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?

What would happen if you were to leave your “dirty dishes” every once in a while to do whatever feeds your soul?

How would you define your life balance then?

Leave your comments for me and have a beautiful balanced life!

Here’s to all your Possibilities!

 

Take Action: 

I’m thrilled to be certified in the Find Your Beautiful Life Plan where you can envision and take action on all your dreams.

 In the “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

Contact me at dixie@dixieandrade.com if you are interested in learning more about this 3 month program.

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.

 

 

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

 

All I Want For Mother’s Day!

 5I’ve been working with some pretty amazing moms in a new 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’d love to chat. For Mother’s Day let’s create a future with less stress and more happiness for you! You deserve it. Hurry special pricing offer lasts only until May 11th! Email now from anywhere in the world to find out how to register for a phone session it’s as easy as that to gain more happiness. dixie@dixieandrade.com will get you that session don’t delay email now! Put your toes in the sand and enjoy life more I know we can do it together and I look forward to hearing from you!

 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. Find her at www.dixieandrade.com on Facebook at Envision Possibilities and Twitter @CoachDixie

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