Posted by: gayleegayle | October 15, 2010

Express Yourself!


We all have gifts to bring to the universe.  What many of us don’t realize is how important it is to express these gifts. 

A gift is something that generally comes, as Oprah says, “as easy as breathing.”  It’s not that the gifted don’t work hard to polish or expand those skills, but the essence, the raw talent of it, is already there. 

Here lies the problem.  Because it comes easy, we often don’t value it, so we set it aside like a yard-sale find.   

Writers that don’t write, dancers that don’t dance, singers that don’t sing all deprive the world of the gifts that they don’t express.  Every grain of sand is important to a beach.  

And what about the joy it brings to you? 

What are your gifts?  Express them today!

Posted by: gayleegayle | May 8, 2010

Watch what you say!

Creating Self-Talk That Propels You to Success

 “In the beginning was the word.  And the word was with God.  And the word was God.”  ~The Bible-King James Version.  John 1:1~

               The Bible, The Quran, and The Torah are just words and yet these are words that people have lived by since the beginning of time.  They shape lives and nations.  The world is divided according to these words.

               Words are powerful. They can help, heal, soothe, hurt, wound, and kill with more accuracy than a scalpel or a gun. They can motivate, inspire and propel others to success. They can demean, demoralize, and enslave an entire race or generation. You have the power to create and destroy with your words.

               Think about the words you are you saying to the people closest to you every day?  What are you instilling in their minds?   If the words you say are not good, positive and uplifting, how can you expect good, positive and uplifting things to happen?

               But here’s the most important thing of all:   What are you saying to yourself?  Because if your self-talk is full of limiting and hurtful words, how can you possibly be the best you that you can be?

               I have long corrected my self-talk, or so I thought, but today I realized that there are still whisperings going on: 

  • “You can’t do that. “ 
  • “You are too old for that.” 
  • “You are not strong enough for that.” 

                All of this eventually translates into:  “I can’t.”  You tell yourself things and your mind accepts these things as fact, but these facts are disproven every day. 

                Ernestine Shepherd is 73 years old, according to a story on ABC News.  She runs 80 miles a week and surely looks decades younger.  Somehow she missed the memo on what you can or cannot do when you reach a certain age and thank God she did.  And get this:  She didn’t get started until she was in her fifties!

               There are countless examples, but what I want to get down to is that we need to examine what we are saying to ourselves about anything we’d like to change about ourselves and our lives.  Become conscious of your self-talk and when you catch yourself saying something limiting, no matter how small, try this:

  • Write down the negative statement.
  • Challenge the “truth” in the statement.
  • Turn it into a positive statement.
  • Notice the change in your feeling.
  • Write the statement on an index card.
  • Read it every day until it replaces the negative statement in your mind.
  • Take an action toward to make the new statement true.

Here’s an example: 

 “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

1)      Challenge the truth in this statement:

  • Maybe the rich are rich and the poor are poor because of what they are doing to stay that way.
  • Maybe if I study how rich people got rich, I might get rich too.

2)      Change your words:

“I’m rich and getting richer every day.”

3)      Change your actions:

  • I will examine my financial habits and work on improving them.
  • I will read about people who are in the financial situation I want to be in and learn how they got there.
  • I will improve my skills and abilities that can help me to get there.
  • I can change my financial situation any time I choose

4)      Reinforce this change every day!

Body Building Grandma Ernestine Shepherd Bench Presses, Runs Marathons At 73

Posted by: gayleegayle | May 3, 2010

Fear-The Killer of All Dreams




     We all have our own fear triggers.  For me, the one that stands out most in my mind is fear of flying.

     It would begin with the booking of the flight.  Each day leading up to the trip, the nervousness would always be present.   By the day of the flight, I was inconsolable.  To look at me, you wouldn’t know how I was feeling, but in my mind a war was being raged.  I had to mentally wrestle myself to the ground to keep from bolting from the airport or at the very least cancelling my trip.

     After boarding the flight, I would literally feel sick, my insides churning with acid.  Something that began as an idea in my mind became physically real creating nausea, diarrhea and headaches.   The resulting illness would sometimes continue for days after I landed because now I am focused on the flight home.   

     One day I realized how ridiculous this entire scene was.   I asked myself why I didn’t have that reaction when I was walking on the street or riding in a car where the potential for danger was much greater.  I knew then that this level of anxiety was neither normal nor rational and it certainly wasn’t helping.  I also realized that it was going to be the death of me if I didn’t get it under control.

