Blue Lollipop Road

no more bullshit

I’ve put this video clip in probably no less than 20 blog posts over the years since I started writing. Unfortunately, they all remain in the draft graveyard:

(Link to video here.)

Cheesy as it may be, I am so Jerry McGuire in this scene. I guess it’s just taken me a few years past 35 to write my mission statement. I’m not waiting any longer. I’m not afraid of getting fired.

Once or twice a year when I get SUPER pissed at myself for not writing more, and truly focusing on what I love, this scene pops in my head. Usually I get all fired up, start typing away, get a couple hours into the soap box space I feel so at home in, and then ding goes the phone or email when someone in my life needs something, and off to the archives of drafts, my passionate posts have gone…while my sweet little soul suffers, once again failing at first living for myself.

No more.

This week I had a tipping point moment, standing at an event with some very good friends who know me well and support every bit of me in anything and everything I do and want to do. I had one of the most gut punching moments of my professional life. I felt an enormous furry of anger, sadness, and frustration…and knew it was completely my own damn fault. As we were being introduced around the dreaded and what do you do? circle, every one of them owned and articulated what they “did” perfectly, and then as I described what I did, and they all piped in with their kindness about how good I was at X,Y,Z (which is true, because I have busted my ass to be good at what I’ve been doing to make a living), I couldn’t help but think:

WHAT I’M TELLING THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT THEY KNOW OF ME WORK WISE IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO OR WHO I REALLY AM!

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

…AM I DOING?!

How could even my closest friends not describe me/what I really do?! Because I haven’t been owning and presenting it out to the world, myself.

I’m a writer who hasn’t kept my butt in the seat. I’m a storyteller who hasn’t been sharing enough of her stories. I’ve gotten seriously sidetracked. When any client at any time asks me to fix a problem, or wants help running their lives better, I drop everything to jump all over the task, then forget about my own. It’s possible to have healthier balance. I know better, we all do!

I stood at that event and wanted to punch someone in the face: MYSELF! No more blogs unposted, books unwritten, or life experience teachings untaught, I said to myself. I haven’t slept on couches, in my car, and traveled the world for the past 25 years talking to, learning from, loving a zillion interesting amazing humans losing some of them along the way, just to keep all the truths and perspective I’ve learned to myself.

Gas up the car! We have officially started driving down this Blue Lollipop Road together. Hang on tight, because I’ll be sharing the things we think, but do not say. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.

If you’re out there getting sidetracked yourself, might I suggest you make a big ol’ pivot and get your butt back in the seat? None of us are truly helping anyone else unless we’re helping ourselves first.

Glacier National Park

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #LessWaitingMoreDoing #HopToIt

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the best leaders know how to play

A week ago I road tripped to Charleston with LeaderSurf Founder, Brian Formato for PitchBreakfast:

(Link to video here. Around 11:30 I pop in a two thumbs up testimonial.)

If you’ve been following here this summer, you know I attended the LeaderSurf June class in Nicaragua. Anyone I know has heard about this program and what an amazing, insightful experience I had, about a zillion times at this point. I’ve joked that I’m a walking billboard for Brian’s leadership development + learn to surf program. This single experience feels like it has completely catapulted my personal and professional life into places I never expected. Serious positive impact.

I’ve always been a travel pusher; The person who encourages exploration, trying new things, and the importance living outside the drone zone. I’ve traipsed the globe, and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. Of all the fun I’ve had during my travel, the fun hasn’t even come close to comparing to what I’ve learned by stretching myself in foreign environments. I really stretched some muscles that have needed it for a while now during my LeaderSurf time, and saw my fellow participants come alive and become inspired again about work, too. It was awesome.

I think all of us adults have forgotten that we can have fun AND be incredibly productive and responsible. It seems like there’s some kind of rule that we have to sit inside a classroom, boardroom, or conference center to learn anything new about our company, our jobs, or ourselves. Who the heck had that terrible idea? People are uninspired. They lack drive in their everyday because their passions are squashed. They’re not encouraged to keep cultivating their talents and interests and relate them back to their work. They’re bored out of their minds in training situations because they are in cold and vanilla spaces.

Maybe we should shake it up a little around here?

