Monday, November 20, 2017

The Gratitude Game


The Gratitude Game
by Mary Lyn Miller

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often think about gratitude, and while I have published this before, I am often asked to do it again.  And as we are looking forward to a new year and new visions and goals, it's important to be grateful for what we have first before we race to move on!

While your probably view yourself as thankful for your blessings, we determine what we believe to be a "blessing" and what is not.  However, some of your greatest blessings may not initially look all that positive in the beginning.  For instance, my experiencing Cancer is what turned my life around and opened the door to a good health consciousness and rewarding life work.  Today I always give thanks for the gift of Cancer, but at the time it was fearful and overwhelming. The first thing to understand about gratitude is that it is not a selective process.

                                                 

The Gratitude Game begins with the premise that genuine thankfulness begins with being grateful for everything..yes, absolutely EVERYTHING in your life.

These are the steps to the Game:

1.    Make a list of anything you perceive as positive in your life. The people who love you are a good start. Anything good about your work, your relationships, special advantages or support you've received, anything nice someone else has done for you.  Just write down everything you can think of that is good about your life. Be truly grateful for it.

2.    Next write down everything ordinary that you take for granted: the roof over your head, your sight, your hearing, the ability to chew, your health, the warm California climate (you can tell I'm from the Midwest) and so forth. When you really think about it, there are so many small, inconsequential conditions that conspire to create a good lifestyle.  This is a good time to recognize them.

3.    Finally, write down any painful, uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and events, some of which may feel uncomfortable or difficult right now…and get grateful for them.  Why? This is how we learn the lessons of life. No one said it was all going to be easy.  But, gratitude opens you up. It helps you release the resistance (oh, why did this have to happen to me?) and embrace your difficult circumstances and allow the most good to come from them.  What creates your reality is not what happens to you, but how you RESPOND to what happens to you.  Life does have challenges, but there is a positive side for each and every one of them.  Be grateful for the gift inside of every heartache even if you can’t see it right now.

4.    Give thanks for those blessings that are on the way. Feel them coming. Expect success.  Expect the best and be grateful for it.

After completing this little game, how do you feel?  

Everyone who plays is a winner because I'll tell you a secret, gratitude allows you to receive more; it is the foundation of all abundance. An open, gracious heart is a powerful magnet for good. Money, opportunity, and joy flows toward gratitude.  Try it and see.

It will prepare you for a glorious Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Giving Without Expecting to Receive - and Receiving Even More!


Hello to Fired Up Spirits:

While my work is not exclusive to business owners, I spend a lot of time with business mavens of one type or another.  The subject is often about what you need to do to ‘GET RESULTS.’  The end game seems to be pretty consistently the focus.  I’m not saying results should be ignored, but since everything produces some kind of result – maybe we could embrace a kinder – and more effective - strategy.

One of my favorite gurus, Deepak Chopra, talks about the “Law of Giving and Receiving,”

“The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”

Crazy, huh??!!  This is obviously the stuff for great spiritual minds, but wait!!  I belong to Business Network International  (BNI)  founded by business marketing expert, Ivan Meisner, Ph.D.,  and the slogan is “Givers Gain.”  Meetings are focused on what we can do for other members, not just ourselves.  Statistics seems to indicate those who give the most are the ones who receive the most business referrals.

Shocking!

If you find yourself stuck, reach out to help someone else. It will help you think about yourself less and get involved in something that may spark an idea that helps you.  Like Deepak says, the more we give, the more we receive.

Below is a way of giving that you can join led by my dear friend and client, Dr. Virginia Green, a marriage and family therapist who founded Stillwater Global to find ways to serve the overwhelming needs of the women of Uganda who have no access to therapists, counselors, teachers to help these often abused and raped women ripped from their families in a war-torn nation.  She is taking a second group of those who want to provide service – and learn about Africa – to teach these women how to help each other.  The last time she helped them start businesses.  She is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  

She is not doing it to build her business; she is doing it out of sense of “calling,” – and it’s a beautiful thing.  But incidentally, she flourishes.
Where do YOU need to be giving?  What touches you?  What do you want to be different?  We all do this in different ways – it is the ACT of giving that creates and open and abundant heart, and I wish that for you in every way.

