Category Archives: confidence

Use the Power of Your Pen to Propel Yourself Forward

(NOTE: The new web site is just about ready. Click here to see it.)

One option would be to write an international bestseller and make a windfall.

But that’s only one way to leverage your journal.

If you’re like most high-achieving women, you  know you’re not motivated by money, really. You value wealth, not as a status symbol, but for what it can do for the people in your life. That’s why so many new micro-loan programs for developing countries are geared towards women; they’re more productive with the money they earn.

On the other hand, it’s the lack of wealth that keeps you from doing a lot of things you’d like to do for yourself, your family and your community.

You also know that, while you’ve got so much to be grateful for, you’ve got a much bigger contribution to make.

So, let’s make it happen.

Before I explain this tool for creating wealth, I want to remind you how powerful our minds are. The most recent issue of Forbes features an excellent article on the incredible power of placebos. It turns out that placebos are even more powerful for relieving pain and nausea than previously realized. Researchers have done brain scans showing that the same chemical reaction takes place in the brains of the drug recipients AND the placebo recipients. Another finding is that patients respond favorably to rituals as part of a medical treatment. No joke!

In the spring of 2008, I began using my journal seriously to create a better life for me and my children. I had been writing in my journal before then, but I learned from an e-course I was taking that I really could script a more attractive future. And how much fun is that!

One of the things I was most clear about was that I wanted to move. I wasn’t sure where, but I knew I wanted to be in the South, near a body of water, and I wanted NEW kitchen and laundry appliances. If you look at my vision boards, they are covered with pictures of the ocean, swimming pools, the Mediterranean Sea, water is everywhere. There’s other stuff too, like a fancy new vacuum cleaner, but it’s clear I crave being near water.

But it was the new kitchen and laundry appliances that really captured my imagination. I was living in this ueber charming cottage, a delightful relic from a time where having one bathroom was considered more than enough. (No need for an outhouse!) And my stove was identical to the one on the “I Love Lucy” television program. The dryer, a nice avocado green, had to be cajoled into working. It did dry the clothes, but you had to ask it nicely.

So I began to write about my ideal home. And new kitchen and laundry appliances were always at the top of my list. Having 3 bathrooms was my  next priority.

Well, there’s not space here for the whole story, but on August 16 of last year, I moved into a recently-remodeled swanky condo (there are plenty of ponds with fountains on the grounds ) in an upscale part of Charleston. There is a fantastic beach exactly 5 miles from my house, and there’s a pool here as well.

We also have 3 bathrooms, for the 3 females living here.

You have the same power to manifest good things in your life. It’s a matter of being intentional about it.

Have you used writing to manifest good things in your life?

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How to Be Lazy or…Laziness Boot Camp for Overachievers

I used to be crazy busy all the time; it was my way of living. Some of us think that we’re not serving to our full capacity if we’re not in constant motion. Probably it’s part of that Puritan work ethic that still permeates our culture.

I still have many busy days, but I balance them with lots of lazy stretches, from an hour off to a full week-end of vegetation. The big shift is to enjoy and see the value in time off, rather than feeling guilty for not being busy.

Showing my clients how to take time to do nothing, or time to have fun, is a big part of my coaching. The tool I’m sharing with you in this blog post works every single time. And it’s free.

Personally, I have two coaches for this: Prince, the toy poodle, and my teenage son. If my son were any more relaxed than he already is, he’d be in a coma. I think most dogs are accomplished nap coaches, so if a canine shares your space, take a laziness cue from him.

Why has being lazy become so important to me? Entrepreneurs and mothers are supposed to burn the candle at both ends and that was my modus operandi for years! I was proud to be exhausted and burned out.

Here’s the thing. Perpetual motion keeps you in a rut. There can be no breakthrough without R and R.

That’s why my word to serve as my theme for 2010 is “ease.” I’ve had a lot of fun with it, especially with my teaching.

If you’re new to laziness, you need to know that, like any other life skill, it takes practice to attain mastery.

Here’s your basic laziness training exercise:

Take 15 minutes to do nothing.

Doing nothing means no thinking, no reading, no texting, no talking, no praying, no worrying, no listening to your Ipod…not even reading this blog. You just gotta sit there and be a vegetable for 15 minutes. Set a timer on your cell phone, in case you fall asleep. 😉

You’ll hate it at first. Feels unproductive, almost unAmerican.

Stick with it. Your mind will try to convince you that this is the first step on the path to a mental breakdown. It’s not.

Do this at least 5 times a week.

Here’s what you’ll get from doing 15 minutes of nothing on a regular basis:

You relax.

You smile.

Your creativity activates.

You feel so much better. And other people will notice!

Learning to activate your own “pause” button is a powerful tool to experience breakthroughs in your life. Try it and share what happens.

You’ll have to excuse me now, it’s time for me to do nothing. 😉

The One Thing You Can Always Do For Yourself Right Now

This is one of the many techniques I’ve learned to relax and move forward in my life. It’s truly made a HUGE difference (ask my kids!) I learned it from coach Christine Kane, who used it as part of the process of healing her bulimia.