It seems like common sense for any organization to jump at the chance to send their executives to a leadership development program like LeaderSurf; Throw your best and brightest outside of their comfort zones to learn a new skill in a foreign place. They meet other executive peers, learn more about themselves, and have a blast doing it, then come back to your company refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Send your people to step out of the gerbil wheel and let some waves hit them in the face. It will be a challenge, but they will love every minute of it, and then love you for sending them. Who wins? Everybody.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #StepOutside #WorkUnstuck

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celebrating with my girls

Tonight I’m having dinner with some of my home base gal pals. A few of my besties/girl tribe/bishes/(insert whatever ridiculous or funny name you call your peeps here.) These are ladies in my life who make up just a small portion of badass women who know my crap, call me out when I need it, and who make me laugh until both my face and stomach hurt. I like to refer to some of our antics as complete jackassery, but really our gatherings are pretty tame; food, drink, and conversation about any and everything- no judgments, secrets, or bs, just love, support, and fun, while lots of hours fly by.

Lucky me to have these people.

We will be celebrating my birthday a week late, because last Tuesday (on my actual birthday), I was playing around at Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park

That trip was a gift from another set of ladies who mean the world to me, my BLR Play It Forward alumni crew. They gifted me a “travel scholarship” at our annual event in July. These ladies thanked me for providing travel scholarships to students in our home town during our first 5 events, and this was their give back to me. In reality, they are the very reason I’ve been able to pull off making Play It Forward a thing all these years.

Lucky me to have these people.

More girls? These two, who are the backbone and continued inspiration for everything Blue Lollipop Road:

Maria and blue tongue

(Yes, that would be a blue lollipop tongue:)

Brandy suited up

August 18th marked 23 years of them gone. It still doesn’t seem possible.

Lucky me to have had time I did with them, even if it was far too short.

Yet another girl bestie (can a girl really have too many besties? I don’t think so. Is it permissible to use the term “bestie” for your gal pals when you’re 39 years old? I think so), this one:

Sweet Katie

Sweet Katie

Today would be her 39th birthday, too. I wrote this on one of the days in this life where a piece of my heart forever broke.

Lucky me to have had time I did with her, even if it was far too short.

I will celebrate tonight with and for girls I can, and cannot see. I will celebrate tomorrow the same. (And with guys too!) I will continue to celebrate everyday. I will never apologize for laughing too loud, having too much fun. I won’t be worried about telling someone I love them, even if there are a lot of “them” (as in, people- that probably includes many of you reading this), because life is only so long, and the one thing I know for sure is that there’s no reason to wait…or to be afraid.

I hope you will raise a glass of any kind tonight, too with/for yourself, or with the good people around you, celebrating the luck in every healthy minute you have.

Cheers!

#RespectTheClock #TodayIsTheDay #HopToIt

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get out in it

I’m on the last leg of a long birthday weekend adventure. Delta was my flight brand this go around, and I’m pleased to share I’ve had an atypical flying experience this time; a pleasant one! The past few years have been met with a lot of bizarre rude humans and all too often, not so smiley airline staff, but all the Delta employees during my there and now almost back trek have been above and beyond friendly, helpful, and actually seem like they love their jobs.

Yahoo!

I saw this commercial on my way out west:

Click here for video link. 

Delta Commercial

I high-fived with the sweet cowboy sitting next to me after seeing it. We agreed it’s a fantastic ad.

…because the ones who truly change the world, are the ones who can’t wait to get out in it.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been big on that whole waiting thing.

What are you waiting for?

#WakeUp #StepOutside #HopToIt

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happy monday!

In case you’re feeling bummed about the weekend being over:

Blue Lollipop Kids

…let these blue lollipop eating twinsie nuggets make you smile.

I love the continued flow of photos like these that fill my inbox. Thank you to all who send them. Keep ’em coming!

#DontLetMondayRuinYourSunday #CelebrateEveryday #BlueLollipopTribe

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intention and execution

Some months ago after a goal-setting meeting with a friend who also works for herself, I went directly to the store to buy these two dry erase boards:

Intention Boards

They hang on the wall near my desk, and beside a bunch of things that inspire me like photos of my friends, family, travel, and a print my brother brought me back from Thailand for. Every day I write on them. The top one I use for anything and everything personal, and the bottom is for anything and everything professional. Any words, terms, thoughts, wishes…anything that pops into my mind. It usually takes me about 10 seconds to fill both of these boards. There’s nothing over-analytical about this practice, no perfect penmanship, no plan, just a quick flow of words and feelings.

