Who Are You and What is Your Center?

Who Are You and What is Your Center?

It’s Day 217 of the Pink Collar Savvy Chic on Purpose Project and watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, Rise of the Guardians, has me wondering Who are you and what is your center? Yesterday evening, before the family was due to go see the Christmas lights, I took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some of my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas cookies and milk with Izzy (my stepson’s daughter) while we watched the movie. It’s an animated and speaks to my inner child in a profound way. The premise of the movie is that all of us who believe in Santa, Jack Frost (the main character) and the other guardians, are guardians too. I do believe and am proud to be a guardian who keeps the magic of Christmas, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, etc. alive for children. But that’s not the only reason I was compelled to purchase it after I saw it in the theater with my own kiddos. The scene where Santa asks, “Who are you, Jack Frost? What is your center?” presents the perfect Pink Collar Savvy & Chic professional development opportunity.

A Russian Santa uses Russian nesting dolls as a visual aid. You may be familiar with these stacking dolls, which according to Wikipedia are “a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the another”. The largest doll shows Santa is fierce and intimidating, the next shows he’s fearless, and the next depicts that he’s jolly. The final one has big eyes that are “full of wonder”. Santa explains that he has always seen the wonder in everything – lights in the trees, magic in the air, everything –  and that he puts it back into the world and also protects it in children. “It is my center,” he finishes. Then he repeats his question to Jack: “What is your center?” Jack admits he doesn’t know. But by the end of the movie he does. Long before Jack discovered his center, I knew I’d use Santa’s illustration someday. Today is that day. Recently, I was delighted to find my own visual aid in the form of a pink Russian nesting doll.

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A pretty pink Babushka (another name for the dolls & one my children use often!).                         She looks truly at home in front of my largest Christmas house, also known as a Putz House.  They originated in Central Europe as well.  
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The intricate painting on each of the dolls is exquisite.                                                                       Another of my amazing TJ Maxx finds for under $10.                                                                               The Christmas House was a Marshall’s clearance find years ago.
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I adore this periwinkle stacking doll but almost let her go.                                                        Thankfully, she waited for me & is now a Christmas gift for a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Coach, my center is encouragement. Encouraging others and protecting them from discouragement is who I am. As a child I started a club to encourage other children. I gave my first public speech and sung my first solo at eight to encourage my church congregation. I got my own Sunday School class at thirteen to encourage preschoolers, which led me to become a teacher so I could encourage more children. My role as a child care center director allowed me to encourage my staff, parents and you guessed it – even more children. I fell in love with training because I could encourage workshop participants. My debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, was written to encourage women, as is this blog. When I got promoted to a Leadership Coach position encouraging program leaders, I knew I’d finally found my dream career. So, at age forty-six I earned a Masters of Leadership and Coaching degree and an Executive Coaching Certificate. These accomplishments didn’t make me a Coach – an encourager – they just put an official title on my center.

What were you created to do? Who are you? What is your center? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and put it back into the world? In your home? At work? How can you protect it in others?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

It’s Day 203 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my intense Zumba love is why I spent the early part of the day at my local fire department getting certified in Heartsaver CPR and AED. Though I’m a former teacher and child care center director and was required to have First Aid and CPR training in those roles, AED (automated external defibrillator) is new to me. The course has been revised to reflect advances in technology as well as the demographics and needs of the individuals served. To say times have changed in the last six years since I last attended a full course is a huge understatement! I’m so thankful becoming a certified Zumba instructor presented this professional development opportunity. Especially since I can use it in my personal life too. Because of it, I feel much more confident about my ability to help save a life during a Zumba class, or outside one, now that I’m Heartsaver CPR and AED certified. img_0617.jpg The training I attended is through the American Heart Association, which is commited to everyone being healthy in heart and mind. Their answer for why they do what they do: Life is Why. When I got home, bookish as I am, I studied the Student Workbook provided by the AHA more in-depthly. At the front of it, course participants are encouraged to discover our Why. The questions to ask ourselves are: What are the moments, people and experiences I live for? What brings me joy, wonder, and happiness? Why am I partnering with AHA to help save lives? Why is cardiovascular care important to me? On the most basic level, all of my answers have to do with Zumba, since that was the primary reason I got certified. But on a deeper level, I’m a Life Coach who believes strongly in a holistic coaching approach. As such, I’m committed to the health and wellness of every woman in my world. So, in a sense, you’re my Why.

After discovering our Why, there’s an offer to participate in the AHA’s mission and Life Is Why campaign. I accepted the offer and completed the above activity by filling in the blank with what describes my Why. The next step is sharing my “Zumba Love Is Why” with the people I love and to ask them to discover their Why. That means you!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach with Firefighter Ryan, our Heartsaver CPR and AED Instructor. The artwork is a drawing by talented Lakota East High School students.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach I love Zumba so much because I love life and know how much excercise can contribute to a long, healthy, happy one.  I hope that in sharing, I’ve encouraged you to think about experiencing more of life’s precious moments. Through dancing. Through taking better care of your heart and your health. Perhaps by considering your Why and then demonstrating it by sharing this post. Maybe you’ll get certified and join the Chain of Survival. In our world where heart disease, poor diet and excercise, drug abuse and other illnessess run rampant, you never know, we might just save a life…This morning I thought I was just a Zumba loving instructor getting my Heartsaver CPR and AED certification. Discovering my Why and sharing with you means I got so much more than I bargained for.

