How to Develop Risk Taking Skills

ADVENTUROUS THINKING IS A CHOICE

We have opportunities to take risks every day, to explore something or someone new, and to expand our concept of our current reality. As an entrepreneur for 20+ years, living in the gray zone of curious expectation is my norm. Even though I usually have clients booked about two weeks out, I do not worry about money.  By continuing to provide relevant and transformative services, I know from experience that the Universe will take care of me. Of course I also have an extensive savings system set up to ensure that I will be able to cover my bills. This combination of cultivating my gifts, continually reaching new audiences and trusting that the right clients will find me has allowed me to do what I love, confident that the money will follow.


Living in the gray area, or that place of not knowing, has a certain freedom, excitement and wonderment to it – if you can fight your resistance and fear.


OVERCOMING FEAR
What is fear really about? Fear is that place of not knowing what’s going to happen. Fear is that feeling that you are out of control. Fear is a concern that an outside force will somehow impact your reality.
In fact all of those things are true: we do not know what’s going to happen, we are not in control and outside forces can and will impact our reality on a regular basis. We are simply under the illusion that the secure job, insurance policy, dependable spouse or days spent at the gym will promise us health, wealth and security.
We can consciously cultivate flexibility in our bodies and minds.  This expansive nature will allow our bodies and minds to be responsive to the winds of change. Every day, we can cultivate our fluid consciousness by taking physical and mental steps towards receptivity and celebratory joy.

BECOMING MORE FLEXIBLE
What kind of steps can you take to expand your world? Think about the last time someone invited you to do something new or you encountered an idea that perhaps conflicted with what you already know. What was your initial reaction?
For many of us, our initial response is often a resounding NO! No to the new, no to the unknown, no to the unexpected plan, no to change. However, after some quiet time, a decent cup of coffee, and a stretching of the body and mind, we can revisit the ‘intruder’ and gradually allow it into our lives. Once we take the first step towards embracing that innovative concept, unknown friend or unexpected opportunity, we can usually wrap our minds around learning more.

In order to cultivate your experiential flexibility, consciously decide to learn something new, talk a stranger or explore an unknown food, event or podcast each day.

TOO BUSY SYNDROME
You may be saying, who has time for all that? I have to balance my job, my family, buying groceries, making dinner and running my house. I understand. I.m married and have a son, I run my own business, I exercise on a daily basis and I’m currently writing a book. So how can we find time to invite novel experiences into our lives?
Consciously. Actively. Gratefully.
Just this morning, wanting to exercise and learn something new, I walked for an hour in 26° Chicago weather and listened to a Roberto Blake podcast.  I recently discovered Roberto’s YouTube channel: Always Be Creating – Roberto Blake, which has 1000’s of videos about creativity, personal branding, scaling your products/services and living a successful and balanced life as a creative. For me, discovering Roberto’s site and his abundant resources was like winning the lottery!

Make a list of ways you can invite revitalizing content, people, or experiences into your life.

Decide today to begin chipping away at any notions or choices that may be limiting your possibilities.  Commit to a mindful practice of curating your day, your month, and your future.  Fight against resistance and any stagnant forces that might be holding you back.

You deserve to have a flexible, relaxing, and responsive reality that opens you up for creative empowerment and joy.  If you would like individual coaching or to participate in Women’s Empowerment Workshops that will give you tools and skills to:  EXPLORE, CREATE, MAP OUT and IMPLEMENT your plan, join us at www.ToolsForReinvention.com.

Advertisements

Unearthing the Stories Within

live mic image

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but lately I’ve begun to feel invisible. At 53 years old, my natural brown hair has a funky flair to it. Due to tons of time at the gym and strict vegetarianism, I can still wear a swimsuit with pride.

Even so, for reasons I don’t understand, I go through entire days as a bystander.  It’s like I have become a trope – a cliche version of myself that even I don’t recognize.  To the external eye, I live the live the life of a suburban mom – driving a Jeep Compass, dropping my kid off at school, and spending my days writing a book on Experiments in Living in Starbucks.

