Thursday, January 27, 2011

You Could Learn A Lot From A 300 Pound Woman

I was recently asked to direct a documentary on obesity. The subject of the documentary will go on a year long journey to lose 100 pounds. She currently weighs 301 pounds. She’s “metabolically healthy” which means that in spite of the weight, she doesn’t currently have heart disease, diabetes, cancer or any other diseases.

Still, she knows that being 300 pounds is unhealthy – she’s obese. And not only is she committed to losing the weight, she’s keeping herself accountable by having me, a team of producers, and an entire crew documenting the process.

I’ve had to spend quite a bit of time getting to know her and her struggles with her weight, and I have to tell you that I’ve been unbelievably inspired. She’s one of the bravest people I know. I can’t say that I would be willing to do what she’s doing…could you?

There are some important lessons I’ve learned from watching her and I’m sharing them with you today (and I’ll be giving you the behind the scenes scoop of the production once we’re shooting).

Believe in yourself.
She believes in herself and in her ability to do this. If she didn’t, all of this would be pointless. Do you believe in yourself? Maybe your challenge or addiction is something different – no matter what it is, your success starts with believing that you can do what you’ve committed to doing.

Seek out support.
She came to me a year ago and was very candid about her desire to lose weight. I put her in touch with an amazing celebrity trainer I know and she has continued to work with her. She’s lost 32 pounds so far and she’s toned up significantly. It’s been amazing to watch her mental strength improve as her physical strength improved. Who can you reach out to for support on your journey? Maybe it’s a family member or friend. Find a group of people who can and will support you as you grow.

Put your thoughts and plans on paper.
I thought I wrote a lot – this woman has got me beat! She has stacks and stacks of paper – information, plans, ideas, outlines – it’s amazing to see her level of dedication to sorting through the details of her plan. Where are your dreams and plans? Do you have a binder or notebook for them? Get it out of your head and on paper. Writing creates clarity and frees you to really explore an idea.

Maybe you’re not trying to lose 100 pounds…maybe you want to climb out of debt or start a business. Create an environment that supports your success and make it happen!

Stay tuned for updates on this project.

Inspired Journaling Prompt: What’s missing from your success process? What do you need to do to be completely supported and on task to succeed?

Inspired Action: Take a specific action that moves you closer to an important goal. Call that friend, write out that plan, get going. Nothing in life works unless you do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The End of Shoulda Coulda Wouldas

The year is almost over! On our last Inspired Living Coaching Call, I focused on the key things you need to do to finish the year with a BANG and start 2011 with momentum! The word for November is COMPLETION. What have you started this year that you haven't completed? What unfinished projects could help you create some forward motion in your life?

With so many distractions and demands on our time, it's easy to drift into a space of going from task to task and only putting out fires instead of intentionally seeing projects through to completion. This week, ponder completion - what areas of your life have a trail of unfinished projects and how you can change that? Did you get overwhelmed? Are you lacking in time or resources? During private sessions this month, I'll be spending time on this with you. If you want to schedule a special session to button up your open areas, email me.

Remember that completion is one of the benchmarks of success. Nobody remembers the people who never finished the great things they started. Your legacy will be tied to what you finish, not what you kind of sort of stumble through. Focus on completing things that are important and abandoning things that are not aligned with your goals.

Let's get it done, people! Make it an awesome week!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inspired Living: Know YOU

Over the past few years, I've grown to know myself intimately. I've become my own best friend - I've developed a deeper understanding of myself and my complexities which has allowed me to develop more empathy and understanding for other people.

This is, I've found, essential to resolving our anger issues with other people. I am not a grudge holder, but I won't deny having carried things from relationships that could have been released sooner. In hindsight, I realize that having unrealistic expectations of myself led to unrealistic expectations of others which contributed to attempts at expressing negative energy that never should have existed.

Do you know yourself? I mean, do you REALLY know yourself? Do you spend time alone daily? Do you spend time thinking about yourself? Do you ever step out of the scene of your own movie to see the shot and the action? Knowledge of self, the greats have told us, is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of others. I've found that most people are too frightened by what they might discover if they really took the time to know and address themselves...but this is the beginning of power.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

L Chronicles: Failure - The Successful Person's Dirty Little Secret

Throughout my years as an entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, and life strategist, I've had the good fortune of being in the company of a lot of phenomenal people - from A list celebrities to government officials to highly respected entrepreneurs. I've been able to glean many important lessons and tidbits from them and I often share them as I speak or write.

In reading biographies, paying close attention to personal stories, and asking specific questions, I've discovered that every highly successful person I know has a dirty little secret to success - FAILURE. And beyond failure, deciding to pick up the pieces and keep going.

