Setting Limits: Say Yes to Yourself and No When Needed

Read any magazine article or book about parenting and the author will advise the necessity of setting limits for children. “Set limits and stick to them,” parents are counseled. Limits create structure and discipline! 

But for women—especially those who tend to view other people’s needs and wants as more important than their own—setting limits (saying no) is more than an exercise in discipline; it’s a vital component in good self-care. 

I absolutely love this quiz question paraphrased from the work of Christine Kane and if you have trouble saying no you will probably love it too….. 

A parent you don’t know that well in your child’s class has been asking you and your husband to go to dinner. She is a completely lovely person but you haven’t really bonded with her. One morning your cell phone rings and even though you do not know the number you answer anyway and it’s her and she invites you out for Saturday night……

Do you:

A.Think to yourself, “Darn why did I answer my cell phone! Then say “ok, what time?” And then dread the weekend not to mention your husband is irritated because he doesn’t really want to go.

B.Say “um no I can’t we will be out of town” then fear running into her at the grocery store this weekend while reminding yourself not to answer numbers you don’t know!

C.Genuinely thank her for the invitation. Then find the clearest and most compassionate language to let her know you’ve been so busy that you haven’t even had time for the friends you’ve known for many years, and kindly turn down the invitation and invite her to a girls night to get to know her better?

D.Feign a lost cell phone connection, slap the phone shut and transfer your child to another school.   

If you answered A, B or D then you are a little like me it’s really hard to say “no” gracefully and set limits. Ok so that is a  funny example but what if the person is asking  you to do something really worthy like volunteer for a great cause? If it is not on your priority list you still need to say no gracefully and give YOURSELF grace and credit for honoring your priorities.

Consider Georgia. Her calendar is filled with one family event after another. A niece’s graduation followed by a great-uncle’s 75th birthday party followed by a tea her mother planned for an old family friend. Much as she loves her family, enough is enough. After a day at work and meeting her immediate family’s needs, she has hardly any time left for herself. 

Or Sara whose boss scarcely gives her time to complete one project before he lays on another. Then another. Work is so backlogged Sara stays at the office every night till past nine and goes in on weekends as well.

Stephanie’s husband helped her build a studio for her photography in the garage then stored his fishing gear willy-nilly in whatever cabinet or cupboard he wanted.

 By not setting limits, Georgia, Sara and Stephanie are letting the needs and wants of others to come before their own well-being.

Sometimes it’s difficult to learn to care for ourselves as much as we care for others. Especially if we feel uncomfortable or guilty saying “no.” We may fear losing someone or something if we set limits on how much time we can give or work we can handle or if we claim space for ourselves. But always giving in to the requests or demands of others is plowing a field where resentments take seed. And failing to assert our needs and wants or to stand up for ourselves is disregarding our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

 Far from being selfish and mean, setting limits is a healthy act of self-respect.

 Taking a firm stand might be difficult at first. But by being calm, clear and direct—and without intentionally stepping on anybody’s toes—you can learn how to set limits and create the kind of balance in your life that honors your own needs and wants.

 For Georgia, it meant coming up with compromises—she’d attend the great-uncle’s birthday party but drew the line at the niece’s graduation and her mother’s tea. Sara had to explain to her boss that it was impossible to do the kind of job the boss expected if she wasn’t allowed ample time to complete a project. Stephanie offered to help build additional storage space in the garage for her husband’s fishing equipment.

In each of these scenarios, far from losing something or someone they valued, by setting limits Georgia, Sara and Stephanie got what they wanted or needed, took good care of themselves and in the process gained a healthy amount of self-respect.

Here’s to you honoring your priorities and setting healthy limits and to all your possibilities!

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration and how-to solutions to women of faith. As an author, certified coach and life/balance expert, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other women to stop settling, balance their unique lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. She speaks Spanish with a southern twang, holds a MA in International Communication, is mom to twin boys age 5, wife to her fun Ecuadorian husband, Co-President of Femfessionals Miami and  loves to volunteer with non-profits she holds dear. Find her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities and Twitter @CoachDixie

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications

The Women Who DO Have It All Series

I’m starting a new series to feature women who are jumping out of their comfort zones, happy womanachieving great goals, living by faith and having it all their way!  Is there such a thing as life balance and having it all? I think so as long as you are true to you. This series is not a one size fits all, just like life is different for us all! I hope these stories written in each woman’s own voice will inspire you and propel you to your greatness.  I did not change anything they submitted to me so the interviews below are pure, authentic to the women who wrote them, some answers are funny, some practical, some poignant, and it is my greatest hope that you will read the stories and find something in each one to inspire you to live your “have it all” dream! Here’s to all YOUR possibilities! And here’s to Brenda, Sara and Ashley for putting themselves out there to help other women find their “balance” through faith! I hope you will also look up their on-line businesses and support their fabulous work, they are truly gems! If you know of anyone to be featured in this series be sure to get in touch with me, I love to hear from my readers!

 

Ashley Cueto, Coral Gables, FL

Give a short background on you (include a brief sentence on your faith)….