It works if you’re overwhelmed, confused, tired, or if you feel awry and you’re not sure why.

It’s a question you ask yourself:

What do I need to do to feel better in this very moment? That means right now.

Maybe you need to go to the bathroom.

Maybe you need a healthy snack.

Maybe you need to take a nap.

Maybe you need a bubble bath.

Maybe you need to organize and plan  your week.

Maybe it’s budgeting your expenses for the month.

Maybe you need to drink a glass of water.

Maybe you need to turn off the cell phone.

Maybe you need to close the door to your office.

Maybe you need to allocate time for returning phone calls.

Maybe you need to ask for help.

Maybe you need to clean out that drawer in your kitchen.

Maybe you need to find your journal and write in it.

Maybe you need to look at the sky.

Maybe you need to remind yourself that you’re doing your best each and every day.

Maybe you need to sign up for Laura’s Authentic Wealth Creation for Women Only E-Course. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s not even ready yet.)

The thing is, asking yourself this one little question gets you out of your drama, your hurt and possible confusion. It can also help you heal.

So many times we’re too busy remembering our tale of woe, how life is passing us by, how blah blah blah. This question snaps off the circuit of repeated unhelpful thinking and ruminating. It’s even good to ask when things are going fine because asking this gets you in the present moment and aware.

Put it in your cell phone, write it in your agenda. Email yourself the question.

What do you need in this very moment? What would make you feel better right now?

What Really and Truly Keeps Women Away from Pay Parity

Okay. I’m warning you. This post is not politically correct.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading student blog posts. I really enjoyed that and got a better idea of what they think and how they think.

The big surprise to me was reading about women being marginalized. Some of these female students feel oppressed because they are female. The evidence they give is the statistic about women earning less than men for the same job.

It may be true that women often earn less than men for the same job, otherwise why would 75%  of the recent job cuts go to men? They’re more expensive.

The answer though is not really men oppressing women, as least in the United States.

I thought that poor horse had been pummeled to death already.

Consider the examples of how the following women treat themselves. I’m not condemning them, I used to do similar things myself. But, the fact is, in 2010 women still do things like….

– Make the beds for their teen-age sons.

– Divorce an alcoholic husband and then move in with an alcoholic boyfriend.

– Work 60 hours a week when paid for 40 hours, “because that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

– Put gasoline in the BMW while teenage son watches, listening to his Ipod.

– Won’t allow the husband to change diapers for the twins because he doesn’t do it right.

– Fail to take care of their health because they’re “too busy.”

Are you gonna tell me that these women are marginalized? Or are they marginalizing themselves?

I used to subordinate my input into daily decisions to my husband’s wishes on a regular basis. Just one example, I never thought of the income I earned as “mine” and never spent much of it on myself. The thing is, then I resented hardly ever having new clothes and was perpetually waiting for permission to buy them.

Now, there is a nobility in service to others. But only when it comes from joy and strength, not when one’s self-worth depends on outside approval.

If you don’t deeply value yourself, how can you expect others to value you? What do you think about this?

29 Things I Learned About Creating Wealth

Don’t confuse me with Suzy Orman. I’m an academic entrepreneur and coach and mom and a bit lazy but I do love creating wealth. Here are some random-but-important lessons I’ve learned along the way. You can share what you know by responding and make it better for everyone.

1. I am already wealthy. So are you. Even King Solomon did not have indoor plumbing, running hot water or coffee.

2. Creating wealth is a noble enterprise; it’s not the same as getting wealth.

3. Saving and investing each month is a healthy discipline.

4. You can be careful with your money and be high maintenance at the same time. (It just takes creativity!)

5. What you say about money affects your wealth.

6. Being truly happy for people who have even more than you do helps everyone.

7. Without extra cash, you can’t have much of an impact on the world.

8. Hiring people to help you helps them and the whole community.

9. Money is not evil.

10. I largely determine how much I get paid. You do the same.

11. Downtime is extremely valuable to me.

12. Money is replaceable; time is not.

13. Investing in yourself ALWAYS pays you back.

14. Choosing poverty is not necessarily a virtue.

15. Good health is a valuable form of wealth.

16. I constantly increase the value of my contribution to the world. Don’t you?

17. There is plenty of wealth on this planet for everyone.

18. Money favors speedy decisions.

19. A person can’t make and keep more money than she thinks she deserves.

20. Being calm and relaxed about your finances helps you build your wealth.

21. Everyone likes to buy stuff.

22. If you charge too little for your services, people are more likely to find fault with you.

23. There is always a market for Cartier.

24. Money flows toward confidence.

25. Knowledge is incredibly valuable.

26. If you don’t invest in yourself, then how can you expect others to do so?

27. It’s not about the numbers in your bank account; it’s how you feel about what you have.

28. Money is only one form of wealth.

29. Creating wealth is like playing a game.

What have you learned about creating wealth? Please share!