What’s your Why? What Savvy & Chic on Purpose action steps will you take because of it? How could getting certified help you in your personal life? Professionally?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Grateful, Thankful and Blessed In My Blended Family Mess

Grateful, Thankful and Blessed In My Blended Family Mess

Day 191 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was early Thanksgiving at my home and it has me feeling grateful, thankful and blessed in my blended family mess. The messy part is that divorces have created a situation where my stepsons will be out of town with their mother for the holiday and my children are with their father. In order for us to be able to celebrate with the former, our Thanksgiving gathering was today. And while I wish my babies could have been with us, I was in my element preparing to host.  Setting out my pumpkins stirred up feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. Soon I realized how blessed I am in the midst of my mess.

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My Thanksgiving decor is comprised of lots of white and bling. These pumpkins say it all for me. Table set with Simply Shabby Chic tablecloth, glass cloche with flowers, pitcher filled with my favorite – roses, and other Shabby Chic touches.

After shopping, cleaning/decorating, and then cooking, I paused right before everyone arrived to take a picture of the dining room table where appetizers were set up buffet style. Getting one afterward is impossible because they fall on the food like they’re starved! Looking around my home and at the abundance of food – a feast really – prepared for my family, I started to miss my children but again shifted my focus to having an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for what I do have instead of what I don’t.

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The day was overcast without much natural light so this picture could considered gloomy.     With a grateful, thankful, blessed attitude, I see even cast in shadows it is lovely. 

 

 

Consummate athletes, my hubby and stepsons are not enamored with my Shabby Chic decorating style. Because I moved into their home and needed to make it feel like my own we’ve had our challenges with this over the years  (I’d come from having 100% decorating freedom to living in what amounted to a Sports Central Lodge). Thankfully, now that they’re older with two of them having their own places and one of them living here only half the time, it seems how I decorate means less and less to them. While I stick with my aesthetic, creating an atmosphere that makes them want to come home means a great deal to me. Making their childhood home inviting, warm and welcoming is my goal. Judging by the wonderful time we had eating, watching football (the Bengals/Bungles win was a pleasant surprise), playing Golfopoly (Monopoly for those who’d rather be golfing), and NOT looking at phones I’m proud to say, it seems mission accomplished.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach and stepmom to three huge sons, mom-in-law to my oldest stepson’s wife and Mimi (a derivative of Tammi) for a precious, precocious four-year-old.                                         As usual, Hubby would rather take the pics than be in them.                                                                 Calvin Klein rust colored sweater and pants. I tossed the matching duster while cooking!
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The dining room tonight. Different lighting, same loveliness.                                                                 The pink Happy Harvest sign was Home Goods $4 clearance steal!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet who saw her ex-mother-in-law for the first time in a decade at the grocery store this morning and her wasband waiting as she checked out, while I sometimes wish for my children’s sake that their family was intact, I’m very grateful to have been grafted into a family where I’m accepted and loved for who I am. Even though in many ways my hubby and the boys and I couldn’t be more polar opposite. Even though we don’t always understand each other. The difference is  I’m no longer abused or mistreated. Of course my big fat blended family isn’t perfect. None is. But when we have days like today, I feel nothing but grateful, thankful and blessed. That’s when I don’t see us as a mess. I just see us as mine.

How about you? What “messes” do you have in your life for which you are grateful and thankful? How do they bless you?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Her Legacy Matters: Once a Teen Mom, Now The 2017 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Winner

Her Legacy Matters: Once a Teen Mom, Now The 2017 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Winner

The highlight of Day 185 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was an inspiring conversation with Rosemary Oglesby-Henry, whose legacy matters; she was  once a teen mom and is now the 2017 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Winner. Rosemary founded her non-profit, Rosemary’s Babies, to provide resources and support to teenage mothers and their families. She is utilizing a multi-generational approach to combat poverty and educates, empowers and equips families to build their leadership capacity. Though her success has not been without struggle, because Rosemary has a servant’s heart, she continues to sacrifice and give to others. It is that giving spirit that earned her this honor.

As much as I’d like to do her justice with my words, they fall short, so I ask that you watch this short video of her award ceremony and speech I copied and pasted from Facebook. If you’re anything like me, it will bring you to tears. And you’ll have a good laugh too.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet who is a fledgeling new business owner, I am in awe of this woman. Rosemary is truly a Pink Collar Savvy and Chic shero. I’m truly honored that she acknowledges my expertise in the coaching field and is collaborating with me to develop the coaching program she will roll out with Rosemary’s Babies next year. What an honor to be a part of such life-changing work! Rosemary’s legacy to teen moms really does matter. By training her on how to implement a coaching program, she’s giving me an opportunity for my legacy to matter with them too.

