Location Independence: Day 9

Location independence. Music to my ears.

working-in-paris

Some people thrive in power suits and skyscrapers. I prefer a more jovial environment. I want to play. And wear much less restrictive clothing. If any.

If I could travel whenever I wanted while still bringing in an income AND doing something I love that doesn’t require being stuck in an office….Dare I dream it?

But dare I must. Because that’s when I’m the most creative. The most fun. The most free. The most me.

And gosh darn it, that’s the me I want to be.

Truth be told, I honestly don’t think it would even feel like work. If I were in, say…Paris, I would visit the museums, the shops, go for a run and then sit at a little cafe and write. Or I’d hop on the train and write en route to my next adventure. Or in my hotel room. Or at the beach. Or at a bar. Ok, well maybe not at a bar. I mean, I would make a valiant effort. But no promises beyond that.

Bottom line: Trying to figure out how to balance work and play whilst creating memories and exploring the world seems like a problem I’d gladly welcome!

So I say, Universe, bring it on. I’m ready!

Would you want location independence or do you prefer a more structured environment? Let me know by sharing a comment below. Or just follow me!

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

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Adventures at Starbucks: Day 8

When You’re Too Old To Be A Trophy Wife

bachelor-party-1984-donkey-stripper-dead-600x300

I’m a recluse. For the most part. That comes as a shock to most people. Even those that know me. Because, well, when I’m out, I’m pretty darn fun. If I do say so myself. I mean like dead-cocaine-snorting-donkeys or Mr. Chow-jumping-out-of-the-trunk kinda fun. So people just assume that I’m an extrovert and feel comfortable speaking to people. But that’s just not the case.

I also dislike driving. Especially in Miami. Plus, going out entails having to get dressed. And brushing my hair. And on occasion, bathing. So just building up the nerve to get ready and getting in my car to go anywhere is already an adventure, as far as I’m concerned.

Another reason I don’t leave the house now is because I don’t want to spend money I don’t yet have. So although, yes,  I can go almost anywhere I want to (as long as I’m back in time to pick up the kids, of course) I really can’t afford to. So I guess the trick is finding a way to be free AND make money to be able to afford all that freedom. (rubs chin pensively.)

My first choice, of course, would be to be a trophy wife. But, let’s face it, I’m too old for that. That ship has sailed. Any self-respecting sugar daddy is looking for a hot and stupid 20-year-old. And although I’m at least one of those things, I don’t think it’s going to work. Unless I find a 90-year-old. I probably look young and hot to them. But I don’t like them wrinkly. And I don’t think I can get drunk enough to pretend to. Prostitution and drug dealing are also off the table. Back to the drawing board.

But I digress.

Have Fun, Damnit!img_5400

So the assignment today was to go out somewhere and have fun. I could only muster the energy to go to my neighborhood Starbucks. I was surprised to see so many people there midday. It’s in a very suburban spot. I wondered what those people did for a living. Didn’t spot any trophy wives. Or drug dealers.

I read a book my friend Luis lent me. On how to be a more natural writer. I plowed through some of the exercises. But with my ADHD situation, it wasn’t exactly as productive as I would have liked. Oh, look! A squirrel!

I worked hard on being present. The sights. The sounds. The smells. The rain falling upon the window. Keeping me from leaving. Causing floods. And creating traffic. I started to panic. I had to get out.

I waited for the rain to subside and I got out of there as quickly as I could. And just like that, my day of fun was done. I had my selfie to prove I was there. And I had some material for this post.

All in all, I’d call it a successful day!

What would you do if you could blow off work to just have fun? Comment below or just follow me! I’m fun. I promise!

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

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Beating Procrastination & Overwhelm: Day 7

Imperfection Action is Better Than No Action

ahh-procrastination

I struggle with this daily. Because like so many others, I consider myself a perfectionist. Which, of course, is probably just a crutch to keep me from accomplishing things because of an underlying fear of failure. Or of success. Of being judged. Of not being liked.

Procrastination = Fear

To illustrate how debilitating this trait can be…I’ve actually missed weddings because I couldn’t get my hair into a perfect ponytail. As if all those people attending the wedding were even going to notice that I had a few hairs that refused to lie flat. Never mind that they weren’t even there to see me.

Luckily, for my own sanity, I’ve relaxed my relentlessly exacting standards for my hair. But I still cling to this perfectionism when it comes to other areas of my life. And this has resulted in a classic case of inaction due to fear. It’s time to move forward, fear be damned.

My Action Plan

So for the next 30 days, I will write. Imperfectly. And distance myself from the outcome. Whether or not people read what I write. Or like what they read. That’s not my concern. The only thing I’m holding myself accountable for is to sit and produce something.