“This is not who I really am!” I want to shout to anybody who will listen, “I am more than my current life!”.

In an effort to take my written words to the stage, I sign up for Storytelling and Improvisation Classes.  I get vintage glasses and some funky overalls. I begin performing at open mics.  Just going out at night is an exciting diversion from my old life of shuttling my kid around and cooking dinner while listening to Marketplace.

Going to clubs alone, surrounded by strangers, I just want to be Victoria. I don’t tell people I am married and a mom.  These forays into my new world are like a beacon drawing me towards the not-so-distant future when my kid will leave for college.  My true self keeps calling me, waking me up at night, tugging on my shirt tails and begging to be heard.

Up until recently, I’d been stuck in this almost-done-parenting and getting-through-the winter mode. Comfort had become my main priority.  On any given day, my survivalist uniform was made up of: yoga pants, tank tops covered by hoodies, plastic/fleece-lined clogs, hip-hop head wraps around my Jewish Afro and a beaded choker.

Entire days would pass where my only interaction would be with a barista. On rare occasions, my teen son would grunt a one word response in my direction. Our conversations revolved around who would use the car and when, or how annoying it was that I was asking him yet another question. I found these conversations just as exhausting as he did.

My daily thoughts toggled between memories or themes I wanted to incorporate into my stories and how much I wanted to be done with parenting.

Looking at the calendar now, I see we have 5 more months until my son starts college.  5 months feels like an eternity.  Jumping off that cliff will be both terrifying and exhilarating.  Either way, I know I will discover iterations yet unknown in the process.

For now, stuck in that in-between space and ready to launch, all I can do is write, reflect, think and plan.  Tectonic plates are shifting – in my body, in my apartment and in my family.  New Victoria is begging for air time, as the threads connecting her to her previous identity slowly unravel and she emerges stronger than before.

I finally realize that the person I want to notice me is me. Walking onto the stage, I hold a live mic in my hand and begin the courageous journey of telling my story.

 

 

Stepping into Your Power

Perhaps you’ve been waking up early, driven by some nascent desire to weave your wisdom together into a legacy.  Who are you to have a “legacy”?  You are the culmination of all that you have seen, experienced, created and lived, that’s who.

If you find yourself drifting off, wondering about the purpose of your life so far and how you will incorporate this body of knowledge into your current reinvention, this article is for you.

Radical Shifting Undercurrents Lead to Synthesis

At 49, I learned how to drive a motorcycle and took it out into the mountains west of Seattle. Speeding down country roads at 60 mph, I began to see possibilities stretch out before me….

(Trust your visions for the future, even when they are in the embryo stage.)

At 50, I got the courage to enroll in writing classes and dedicated space for listening to my own voice. I began the process of writing my inspirational and practical articles about “Experiments in Living – Tools for Reinvention”. After moving to Chicago, I started the Midlife Reflections for Women Meet Up Group, which eventually grew to have 76 members and a vibrant community of evolving sisters.

Inspired by locker room chats with women in transition, one day I just posted my idea for a Meet Up group online.  Within 48 hours, 60 women had signed up! Like hanging on to the back of a dragonfly, I ran with the idea and discovered how to lead our growing group by osmosis.

(Listening to and trusting our intuition is a skill we can cultivate.)

At 51, I began to embrace my own empowerment and experience a new level of prosperity. After 20+ years as a Writer + Life/Career Coach, it hit me that I had literally coached 1000’s of clients on their journeys towards clarity, balance and synthesis.  I had (and have) a gift for helping clients unearth and move forward towards realizing their life’s work.

(Our true insights/abilities linger beneath the surface – we just have to “see” them.)

Now, at 53, after hearing how my pragmatic/soulful solutions inspire others and effect change, I feel called to teach large numbers of people how to integrate Creativity + Prosperity, Intuition + Logic. By creating the Tools for Reinvention – Experiments in Living Course,  I finally give voice to my late night ramblings.  I accept my role as a Pragmatic Mystic.