 I was born & raised right here in Miami, FL.  I am actually a 3rd generation Miami native, which is, as you know, extremely rare around these parts!  I have one younger brother who is 5 years my junior.  I have been married almost 18 years and have 3 children ages 5, 11, and 13.  I was raised in a Congregational church (United Church of Christ) and have been a member of the First United Methodist Church for the past 3 years.

Tell me about your business.

 First & foremost, I am a stay-at-home mother.  But as the children have gotten older, I have had a strong desire to want to do something of my own.  Therefore I joined the renowned company of Stella & Dot and am now an independent stylist.

Why did you start your business?

I have been a long time customer of Stella & Dot and had toyed with the idea of becoming a stylist for the past couple of years.  I waited so long to join this amazing company simply because I wanted to make sure I could give it my all.  I never jump into things if I am not sure I can devote ample attention to them.  But with my youngest child in school all day, I felt that it was finally the right time to go all in.

How do you describe your life balance?

 Wow!  This is a tough question for most women.  Balance is something mothers usually struggle with.  Fortunately, I have always been a pretty balanced individual.  Moderation in ALL things has always been my m.o.  Personally I try to divide up my day into many different parts.  Mornings usually consist of checking/answering emails, reading blogs while sipping my morning coffee, tidying up the house and making it to the gym at least 3 x’s per week.  Afternoons consist of running errands, picking up kids from school & shuffling them to their respective activities.  Lastly, evenings are all about homework, dinner and the usual nightly routines.  The nature of my business does not consist of much work outside of when I am actually having trunk shows.  I would also like to add that I have volunteered, in some capacity, in my children’s schools as well as in the community.

What does “having it all” mean to you?

 Hmmmm…having it all.  Is there such a thing?  I’ve heard it said before:  “Women CAN have it all…just not at the same time.”  I believe this to be true.  I feel that as women, we go through many “seasons” during our lifetimes.  Throughout the span of one’s lifetime, I believe many goals can be achieved.  But to have them all simultaneously would be unrealistic; something always has to “give”.  One area will always be lacking.  I feel that I already “have it all”.  I am blessed to have three healthy and happy children.  I always hoped I would be able to be a stay-at-home-mom and God has made that a reality – and for that, I am eternally grateful.

What does success look like to you in life?

 Success, to me, pretty much goes hand in hand with my previous answer.  I feel successful when I see how happy and well-adjusted my children are.  It doesn’t equate to money for me.  If I can raise these children to be polite, courteous and grateful for everything they have, then I will have succeeded at my “job”.  (**obviously, it goes without saying, their father will have taken much of the credit for this also.)

Did you ever want to quit?  What did that look like to you?

Do I ever want to quit?  No.  Since I have only been with this company for the last 3 months, I am still in the exciting stage!  Ask me this question again in a year.  ;-)

Were or are you ever afraid and how did/do you handle it?

I was a bit hesitant to go into the “direct sales” business because, by nature, I am not very aggressive.  I consider myself to be an “outgoing introvert”.  Therefore, having to get out there to try and book shows outside of my immediate circle of family and friends was a bit intimidating.  As a matter of fact, it still is!  I am a work in progress.  Selling the jewelry is the easy part!  But having to put myself out there is always a little tough for me.  I am not pushy at all and I guess, deep down, I have a fear of rejection. 

What are some of the biggest obstacles you have overcome and how did you do it?

 One of my biggest obstacles when I first began Stella & Dot was, believe it or not, computer skills/proficiency.  SO embarrassing!  Sure, I could send an email and perform other basic computer skills.  But after being a S.A.H.M. for the past 13+ years, I was sorely lacking in that department!  I handled it by hitting my head against the wall a few times until I got it.  Perseverance, I guess!

**Sadly, I still don’t know how to scan a document.  Pathetic, I know.  :(

Who is your role model or mentor?

 My biggest role model – hand’s down – is my grandfather.  I am so fortunate to still have him in my life.  He is still a spring chicken at the age of 91!  I receive emails from him on practically a daily basis.  He is a self taught man.  There is NOTHING that he couldn’t teach himself, regardless of his age.  He bought his first PC about 10-15 years ago and he was determined to learn how to use it.  Now he even has an iPad!  Being a WWII vet who was shot down in a fighter jet not only once – but TWICE – I suppose he has a different mentality than most.  His determination and willpower must stem from surviving such atrocities.  Whenever I feel like complaining about my circumstances, I always remember what he went through (and so many others).  I instantly snap back to reality and remind myself that things can ALWAYS be worse.  Also, I tell myself that if he can still be learning new things at his age, then I can certainly do the same! He is truly an inspiration

How does your faith play out in your decision to pursue your dream?

 Jesus Christ is the center of my world.  My faith in Him has really solidified over the past couple of years.  Before I looked to Him for guidance, I was an anxiety-ridden mess.  I have always been a “believer”, but hadn’t put Him at the forefront of my life.  Since doing so, and recommitting to my faith, I go through life much more at ease.  I no longer feel that I must shoulder my burdens all on my own.  Knowing that He is in control at ALL times is so comforting.  One of my favorite Bible verses is:  “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.”  ~ Phillipians 4:13.