     Fear kills dreams too.  It alters your decisions and convinces you that you shouldn’t or can’t do something.  It lowers your belief in yourself.  An acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  This is such an appropriate definition because unless you are being chased or in some kind of danger, there is no need for fear. 

     Recognize that your objections to doing many things in your life may be fear talking.  Take an intelligent approach and write out the benefits as well as the risks.  Focus on those benefits and the greatest possible outcomes.   

     For me, seeing my family whenever I want or traveling to tropical islands is a great motivator.  If I feel anxious on the plane, I envision what I am going to be doing when I get to my destination like enjoying my family, or the beauty and warmth of the island.

     Add a few breathing techniques to your coping skills.  I often use this when flying.  I also bring my Ipod along because music soothes me and I watch movies when they are available.

     Do not beat yourself up because you are afraid to do something.  Treat yourself like a good friend with patient understanding and loving care.  Try many different solutions until you find something that works.  You and your goal are well worth the effort because achieving this goal could mean a richer more meaningful life.

     I still have some level of fear during the process of flying, but because I take care of myself throughout the process, the fear no longer controls me.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
— Frank Herbert, Dune – Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

Posted by: gayleegayle | April 25, 2010

21 Days of Coffee and Contemplation

Coffee & Contemplation



I grab a cup of coffee every morning like most of the world.   However, the difference between me and most of the world is that this is less of a mindless act and more of an event.  I call it–oddly enough–The Coffee Hour.

My morning coffee has always been special to me and my view of it as an event sets me apart.  Yes, I do love coffee and probably need a 12-step program, but my coffee hour is so much more than that.  Throughout most of my adult life no matter how early I needed to get up for work, for children, or for an appointment,  I always got up in time to have that special moment of coffee and deep thought.  This practice has served me well, propelling me forward in many areas of my life including writing.

The problem in later years though, has been getting caught up in the wireless fray–checking email, Facebook, iGoogle and, before you know it, 52 other sites because one click leads to another.  And let’s not talk about the phone.

Multitasking and Distraction

There indeed lies the problem—multitasking to the point of distraction and less focus on deep thought.  Deep thought is truly needed right now (and I’m not talking about the comedic Jack Handy variety here).

The X Factor

No matter how positive one tries to be you can’t help but feel the global unrest in the air on every level including financially, politically, and environmentally.  The earth is clearly weighing in showing symptoms of stress with unprecedented changes in its terrain and behavior.

I believe it’s a turning point for us all and we need to get prepared for more of the X factor.  We have taken so much for granted thinking that the way we have been living is guaranteed forever.  It began with the wake-up call of 9/11 and most recently the economic downturn in housing and jobs—or the lack thereof.  Most of us have been caught out there without plan B every time.  We have to know by now that this is not a drill and we need to be prepared through Z and beyond.

Spinning My Wheels

 In the past few months I have been pushing myself to excel in many areas and I have to give myself credit.  I have made progress–working out, eating well, taking writing courses, brainstorming ideas for new revenue streams, job-hunting strategies–but it’s still not enough.  There’s lots of wheel spinning and sweating going on, but not enough traction in any one area to make a significant change or create a real breakthrough.


If ever there was a moment when I needed to step back, focus and listen to my spiritual advisors, namely our creator and the universe, I would say the time is now.

For the next 21 days, I’ll be the one in my PJ’s with my coffee in one hand, pen and paper in the other, long before the sun has arrived.  With clarity as my intention and meditation my sole agenda, I will be listening and letting the pen move me whenever the message is there.


Your presence too has been requested.  Grab your cup and join me.   Is before sunrise too early for you?  No problem.  SUBSCRIBE on the right and you can check out my post on your time.

Enjoy this moment–it’s the only one you really have.

UPDATE:  We are well past 21 days now–6 months and counting to be precise.  I am weighing in to let you know that this practice is still in full effect.  It has served me well.  There are no earth-shattering results to report, but it’s more like a steady course on a ship, navagating storms and swells making progress all the while because my vision of where I want my life to go is clearer and stronger than ever.  I suspect that this coming year will be one of  amazing change.  Stay tuned!

Posted by: gayleegayle | March 8, 2010

How to Be Certain in an Uncertain World


I am preparing myself for change because it’s inevitable. Spring is coming, the economy and job market are still in a slump. Even the planet seems to be behaving in a tumultuous way with so many earthquakes and other strange phenomena.