In the spirit of transparency, I have to share that I've had both successes and failures thus far in 2010. I pitched and sold some great stuff that went off without a hitch, I made more money than I did in 2009, I launched several cool Inspired Living things, I launched a charter group in Ecuador for Inspired Girls, and achieved some other great stuff. But on the flip side, I planned a national tour that dwindled before my eyes (although I'm realizing that that was a blessing in disguise for several reasons) and had to push some other things back.

Now, here's what's interesting: I was talking with a friend at lunch yesterday about this and she said, "Lisa, you know every successful person fails. That's just a part of the game as an entrepreneur." Well, yeah...but do people really get that?

For a period of time, I was hypersensitive to the opinions and ideas people held about me and my company. It used to be important to me to maintain a professional image and all of that. However, I realized that
a) a failure is an event, not a person
b) I cannot expect to be good at everything - there's a learning curve in life and business
c) In the words of Jay-Z, you can't be afraid to fail in search of perfection.

And so, I pondered my friend's words over raw vegan pizza as I fought back tears of happiness & gratitude. She didn't say anything particularly earth shattering that I didn't already know, but that's what friends - real friends - are give you that reminder when you need it and to push you forward when you want to stall. And I happen to be a big mush when it comes to people in my inner circle.

Success, according to Rudyard Kipling, is failure turned inside out. I believe that. And as I pick up my own pieces, I insist on reminding myself that I've had a LOT more successes than failures this year, and I owe it to myself to learn the valuable lessons from the disappointment and then apply them going forward. And anyone who's decided to "write me off" because of it can sit back and watch me apply the lessons and succeed because one thing I have never lacked is persistence. I've said before that fragile friendships that can't withstand a disagreement or shakeup aren't friendships worth having and I'm now realizing that that extends to professional relationships too. Things happen. Theories fail. People evolve. The type of people I want around me, in business and life, understand this and don't run at the first sign of a challenge. After all, why let people ride the bandwagon once it's rolling if they didn't want to help push?

It's true that some of our most valuable lessons come from failures because I'm certain there's no way I could have learned so much from a success.

The takeaway:
Failure & success are 2 sides of the same coin. If you fear failure, you'll never have success.

Some lessons can be learned from watching & learning from others...some are yours to bear.

Contingency plans are a leader's best friend.

The people who belong in your space do more than "get you" or want to be a part of your vision - they support you & the process of creating the vision. They demonstrate a certain loyalty, not just to you, but to the outcome that the vision produces.

Next time you see someone who appears to make everything turn to gold, remember their dirty little secret and keep pushing.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inspired Living - How To Make Positive Thinking Work

Ok so you’ve heard all of the stuff about “thinking positive” and “just seeing it in your mind” but if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I believe in things that are practical and things that work. In speaking to groups, reading letters from radio listeners, and talking with people who are into personal development, I’m finding that a lot of people are disillusioned by this whole positive thinking thing. Some people are confused about how it works, and others have simply gone about it the wrong way. Today, I’m sharing some insight on this to empower you to choose thoughts that reflect what you want to create in your life and to do so in a meaningful way, unfluffy way.

Positive thinking is important. I have yet to meet a successful person who wasn’t a positive thinker. But if positive thinking is so important, why is it that some people have exceptional success while others continue to lag behind and struggle?

1. Not accepting the present.

You may be a positive person who is actually in denial about reality. You may wave the banner of optimism, but you haven’t actually accepted what’s in front of you.

2. Obsessing over the past.

The past is OVER! You no longer have control over it, and it really shouldn’t be given control over you.

3. Attempting to control the future.

The future is not here yet – it sounds obvious but how many times have you obsessed over something that hasn’t happened or wasn’t even close? The best thing we can do for the future is set powerful, clear intentions for it, take actions for it, and then stay in the present moment.

The secret to making positive thinking work is to release the past, accept the present, and intend the future. Your past is done and gone – to dwell on it is to allow it to be a part of your future. It’s important to mine the past for lessons and then release it – you can’t steal third base with your foot on second!

After releasing the past, we have to accept the present. Admitting where you are isn’t being negative – it’s empowering yourself to take meaningful action. You can’t get directions to your destiny if you don’t know where you currently are.

Intending your future means being crystal clear about what you want to see happen in your life. To operate this way is to stop responding as things come up and to start being a catalyst for forward motion. The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Thoughts become things – we are able to manifest amazing outcomes when we can control our thoughts. Today, choose only thoughts that empower your past, present, and future.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The L Chronicles: Stranded

[Note: This is a personal blog. Some of them are not personal - they empower you. Some of them are personal - they empower me. This one is very, very personal. Enjoy.]

