, one can never make sense of loss of innocent life, yet the way I can wrap my brain around it is to believe in a higher purpose. I know that the Divine Spirit is always looking for ways to get us to "get it" though sometimes we miss it, and miss it by a mile.

I now get it. I can make peace with adversity. Not that it's a friend, but it is a familiar bystander. One that I can now recognize. And I am the stronger for knowing him.

My prayers go out to all the Katrina victims and survivors. My heart is with you.

In peace and purpose,
Coach Carolyn

27 August 2007

Blocks to Living with Passion...The Best Lesson

This month, I conducted a 3-part discussion series called Blocks to Living with Passion for the Becoming a Woman of Purpose Meetup. The three gatherings were focused on overcoming fear, limiting beliefs, and negativity.

What amazes me the most is that women have this burning need and desire to talk about these kinds of issues but really have no safe space to do that. Yes, we have our bestest girlfriends, but how long can we talk about the same issues that seem to grip us and won't let go? After awhile, even our dearest friends don't want to hear it anymore. We are countered with the old "Aren't you over that by now?" routine. So we sulk in silence.

These discussions brought up everything from fear of losing control to unresolved grief and loss. The tissues came in handy. I have been conducting groups for about twelve years now, and it never ceases to amaze me the dynamics of the groups. Women come in looking for answers, or at least help to resolve something that they are dealing with. They leave being a loving support for another woman, in turn, helping themselves.

Some of the women bonded, forming connections of support and encouragement. They shared emails and resources. But the loveliest, at least for me, is they all shared their stories and their hearts with total strangers.

Joining a group can be very scary. You don't know who the others are and you don't know what will be expected of you. If you are not a public speaker, then it can be even more daunting. But half the battle is showing up, which takes tremendous courage. Once you show up, you come to realize that everyone is there for a similar reason -- overcoming something that is limiting your life.

I am very proud of the women that showed up for these discussions. They not only showed up, but they shared their hearts, their stories and their vulnerabilities. They opened themselves up to and for other women.

The best lesson I received was knowing that there are women who are in need of the opportunity for sharing and releasing the toxins in their lives, and that I can provide that safe and sacred space for them. Not just the venue, but the atmosphere, the support, and the validation.

What an honor! Thanks to all the women who just show up!

Wishing you passion and peace,
Coach Carolyn

24 August 2007

Blogs, Wikis and Real Life Conversations

As the author of no less than four blogs, my life has taken a definite 360 degree turn in the past six months. Although I have been in cyberspace for many years now, it has taken on a new passion for me, thus allowing me to live out my purpose in a new way. However, this passion, up until now, has been a very lonely one.

In real life, when I mention blogging, wikis, and the whole social networking thing, people look at me like I just grew another head! And though I can still talk about all of the other non-cidentals, I want to talk blogs! I want to talk wikis, and YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. I want to talk about The Blog Squad -- those gals totally rock!

I guess it's like having a baby. I've have been around new mothers and all they talk about are formulas, diapers, and 3am feedings. Well, I'm a new mother, and I just gave birth to a blog! So, where can I talk about that?! I want to talk about posts, feeds, and the differences in Blogger versus Wordpress. I want to spit out names like Toby Bloomberg, Liz Strauss, and Valeria Maltoni without having to explain who these great women are, for crying out loud!

And then I go and create a wiki, and well! What do I get? What the hell is a wiki? Do you know what Wikipedia is? Well, yeah. That's a wiki!

Can anybody relate???

For the past week, I have been having the most amazing conversations with women -- women I have never even met, women who would have never been on my radar, women who blog! Women who know what a wiki is! Women are emailing asking how do I add my blog to the wiki? Yes, they are using the words in one sentence. I tell you, this is genius! I am in awe.

So my real life people are still baffled and think I have become an Internet pod person. Yes, I have and life is wonderful!

Join the W Magical List of Women Bloggers at the wiki. Y'all know what I mean!