The Power of 7 Tiny Changes

I love tiny changes.  

They’re so doable, and can have such a big and immediate impact.

They’re really big with my clients, too. Yesterday one, we’ll call her Monica, was telling me about some teeny tiny changes she had made while taking my Choose Clarity and Confidence e-course last December.

She said, “I finally bought some accessories for the bathroom. For years I’ve been telling myself that I could live without them, so I never allowed myself to buy them.”

Fortunately, she had a bunch of coupons from Bed, Bath & Beyond so she purchased several items for a small amount of money. And 3 months later, she’s still happy with her bathroom. After buying the accessories, she was more inspired to organize her make-up and stuff. So one tiny change led to another, and now she gets to enjoy her lovely bathroom.

And you know what, she’s also gotten a lot of unexpected new business lately. Not bad!

We did some Tiny Changes in Passion Fruit Writing, but the most powerful thing of all about tiny changes is that you keep doing them. And they’re fun!

So, consider these tiny changes.

1. Upgrade your key chain.

A couple of days ago I noticed how pathetic my key chain for my house is. I have a lovely handmade key chain I bought in Venezuela for my office keys, and I enjoy seeing it every day. How many times do we have to look at our keys? So…that’s my tiny change for this week-end.

2. Buy a plant.

I bought a small orchid at Whole Foods at the end of December. It’s still blooming.

3. Buy a used not-fine-literature novel and read it in a coffee shop.

That suggestion comes from another client of mine. I’m going to find out what book she bought and see if I want to read it.

4. Visit Goodwill.

You never know. I found a set of great-looking furniture for my patio last week-end. If only the weather would warm up so I can use it! I also saw a set of golf clubs and a vacuum cleaner.

If you’re too cluttered, leave some stuff instead of buying more.

5. Bake something.

The act of creating is so rewarding, even if it’s as simple as baking chocolate chip cookies. If you’re on a diet, you could make a rich fruit salad, a super salad, or sorbet. (My buddy Sally’s been whipping up different fruit sorbets lately. She has a Kitchen-aid attachment for this.) I’m going to make gingerbread waffles tomorrow. YUM!

6. Clean out a closet.

Even though I just cleaned out my main closet a couple of weeks ago, I’m doing it again this week-end. Fortunately, that won’t take long and it’s so nice to look into an organized closet. I also tape up old vision boards in mine – just for fun. You can also put up art postcards in a closet.

7. Write a letter.

It’s especially nice to write notes on pretty stationery or post cards. Again, crafty Sally knows how to make post cards out of photographs and that’s so far out of my range. But, I do collect pretty stationery and post cards from museums. People LOVE getting a friendly note in the mail, don’t you?

What tiny changes are you making this week-end? Inquiring minds want to know. 😉

What Happens When You Take A Leap of Faith?

Sometimes it works out really well.

Other times,  not so well.

Most of the time, we talk ourselves out of taking that leap of faith. And we stay stuck.

Sometimes, there is just no way around it. Times when you’re almost forced to make that leap, although actually forcing someone to do something would then make it NOT a leap of faith.

Consider these times.

When you decide to marry someone.

Roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. Does that mean you should never get married. Some people have decided that yes, the divorce rate “proves” that marriage is out of date. So they live together.

For others, it just means we’re living long enough and have enough freedom to fail more often than in the past.

When you start your own business or foundation.

Starting any sort of venture requires a huge leap of faith because most likely it will fail. Does that mean no one should ever start a new enterprise?

Does the fact that most (I think 80%) restaurants fail  during their first year mean we should never open new restaurants?

However, when someone in their 50’s starts a new business, it has a much higher success rate than for younger entrepreneurs!

When you ask someone on a date.

I have no idea what the rejection rate is on this one. But it’s up there. What if we all decided never to ask a person on a date?

When you make a speech.

Most of your audience will not be listening to you. You may have to watch them texting, snoozing or staring out the window. Does that mean you should never make a presentation? Or the only people who should make presentations are those who really know what they’re doing? (Is there anyone in that category?)

When you buy an information product, like an e-course.

There are so many sham operations on the internet. How can you trust one provider over another? How do you know if this one will really work for you?

Here’s my take on taking leaps.

I believe in marriage, even though I’m divorced.

I’m grateful for people who start new restaurants, new organizations, new ways to help people (like microloans.)

I’m grateful for all the guys, even though there weren’t THAT many, who’ve asked me out on dates.

I encourage everyone to hone their presentation skills. The power of public speaking is there for you and I’ve seen the lives of my clients transform when they become strong speakers.

I am SO GRATEFUL to Christine Kane, who offered me a opportunity to transform my own life, when I signed up for her e-seminar two years ago. I had no idea if it would work, fortunately she guaranteed my happiness with the product.

I really had no idea that I could enjoy life as much as I do these days. Even my kids comment on how much happier mom is.

That’s why I developed Passion Fruit Living, the e-seminar. And I hope that the next time it’s available, next month, you’ll take a leap of faith and invest in yourself by trying it.