Like most of you, I’ve got a lot on my plate and a lot at stake. If we watch the news every day or listen to our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone other than ourselves, we can become immobilized with fear. We start telling ourselves that trying is hopeless and paint a picture of doom. “There are no jobs out there!” “You can’t sell your house in this economy!” You had better not start a business now!” And yet, if you take a closer look, people are still getting jobs, selling their homes, buying new homes, starting businesses and doing amazing things.

I am choosing to close my ears to negativity, to do everything in my power to make sure that the things I am in control of are done, and taking intelligent risks because I believe in my heart that no matter what, I am going to be okay!

Here are three things that I am doing that you can try too:

1- Be grateful. Look around and recognize that you have so much to be thankful for. If you are having trouble figuring that out look at people who are so much less fortunate than you. When basic needs like clean water are a daily challenge, then you really have something to be concerned about.

2-Ask yourself, “What am I in control of?” and then write a list of things you can do like getting fit, caring for yourself, sharpening your skills, and get to work on them right now.

3-Create order and peace in the environment around you—your room, your home, your workspace. I guarantee you will feel better immediately.

So even if your own personal “Henny Penny” is telling you the sky is falling, put on your helmet, put a smile on your face and get moving.

Posted by: gayleegayle | February 12, 2010

Push Button for a Better You


Most people could be better. It doesn’t matter if it is weight, fitness, manners, penmanship, school or work performance. The problem is that it takes effort to be better and self-motivation is in short supply. Rather than try, some people like to say, “That’s just how I am,” as though “how they are” were written in stone and you had better just accept it because they certainly have.

I met with a personal trainer the other day to evaluate where I am right now. Even in that evaluation session, he would not accept my perception of where I was and what I could not do. He pushed me to do more and somehow I did.

I was shocked and really a bit annoyed, not with him but with me for believing and arguing for my limitations. No one knows better than me that HABITS ARE JUST LEARNED BEHAVIOR AND LIMITATIONS EXIST 90% IN THE MIND and yet somewhere along the line I started babying myself when it came to pushing myself physically.

It began a few years ago with a badly broken ankle. I fell down the attic steps in my house into a lotus-like position and beyond that, I’ll spare you the gory details. After dealing with mind-numbing pain, surgery that involved more plates and screws than in your front door, and a year of physical therapy, I became a bit gun shy when it comes to pushing myself, but after what I just learned, I think it’s high time I raised the bar for myself.

After all, you may think you can’t do something, but let Godzilla come after you and you’ll be amazed at what you can do. In fact, you will be leaping fences and running faster than an Olympic gold medal winner. You just need a little push.

Are you going to wait until you are chased, or are you going to start pushing yourself to be a better version of you now?

Posted by: gayleegayle | February 4, 2010

Changing Roads


Many years ago, through relentless persistence, I landed what I thought was my dream job. You see I understood “The Secret” long before it became a movie. In fact, there is nothing I have put my attention on seriously that I have not achieved.

My dream job lasted all of six weeks. I was not fired, I fired myself. Although the job only lasted six weeks, the affect it had on me for years was devastating. It was a defining moment and not in a good way. My faith and confidence in me was shaken. I forever judged myself and tried to make sense of what happened. As a result, I stopped trusting me. Everything I stepped into from then on was done with uncertainty and I then let my own internal naysayers take hold from there.

As a result, I fell into a deep depression and gave up on dreaming. With no goals and no direction I let life knock me around. I began taking temporary jobs anywhere and sometimes spent my lunch hour crying and asking God for guidance. Not long after, I received a one-day temp assignment and this note was tacked to the wall in the cubicle where I sat. “”Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.” Maya Angelou”

I stopped breathing and actually looked around to see if this was a joke. Wow. I asked and God really answered. I have read, so I thought, everything Maya Angelou ever wrote and never saw this quote before. It was so personal and so right for me. I learned so many things from that so-called “dream job.”

Today, I welcome change and a chance to take roads uncharted. I walk away from these experiences with baggage that is worth carrying and leave the stuff that doesn’t serve me behind. Change is not and never will be easy but it’s the only way to get new results and a life worth living.

Right now, you and I are at the intersection of life and the stop sign is down. Do you want to keep doing things in the same way or do you want to live your life differently? Make a change.

