For Moms Who Are Searching for Something More

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Welcome, busy, smart mom. I’m so happy you are here! Come in and let’s get to know one another. Have you ever looked around your life and wondered, “is this it?” And then felt a little guilty for even thinking that? Because you know your life is great and God has wonderfully blessed you but you still feel like there is something more (or something missing?).

If you’ve ever felt this way – even for a second – I want you to know you are not alone…I understand and I get you. As a mom, friend, wife, sister, executive, entrepreneur, dreamer and faith seeker – -I’m blessed, too — and yet I sometimes ask “is this it?”

We’re responsible for so much: planned days get shoved aside because of all the hats we wear, our kids need to be picked up, dropped off, fed, changed, helped with homework, taught values, read to, put to bed, disciplined, and the list goes on. Our spouses need us to run errands, pay bills, cook dinner, do laundry and talk to them, What?? Talk, who has time to communicate!! We need to concentrate on work. Our volunteer organizations need us to help just a “little” more. Our friends need some quality time with us and an ear to listen. So what about you what do you need?

Some days I’ve got this life balance thing down pat and I’m living my dreams and managing my time well and others I’m reaching for something higher. I believe we can all have our beautiful life and Envision all of our Possibilities….let’s take that time here on these pages together and may you live the life you have always dreamed…..  right now today!

God, Where is My Burning Bush?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see-and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:1-6 (NIV))

 light shining through on dreams

You need to write a book.

Was there anyone else in the room? No one there but me. I must be going a little crazy!

You really need to write a book.

There it was again. I was writing an outline for a speech for a group of soon to be  mompreneurs and I kept hearing this over and over.      I am not a writer. I am a talker and an International communication major. Ask anyone who knows me; I love to talk! I tried to ignore it, like a mosquito buzzing around your ear. It wouldn’t leave. It drove me to my knees.

“God, you know how you sent a burning bush to talk to Moses? I’m going to need that burning bush to appear any moment now if you want me to write a book!”

That was a pretty bold challenge. Sometimes when a dream is put on our heart, and we do not know if it is God we are hearing, a talking, burning bush might be a nice addition. I have a feeling that it would scare the living daylights out of me, too!

If you are not familiar with the story of Moses and the burning bush, God sent a burning bush to Moses to speak directly to him and to give him instructions to follow him in faith. (Exodus 3)

If you are not sure about God, and are questioning faith, I hope you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. God doesn’t send a burning bush anymore, but he does put his calling on our hearts. Sometimes it can be so frustrating to quiet all the static and know that this is the word from God uniquely for you. Continue reading

What I learned from Winnie the Pooh About Life

Today I just needed some wisdom from my old friend Winne the Pooh….maybe you do too! It’s an awesome feeling to reconnect with childlike innocence.

 Growing up I learned a lot from Winnie the Pooh, though I didn’t really know these were life lessons until I was older. I hope my children will also absorb some of these life lessons to live happy, fulfilled and balanced! That’s my wish for you as well.

 The Wisdom of Winnie the Pooh

 Wisdom comes to us from many sources—sometimes from the mouths of babes.autumn road winnie

Although originally written as stories to read to his young son, Christopher Robin,  A. A. Milne’s series on Winnie and his friends who lived in the forest offer enlightenment for adults–especially in this hectic, modern world in which we live.

Each character’s personality reflects for the reader a unique view of the world: Owl through his quest for knowledge. Eeyore as an unrelenting pessimist. We learn about bravery from Piglet and the need to believe in ourselves from Tigger. Winnie the Pooh, as described by Milne, might be a bear with “very little brain” but he has an abundance of wisdom and spouts insightful truths. Here are some:

On believing in yourself:

 “Promise me you’ll always Remember: You’re BRAVER than you believe; And STRONGER than you seem; And SMARTER than you think.” Continue reading

What Is Life Balance?

This IS balance

dirty dishes

I’m not crazy……sometimes balance is dirty dishes……. that just need to wait!

These days society places way too much emphasis on the words “life balance.”

The thing is your life balance is not mine and vice versa it’s not a one size fits all…..

So back to the dirty dishes….why you ask are they a symbol of a beautiful life?

Because maybe that mom cooked a great healthy meal and then left the dishes

to help with homework,

have a great conversation with her spouse,

have some “me” time,

maybe she left them to go out for some girlfriend time,

it doesn’t really matter, the point is the dishes will get done and even if it’s not right now she’s living her balanced beautiful life her way and she’s giving herself grace to get to the dishes when she gets to them!

