Week 20 and keeping organized.

beach sunrise

My makeover word for this week is ‘well-organized’ and it’s been a bit of a challenge.

It’s a special time as I have my sisters visiting and it’s been almost two years since we’ve all been together. And of course, they’re traveled half-way around the globe to get here.  So the challenge is to spend quality time with them and also keep up with my responsibilities with MKE and my business.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that I’m not as stressed about these type of situations as I have been in the past. I’ve learned to expect good outcomes; solutions will present themselves without a lot of over-thinking and micro-managing or worry.

And for the most part, this has continued to be true.  But I’ve had to make some choices.  And our current scroll has helped with it’s focus on living for the day.  What’s more important?  Spending time with my sisters or on my other responsibilities?  Well, family wins out this time but it also doesn’t need to be a ‘one or the other’ decision.  I get up a bit earlier and try to fit things in but it may not all be completed.  And I’m ok with that. I’ve made the choice, will live the day to the fullest, and continue to expect good outcomes and solutions to all challenges that present themselves the next day.

All the best for a great week!


Week 19 and living life to the max …

nepal trip 1

This photo is me at the summit of Kala Patthar, Nepal.  At 5,644.5 m, it’s the highest that I’ve ever been (without the aid of an airplane).  It was an exhausting climb, but worth it for the view of Everest behind me.  I’ve been looking at this photo a lot because I’ll be doing another Himalayan trek this April.  But I’m also thinking about how long ago this last trip took place and also how long since I last went adventuring.  Why had I let so many of the things that bring me to life just … disappear.  That’s why the current chapter of Mandino means so much.

This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity.  I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death.  I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day …

Here’s to making each day count and not putting off the things that make our hearts sing.  All the best for a great week!

Week 18 and some thoughts about discipline …


My makeover word this week was ‘Discipline’ and initially I had a hard time observing it, let alone implementing it meaningfully in my life.  After a sit, I realized that I was attaching some negative connotations to the word.  As in ‘being disciplined’ – it was a punishment.  No wonder I was experiencing so much resistance!

But someone (and I wish I could remember who, so I could thank them!) suggested that discipline is actually a choice.

So, now when I think of discipline I think of joyfully choosing my path to the future that I want.  So much easier to implement!

And with the new scroll, I’m constantly reminded about choices.

Procrastination I will destroy with action; doubt I will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence.

Lots of choices, to be joyfully made.

All the best for a great week ahead.


Week 17HJ and saying good bye …


No, I’m not leaving the program!  But I am trying to say goodbye to my old self and my old way of doing things.

At the beginning of the program, over 18 weeks ago, the decision to commit, to be all in, seemed like a no-brainer – I knew that things had to change.  But I seriously underestimated the difficulty of letting go, of moving forward to be better, happier, more fulfilling life.  And just reading this last sentence, makes me wonder at the absurdity of the resistance.  So many wonderful things have happened!  Why am I not running forward open-armed to my future?

In our last webinar, Mark talked about the 4 stages of death and that has explained some of the difficulties.

  1. Denial.  This is shown by not doing the exercises faithfully or by doing them grudgingly.
  2. Anger. Mostly shown by resentment of different aspects of the program or finding fault.
  3. Grief. Feeling sad, lost.  Needing to re-write the DMP and wondering if the need is due to more insight into what is required to move forward with goals or not putting enough effort into achieving them.  Increased doubt about the opportunities that are opening up in front of us.  And, for me, also eating more comfort food!
  4. Acceptance. Moving forward joyfully.

I’m on the verge of leaving grief and moving to acceptance.  I’ve embraced the latest opportunity that came my way and it’s provided a road map of my next steps forward in my business goals.  And the phrase from scroll three, is uppermost in my mind:

… one step at a time is not too difficult.

It’s enough.

All the best for the coming week!

Week 17 and a few thoughts about courage

courage elizabeth-s-rowell-mattheson

This week my focus has been on courage.  And I had some confusion about what I would consider courageous acts.  Saving someone from an oncoming train (how many opportunities for that occurs in your day?)?  What are the small every day courageous acts that one can perform?

I met with a new friend for coffee earlier in the week.  She is a successful lawyer with her own firm, well-spoken, fashionably lovely, and self-assured.  We started talking about self-confidence and I was surprised that this is something that she struggles with every day.  Her default blueprint is to people-please (same as me). And so we constantly try to project an image of what we should be or what people think a successful women should be: attractive (but not too attractive), self-assured (but not arrogant).  And the list of constraints goes on.  It’s restricting and it’s exhausting.  And more importantly, it stops us from being all that we can be.

So for me an everyday act of courage is to accept myself – wrinkles, grey hair, and the stack of accomplishments that I’ve written out on my index cards.  To look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, focus on my achievements, and say ‘I love you’ to my image and mean it.  To focus on my plan of action, and find a way forward that I can be enthusiastic about and not care if it fits in with other people’s expectations.

And maybe save a person from an oncoming train if the situation arises.


Week 16: kindness and some time for reflection

reflecting ball

Week two on the Franklin makeover and the focus has been on kindness.  I’ve loved this week because the mandate on submitting our daily acts of kindness (ours and observed) on the Alliances webpage has made a real difference to me.  I’m generally reluctant to engage with people I don’t know.  And I know that this holds me back from making some real progress in changing blueprints that don’t aid me.  But adding my kindnesses, commenting on other’s acts of kindness, and receiving comments on my own has made me feel like a useful and valued member of this community.  And  it’s made it a little bit easier to engage in other endeavors.  And of course the big payoff is to see the world around me as a much kinder place.