“What kind of life do you want to live and how close are you to living it? ~Oprah Winfrey~
Posted by: gayleegayle | February 2, 2010

Morning-The Breakfast of Champions


Morning is the best time of day. I know there are a lot of night owls who will disagree with me, but please hear me out. Waking up before the business of the world begins is amazing. It’s quiet, not just in your immediate area, but quiet in your hemisphere of the world. This creates a quiet in the mind too and real thought begins to take place.

You can also witness some amazing things in the universe like watching the sun rise and hearing the sounds of nature responding to this event–but most of all, you can hear you.

Morning is a time, if you let it, where you can think independently of the influence of the world. No phone, no TV, no internet, no radio, just quiet. Most successful people became successful because they began to get up early and seize the day.

It’s hard to design the life you want when the phone is ringing, you have work to do and the distractions of the world are in full effect.

Amazing decisions begin before the light of day.

Posted by: gayleegayle | January 24, 2010

Counting my blessings…


No matter how things are going in our lives they could always be better, but it sometimes takes a tragedy to make us realize they could also be worse. Just put yourself in Port Au Prince right now and I think you will get my drift.

I met a woman a few years ago in the Dominican Republic. Her standing home structure was about the size of two tiny rooms and a new cinderblock structure was being built around it about two maybe three times the size. She showed me her home with great pride and talked about what was to come with a glad heart. Her pride in her tiny garden that had a growing lemon tree and mint leaves shone in her eyes.

She went out of her way to welcome us. She had black sweet coffee, a Dominican favorite, and offered us some. Not wanting to put her out in any way, I thanked her but declined. Later on, we talked a little more about coffee and I mentioned that I liked milky unsweetened coffee. My husband told her he only drank tea. We continued to talk with her husband while she excused herself and moments later appeared with a hot cup of milky coffee for me and tea for my husband. She had slipped away to borrow a can of evaporated milk from a neighbor and picked leaves from her garden for my husband’s tea. Tears still come to my eyes when I think of this. I made a pact from that day on that I would always be hospitable to unexpected guests and never think of my home as not enough.

We do that often in our lives without thinking. We feel that others have so much more than we do. Better homes, better husbands or wives, better jobs, better lives. Our want lists get bigger and bigger, making us always feel dissatisfied with what we have. We find ourselves always looking to the next big thing that we can get and then wonder why it still doesn’t make us happy when it’s in our hands.

Stop and take a moment to really appreciate all of the things in your life right now. I mean really take the time and look at everything with a new eye. Appreciate that you woke up on the right side of the dirt this morning. You are breathing. You are here in this moment. So many people in Haiti are so very thankful today for just that, so ask yourself, “What could I possibly be complaining about?”

To help the people of Haiti:

Yele Haiti
To donate $5 –Text “Yele” to 501501
To donate $10–Text “Haiti” to 501501

American Red Cross
To donate $10–Text “Haiti” 90999

Posted by: gayleegayle | January 21, 2010

Fill Your Cup


Yesterday was one of my worst days ever. Why? Because I forgot that Superwoman is not my middle name. I am not alone; most women suffer from this syndrome. Men seem to have a mechanism that does not allow for this kind of foolishness.

We have to remember that if we don’t take care of ourselves in the midst of taking care of the world, we will eventually suffer a breakdown, mentally and/or physically.

What should we do?

Take time out for you, and I am here to tell you that shopping is not a part of this agenda. Think about this. If you didn’t have a dime, what could you do for yourself? Last night I put on some relaxing music and sat quietly in meditation and gratefulness. Then I moved on to a bubble bath with candles and music. Add to that an early bedtime and you’ve got the makings of a great morning, but don’t stop there.

Spend some time with yourself. Get out and enjoy nature–it doesn’t cost a penny. It doesn’t matter if it is cold, raining, or snowing; just take a moment to marvel at the universe and its workings. Stay off the phone, shut down the computer and just be alone with you. Don’t think, just breathe.

It’s amazing how little it takes to refill your cup and feel whole again, but doing this regularly is required. And please, don’t make the mistake of waiting until your cup is empty. Take a few moments and make a list of what you can do for you right now. My sister just recently went ice skating, something she has not done since she was a teen and the result was not only exhilarating, it was empowering.

Now just like you take care of everyone and everything else, take the time to take care of you. Your cup is waiting for a refill.

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