I have made it my personal motto.  When faced with something challenging or intimidating, I simply recite this verse in my head and am immediately put at ease. 

What “no’s” have you said to others to pursue your dream?

 Learning to say “no” has been a tough lesson to learn.  By nature, I am a “people pleaser”.  It is always my first instinct to want to help out in any way I can.  But when I become overly committed, I become overwhelmed, and frankly, downright cranky to live with (ask my hubs)!  Since turning 40 last year, I feel less of a need to say “yes” to everything.  It’s very liberating! ;-) I am only volunteering for things that have personal meaning for me and that don’t interfere with my family life.  Regarding my dream, it really doesn’t apply to my situation, because with Stella & Dot you can put in as much (or as little) time as you want!

Tell me one funny fact about you

Sadly I have no funny facts.  :(

Tell me where to find you…. how my readers can shop with you connect with you anything you want them to know etc….

 You can find me at my link:  www.stelladot.com/ashleycueto

 

Brenda Rodgers, High Point, NC

 

Give a short background on you (include a brief sentence on your faith)….

My name is Brenda. I am a former elementary school teacher who now works from home as an independent consultant for Rodan and Fields Dermatologists. My husband and I have been married for five years, and we have a one-year-old little girl. I have a passion for mentoring young adult women, and my ministry is as a Christian writer and blogger. 

Tell me about your business.

Rodan and Fields Dermatologists is a top-selling clinical skincare brand developed by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the creators of Proactiv Solutions. The doctors wanted to do for aging what Proactiv Solutions did for teenage acne. Rodan and Fields skincare used to be sold in high-end department stores until the company wanted to make the products more accessible to all customers. It is the first skincare line to leave the department stores and enter into direct selling. Now independent consultants all over the country are a part of this billion dollar brand and have the opportunity to create a direct selling business with a prestigious product.

Rodan and Fields Dermatologists sells four regimens of skincare to treat common issues adults have with their skin: Redefine for aging, Unblemish for adult acne, Reverse for sun damage, and Soothe for sensitive skin.

Why did you start your business?

When I had my baby girl, it was my conviction and goal to be at home with her full-time. However, I wanted to help my husband by continuing to contribute to our household income. While at a Christian writing conference, I met a woman who shared my same story. She was a Christian writer, but also a stay-at-home mom, and she was earning some residual income with Rodan and Fields. After talking with her, knowing her reputation, and learning that she runs her direct sales business based on my same Christian values, I decided to join her team.

How do you describe your life balance?

Life balance is always a struggle! With a little one, no two days are alike, and that makes routines and schedules difficult! Most of my work is done during her two nap times or after she goes to bed at night. I also try to limit computer time on the weekends. One benefit about Rodan and Fields is that it is a completely online business. I do not have to store inventory or deliver products. And I only schedule events when I want to and my schedule allows.

What does “having it all” mean to you?

 

My mom always told me, “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.” I have found this to be true in my life. Of course, it depends on what a person’s “all” looks like, but for me, I have resolved myself to accepting that I cannot be a “full-time” everything. In my life having it all means being and accomplishing all that God intends for me in the season I’m in. There is no doubt that my seasons change and therefore my “all” changes. But for whatever season I find myself in, my goal is to accomplish what God has purposed for that time.

What does success look like to you in life?

Success for me is creating a loving, nurturing, and peaceful home environment for my family. I consider my primary role as a homemaker. However, my business plays a huge role in reaching this goal because it provides me with the flexibility to earn an income while being at home. It provides for some of our household needs while also giving us the opportunity to give to our church and other ministries. My at-home business also gives me the time to grow my writing ministry.

Did you ever want to quit?  What did that look like to you?

I want to quit all the time!! Ha! I will be very truthful and vulnerable in saying that I do not have a background in business. My degrees are in education. So business is not easy for me. However, I believe that God has given me this opportunity, and I want to be a good steward of it. Each and every day I have to get up and ask myself, “What do I need to do today to meet my goal?” Most of the time what I need to do is get out of my comfort zone,  sometimes  I’m afraid of rejection or I just don’t see enough fruit from it, and I get discouraged. But I try to keep my eye on my ultimate goal and that is my family and ministry.

Were or are you ever afraid and how did/do you handle it?

I am afraid often. I am fortunate that I have a very strong team leader who shares my same Christian values, and she is diligent to pray with me over the phone and on her own. I try to stay immersed in prayer and Bible study and continually reevaluate God’s ultimate will for my business and my life.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you have overcome and how did you do it?

My biggest obstacle that I am still trying to overcome is the fear of what others think of me. In my business (and ministry), you have to put yourself out there and be bold at times. One realization that has helped me tremendously is that each person, each woman, has a unique and distinct purpose, and that’s a good thing. So my decisions in family or business aren’t better or worse than anyone else’s. They are just unique to what God is calling me to do in my life at the moment. We’re all on our own paths to become the people we’re intended to be.  When I focus on this truth, I am better able to not obsess on what others think of me.

Who is your role model or mentor?

