Hope Wissel

Don’t Go It Alone

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The countdown till Christmas is on…. okay, so it has been going on for awhile BUT as the kids countdown to their holiday break, it gets REAL!  The holidays for some bring a bag of mixed emotions – happy, sad, and fearful are just a few.  Some will spend the holidays alone while others although surrounded by friends and family will feel alone.  I am hear to let you know – you are not alone.

My emotions are on a roller coaster this holiday season.  Christmas will be spent with some family but mostly my extended family.  The New Year brings lots of changes in my business life.  Those old people-pleasing fears start to rear their nasty head causing me (and others) to seek solitude. The comparison game has gift giving becoming a “can you top this” instead of being “from the heart”.

I read an article recently which talked about being alone and how it is connected to our core fear of rejection.  We insist we are independent instead of letting others know we are just plain scared.  We claim we are focused rather than collaborating for fear of rejection. I have been sharing with all who will listen “I’m scared” about the shift from a regular paycheck to relying on my direct sales business for income.

As a CEO of my own business and even when I was working in the non-profit world, I never realized how solitary my work is. I write alone. I work in my office alone.  I make phone calls along.  I plan alone.  My home office is tucked downstairs and my team is scattered about in their home offices in this and other states.  Being an empty nester often brings more time alone.

The truth is we can make the most of being “alone” or we can wallow in sadness….

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“Alone” is where moments of inspiration unfold. “Alone” is also where moments of isolation steal your joy.   Each of us needs to find a balance between the two.  I know it isn’t easy this time of year.

As I embark on working my business FT, I am finding myself more passionate, purposeful and intentional about my work.  The thing which always seems to be missing and I am working hard to change this time around is Connection.  For it is when I connect with others, my life is transformed.  I am focusing on building relationships with my team, my hostesses and my customers.  My goal is to inspire while making a difference in the lives of others but to also connect with them. Stomping out the fear of rejection and refusing to play the comparison game.

These words are from Valerie Burton:

Everything in life is more meaningful when you make connection the goal. Connection isn’t “networking.” It is isn’t simply collaboration. It isn’t just communication. Connection is love. It is the moment, however brief, when your soul aligns with another and you serve one another’s needs in some way. It could be a smile, a touch, an idea, a word of encouragement, or act of support. But connection makes life and work juicy.

No one should be alone EVER but especially during the holidays.  Holidays are time for family and friends.  Family does not have to be defined by blood relation but can be those individuals who embrace you for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today feels like mindless rambling but God put this on my heart.  Maybe for me to acknowledge my fears or maybe it was something someone else needed to hear.

How are you trying to go it alone this holiday season? What would making a connection give you in your personal or business life?

 Reach out. Connect. Don’t go it alone.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Tongue

Thank you ARLENE PELLICANE for today’s message…

“No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8 (NIV)

When I was in elementary school, I didn’t like recess. In fact, I dreaded recess because of a certain little boy.

I would be playing peacefully with other girls and out of nowhere, the brown-eyed-boy with the big mouth would appear. “China girl! China girl!” he yelled, chasing me around.

I’d quickly retreat to the girls’ bathroom to escape the embarrassment. There weren’t many Chinese girls in my elementary school. I didn’t want to be different; I wanted to fit in.

Recess reminded me I didn’t fit in. I used to think dyeing my hair brown would solve all my problems. I never tried it, but I thought about it a lot.

Because of those two words spoken to me — “China girl! China girl!” — I became insecure about my God-given race. I didn’t eat Chinese food; I ate pizza and hamburgers. At a young age, I was experiencing the power of other’s words to influence my thoughts and behavior.

The words we speak hold great potential, both to harm and to heal. Our key verse reminds us of the enormous power yielded by the tiny muscle, the tongue. The Bible tells us the tongue is untamable, restlessly evil, and full of deadly poison. My big thigh muscle hasn’t injured too many, but my tiny tongue? That’s another story.

In James chapter 3, James contrasts sizes in his three analogies about the tongue: a horse’s bit turns its whole body; small rudders direct large ships; and a little flame can ignite a great forest fire.

The recurring theme? Don’t be deceived. Although very small, the tongue is powerful and should not be underestimated in its ability to do harm.