More on Stillwater Global:  

If you have been attracted to Africa – or to wanting to be of greater service  - this is a great opportunity!  Reservations to be confirmed September 2017.

If you have just wanted to learn more and live near Redondo Beach, Dr. Green is conducting educational forums the last Sunday of every month until they leave.  For practicing therapists, 35 hours of CEUS are available for MFT’s, LCSW’s and LPCC’s in California.

Too far away to drop in?   For more info or to make a small donation : 

https:www.stillwaterfamilytherapy.com/stillwater-global-africa. 






Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy July 4th!! How Independent Are You ?



As we head into our 241st celebration of American independence, what can be more “red white and blue” than entrepreneurship?  After all, we are founded on the dedication to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”   There is no doubt in my mind that nowhere else in the world is better soil to grow a creative entrepreneurial venture.                                                  
I am thrilled to say women have entered this arena once dominated by our forefathers and, according to Forbes, as of 2017 the rate of female entrepreneurs has been growing at a percentage at least double that of our male counterparts.
For all of this good news, I caution readers to assess how much independence you really have. 


 I find many of my clients have not only bought the American Dream, but also believe you must be constantly working hard, ever-vigilant, hyper-available, and often exhausted.  This is especially true of the women who care deeply and want to make a difference in today’s topsy-turvy world. 
How much freedom do you have really in your work or business?  

Here are some simple questions to ask yourself: 

1)      How long has it been since you’ve taken at least 1 week off – with minimal texting?  (More than 6 months may be a problem -you need off time for your brain to function properly.)

2)      Are your relationships with friends and family strained because you are always “so busy” they hesitate to ask you anymore?

3)      You don’t know what to put in that line that says “hobbies & outside interests” because you don’t have any?

4)      You’re not eating as well as you could and exercise is running between your computer and printer….

The list is endless - you get the idea.  This has been me more times than I want to tell you, however, it was a long time ago and I feel compelled to advocate for your freedom – even if you can’t see it yet.  

In this month of independence I’m going to address this again and will also be offering a free “mini-book” to offer some very specific strategies for you, so watch for it!


And have a very happy and independent July 4!  Let your freedom ring!

Mary Lyn 🎆🎇🎈



Tuesday, June 13, 2017


As I am just returning from some downtime with one of my longtime BFF's whom I haven't seen in awhile, I am reminded of how important vacation is not only for my personal health, but also for my business!



How high a priority is taking a vacation?  Are you waiting until “things calm down” or are more “under control?”  Maybe when you have more money?  Stop that right now!

Vacations are critically important not only for your health and well -being, but also for your ability to be creative and productive and those who are self- employed and on the more entrepreneurial track are especially difficult to convince to take the time – and you probably need to be doing it more often than you are.

There is a misguided perception that if you stay in town, it will improve your business.  Not true.  Why?

1)      Your brain needs downtime to run efficiently.  Your brain cannot go 100% or it will break down. You don’t let your vacuum cleaner run day after day; your brain needs to be off as well.  It needs to re-boot to function properly and keep your business refreshed!

2)      Time away produces the “happiness” chemical of serotonin which increases your sense of well- being and promotes creativity.  Richard Branson says that anyone who does not come home from vacation with a few better ideas for their business has bigger problems.

3)    Vacation makes you feel refreshed and energized.  Changing your everyday routine and getting some truly restful sleep can give you more energy to look at your challenges with a fresh perspective and return home ready to tackle your goals.

4)      Sound crazy?  The accounting firm of Ernst and Young did a study on the productivity of their employees and found that those who took extended vacations produced at least 8% better than those who skipped vacations.

So, if you want to really be productive this year, pack your bags!!

PS:  Let me know what YOUR vacation plans are this year!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy (Almost) Independence Day!

Any company producing a product called “Fired Up” should address the queen of all fired up holidays: the 4th of July aka Independence Day!

Of course, we know it as the day that the “United States of America” finally signed the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming our separation from Great Britain. (I understand it was actually signed July 2, but needed to be edited for 2 days – another story.)

A mere 1,337 handwritten words including headings with 56 signatures announced the humanitarian values of this new country as well as a list of grievances that would not be repeated. It is to this day, one of the most powerful documents in our history and changed the course of not only this fledgling country, but the world.