At this time in my life, my role model and mentor in business is my team leader, Becky. Becky is the woman who introduced me to Rodan and Fields, and she is a woman of integrity and prayer. I know that when I call her, she will not necessarily give me the answer I want to hear, but she will give me godly counsel based on wisdom.

How does your faith play out in your decision to pursue your dream?

My faith is huge! You probably already gathered that! J My faith is what drives every decision I make. I strongly feel that my dreams are actually God’s calling on my life based on the person He created me to be. He designed me with a unique personality, spiritual gifts, talents, interests, and passions to accomplish a task he wants done here on earth. My only job is to say “yes” and faithfully walk in obedience. If I did not pursue my dream, then I would not be faithful to God’s call. With that said,  sometimes my temptation is to return to teaching and pursue a more traditional job and life. In some ways it would be easier. There would definitely be more security. So I am constantly having to stay prayerful and focused asking God for strength to accomplish His will.

What “no’s” have you said to others to pursue your dream?

Saying “no” is not easy! I’m quickly learning that I really don’t have a choice anymore because there are only so many hours in a day. Unfortunately, my friendships have been the first to get shaved from my schedule. I am trying to really evaluate whether my opportunities will contribute to my life and my goals in a positive way. If not, then I decide to let them go.

Tell me one funny fact about you

I don’t like berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries – you name it! But, I’ll eat foods with berries in them!

Tell me all about where to find you…. how my readers can shop with you connect with you anything you want them to know etc….

You can find me in a few places! My business website it www.brendarodgers.myrandf.com. My blog is www.triplebraidedlife.com. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Sara Zamikoff, Coral Gables, FL

 

Give a short background on you (include a brief sentence on your faith)….

I am a stylist and boutique owner based in Miami, Florida. My boutique, emporium, is an award winning store offering the latest in women’s clothing and accessories. Fashion has always been a passion of mine and I feel blessed to get to do what I love every day.

One of the reasons my faith is so important to me, is because of my grandmother. She was sent away from Russia to go live in Toronto, travelling on a boat for three months to get there. She was going somewhere to hope for a better life for a future generation she didn’t have yet. Because I have a direct lineage to that, it makes me appreciate what she went through and the risks she took in hopes of a better life. To me, that is what Judaism is about – appreciating what you have and striving for better. I implement that in my everyday life

Tell me about your business.

“emporium boutique’s expertly curated racks offer hand-selected styles at a variety of price points. You’ll find everything from the latest trends to classic wardrobe staples and all the necessary accessories in between. Our style is the perfect combination of local and independent designers, juxtaposed with all your favorite major brands including BB Dakota, Blank Denim, Gypsy 05 and Red Haute. emporium has been featured in media outlets including Refinery29, Daily Candy, Miami.com, CBS 4, NBC 6, Lucky Magazine, Coral Gables TV, Miami Guide Books and owner Sara Zamikoff is often quoted as a source for fashion outlets and trend reports around the country. emporium is so much more than just a boutique; it’s a community of artisans, fashion lovers & friends”.

Why did you start your business?

The idea for emporium originally started as a coffee and tea shop because I love to bake (aside from fashion, it is my passion!). As I was developing the concept, my friends and family urged me to consider making it a clothing/accessories/home goods boutique because they were already coming to me for style tips and suggestions, and they knew fashion was a passion and talent of mine. Through their encouragement the idea grew into emporium, and I’m glad it did!

How do you describe your life balance?

I think it’s important, albeit a constant challenge to make time for friends and family. It’s not a secret to anyone that I’m a workaholic, and they all understand how passionate I am about my business. But the older I get the more I realize how important it is to create that balance and time to spend with my loved ones, and to relax and take care of myself.  I am so grateful that I get to do what I love every day, but there are so many more aspects to my business that I never anticipated would be a part of my day to day work. The business side takes over and dominates my time and personal life, but being able to do the fashion aspect of the job makes it worth it.

What does “having it all” mean to you?

For me, having it all means finding time for my spiritual and emotional life, as well as nurturing my business.

What does success look like to you in life?

Doing what I love, being financially stable and still having time for the people and things that I love outside of work.

Did you ever want to quit?  What did that look like to you?

I want to quit about once a quarter. There are always very stressful moments – so much of what I do has nothing to do with fashion, and those are the things that it’s hard to balance. At the end of the day I’m one person trying to hold down the job of five people and that can get stressful. But in the end, I’m doing what I love and the business is all mine, so that makes it worth it.

Were or are you ever afraid and how did/do you handle it?

I’m constantly afraid. Every day is an unknown when you are a small business owner. I handle it by trying new things and figuring out what is and isn’t working. It is scary to implement changes because there is always the question of will it work? But if you aren’t constantly evolving your business it will become stagnant, especially in fashion.  

What are some of the biggest obstacles you have overcome and how did you do it?

The biggest obstacle is taking the risk of opening your own business and that’s where you really have to have faith and courage that it’s going to work out and just go for it. Having a strong support system around you is essential.

Who is your role model or mentor?

My dad is hands down my role model and mentor. He is my touching stone for everything and anything. He is a business owner himself and I bounce everything off of him, cry to him and celebrate successes with him. Over my lifetime watching him, he is simply the most amazing human I know – kind, gentle and gracious with everyone.