If I am singing God’s praises Sunday morning at church but spreading juicy gossip on Monday morning, something is wrong with my heart, and it shows through the words that pass by my tongue. I don’t become saved by the words I speak (salvation is through Christ alone). But because I am saved, my words are supposed to reflect the presence of Jesus in my life.

The same mouth should not produce praise and cursing. For example, an apple tree produces apples. It doesn’t produce apples and oranges. Following Jesus is an “all-in” endeavor. You can’t produce apples and oranges, blessing and cursing when you’ve been made into a new creation.

Does that mean we’ll always speak righteous words at the right time, never lashing out in anger or impatience? No, James tells us in our key verse that “no human being can tame the tongue.” Verse 3:2 says “we all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect” (NIV).

What’s the use in trying if no one can be perfect or tame the tongue? The emphasis shouldn’t be placed on how far we fall short. Instead we can focus on how far forward we can progress. When we obey God’s Word to become more like Jesus, we are being perfected. We are getting closer and closer to what Christ is like. We are not expecting perfection from ourselves. But by the grace of God, we are striving toward perfection.

One little, wise word at a time.

A few weeks ago at bedtime, my 6-year-old daughter Lucy looked at me with her big chocolate chip eyes. “Mommy, I appreciate how you say nice things to me. I appreciate that you help me love God and to do the right thing.”

She spoke slowly in that little 6-year-old cadence, and I savored every syllable. It was like a big hug to my soul and in that moment, I felt fully appreciated and applauded. I pressed in tightly for a hug and thought in amazement, “My little girl understands the value of words of affirmation!”

Lucy used her tongue for good. When I was around her age, words spoken to me sent me running to hide. But now, my child’s words empowered me to mother strong another day.

How have you been using your words lately? Your words carry great potential to harm or heal. Have you been building your loved ones up or pointing out their faults? Your tongue is a powerful weapon for good or evil; wield it wisely today.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

What’s Your Story?

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Happy Monday!  Are you dreading heading into work?  Are you longing for the weekend already?  Is there something you want to do but fear and doubt is keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone? I had a rare Sunday off yesterday so I enjoyed church and an afternoon of football.   I took the time to write out a plan for the week so that I can change my story!

9f2088487cd4489a877a3ca7c0734aaeWhat does this have to do with “my story”?  Well, I was thinking.  I know – scary but when I do, things start to happen.  I am especially excited on the rare occasions brain fog is not invading my space.  Several months ago, I set a goal with a date and yesterday helped me to realize I needed to stay the course even when the going gets tough.  I have  been on a mission to get my business and my life back on track.  It seems to be working – business is picking up, the number on the scale seems to have a mind of its own and I am learning how to work within the parameters of my health issues.   Is everything going 100% according to plan, NOPE!  So why am I excited about the small changes?  My mindset changed and I am relying more on God for his guidance then LISTENING for an answer.

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I have been stretching out of my comfort zone.  I have been looking for the lesson to be learned in each perceived negative thing as it happens.  I am sharing my story – the good, the bad and the ugly.  There was a great article in the Huffington Post about writing your LIFE story.  I used to think my story was long, uninteresting and full of boosting which resulted in not being of interest to anyone. I was so wrong.

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Here are some tips to help you tell YOUR story:

1. Your 3-Sentence Life Story.  What to write: Try to summarize your life in two or three sentences. Take your time. Think about your past. For me:

Overcoming a life filled with addictions.  Gaining my confidence. Love my life. Blessed with a loving hubby, amazing daughter, family & friends.

2. Your Crucial Incident (or Incidents)  What to write: Choose one or more of the sentences below and write a page or two that begins with that particular sentence. Just write for yourself and for your clarity of mind.

Sentence 1: I was just a kid, but…

Sentence 2: I tried my best and…

Sentence 3: In that moment everything changed.

Sentence 4: It was shocking to find out that…

Sentence 5: It was the proudest day of my life. I couldn’t stop smiling when…

My sentence would be #3 with #2 a close a second. I relive moments often wondering if I had made different choices or reacted differently if my life would be different, would I be where I am today OR the person I am today.  The “what if” in your life can be the thing holding you back!

3) Your Secret Why.  What to write: Take a minute to think about the previous two exercises. Then, finish this sentence:  “I’d like to really understand everything that led me to _______________.”   What truth is important for you to get at? You have a structure (your three sentences), you have a crucial event (that may have caused or contributed to your life story) and now you have a purpose—a reason for writing which let’s you learn, enjoy and even be surprised by the story you’ve been waiting to tell yourself and—maybe, just maybe, the world, as well.