Live your wiki-licious life!
~The Wild Wiki Woman

21 August 2007

The W List... The Wiki Continues

My dear Mogulette sister Carmina Perez shared a link to a blog that posted 100 resources for women entrepreneurs called The Woman Entrepreneurs Toolbox. Of course now that I have started one wiki, well why not another? After all, what's one wiki without another? One lonesome wiki!

So, I added a page to the existing wiki of the W Magical List of Women Bloggers. The new page, The Women Entrepreneurs Toolbox, was compiled and written by Jessica Hupp of the Bootstrapper Blog. It is a fabulous list of blogs, tools, networking and organizations, resources, government aids, books and inspirational stories websites for women who are starting a business or are more established fem-preneurs. One can spend several days just going through the list.

The list is compiled in easy to use categories, which makes for quick searches. This is the goal of the W List, to categorize the list for quick and easy access. The W List is in categories on Elysa's GenPink blog, which is fabulous.

Head over and be prepared to spend some time. The resources are great. As a fem-preneur, I could sure use this resource, as it saves me time from looking everything up myself.

Since I'm on a wiki roll, any other resources for women, let me know and we'll see what we can create. After all, it's my purpose in life to equip and empower women. So, yes I am working!

Live wiki-liciously!
~The Wild Wiki Woman!

19 August 2007

W Magical List of Women Bloggers

I have had the amazing pleasure of being a part of the W Magical List of Women Bloggers that is circulating around the blogosphere. I will take a page from my blogging sister, Kirsten Harrell of Thinking Positive! Blog to tell the origin of this list.

"Valeria Maltoni from the Conversation Agent wrote a post about the top 20 PR Power Women. This top 20 list was extracted from Ad Age's Power 150. Valerie had a brilliant idea to add to this list and get the ball rolling to create the "W" list - a list of Women Bloggers. The "W" list idea took off in the blogosphere and has grown into a fabulous list of women bloggers."

I saw this list on a few blogs and thought this is great. Then I saw it on a few more blogs. So, I said if I see the list on one more blog, I have to do something about it. I thought I would just re-circulate the list on a blog post. I didn't know what I was in for. I read Toby Bloomberg's Diva Marketing Blog. Toby gave a great history of the list along with a challenge: The following W Magical List is by no means the end list. It would be as, Jeneane would say, the bomb, if some smart diva could create a wiki to house the list.

So yours truly took the challenge. Now, I had no idea how to even create a wiki. But I was on a mission, I had a purpose, and I was passionate! I went to Google and found Wikispaces. I included Toby's history along with the list. I posted a comment to Toby's post and it has been truly magical! This list of amazing women is as someone said like fairy dust. It was sprinkled and magic happened.

I want to thank the many wonderful and awesome women who have held this list in such a sacred way. I am so honored to be in the company of such gifted and amazing women.

I give a serious wiki love squeeze to my sisters:
Toby Bloomberg
Valeria Maltoni
Kirsten Harrell
Kammie Kobyleski

Elysa of GenPink has amazingly put the list in catogories. I have a shout out to her to see how we can consolidate the list. Will keep you posted.

Check out the list at http://wmagicallist.wikispaces.com/ and celebrate these amazing women bloggers, who keep the conversation going. We have an awesome power at our disposal: the power of our words. And women are exercising that power abundantly. I am so humbled to be among them.

If you are a woman blogger, please add your voice and your blog. This is a living list and a living legacy to all women. Keep it alive and passionate!

Blog purposefully and with passion!
Coach Carolyn

16 August 2007

Learn to Pick Your Battles

Several years ago an amazing little book exploded on the scene and caused people to rethink what they were thinking about. It was Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Dr. Richard Carlson. It is a book of meditations on keeping the proper perspective. Dr. Carlson reminded us that it's all small stuff in the bigger picture and not to let those little things become big things.