Today, I went to CVS to pick up a couple of items. I've got a head full of natural waves, coils, and curls, and so, I'm addicted to the hair care isle of any department or drug store.

My natural hair is a "thing" for that I explained here when I discussed what it meant to me to have natural hair.

I had just left a meeting with a member of the Inspired Girls advisory board and we started the conversation with, "Girl, you are working those you doin?" because that's just how we talk. In a land of waist length weaves and Beyonce dye jobs, we stand out in all of our natural glory.

As I stood on the hair isle in CVS, eyeing how overpriced their Neutrogena products are, I overheard a woman say, "Well, I'm not sure about this...for your hair...I mean...with the type of hair you have. I don't know about that, so let's go with this." I glanced up to see who was talking and more importantly to see who the comment was for and I saw a Caucasian woman who appeared to be in her 60s talking to a young girl who appeared to be black. The girl had gorgeous, thick natural hair...and of course, the white woman had straight hair (it was short and grey). The look on the girl's face was a blend of confusion with disappointment.

Instantly my heart sank. I just stood there, staring, and then quickly looked away to not seem obvious. My chest got tight, and I quickly walked off.

As I stood in front of the paper towels with tears in my eyes, I tried to understand what was going on with me. Was this PMS or was I feeling some kind of way about what I had just heard? I realized it was the latter and I felt compelled to go back over and say something, anything, to make it better somehow.

But what would I say without seeming like a pushy, militant black woman? Of course, my braidout was fluffed to perfection and my curls were defined so I would appear to be a reasonable adviser on the matter but still...I'd be sticking my nose where I wasn't invited.

I went back and forth with myself and finally decided to go over...I got back to the hair isle and they were gone. I went to the front and checked out and left the store with tears streaming down my face.

Perhaps I'm way too sensitive when it comes to this hair stuff, but for some of us, it's deeper than hair. It's about our identity and feeling beautiful and swimming upstream in a straight haired culture.

I sat in the car for a minute and realized that I was so bothered because I, as a grown woman, spent years realizing that I had to remove the kinks from my mind, not my hair. It took a shift in my consciousness for me to understand that I'm gorgeous through and through and that untamed curls or a silky press do not change that. Perhaps I was projecting my past issues onto this girl, but I had the feeling that there weren't any natural haired black women around to tell her how beautiful her hair is and to show her how to care for it properly. I would imagine that her white caregiver was overwhelmed and confused with where to begin with her thick, coily hair.

As I sat in my car, I closed my eyes and said a prayer for the girl. I prayed that light, love, and peace would surround her...that even if she grew up facing the typical ups and downs of life, she'd never feel less beautiful because of her hair. I prayed that she would look in the mirror and see beauty tangled in her strands and that her hair would be a source of pride and distinction.

I drove off wishing that level of liberation for every woman. I know that chemicals are mere style choices for some, but for many, they're unconsciously wrapped up in a system that's telling them they're not light enough, thin enough or pretty enough so they buy the weaves, the creams, and the clothes, hoping to make some invisible and unattainable cut.

I'm happy to say that I'm liberated from allowing my hair to define me, and I can't help but want the same freedom for every other woman - white, black, or other.

The lesson? Say what you want to say. You don't know whose life can be blessed & transformed by you simply stating your truth. Next time, I'll politely state mine. What I say is my responsibility; how people respond is theirs.


Bless The Bills!


We’ve all got them but most of us hate them. But what if we decided to take a different perspective to our bills?

Have you ever considered that your bills are actually a blessing? Think for a moment about what a bill is an indication of…a product, credit, or service extended to you in exchange for your payment. With this in mind, a bill is a reflection of you receiving something.

Think about what it’d be like if you had no bills. Your life is free of any payment for any products or services. You live without the perceived headache of mailing checks or pointing and clicking online to pay your bills. But along with that leisurely convenience, you don’t have lights, credit, a car, a home, water, internet, or cable. Suddenly, the bills don’t seem so bad, right?

Our bills are a reflection of our blessings. This week, I encourage you to begin to see your bills as an opportunity for you keep money circulating in our economy. After all, money is energetic and needs to flow. Contrary to popular belief, hoarding money selfishly does not lead to wealth – it leads to a stoppage of the flow of resources necessary for ourselves, our family, and our communities to thrive.

Each time you assume a new responsibility, focus on what you’re receiving. Remember that when you spend money, you have the power and the choice to make a wise investment. If you consistently regret spending money, it may be time to reevaluate how and why you’re spending. Remember that money gives you the ability to choose how you express the abundance that already exists in your life. Consider your bills an extension of that expression.