How does your faith play out in your decision to pursue your dream?

I think overall just having faith, knowing that things are going to work out helps in the process. I’m more spiritual in my belief that if you put good energy and vibes out into the universe, you will get it back.

What “no’s” have you said to others to pursue your dream?

Oh my gosh – so many. I missed my youngest nieces’ first birthday and countless family events. I have also had to let other people down who are also pursuing their dreams, like designers who haven’t been quite the right fit for my business.

Tell me one funny fact about you

I love to burp. Seriously!

Tell me all about where to find you…. how my readers can shop with you connect with you anything you want them to know etc….

Emporium 2606 ponce de leon blvd. Coral Gables, FL 33134 For orders call: 786.268.0689

Email sara@shopemporiummiami.com

http://shopemporiummiami.com/

https://www.facebook.com/emporiummiami

https://twitter.com/shopemporium

http://instagram.com/shopemporium

“After All Tomorrow Is Another Day”

I find myself not motivated today….I dropped my kids off at school in my pj’s pr1etty funny considering I walk them to school (well they ARE really cute sweats if I do say so myself) in fact I’m still in them. I’m doing that thing I coach everyone not to do….talking down to myself for not being motivated!

It’s the beginning of the week and I prefer to just prop my feet on the fisher price table in the middle of my cluttered living room and eat ice cream out of the carton; no work, no returning emails, no writing, no phone calls,  no cleaning, no laundry etc. Yep, it’s that kind of day. I can’t really pinpoint why I got up on the wrong side of the bed, I just know I did and though I’ve said my prayers about it, I’ve got a feeling it’s not going to change, not today anyway and here is why because some days we all need a day…. A day to just be blah no matter what is going right or wrong for you it’s ok to just have one of those days.

Why am I writing this and putting it right out there for all to read because it’s ok to admit I don’t have it all together ALL the time even though I brand myself as the speaker and coach who helps you reach your life balance…. because it’s authentic  to admit I’m having a blah day and it’s ok for you to admit it too when you are having a bad one!  We don’t always have to be “on”. It’s ok to give yourself grace to have a blah day even when you have so many blessings! Just be real and be you that’s why I’m writing these words. Find a friend or someone who cares about you and vent away (even if you don’t really know what you are venting about) and have a better day tomorrow!

Because in the words of Scarlett O’Hara “Tomorrow is another day”

So here’s to all your possibilities (sometimes for another day!)

 

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration and how-to solutions to women of faith. As an author, certified coach and life/balance expert, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other women to stop settling, balance their unique lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. She speaks Spanish with a southern twang, holds a MA in International Communication, is mom to twin boys age 5, wife to her fun Ecuadorian husband, Co-President of Femfessionals Miami and  loves to volunteer with non-profits she holds dear. Find her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities and Twitter @CoachDixie

4 Steps to Your Unique Joy for 2014!

Are you are ready to make the most of 2014? How would finding your unique joy in 2014 feel?

 Here’s an outline to help you start imagining your next steps.

  1. Have a Vision: Every day we face many, many choices as faithful busy women road-on-snow and  moms, begin basing your choices on what makes you feel happy and free rather than how you think an ideal life should look. You could make a vision board. Start by finding images in magazines that depict your desired future and glue them to a poster board. Right about now if you are rolling your eyes at me and thinking this could never work, I understand! The poster board itself does not change your life, but what does change your way of thinking is the process of focusing on the images you are choosing and how they could impact your future. Most of the times these images will stick with you and start helping you steer your choices in that direction. Before you know it your vision is becoming your reality because of the choices you have made to positively impact you and your family.
  2. Let Go: Yes I said it, you must let go of what is no longer working for you! These things can include a volunteer obligation, a family/friend obligation (that’s really not THAT important don’t slack on the important ones that could get you in trouble!) a chore that someone else can do or that you can reasonably outsource, bad habits, old grudges, you get the picture…. we are all holding onto something that we REALLY don’t need to.  Think about your own obligations and see what you may try giving up in the New Year, pay attention to the joy it brings you to let it go. Inhale, exhale..Think and let it go!
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail: Have you longed to try something new?  Maybe switch careers start a business, learn a new skill or language….people that worry about mistakes paralyze themselves into not DOING! Success is built on failure; think about the story of Vera Wang she was a competitive figure skater in her youth who failed to make the 1968 US Olympic figure skating team. This prompted her to take a job as an assistant at Vogue in 1971, she then was promoted to senior fashion editor, within in a year of working there, but after 15 years of service to the magazine she was passed over for editor-in-chief of the publication. Now women can hardly think of wedding attire without her name coming up and her fashion is legendary.

             “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”  ~Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

4. Pay Attention: We tell our children this all the time, but how well do we really pay attention to what matters to us? Do you tend to think about others priorities when you make your decisions? Try to untangle yourself from that action to know what is important to you. People will constantly tell you that their own “code-red” takes priority. Your life balance is yours in the New Year if you pay attention, but only if you acknowledge this fact: your life balance is unique to you and belongs to you and no one else!