When I talk to entrepreneurs, the #1 reason many have stepped into their lifestyle is a quest for “independence.”

It made me think that we should all have a personal Declaration of Independence. A brief document signed by ONE (you) that, similar to the Declaration, could have 3 parts:
  1. What you stand for or believe in (the need to be creative, the right to create your own livelihood, the importance of helping others, the need to be self-expressive, etc….like a personal Purpose Statement.) It will be the values your business represents as well, I would think.
  2. What mistakes you have seen others make that you will not make (What you will do to live the life you stand for)
  3. What you are willing to do to live the life you have been designed to live which will set you free.
As soon as I started writing this, I just knew you’d want me to give you an example, so below is a quick, fairly imperfect template that I put together for myself just to give you some thoughts:

I, Mary Lyn Miller, do declare I believe all beings are endowed with a Divine sense of Purpose and the ability to make their Purpose come to pass through the consistent pursuit and focus on passion and joy. Passion is light through the tunnel. I have come to know it is not always an easy journey, but the one which provides the most reward, fulfillment and financial well-being, and the one I must choose in order to live an authentic life without regret.
I will not:
  • Work only for money.
  • Ignore my innate gifts and talents
  • Distrust my instincts
  • Allow myself to be too afraid to do what I need to do to move forward
  • Try to do it all myself
  • Forget that prayer and meditation is almost always the answer to every major need or desire (forget myself and my ego.)
I will:
  • Do something that gives me passion every day.
  • Realize passion and purpose is not something “to find”– it is already in me and I simply need to give it space to express.
  • Do my best to stay in the moment
  • End every day with a profound sense of gratitude no matter what.

What about you? What would your personal Declaration of Independence look like? Take the time over this holiday weekend to give it some thought and make some notes.

We all have to invest time to be free. Happy 4th!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Erica's New Car!


Erica Stambler began with Fired Up for Success in 2012, went through Core Essence, and has continued to participate in telephone Mastermind Groups and in-person Premiere Masterminds.  Starting with the 2012 Vision Workshop, Erica honed and refined her vision of what a law practice is to her and, from that vision, she launched what is now a bustling and successful law firm, The Stambler Law Office (www.StamblerLaw.com).

 While she presented her significant expertise as a business, contracts, and trademark attorney impressively to others, something was amiss...she still drove to her clients and speaking events in a 15 year old car.  "After all, it was practical and reliable (most of the time).  Besides, I don’t want to be perceived as one of those (heartless) high powered types that I saw when I was working in the big firms.”  By exploring that perception and what her car represented with her Premiere Mastermind group, she reframed her view of what kind of attorney drives a luxury vehicle--a High Integrity One!
                                                     
And, she quickly grasped that a high integrity attorney can drive a brand new Lexus and still be accessible to and supportive of others.  Interestingly, the same day, a colleague reflected back to her the exact words: “You are such a high integrity attorney.” 

What we believe, we receive.  

We all have beliefs that subtly sabotage us.  What beliefs are holding you back?  How are you denying yourself the income, ease, or support you truly deserve to move you forward? You need to do it yourself... but you don't need to do it alone.  Help is here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How is Your Business Like a Go-Kart ?

Guess what? Some kids took their Moms to brunch for Mother’s Day!! My fabulous daughter, Brandy and her  friend, Luke, let me loose to go kart racing and it was a blast!  I immediately wanted to go super- fast, but I realized that to get ahead it was more important to stay focused (so I didn’t bounce off the track or hit other cars and lose it all.) As I really concentrated, I realized it was more about strategy than speed. Maneuvering effectively was far more critical than being fast, and would actually help me get ahead of the other cars.


What a metaphor for success! So many of us want what we want – NOW! But, if you’re going really fast, you can make big mistakes that can throw you off the track. That’s why the Fired Up for Success approach encourages:“Success is accomplished moving forward taking the smallest steps possible on a consistent basis over an extended period of time.”

Does that sound like progress will be slow? Quite the contrary. Constant progress is waay better than taking huge leaps - and then finding out that you simply weren't prepared and are now facing a setback.  Think about it.