What if you reframed your thoughts of what balance means to you?

So your balanced days can’t always look like this:

happy woman

But who says it has to? Continue reading

It’s Almost Christmas!! What?!

 I love summer, smell the fresh cut grass, feel the warm sunshine and an ocean breeze on your face, see all the children running carefree, yes summer is a magical time. July also heralds in the middle of the year-yes that’s 6 more months until Christmas-where does the time go? We are at the half way mark.

How are you doing with the promises you made yourself at the beginning of the year?

Are you:beach amelia

  1. Right on schedule
  2. Lagging behind or
  3. Don’t even want to talk about it

 If you find yourself stuck on b or c don’t fret and don’t beat yourself up. You still have plenty of time to get back on track and come December 31st you will be patting yourself on the back and feeling very accomplished.

 So let’s finish the year strong here’s how:

 1.Get Your Vision Back In Focus: Every day we face many, many choices as faithful busy women and moms, so get back to basing your choices on what makes you feel happy and free rather than how you think an ideal life should look. Say a prayer and listen to what you are hearing.   Did you make a vision board back in January? Make sure you are looking at it each day  BUT  right about now if you are rolling your eyes at me and thinking that doesn’t work, I understand. The vision board itself does not change your life, but what does change your way of thinking is the process of focusing on the images you choose 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 It Go:  Did you just cringe because I reminded you on the song from Frozen? Good, every time you think of that song remember these next words. 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 to finish the year your way, 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 this last half of the 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!

So get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer. Spend time laughing with friends and family, chase fireflies with your kids, read a good book for fun, catch a few rays, dig your toes in the sand whatever makes you happy indulge and finish the year STRONG!

You can do it, I believe in you!

Here’s to all your Possibilities!

 Free Offer: wildflowers

I’m thrilled to be certified in the Find Your Beautiful Life Plan where you can envision and take action on all your dreams…..I’m giving away a free plan (yes that’s 10 weeks of support to take action on your dreams and live a balanced life) reply to this post to be entered into the giveaway. (don’t miss out on a $1700.00 value enter now just hit reply with your name, number and email)

“Find Your Beautiful” Life Plan we will:

  • Explore the passions that give your life a deeper meaning
  • Uncover your values which are the foundation for future decision making
  • Discern how God was at work in your past to empower your future
  • Help let go of fears that keep you stuck
  • Identify your strengths and recognize the power of self-worth
  • Layout the first steps to creating a life you’re passionate about living

 

Envision Possibilities helps smart moms live their life’s purpose with balance, grace and faith. Founder and CEO Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a mother of special need twins whose husband travels extensively for work. She lives far from family, exercises daily (well tries to anyway), carpools, cooks, rarely cleans and juggles it all with a smile and a sense of humor! Her belief is you can do it too! With Envision Possibilities her intent is to help you live your dreams with balance NOW rather than slipping into the “when/then” syndrome. Through workshops, speaking and life coaching she teaches from Ecclesiastes 11: 4,6  – If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done…Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow — perhaps they all will.

 

Can I Be On Time Today?

Today’s the day today’s the day I’m finally going to make it on time.  Today’s the day I’m finally leaving the house with 5 minutes to spare… yep today’s the day. Except, sadly…. today was not the day.shoes

Picture this conversation:

Me: “Please, Lucas go get your shoes”…..

Lucas: “I can’t find my shoes”

Me: “Gabriel did you brush your teeth?”

Gabriel: “No” (no follow up just “no” with big puppy dog eyes)

Me: “Lucas look under your bed”

Me: “Gabriel go brush your teeth”

Me: (to myself) “where are my keys, did I feed the dog, what time is it?”

Trying to get out the door….

Lucas: “MOM I want milk”

Me: “Ok, right milk,… sure, where did you put your cup this morning?”

Lucas: “I duuna know” (also with big puppy dog eyes but no follow up)

Me:  (to myself) “Where is my watch….what time is it…..we are going to be late”……and so it goes

And today was not the day! Maybe tomorrow…..

That’s life in the having and doing it all world…. and we have the choice to handle  it with humor and grace or to chuck it all and scream. I have to confess some days I scream but mostly I try to “never let them see me sweat” and make it out the door albeit 5 or 10 minutes late. What about you where do you find your balance in doing it all?