But if someone DID happen to read this, I’d love to know: Do you find yourself putting stuff off because you feel overwhelmed or fearful? Share a comment below 🙂

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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Finding My Tribe: Day 6

I Heart Themwere-not-worthy

I admire so many people it’s hard to narrow down to just two or three. And the reasons I admire them vary from person to person.

But they all have a few things in common so the top reasons I heart them are:

  1. Confidence: They each have their own voice and are uncompromising about remaining true to who they are
  2. Freedom: They’re fiercely protective of their freedom lifestyle
  3. Service: They serve others with their unique gifts

Oprah. Or As I Refer To Her: She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

So, of course, there’s Oprah. I mean, like, duh. But she’s like otherworldly. I find it difficult to even say her name. Like Voldemort. But in a good way. I can’t even fathom having direct access to her. And even if I got it, I’d probably be arrested posthaste after being unable to formulate coherent words. I’m fairly certain she’d feel uncomfortable after prolonged periods of my gawking at her, mouth agape, grunting unintelligibly and quite possibly frothing at the mouth. As in the World of Wayne, I’m not worthy. And I can’t afford bond at the moment, so let’s move on.

Tony Robins

Let’s face it, Tony Robins is larger than life. And not just because he’s tall. Like, he’s a big guy. But his personality just seems to fill up a room. He commands attention. You can’t NOT listen to him. I think he might actually spank you up if he catches you fucking off. I kinda like that.

Marie Forleo

I admire Marie because she’s spunky and no-nonsense and has great business savvy, especially in her digital space. I like that she eschewed the traditional media route and made the internet work for her. And that she’s actually spoken to…like actually sat RIGHT NEXT to…both Oprah AND Tony and didn’t just evaporate! She’s like magic or something.

Danielle LaPorte

I love Danielle’s voice. Both her speaking voice, which I know she’s lovingly cultivated over the years, and her heart’s voice. I love that she does things her way and has the cojones to turn down opportunities that others would kill for because she’s so confident in her “why” and in her source. Most people would say yes for fear of missing out on something or of making the wrong choice. But not my girl, D. She’s groovy like that.

Gabrielle Bernstein

Gabby is so stinkin’ adorable and light and positive that I just want to put her in my pocket and take her out whenever I need a little beam of sunshine in my life. Don’t get it twisted, she’s just as no-nonsense as Marie and will tell you flat out to put your big girl panties on and just get your shit done. (An aside: I loathe the p word. But apparently I’m a masochist, so there you have it.) She, too, has created this abundant life of freedom for herself by showing others how the same is possible for them. She gives us hope that the Universe does indeed have your back.

How Do They Do That?

Honestly, I could go on and on about the people I admire and why. There are just so many inspirational souls all around us.

But what I love most about all these people, as I previously stated, is their confidence and their intense need to help lift others up.

So my questions to all my rockstar “mentors” above would be:

  1. Seriously, how and when did you develop the confidence to believe that someone would want to hear what you have to say?
  2. Because each of you has spent your entire careers in the service of others, you’ve probably already answered any other question I may have in one of your books or courses or interviews, so my only other question would be….

can you adopt me??

Whom do you admire and why? What questions would you ask them? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 🙂

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

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My Success Plan: Day 5

ADHD To The Umpteenth Power

focus

Since I was a child, I have struggled with sitting still for extended periods of time. Only back then, they didn’t classify it as ADHD or prescribe pills or any of that crap. My teachers and parents tried all sorts of techniques to get me to focus. When punishment didn’t work, they tried rewards. That worked. For a little while.

As I got older, I realized that the only one I was hurting by not focusing on a task was me, so I buckled down and made it work. At least for short periods of time. Then I’d have to get up and jump around.

This holds true to this day. I mean, even at the movie theater last night, I was ready to leave by the time the previews were over. And with all the digital distractions around today, I find it almost impossible to remain focused on any one task.

What invariably ends up happening is that I partly accomplish a bazillion things but no one thing gets fully completed.

And when you’re your own boss, this lack of focus is a productivity killer.

And I Used To Like Tomatoes…pomodoro

In today’s challenge, I have to spell out what a successful and productive day is going to look like.  Cue the Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, the technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and eliminating all distractions. You are to work on only one task for the allotted time because research has shown that we perform better when we operate on deadlines and when our work is condensed. When the timer goes off, you get up and move around for 5 minutes and the resume work for another 25 and so on until the task is completed. You can then start to gauge how many “Pomodoros” any given job might take and schedule out your day accordingly.

One vital tip I’ve already implemented is moving my workspace from the living room to my home office. If nothing else, it helps me feel more “official.” But distractions still abound. I open a window to do research for something I’m writing and then fall into a black hole. Or I feel compelled to check my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts. Ad nauseam. As if something has significantly changed since the last time I checked 30 seconds before. Or I suddenly remember that I need to sweep the floor or do dishes or laundry. Or schedule a root canal.