 Here to all your unique joy and possibilities in 2014!

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration and how-to solutions to women of faith. As an author, certified coach and life/balance expert, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other women to stop settling, balance their unique lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. She speaks Spanish with a southern twang, holds a MA in International Communication, is mom to twin boys age 5, wife to her fun Ecuadorian husband, Co-President of Femfessionals Miami and  loves to volunteer with non-profits she holds dear. Find her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities and Twitter @CoachDixie

The Holidays Are Canceled

I look across the room at the dining rooautumn roadm table where the Thanksgiving turkeys made out of handprints sit as a centerpiece mixed with the beautiful display of pumpkins and leaves.  I put all that together back in October and I sigh in dismay…..now its time to take it down and deck the halls with Christmas decorations………oh how time consuming, but I do love the end result! Growing up my mom and Grandmom were so good at decorating they put all the items each year in the same place and it was magical, they made it look effortless. Why can’t I be more like that? I thought to myself….

This year I feel the stress!  I want it all to be perfect.  We will not be spending Thanksgiving with extended family and our children are old enough to really have the holiday spirit so I feel like I should leave Thanksgiving decorations up until after that Thursday and then pull out the Christmas decorations; you know one holiday at a time, but then I feel so rushed and then time seems to fly………

I also want to create holiday traditions that my children can always cherish and I want to start this year since they are old enough. I think the “Samaritan’s Purse” shoebox idea is a great cause: http://www.samaritanspurse.org  The idea is to fill shoeboxes with toys, toiletries and other items for distribution to needy children in Third World countries.

In my mind I saw myself taking the boys to the store joyfully picking out gifts and toys for the boxes and explaining the true meaning of Christmas and giving thus creating a gift box tradition.

Here is how it really turned out:….. (In my head, I’m saying) “Can’t find shoe boxes, what?? Can’t find shoe boxes you have got to be kidding, I have enough shoes where are the boxes??? Oh my gosh its almost the day to drop the boxes off I’m running out of time maybe I can just go to the store and buy the stuff myself and then explain it to the boys”…. “Well that’s some tradition, way to go Dixie wonder what your next bright idea will be.”

Deep breath! “Give yourself some grace Dixie”

(Yes I talk to myself a lot and no I’m not crazy, I bet as a busy mom you do it too, so give yourself some grace as well!)

Alas Samaritan’s purse has a link where you can go on the site and build your own shoe box virtually. So the boys and I one afternoon talked about being thankful, giving and Christmas and built our boxes together online it was not like I had envisioned, but it was fun and meaningful. It was not perfect. I often complain about the over digitalized world we live in, but in this case I am thankful and it will probably become a tradition! I encourage you to go online and build a box you have until November 25th.

Throughout this time when I was stressing and talking to myself in my head I was also saying “I teach about life balance what am I doing?? arrggg this is NOT it”!

So again deep breath decision made, the tree will go up before Thanksgiving so we will begin to enjoy that aspect and after Thanksgiving the other decorations will come down and the nativity will become the centerpiece. If all the decorations do not go out this year no big deal, I will let it go. The Christmas tradition will not be Norman Rockwell perfect but it will be Andrade household perfect.  The stress I have, I will let go of and remember to enjoy each moment.

The holidays are about being thankful, Jesus, family, and friends not about stress and I WILL enjoy EVEN when it is not perfect.  

So no the holidays will not be canceled, the shoebox WILL be filled, albeit not with homemade gifts and the Christmas decorations will go up slowly, nothing will be perfect…except that it will be because it will be filled with the things that matter most love and joy and family.

 How about you what do you need to cut out of the holiday rush to truly find joy, reflect and not be perfect but find your life balance?

When you think about it your uniqueness makes everything perfect!

There, balance restored  : )

Here’s to all your Possibilities!

Stay tuned: In the coming weeks I will be featuring women entrepreneurs who are balancing their life through faith and they have great things for sale online, you will love the stories and you may find some stress free shopping too!

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration and how-to solutions to moms of faith. As an author, certified coach and life style expert, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, balance their unique lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.

Make Room For Throw Up

I hear you cry out, I throw back the covers, still sleepy eyed run to your room dodging toys and the mess of our house to comfort you. There I find you red eyed as you look up and you whisper so as not to wake up your twin “mommy I throwed up” I hug and comfort you and take you to the bath. After a bath, new mattress cover, sheets and covers you settle back in and blessedly sleep. I head back to my own room, now practically asleep as I walk and I think about the day ahead and what an impact a sick child will have on it. Then oddly enough this phrase pops into my head “make room for throw up, because you never know when it will happen” it is true right? Sometimes our plans change, sometimes a wrench gets thrown into our carefully laid routines and what do we do? Do we throw up our hands and say it’s not fair, I can’t do this, I didn’t sign up for “throw up” or do we handle it like a super mom and go to plan B, C or D. There has got to be a plan B, C or D,  a calm, cool, collected plan because sometimes throw up happens and it’s ok to pause and change the routine.  I imagine that one day there will be no more throw up and I bet we will miss it…..if only just a little!