Some days, I struggle with what to write and today was one of them.  I LOVE blogging and sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences with people.  My hope is through my story, I might touch their lives.  I believe each blog has a message – even if only one person reads it and it helps them or  brings a smile to their face – it was worth it.

Write your life story and then if you don’t like it – rewrite your destiny. Share with us, if you want.  Let’s use CELEBRATE and ENCOURAGE you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Tired? Don’t Quit!

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The story is told of a great pianist who was scheduled to perform for a small country town. Everyone was excited since they rarely had the opportunity to hear a famous musician. A young mother was especially excited. Her son had been taking piano lessons and showed great promise … but he hated to practice. His mother was hoping that if her son saw the great pianist perform, he would be motivated to take his music more seriously.

The night of the concert finally arrived, and it seemed as if everyone in town had come. As the young mother settled her son in his seat, her attention turned to the crowd pouring in. Everyone was dressed in their finest, and a buzz of excitement filled the concert hall. No one noticed the little boy as he slipped out of his seat and made his way down the aisle toward the stage. No one noticed the little boy as he walked onto the stage, climbed up on the piano stool and began to play “Chopsticks.”

The concert hall fell silent as every eye turned toward the stage. People began to yell, “Where is that child’s mother? How did he get on stage? Somebody get him down immediately!” The guest artist was standing in the wings, getting ready to make his entrance when he heard the shouts and saw and heard the little boy. Grabbing his jacket, the great pianist ran onto the stage, came up behind the little boy and placed his masterful hands on the keyboard beside the hands of the small child. The little boy was startled but did not move as the man whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Keep going.” As the little boy once again began to play, the great pianist began to play as well, composing a beautiful counter melody to “Chopsticks.”

I know some of you are ready to quit. Some mountain is standing between you and the dream you thought was sure to become a reality. You think God has lost track of where you are and what you are going through. He hasn’t, girlfriend.

I know you don’t understand why a loving God would allow so much pain to saturate this broken world and perpetuate such loss and hurt. I don’t either. But God’s ways are so much higher than my ways, and His thoughts are for my eternal good – not my temporary comfort.

I am banking on eternity. I am counting on the character of God and His heart of unconditional, unmerited and undeserved love. God’s forgiveness gives me the strength to get out of bed each morning, and His peace is my comfort in the dark, lonely night.

Like you, I sometimes ask God why He has allowed a circumstance to exist. I have questioned His favor and allowed fear and worry to make me doubt His plan. And I have to tell you that I can now look back and see that He has yanked so many of my question marks into exclamation points. I am so thankful that He said “no” to so many of the prayers I desperately wanted Him to answer with “yes.”

He is God.

He is able.

He will do what He said He would do.

And He is more than enough to see us through whatever we have to face.

No matter where you are today, know that He is with you. Believe that His heart is for you. Don’t quit. He is not angry with you. You are His daughter, the apple of His eye and His cherished child.

Keep going. Ask your questions, knowing Heaven is not in a panic over your circumstances.

Yes, I know you are tired. But don’t give up. Don’t stop. Don’t quit.

Right now, surrender all of your pain to Him. Shed your tears, knowing He will collect them all and one day pour them back into your life as a refreshing rain of restoration and healing.

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s inspiration.

Hope Wissel

Inspiration to Take Action 

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Let’s keep it simple today….It is Monday morning and maybe you could use some inspiration.  I love having quotes around my office that motivate me to keep going when I struggle, what about you?  What is your motivation to keep moving forward on those tough days?

If you feel like you are stuck – personally or in your business, maybe you will get some value from these quotes.

1. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar.

2. “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins

3. “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins

4. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

5. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

6. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill

7. “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill

8. “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” – Robert Kyosaki

9. “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.” – Robert Kyosaki

10. “Don’t be addicted to money. Work to learn. Don’t work for money. Work for knowledge.” – Robert Kiyosaki

11. “It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!” – Robert Kiyosaki

12. ”You will make some mistakes but, if you learn from those mistakes, those mistakes will become wisdom and wisdom is essential to becoming wealthy.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Which one inspires you?  Share your favorite inspirational quote with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!