Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Authentic Self.....

One morning last weekend while sipping coffee with my husband I announced my intention to  work on "being my authentic self." 
Looking both amused and confused he asked "and what is that?"
We have been married over 20 years.  He knows me all too well.
I am a Gen Xer obsessed with "self-improvement."
The Purpose Driven Life.  The Power of Now.  The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.  (Yes, I bought a Dr. Laura book. Don't judge.)
I'm pretty sure he was getting ready to hear all about the latest self help strategy I bought into.  I drank the self improvement kool-aide pretty consistently in the 90's so jumping back on the band wagon wouldn't surprise him.
"Well," I said "to work at being my authentic self I need to honor four things in my life." That was the hook. He was intrigued.  He was hanging on my every word.
"I need to be happy, healthy, adventurous and productive every single day. I owe it to myself to be these things everyday, all day.  It is my responsibility to ask myself if I am practicing these four things." He didn't have to say it. I just saw the look on his face and it said "what does that even mean?"
  • HAPPY: It's an attitude.  It's my energy.  It's my thoughts. I can practice  happy.  Smiling makes me happy.  Laughing is a huge happy boost. 
  • HEALTHY:  I know what makes me feel horrible.  Sugar binging, not enough sleep, not working out, not stretching in the morning, not drinking enough water. Reminding myself I'm not honoring my "authentic self" if I engage in unhealthy habits motivates me (or guilts me, not sure which one it is.)
  • ADVENTUROUS:  This is simple adventure. I don't have the time or resources to trot around the globe and do really cool things (yet.)  Just trying a new restaurant is fun. Going to a comedy improv show is a kick!   Cooking new foods.  These are things that get me out of my comfort zone. 
  • PRODUCTIVE: I need to move.  I need to improve.  I need to participate.  Being productive means I'm making an effort.  It could be in my business, my marriage, my family, my home, my hobbies, my friendships.  If I am not engaged then I am not productive. My authentic self craves productivity. 
So there it is. My authentic self...for now.  Pretty sure these things will change. In the meantime, I am giving thought and taking action to stay on a path that makes me feel balanced. 
Take that Oprah!    -Monica

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chasing the Dream.....

No risk, no gain.
I kept reminding myself this as I signed page after page of business loan documents the other day. 
I know what it feels like to be "all in" and I don't even play poker. 
I decided to be an entrepreneur and not a wantrepreneur so I left a good job in the city (actually it was at a casino) to start a new life selling lotion.
That was seven years ago.
I am on my second business loan to consolidate debt and infuse growth capital.
I know the meaning of "it takes money to make money" so I borrow more money to chase the American dream.
If you ever wondered how you were going to pay the bills AND yourself, you know my pain.
If you are both thrilled and terrified, you must be on the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride. 
Starting, building and running Sister Sky has been my passion. 
Perhaps I have been extremely determined or stubborn to a fault.
Regardless, I have gotten up when knocked down, kept asking when told "no" and figured out another way when something wasn't working.
I keep chasing the dream because I believe "hard work will pay off."
I continue to take the risk because I simply can't turn the lights off on my dream.
Mostly I want to proudly say to myself  "Wow....I really did it."
No risk, no gain.  I am all in!   -Monica