May you have the faith to handle all of life’s little messes with grace and to give yourself a break, sometimes throw up is just not fun but it’s how you handle it that makes the difference.

Until next time, here’s to all your possibilities!

 

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration, and how-to solutions to moms of faith. As an author and certified coach, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, tailor make their lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Envision Possibilities is in business to help Moms worldwide find balance, make money, start their own endeavors (if that’s their heart’s desire), and to live happily through faith. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.

I Am That Mom

I remember when I was the world’s best mom. My babies slept through the night. When they cried it was so soft and did not disturb anyone. As they turned into toddlers there were barely any terrible twos or threes… no real tantrums. They loved to eat all the great vegetables I made and never asked for candy. My house always looked pristine and the laundry never piled up, the beds were always made, and surprise guests were always welcome. I had balance down pat between work and family. There was no problem with potty training and bed time sign me up; I was like the child whisperer!  When we went out to eat our kids never played with electronics they colored or talked to us.  I was so crafty I could make anything out of popsicles sticks. Everybody wanted me for a mom.

Then…… I actually had children AND

I am that mom, who was blessed with loud, wonderful twin boys….that cried a lot and loudly

I am that mom who one time accidently in the middle of the night put the baby swings on level five to get the babies back to sleep and then fell asleep and left them swinging but blessedly sleeping all night

I am that mom who spent many nights sleeping outside the bedroom door on the floor just to be able to call out “it’s ok, mommy is right here”

I am that mom who was not invited back to a play date after my kids threw a tantrum to beat all tantrums….that’s ok we have other friends : )

I am that mom so traumatized by potty training we can’t talk about it

I am that mom who has lost it (yep totally and utterly had an out of body experience) MANY times over

I am that mom who tries not to break down in the grocery store and buy what my children are begging for but who sometimes does

I am that mom who stares at Pinterest  longingly but doesn’t have a crafty bone in her body (sorry mom and Grandma Hazel)

I am that mom who runs a business and a household and tries for balance and sometimes fails and I’m learning to be ok with that

I am that mom who really, truly wants to be a morning person but I’m just not

I am that mom who makes peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch and dinner because eating something is better than nothing

I am that mom who hears the experts say just don’t give them anything then they will eat and I say “yep I hear you, but turns out sometimes they will just starve themselves”

I am that mom who leaps over piles of laundry (good exercise) and who only opens the door a fraction for surprise guests

I am that mom who wears a baseball cap because who really has time to wash hair ALL the time!

I am that mom who takes on volunteer leadership positions and then makes hard unpopular decisions because they are the right thing to do

I am that mom who has children with special needs and I’m ok with that

I am that mom who prays daily but is a sinner

I am that mom who writes a blog and runs a business about faith, family, dreams and becoming a mompreneur and sometimes my faith is as small as a mustard seed

I am that mom who loves her children more than anything in the world but sometimes wants to change her name from “MOM”

I am that mom who wanted everyone to like her but has realized that’s just not possible and I’m learning to be ok with that

I am that mom who says halleluiah for electronics because then my husband and I can share a meal out with our children (yep totally ok with that, judge me if you will I’ve learned not to)

I am a mom who has given and gotten “the look” from other moms who are judging…oh how I have prayed for that single offense many times over

I am that mom who even though totally exhausted at night will read a book to my boys because you never get that time back

I am that mom who is trying to blend a Christian household with a non-Christian world, and though it’s hard I will succeed

I am a that mom who is doing the best I can and my best is not perfect and that’s ok with me

Who are you?

God made you unique with your own goals and dreams and my prayer for you is to be ok with who you are!

Until next time here’s to all your Possibilities!

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration, and how-to solutions to moms of faith. As an author and certified coach, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, tailor make their lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Envision Possibilities is in business to help Moms worldwide find balance, make money, start their own endeavors (if that’s their heart’s desire), and to live happily through faith. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.

Balance and Being a Mom….blah…blah..blah…

Hello Busy Mom, if trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy; life can feel like a three-ring circus. Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants.

 True/ False 

T or F  1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself  physically and emotionally.

 T or F 2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others.

 T or F  3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.

 T or F  4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.

 T or F  5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m praying or simply letting my thoughts drift. 

 T or F  6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.

 T or F 7. Creativity nurtures me, too. I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit. 

 T or F  8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends.

 T or F  9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful. 

 T or F  10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment.

 T or F  11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with overactivity, so I stop and take care of myself.

 T or F  12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time.

 T or F  13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup.

 T or F 14. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me.

 T or F  15. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do.

 T or F  16. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy.

 If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate something of its message into your life. If you are a busy mom like me when I first did this quiz I failed miserably, after marriage and children taking care of me landed at the bottom of the list but putting some priorities in place helped to balance family and me!

Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to talk to me in depth about your priorities, goals and dreams! My life’s purpose is to inspire busy moms to dream….discover…do…. through faith! So let’s do this together. Dixie@dixieandrade.com

 Until then…Here’s to all your Possibilities!

 Dixie Recommends:

“The Secret to Having it All and MORE!: How to Create a Taylor-Made Life Through Vision Boarding”

In the  Miami, FL area?  email me dixie@dixieandrade.com about my upcoming live workshop!