Needless to say, productivity is severely lacking.

Plan For Success

So I’m implementing a new plan, even whilst writing this post.

  • Create the right working environment – I set up home office, but have to declutter. Too many visual distractions make me feel overwhelmed and easily distracted.
  • Determine my top 3 MIAs (most important actions) for the day – what are the 3 main tasks I need to accomplish today?
  • Set the timer and FOCUS – eliminate all distractions. protect the Pomodoro! Forget the phone is there. Close all unnecessary and distracting windows. No social media!

I am happy to report that I was able to sit still for one entire Pomodoro with no distractions. Ok, that’s a lie. I wanted to reference Rain Man and ended up on Wikipedia for a bit but I caught myself and brought it back.

Just like with my budding meditation practice, this new skill is going to take some getting used to, but I’m determined and up to the task. Bring it!!

What are your distractions and how do you stay on task to be your most productive? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 🙂

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

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My Superpowers: Day 4

I’m  A Superstar!superstar

In today’s post, (well, technically it’s supposed to be yesterday’s post but I was kinda busy Toastmastering and frolicking with one of my bffs at a United Way of Miami kickoff event) I get to talk about one of my favorite people. Me.

In all seriousness, I usually don’t like talking about myself but the instructions were clear: check your modesty at the door. I was also to ask those closest to me to chime in and, to my surprise, the two lists were quite similar.

My list

  • Writing – because I have the ability to write the way I speak and those that know me and read my stuff have told me that they can totally picture me saying it. Cursing and all.
  • Making people laugh – because I’m a little crazy and I often amuse myself and at times, others appear to be laughing with me instead of at me. Although that happens often too, so idk.
  • Working out – because although I’m not the best or most dedicated athlete on the planet, (yeah, Phelps, I’m looking at you) I’m better and more dedicated than many people out there.

Compiled List of My True Friends (excluding the above-mentioned bff who not only did not reply to my text, also has not yet replied to an email I sent her months ago that would greatly aid in my personal development – Yeah, Gutierrez, I’m looking at you.)

  • Writing/Proofreading
  • Wit
  • Making People Laugh
  • Creative Ideas
  • Intelligence
  • Outgoing Personality
  • People Skills

Turns out, I’m pretty freaking awesome. Yay, me!!

What would you say your superpowers are? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know 🙂

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

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My Perfect Day: Day 3

It Was A Good Day spa

I woke up early today because I had the most perfect, restful night’s sleep. I feel energized and ready to take on the world. My organic, free-trade coffee has brewed (gotta love those programmable percolators!) and my house smells like a heavenly blend of pure roasted buzz and spa-like eucalyptus.

I got up and drank my warm water with lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey and dash of cayenne. I then headed to my meditation space (well, I after I peed and eradicated the dragon breath and all that) and I got my zen on for like 20 minutes, because that’s all I’ve been able to muster before I start getting antsy and annoyed.

I love this room. So much. Besides housing everything I could possibly want for a hardcore sweat fest on one side, this room is home to my “zen den,” my favorite nook in the place. I love the fountain with the smooth stones and the softly trickling water and my two fiery-hued koi, Jung and DaVinci. I fancy the way the dark hardwood floors complement the earthy stone walls. The way the bamboo and bonsai provide a verdant pop of color. How the soft rays of sunlight wash over and cleanse me.

My favorite calming and clarity-inducing soy-based and totally organic trio of candles burning softly and ever so fragrantly: Clarity Is Sexy, Energy Moves and Peace Is Power.

I sat on my cushy yoga mat, with the most soothing meditation music enveloping the space around me. And after some mind drifting I managed to wrangle my thoughts, lasso them. Beat them into submission…er, I mean gently acknowledged and let them go.

After I was sufficiently calm and centered, it was time to get pumped so I prepped my coffee – black with a spoonful of coconut oil, prepared a light and healthy egg, smashed avo and veggie omelet and enjoyed both overlooking the ocean from my floor-to-ceiling windows. I then made my way to my home office to begin my “work day.” I worked on my new book for a bit and also finished up some guest blog posts and worked on my own blog for shits and giggles.

With 3 hours of solid writing in the books, I hit the beach for a 5 mile run. The air was crisp and the whole sensory experience of the waves gently caressing the sand and washing over my feet was incredibly cathartic and energizing. I was ready to head home and meet my trainer for a killer HIIT workout. I jumped in the shower then walked over to pick up my kiddies at school.

After that it was all downhill because, well….homework.

I kid.