 

Giveaway: I’ve been working with some pretty amazing moms in a program called Light Your Fire and Faith and this is what’s happening for them; they are feeling a little less stuck on the gerbil wheel of life, they are doing things they enjoy, finding more time in a day, asking their bosses for things they have never been brave enough to ask for before, starting new jobs and companies and basically living the life they always dreamed of….I was wondering if you are feeling stressed or stuck right now? And if you might be looking for some guidance on how to do something a little bigger or enjoy your family more? If that sounds like something you’ve been looking for, then I’m giving away a free hour long coaching session with me to someone who comments in the blog post below about your balance. We will randomly draw a name from the comments to see who is our recipient to be well on your way to Light Your Fire and Faith!

 
Envision Possibilities helps smart moms live their life’s purpose with balance, grace and faith. Founder and CEO Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a mother of special need twins whose husband travels extensively for work. She lives far from family, exercises daily (well tries to anyway), carpools, cooks, rarely cleans and juggles it all with a smile and a sense of humor! Her belief is you can do it too! With Envision Possibilities her intent is to help you live your dreams with balance NOW rather than slipping into the “when/then” syndrome. Through workshops, speaking and life coaching she teaches from Ecclesiastes 11: 4,6  – If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done…Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow — perhaps they all will.

 

 

Being Big in Your Life – If Not Now, When?

It’s the last week of school here in sunny south Florida and while I love,clouds love, love my kids being home and the thought of no homework and no packing lunches I also know that my “me” time will be limited. So before the year ends I took the guilty pleasure of having lunch with a dear friend. While I am on the subject of guilty pleasures I hope you take some time for you too every now and then and don’t feel guilty about it at all!

 So my friend and I started to discuss my recent workshop on spiritual gifts and real world personalities and how the most important thing in life is your priorities and how to focus on them. We started to talk about that little dash on your one day headstone after you are gone and what we wanted it to mean to both of us and our legacy. I know what you are probably thinking: that’s a pretty heavy conversation for a fun lunch but it was actually exciting because we were dreaming together about life. We talked about what we had done so far in life and what we still wanted to do and we were getting really passionate and happy about the future. I hope no matter where you are in your life that you are excited about your future and what’s important to you. I’ve written an article about that little dash and I hope it will get you to think about being “big” in your life the timing could never be better because as the title suggests if not now, when?

Being Big in Your Life – If Not Now, When?

Picture a graveyard. Under the big oak tree in the far corner, there’s a granite headstone. Look closer. See the name engraved? Yep, it’s yours.

So you’re sitting here, looking at your own headstone. There’s your year of birth, and the year you—heaven forbid—pass. And between them, there’s a little, coy hyphen. 

Now, here’s the good news: that hyphen is what God gives you to use for his glory.

ON BEING BIG

Let’s take a moment to think analytically about that hyphen. There are two things that anyone who aspires to be big must face. The first is knowing what you want to do. Or, in the words of poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (We’ll get to the second in a moment.)

Determining what you want out of life—your career, relationships and your free time—is a surprisingly hard process for many of us. It’s much easier to abide by the rules and plans of others than to look within ourselves and see clearly what we are meant to—and would really, really enjoy with the whole of our being—do.

Here are 4 starting points for discovering your brand of being big:

What are your threads? Everything you’ve done and loved up to this point is a thread running through your life. Those threads are always with you, and you can choose to pick them up again at any time. Adored math as a kid, but your parents pushed you into sales? Maybe it’s time to take some classes and explore. 

Who makes you jealous?  While envy is not necessarily a good thing, Envy can be a way to unearth some of our big, deep desires. Who have you been a little jealous of recently? Oprah? A Friend? A Colleague? Another Super Mom? Maybe it’s actually a clue to your being big.

What have you always wanted to do? Complete this sentence: “If money and time were no object, I would totally want to…” Work in Paris? Market my invention? You could start today with a language tape or learning about the patent process.

What are your forbidden fruits? Sometimes we tell ourselves that certain things are off limits, when really, it’s just a mirage created by our limiting beliefs. What seems off-limits to you but might be great fun if it weren’t “forbidden” in your mind? Maybe it’s a God whisper asking you to play a little bigger……  Acting in a play? Buying a telescope? Writing a book?