I took some time this week to reflect on my own changes over the course of the program.  People have asked if I noticed a difference and because the changes have been so gradual I wasn’t sure.  Until I thought back to the beginning and the assignment that gave me the most challenge — the Press Release.  It took me almost three weeks to write it because I couldn’t conceive that I could be the person that I needed to become in order to meet my goals and dreams.  That person was a complete stranger.

I’m not sure which of the daily habits contributed the most: reading my DMP three times a day, reading the achievement and gratitude cards, looking at my dreamboard/movie trailer, doing the weekly services (and reliving the feeling of success), listening to my soundtrack, or a combination of all them.  Whatever — it’s working.  I am that person in my press release.

Week 15 and a great start to the new year


Last week was a little shaky but one of the good things about persistence (or stubbornness – you choose) is learning from mistakes and getting back into the game.  So I’m back.

A few months back I received a wonderful gift – a perpetual calendar ‘Notes from the Universe’.  I have chosen the note for January 1st as my focus for the year.

When in doubt, show up early.  Think less.  Feel more. Ask once.  Give thanks.  Expect the best.  Appreciate everything.  Never give up.  Make it fun.  Lead.  Invent.  Regroup.  Wink.  Chill. Smile.  And live as if your success was inevitable.

Such a great summary of what we’ve been learning for the past few months.

Week 14 and more on persistence

Your daily routine matters.

It was a hard week – hard in the sense that I was a bit lost.  At this point in my journey I need to keep busy.  Because if I relax, my tendency is to submerge in distractions.  It’s the type of distraction that stifles creativity and positive thought.  And that’s what happened this week.  It was the holidays and I wanted a break.  So I dropped some of my routine.  First I ignored one of the readings, then it was a sit and a reading.  Then a couple more, all with perfect rationalizations.

Well, it’s near the end of the week and I’m slowly getting back on track.  I learned a valuable lesson.  My routines are important.  At this point they may be the most important and perhaps the only things that are keeping me on track.  They are what makes persistence possible. At least for now.

And I finally get why the first scroll is all about forming habits and routine. Duh!

Week 13 and some thoughts on resistance

woman boxin

Wow, sometimes I think that I’m insane.  How else can you explain the doubts and backsliding and resistance that I’m experiencing when the past couple of weeks have seen so much progress towards my DMP goals?  And especially when I have personal evidence that the process is working?

It was when I resumed reading ‘Mastery’ by George Leonard that I got a few answers.  Homeostasis.  The tendency of the body to return to a state of balance.  I am well aware of the process in physiological terms.  But I hadn’t realized that it also applies to our emotional life, our psyche, and our behaviour.  In this case, balance refers to normal or the old way of doing things or our blueprint.  So, as we try to create our new normal, there will be resistance to this change.

Fortunately, he also lists some ways of overcoming the resistance.

  1. Being aware of how homeostasis works.  Expect resistance and backlash. It’s normal – not an sign that you’re hopeless.
  2. Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change.  This might mean accepting one step backward for every step forward. Even with one backward step there is still forward movement.  And be persistent – where have we heard that before?
  3. Develop a support system – like a mastermind partner. The best support system involves people who are going through a similar process, can brace you when you are backsliding and encourage you when you don’t.
  4. Follow a regular practice.  Law of growth, law of practice.
  5. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning.  He states that the best learning of all involves learning how to learn which is essentially how to change.  The lifelong learner has learned how to deal with homeostasis (or resistance), simply because they have been doing it all the time.

I realize that my fight involves shutting down the inner critic when it’s being vicious instead of helpful, believing wholeheartedly in the process, and establishing my new normal.  I know that my belief is there and I’m on my way to my new normal.

Week 12: Persistence and a tingly moment …

one step

I’ve been really enjoying reading scroll 3 on persistence.  The images that the words evoke are really powerful.

The prizes of life are given at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal.

And …

I am like the raindrop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours a tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid.

That all it takes is one step at a time, no matter how small.

But … as was brought home in our webinar, persistence is not just hanging in there or keeping on doing the same thing (and expecting a different outcome).  Persistence must be coupled with observing our environment, listening to the world within, and then acting on the opportunities provided to us.  Otherwise stated as in the Master Keys as: knowledge of your power, the courage to dare, and the faith to act.

Which leads me to my tingly experience.  One of my goals in my DMP is to have more opportunities to give workshops and webinars.  My expectations were maybe a couple of local seminars that I would host.  But last week a former colleague got in touch and invited me to speak at an international forum in India next year — kind of my goal but times ten and on steroids!  Normally, I would have hesitated accepting the offer (time and resources) but I had already planned to be in India as I have booked a trekking trip to the Indian Himalayas.  The forum ends just a couple of days before the start of the trek and is in the same city that we start our trek on!  And I had originally booked my trek a couple of months ago as a show of faith that my goals on my DMP are a foregone conclusion.

It’s like the Universe is telling me – well, I’ve given you what you asked for (and then some).  Do you have the guts to follow through?

Heck, yeah!