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If you could design your perfect day, what would it look, sound, smell like? 

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

 

 

 

My Why: Day 2

Give Me Free!img_5242

I’ve been following Danielle LaPorte for some time now. In her book, the Desire Map, Danielle talks about what she calls “heart-centered” living. A process to identify your Core Desire Feelings that you then use to create goals that are “connected to your soul.”

When I first heard about this concept, I was blown away. What do you mean identify my top 5 or 6 desired feelings and then make all decisions based on how I want to feel? I don’t think anyone had ever asked me how I wanted to feel. Or had asked me to consider that for myself.

But one thing was clear. And it was as true 5 years ago as it is today. Besides wanting to feel abundant, elevated/high vibe, creative and joyful, my #1 desired feeling is freedom.

FREEDOM!

Even writing the word makes my heart skip a beat.

For me, freedom means not being confined to an office or a cubicle. It means dictating my own schedule. Writing when I’m inspired to write. Or even writing when I know I should be writing. Because it’s what writers do. We write. Even when we don’t particularly want to.

But I do it on my terms. In my PJs. Or naked. Or at a cafe. But usually not naked at the cafe, you understand. Because that would likely be frowned upon.

It’s the freedom to walk my kids to school and have breakfast with them. Or stupidly run 12 miles in the middle of a Hades-hot Miami summer day. Or to attempt not to poison my family with my cooking. Or be able to up and leave to help my eldest move out of her place without having to beg for time off or to justify why I need a personal day.

The freedom to feel my most creative. And joyful. And to share that joy with the world.

And basically to not be a raving bitch to my family. Which believe you me, they appreciate more than any paycheck I’ve ever brought in.

In essence, my why….the reason I get up every morning, is to savor every moment of the freedom I’ve gained by trading in that paycheck for my sanity. And to try and figure out how I can use that freedom to nourish my soul and to serve the world.

Now that I’ve told you my why, I want to know yours. What are your core desired feelings? What is your why?

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

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Finding My Focus: Day 1

Shame On Meshine-your-light

Shhhh….I’ve got a secret.

One I’ve been keeping fairly low key, mainly because of the shame often associated with information like this.

Gulp.

I am unemployed. There. I’ve said it.

After being miserable for a very long time, I decided to try and venture out on my own. To find that thing….that reason I was put on this earth. And I’m fairly certain at this point it wasn’t to market lawyers.

Now, this isn’t something I openly share because of, well…because of the S word. SHAME.

I was watching an interview with Glennon Doyle Melton, who was promoting her new book, Love Warrior. In this interview with Marie Forleo, she discusses how expectations and messages we receive from the world can fuel this shame.

Role Play

She says that as women, we define ourselves by the roles we play. We’re expected to do it all. Seamlessly and expertly play the role of mother, daughter, sister, wife, lover, friend. 9 to 6 hustler. But what happens when we no longer play one of those roles? What are we then?

Whenever you meet someone, probably the first question you get asked is, “what do you do?” And even though it’s the toughest job in the world, answering, “I take care of my kids and the house and our finances” is always greeted with a look of horror. Or pity.

I hate that. So much.

But not as much as I hated looking at myself in the mirror every day with the same disdain. And I finally decided that I had to care more about what I thought about me than what anyone else did.

So I set out to find what lights me up. Because when I’m lit up and happy, so is my family. And by extension, everyone I come into contact with.

Focus, Where Are You?

Some excuses people make about not achieving their goals revolve around time. Well, I’ve got plenty of that now. So…that’s not it. Freedom is another doozy. Got that now, too. What I don’t have is money.

Now, I know what you focus on expands so I try hard not to focus on the lack. I try to focus on abundance. On all the rest of the stuff that I’ve gained that I’m eternally grateful for. More time with my family. The freedom and flexibility to work out. To pursue my dreams.

But I’m not gonna lie. It’s really difficult to feel abundant when those little menacing shut-off notices come in the mail.

The main challenge has been finding my focus. What to pursue. And how to go about it.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So the question is why haven’t I figured this shit out yet? The answer is fear. Fear has kept me from tapping in to the dedication it requires to set goals and attain them. Big, scary fear. Fear of falling flat on my face. Of making an ass of myself. Of being judged. Being hated.

But I know that everything I want is on the other side of fear. And I know that I’ve dicked around long enough. Because I’m more afraid of remaining trapped and stuck and boring than I am of the possibility of failing. Because I probably will fail. Epically.

But I may also shine more blindingly bright than my tiny little brain can even fathom. And I can inspire others to do the same. Because the world can certainly use more light bearers.
S10dbc-badgeo I’ve taken on this challenge. Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1. And I invite you to join me.

What’s keeping you stuck and what are you doing to change it so you can share your light with the world?