(From a seed to a forest, the process of listening to our inner callings and cultivating our visions is our “spiritual homework”.  Exploring our passions takes courage, but it is worth it.  Taking this Road Less Traveled can bring us unexpected joy, integration and satisfying, “full circle” moments.)

Freedom to experiment, evolve, grow, risk, climb, question and synthesize.

Do you have dreams that feel completely out of reach?  Do you ever wonder how you can go from your current iteration to a new version of your evolved self?  There are practical/creative tools that will help you access your innate gifts and incorporate them into a total reinvention.

 

Each experience in our lives leads us to the next.  The path to our futures has been laid before us.  All we have to do is show up and take the first step.

From Sidelines to Center Stage.

“In order to become leaders, we need to have faith in ourselves. We need to inspire people and share the confidence we have in our own abilities. We need to swallow our fears and begin to make decisions based on our visions and goals.” Sue Shellenbarger – The Breaking Point

In this moment, I give you permission to make your own mark on the world, to create the reality that you dream of living, and to unearth your true potential.  You may not feel that you need permission, but many of us do.  We are so responsible in our lives, after all.  The journey towards self exploration feels like something we should have done at some earlier point.

It is not too late.  In fact, it is exactly the right time.  The world needs to hear what you have to say about business, politics, health, philanthropy, the arts or your community,  Perhaps there is another topic or cause that reappears during your quiet reflection, when your family is fed, the bills are paid, and the kitchen sink is clean.

Stop.  Listen.  Engage.  Act.  

Today is the day to step into your power and unleash the dragon within.  Add your voice to the choir.  Don’t worry about the outcome or the long term implications.  Just trust in yourself and in the process.  Know that you are a seed about to grow into a forest.

Tools for Reinvention Course

 

 

 

 

 

Joy Ride

Vic on Gypsy Motorcycle

“There is no bad weather, just bad gear.” said by many Seattle-ites

Keeping this in mind, I put on my dark brown Frye Boots, heavy black sweat pants, two hoodies and a black army-navy surplus outer shell. I strap on my sparkly orange helmet and lined gloves, swing one leg over the leather seat and mount my Suzuki TS250X. It is a cold but sunny Sunday and I have a rare 6 hours free.

Sudden October winds almost push me off of Green Bay Road, and into the oncoming traffic, as yellow and orange leaves swirl down onto the road ahead of me. “All Things Considered” streams into my white earbuds, as I drive further and further north, away from my gorgeous but draining home.

“The Field Museum will sponsor a lecture about the shrinking bee population world-wide, and how this has affected pollination and reduced crop yields”, and then, “The Ebola virus has come to America and the implications are frightening,”

The silver gas tank warms the inside of my thighs as I speed up, hitting the open road. Mile by mile, I increase the distance between my body and mind and the city. Somebody, somewhere, has a wood stove or a fireplace working, and I peal through a short corridor of distant smoke.

“According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this winter in Chicago could be even colder than last, with record-breaking temperatures.”

I wonder why I always listen to NPR, a constant stream of words and ideas, many of them negative and fearful, and about things I can’t even control anyway.

Here it is early October, and just last night we had snow and freezing temperatures. It feels as if the city is standing on a precipice, staring down into a canyon of fear about the future: cold, broke, sick, under or unemployed, mad about government policies and spending, afraid of drive-by’s and concealed weapons and worried about saving up enough money for Christmas.

Hand on throttle, wind slipping in under my plastic face shield, loud noise of the engine drowning on the radio as I accelerate, I balance myself on the bike and speed off into the unknown, away from mini-malls, mail boxes with overdue bills and a sink full of dirty dishes.

On the bike, I am a solo traveler, an adventurer out for a weekend ride, a dark-clad image speeding through small towns and down country roads, a kind stranger who is up for anything.