One of my daily axioms is another reminder from Dr. Carlson: Learn to pick your battles. There is the opportunity several times a day for each of us to have some sort of altercation. Someone will offend us; something will make us angry; someone else will say something stupid. Yes, this is all true. But what else is true is that we have the power to choose. We have choice.

We take for granted this amazing ability that we have been given. The ability to make the choice to not get caught up in someone else's drama. We can choose not to attend every argument we have been invited to. We can choose to step away when someone else is having a pity party. We can choose to say that is unacceptable to me. We can choose.

The problem isn't that we don't choose. The problem is we do choose, but we choose to join the party, the drama, someone else's battle. When someone directs an offensive comment your way, it's like them handing you a bottle of poison. Now when you enter into the battle, you have just made the choice to ingest their bottle of poison. So you have chosen to slowly kill yourself.

This is a harsh image, but sadly a very real one. In my practice, I have seen far too many women slowly dying because they have chosen to take the poison of some other hurting human being. Hurting people hurt people and are hurt by them. I try to instill and teach this principle of learning to pick your battles; and there are many battles to choose from.

I am an advocate for peace and social justice. In my "other" life, I do work around HIV/AIDS awareness, hunger and poverty in America, and non-violent living. These are the battles I consciously choose to fight. And I don't think in terms of winning or losing. We all lose when people are dying -- physically, emotionally, or spiritually. But I choose to exert my energies on the battles of injustice and social responsibility. I leave alone the petty differences because in the end, they will amount to nothing. I choose the battles of social injustice. But I also choose to let go of the battles of ego-building and proving I am right.

We all have the amazing gift of choice. But remember, not making a choice, is still a choice. So, what will you choose?

Live passionately by choice,
Coach Carolyn

13 August 2007

Blocks to Living with Passion: Fears

In the first of the 3-part series on Blocks to Living with Passion, the Becoming a Woman of Purpose Group gathered to discuss Overcoming Fears. It was a lively and very moving discussion. I was very proud of the way the women came together as total strangers to talk about something very personal and sometimes very painful. And they left knowing that they each were the keepers of something very sacred -- one another's inner light.

One of the things that plague us more than anything else is our fears, whether real or imagined. And when our fears grip us, that inner light grows very dim. Fears are perfectly normal and they let us know that we are on to something amazing. However, it is when we allow those fears to control our lives and stop us from accomplishing the things that we need to do, that blocks us from having a passionate and purposeful life.

A fear is an unpleasant feeling of perceived risk or danger, real or not. Fear also can be described as a feeling of extreme dislike to some conditions/objects, such as: fear of darkness, fear of ghosts, etc. It is one of the basic emotions. We all face fears, which is perfectly normal, unless they control our lives. Although fear is an innate response, objects of fear can be learned. Even though fear can diminish freedom of action; fear is also a signal that there is something for me to learn.

The women spoke of things that did plague them that they probably were not aware of as fear. One of the women shared her definition of fear as: False Evidence Appearing Real. This definition really resonated with some of the women. As a student of the 12-Step Movement, I had heard this many times and sort of dismissed it. But seeing how it moved these women, gave it a new light for me.

Having gone through several tragic and traumatic experiences in my life, I have not really shone light on my fears. When there is something that I need to accomplish and I have fear, I simply do it afraid. The fear isn't going away unless I face it. This isn't to say that this is easy; but it gets easier when you learn to take the actions and let go of the results. I cannot control what will happen once I take the actions, but I can control the actions I choose to take.

I choose to have access to all of my life. When we allow fear to rule, we lose parts of our own lives; not having access to certain parts of life. I refuse to allow anything or anyone to limit me in this way.

One of my fears is speaking in public. And what do I do for a living? I speak in public. Now, I am not masochistic in any way. But I have been given the gift of delivering a very special message to women. And no matter how afraid I am of that task, it is the task I have been given. And I will make the choice to do my part and leave the rest to my Divine Assigner.

Our next discussion will be Overcoming Limiting Beliefs. Will keep you posted.

Wishing you a fearless and passionate life,
Coach Carolyn