Stay with me here. I’m not going to tell you to run out and join a drum circle. (Although that would be super fun.)

Since the day I started taking 10 seconds to actually WRITE down in the wide open of the space (literally and figuratively) I live in, exactly what I want- every, single, thing has either started to come to fruition, happened, become true, or dropped magically into my life. Even the unicorn I wished for.

Holding yourself accountable, um…to yourself, is a beautiful thing!

I’m the kind of girl who has set a lot of intention during my lifetime. I’m just not so sure before 2017, if I ever truly asked for what I’ve always known I’m worth. I feel like the doors have blown off my life in the best way, and only because at some point this year I put my foot down to stick up for my value. It all started with taking a tiny amount of time each morning with a dry erase marker.

Writing goals down and then spinning happily in your butterfly and rainbow party only gets you so far, though. The busting and showing your ass part is key. Without execution, intention is nothing. If you need a kick in the pants for whatever kind of existence you’re dreaming up, here’s a good start for this week:

*Write down what you want. (Even if it is as simple as chocolate.)

*Tell a stranger some deep dark secrets. (Yes, the dirty ones. We all have them. Let it fly, baby.)

*Laugh a little. (Like maybe too loud.)

*Remember where you came from. (You can run, but you can’t hide.)

*Get outside and get moving. (Can we play some more, please? Adults could really use to have a little more fun.)

*Learn something new. (Stretch yourself, embarrass yourself; Humble pie is delicious.)

*Ask for what you’re worth. (What have you got to lose?)

Set the loftiest goals you can imagine, and start running hard. The world wants all of you.

#TimeToHustle #TodayIsTheDay #LifeOutsisdeTheDroneZone

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when your mom gets you

In pops this on my phone from the amazing, selfless woman who gave me life:

Adventure travel

…along with “I saw this the other day and thought of you!” and a globe, airplane, and heart emoticon.

My Mother is so cute, and such a nerd. (See where I get it from?) I love that lady so much! The best is, she continues to encourage me to be exactly who I am and go for anything and everything I want.

I’m currently in Charleston at the beach on a client project that has been a big one and kept me all consumed the past few weeks and far away from computer and writing time. Oh my do I have some exciting things to share! BLR Play It Forward event news, upcoming travels, and a story of a random encounter with a person last night that totally blew my mind.

More than any other time in my life, this summer has proved to me 10 times over that if we stay open and authentic, spend time doing what we love, and share our experience and knowledge, the doors of opportunity will fly open.

When you take a step towards life, the universe responds.

I’m off to be dangerous. Won’t you join me?

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #Adventure #NeverStopExploring

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because you never know who’s watching

I just went for an early morning run through the blue-skied city:

Charlotte City Skyline

About halfway through beating feet, a guy walking toward me pulled a cigarette out to light up. When our eyes met, he looked at the cigarette and back at me a couple times. Right as I passed him, he put it back in the box.

Yahoo!

Maybe it was a coincidence, and maybe he lit that stick up two seconds later. Either way, I’m hoping our unexpected quick interaction made him stop and think for a minute about smoking.

Happy Monday!

Want to make a positive impact? Keep going out into the world and doing what you love.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #HopToIt #TodayIsTheDay

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p(L)aying forward feels so good

It’s Thursday July 13th now, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what an incredibly powerful BLR Play It Forward weekend we had just a few days ago. It is always the most bittersweet day of my year.

I will have a full post coming soon with some of my favorite images, but in the meantime here are a couple that show what community and coming together to do something good looks like:

All hands in. BLR Play It Forward 2017

BLR Play It Forward Community Kick Wall Gift

Being a part of something bigger than myself that means something to so many people is by a landslide the best work I have ever done. Love, joy, and time together to celebrate memories is the most I could ever ask for in this life, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience that for 6 years in a row now. This is my team. The rest of the people who support us were all there too, just a few feet away. I’m always so honored to be in such wonderful company.

Thank you.

#RememberCelebrateLive #StrongMojo #PlayForwardGiveBack

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