THE SECOND THING

Once you are firmly pointed in the direction of your own bigness, you will undoubtedly meet the second thing about being big. As any hero will tell you, once you start heading in the direction of being big…once you take action toward your goals…the second thing undoubtedly shows up. And that thing is fear.

Here’s the secret about being big: you still get the socks scared off you on a regular basis. (Perhaps even more often!) But it no longer stops you. Spooks you, yes absolutely. Makes your knees go weak, without a doubt.  But when you’re living big and having faith, fear ceases to be a reason to quit.

Because you’ve got big things you want to do with that little hyphen of yours.

So I ask you are you living big? What does that even mean to you? For me it means helping as many women as possible live their perfectly balanced dream life full of faith while living mine as well! Are you next on my list?

 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 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, © 2011 Claire Communications

Creating What You Want In Life

We all wish to live the life we really want. If that’s the case, why does it seem that so few of us actually do?

Creating the life we want should be easy, but for many reasons it isn’t. Sometimes we’redaisy too busy working, paying bills or picking up kids to give it much thought. Sometimes we don’t know how to get clarity so we put it off until “later.” Or, perhaps, we have ignored what we really wanted and, instead, created a life that others wanted for us (or themselves) — ouch.

How to Create the Life You Want

If you aren’t living the life you want, how do you get back on track? How do you get clear on what you want? And how do you stay committed to it?

Here are some steps that can help you get started:

Clarity
Before getting what we want we must first know what that is. This may seem obvious but it trips up even the most intelligent people right out of the gate. Take out a blank sheet of paper and write “My Dream Life” at the top. List everything you want to have, do, be and share. From this list generate goals to help set you back on course. (if you ever work with me you will hear me say this a lot “write it down, write it down, write it down” it helps I promise)

Avoid the “Shiny New Object Syndrome”
It’s easy to lose momentum by getting distracted with new, exciting opportunities. Having clarity makes it easier to distinguish those opportunities that help move us forward from the ones that throw us off track.

The next time a new opportunity arises ask yourself, “How will this help me achieve my ultimate goal of “x”? If it doesn’t, you probably want to dismiss the opportunity and move on.

Redefine Failure
People who focus on the destination as opposed to the journey also tend to be more critical of their failures. When you enjoy the process along the way, it’s easier to appreciate the end result — whether you consider it a “success” or “failure.”

The next time you do experience failure, however, reframe it. Consider that you have just learned how not to do something, and then acknowledge yourself for what you’ve learned.

Give in to Your Primal Instincts
Craving new challenges is hard-wired into our DNA. If it weren’t, we never would have invented the wheel, created electricity or flown to outer space. Ignoring this primal code over the long term can lead to disappointment. So how do you happily succumb to this urge? With more clarity and structure.

Create a list of things you haven’t done yet, but want to do. Be specific and remember the three, guaranteed “no fail” rules when it comes to goal setting:

1. Write it down. 2. Write it down. 3. Write it down.

Putting your list in writing transforms it from a desire into a personal contract with yourself.

Go Guilt-Free
Taking time to care for ourselves, guilt-free, is difficult for many women. Sometimes it feels as though things will fall off the rails if we “let go.” But when we do let go, something amazing happens: the earth still spins — people find a way to manage without us. Taking time off leaves us feeling refreshed and makes us better workers, parents, spouses and citizens. (think of the song from the movie Frozen “ Let it Go” and sing it over and over if you have to….you are probably going to anyway now that I put the thought into your head… sorry : )

Plus, going guilt-free can be contagious.

As with anything worthwhile, there is no quick fix when it comes to designing and building the life you want. However, it is my hope that these steps can help guide you along your path to living the life you want…and loving the life you live.

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 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, © Claire Communications

Self-Quiz: Are You “Too Busy”?

beach ameliaTime is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.

 But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of forgetting yourself.

 

 Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle. 

 

  1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.
  2. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
  3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
  4. I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
  5. I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.
  6. I seldom have time to do the things I really love.
  7. My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.
  8. I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.
  9. I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
  10. I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.
  11. I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.
  12. I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
  13. I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”
  14. I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.
  15. I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
  16. I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
  17. Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.

 

I hope you will write out your answers and really take a look at where you want to make some changes and where you are happy. I think this will help you take back your time and live the life of your dreams and as always I am always here to help. 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 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, © 2008 Claire Communications