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration, and how-to solutions. As an author and certified coach, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, tailor make their lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Envision Possibilities is in business to help Moms worldwide find balance, make money, start their own endeavors (if that’s their heart’s desire), and to live happily through faith. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

Ecuadorian Ceviche-A Family Favorite

Usually if you come over to my Envision Possibilities blog on hump day (Wednesday) I am inspiring you to live your best life NOW while practicing your balancing act. So today as a busy mom I thought it would be fun to share a great family recipe that is fun, easy and perfect for the woman on the go…..not to mention so many people have asked me about this recipe so I wanted to share! 

My household is southern by way of myself from Georgia and Latin by way of my husband from Ecuador and our children are our mix! So today I’m sharing an Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche recipe (with a southern twist) that my husband’s family taught me. This recipe can be made the night before and left in  the refrig, so if your week is busy which I know we usually all have busy weeks, you can mix it up Sunday eat some right away and it will be perfect for Monday too!

Keep in mind…. I learned this recipe from my husband’s family BUT  I add my own twist and I don’t really measure anything….. I taste it as I go to make it my own….. so spice yours up the way your family likes as well! Also this is not your typical ceviche recipe nor is it the typical Peruvian cuisine it’s a flavor all its own!

Let’s get started;

2 pounds of medium boiled shrimp or depending on the number of people you want to serve you want about 5 to 7 shrimp per person (peeled, and deveined) let cool…. or do as I do and buy them from Publix (or your grocery store)  already cooked, peeled, deveined and cooled….so much faster

In very large bowl put shrimp on bottom, cover with cold water add salt and pepper put in refrig  for one hour

Take out of refrig and add ketchup to the water (I add a lot) stir and the water is turning red I usually put the whole large bottle. (depending on your tastes)

Cut three large tomatoes in cubes

Cut up bundle of fresh cilantro

Cut up one large green bell pepper and one medium red onion

Put tomato chunks, cut up cilantro, bell pepper and onion in food processor and blend until it is somewhat liquidy (ok so that’s not a word but you get the picture right?)

Pour this liquid into the bowl with shrimp, water and ketchup and stir

Add more salt and pepper to taste

Pour in olive oil  (we like olive oil at our house so I add quite a bit and as it sits it soaks in so if you like olive oil add a lot and if not add a little) stir

Squeeze the juice of one whole lemon in (careful with the seeds) stir

Add a little or a lot of hot sauce and stir (that’s my southern twist or some chili powder)

Put in refrigerator again for an hour (you see why I say do this on a Sunday)

After an hour taste to see what else you would like to add, sometimes I put in more ketchup, olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro to taste!

The Ecuadorians serve with popped pop corn on the top or with crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Since I’m a college football fan and it’s that season (go UGA!!) it’s great for game day or it’s a great party dish too!

However you choose to break bread with your family or friends remember to thank God for the bounty he provides and enjoy this fun dish!

Until next time….here’s to all your Possibilities!

If you like the recipe please feel free to share and come back next week for more inspiration on living your best life now!

 In the  Miami, FL area?  Stay tuned to my blog or email me dixie@dixieandrade.com about my upcoming live workshop!

“The Secret to Having it All and MORE!: How to Create a Taylor-Made Life Through Vision Boarding”

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration, and how-to solutions. As an author and certified coach, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, tailor make their lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Envision Possibilities is in business to help Moms worldwide find balance, make money, start their own endeavors (if that’s their heart’s desire), and to live happily through faith. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.

 

The Secret to Overcome Overwhelm for Busy Women

How many projects or “to-dos” are you working on right now?

Be honest with yourself.  Write them down.  (personally and professionally)

What does your list look like? If your answer is anything like mine once was, it’s likely too many – oh so many!!

The process goes a bit like this: Something motivates us to do something:  We volunteer, we get a new job, start a new endeavor, buy a new house…..you get the picture…..We’re excited. We set all kinds of big goals. We create a plan. We’re still excited. Then we look at the list. Its twenty pages long. We don’t know where to start. We get overwhelmed…..so we stop!

The Secret: (well it’s really not a secret but as busy women we do need to be reminded of it) take it ONE thing at a time. What is your top priority in life? Do that project first then tackle the next one and so on……don’t try to add to a 20 page list if it’s not a priority!  In fact you could probably go back and look at that list and scratch some things off that are not your priority.

Having clear priorities that you stick to is the best ingredient to success in all areas of your life.

Always remember your priorities come first then you feel less overwhelmed, more energized and you get a lot more done!

Until next time….here’s to all your possibilities!

And a little note if you want more help: If you are in the  Miami, FL area stay tuned to my blog or email me dixie@dixieandrade.com about my upcoming live workshop!

“The Secret to Having it All and MORE!: How to Create a Taylor-Made Life Through Vision Boarding”

Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration, and how-to solutions. As an author and certified coach, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, tailor make their lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values!  Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Envision Possibilities is in business to help Moms worldwide find balance, make money, start their own endeavors (if they want to), and to live happily. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.