What about you? Do you realize that your legacy matters? What are you doing to leave a legacy?

If you’d like more information about Rosemary’s Babies, please visit her website at http://www.rosemarysbabies.co. Thank you!

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Hurts, Home and Healing

Hurts, Home and Healing

It’s Day 184 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I heard something about hurts, home, and healing that struck a chord. Yesterday I was more active than I’ve been in a month, so I took it easy today and didn’t venture beyond my front porch. Whenever I am home on a Sunday morning, I listen to Joel Osteen. In today’s message he talked about how we leave our homes and go out into society, be it to work, school, our communities, or even the church, where we sometimes encounter hurtful things. The attitudes and actions of others can make us feel as though we’re under attack. Given the harm inflicted on us, home needs to be a place of healing.

This week, in a group setting where I never would have expected it, someone behaved so harshly it shell-shocked everyone present. Without warning, our peaceful gathering was suddenly under emotional and verbal siege. An assault the likes of which I’ve never seen in a meeting accosted the group. Too stunned to react, we sat dumbfounded for the most part. The person’s behavior seemed to be so out of character for this individual based on all the interactions leading up to that point.  Bizarre and sad are the best words to describe what happened. By the end of the episode, I felt traumatized.

On my way from the meeting, I needed to run an errand but skipped it. I just wanted to get home. Not only to the physical space but to the emotional and spiritual balm it holds. My hubby administers these in large doses. When I arrived, he wasn’t here, but the minute he walked in the door, I unloaded. I didn’t really want to talk about what happened because it was so ugly, but I couldn’t stop. For the next two days! I felt like I had PTSD and I don’t say that lightly. I was so full of hurt I had to bleed the wound to get it out so healing could begin. Thankfully, I’m better now.

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The HOME sign propped against the hearth says it all. 

I’m blessed to have a home where my family can recover and heal from hurts. I strive to make it so. Important as that is, it’s equally important that it be a place where we built up our resistance to hurts in the first place. My babies and I used to sing “Home on The Range” on our drive home from KinderCare when I was the director there and they attended the program. The line Where seldom is heard a discouraging word was so true of our home back then. As they’ve gotten older, the ups and downs of tween and teenage years have made me have to work harder to make this a preventative and restorative place of love and care, but I’m committed.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet who knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I want to slather my family daily with protection in the form of adoration, acceptance, affirmation and a liberal covering of prayer. I can’t keep them from being hurt by the words and wicked ways of haters, but I can help them repel the harm so it doesn’t stick to them and cause them irreparable damage. And when they are hurt, I want them to feel drawn home, as I am, because they know healing waits here.

What about you? Are you savvy & chic on purpose about making your home a place where you and your loved ones can heal from life’s hurts? Where you can build up resistance against them?

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

It’s Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and since I’m restricted to a clear liquid diet and am sipping on my chicken bouillon supper, I’ve got poultry, and Thanksgiving turkey decor on the brain. Because of my lifelong natural affinity for pink and pastels and my twenty-plus year love affair with all things Shabby Chic, I’ve never been a fan of traditional Thanksgiving colors or decor.  Thankfully for me, (pun intended), in recent years the retail market has experienced a shift and now offers a selection of holiday decor in non-traditional colors. That being the case, I have to take some time to talk turkey thanksgiving decor.

Before I do, I’ll explain my train of thought. In order to get to the bottom of the abdominal pain that landed me in the ER twice in the last week and a half, tomorrow I must undergo some tests, hence the dietary restrictions. Having missed out on the chance to check out Target’s new “Hand and Hearth” line from HGTV’s Fixer Uppers Joanna and Chip Gaines yesterday because of the tornado watch, I used the need to pick up Jello as an excuse to do so today. Surprisingly underwhelmed, instead of having to chose between several items I thought I’d love, I purchased nothing which is great for my pocketbook!

Housebound for almost a month, I wasn’t ready to go home and wandered over to TJMaxx. I’d spotted a carved wooden turkey a while back and was intrigued but didn’t buy her. Then, while purusing a blog I discovered while reading Artful Blogging this weekend, I spotted the same turkey in a Thanksgiving feature. Feeling as if it wasn’t a coincidence, I made a mental note to see if she was still there whenever I made it back in.  She was. Given the two sightings, I usually would have snatched her right up, but hesitated. After some deliberation and consulting a store manager who’s become a friend and the sales associate at check out, I bought the inexpensive piece thinking, I can always return her…Then I got her home and Fell. In. Love.

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Lovely light teal turkey surrounded by Simply Shabby Chic candle lanterns, plates, and a birthday cake piggy bank that live in the dining room. The Shabby Chic French style sideboard was one of the first pieces I splurged on for my townhouse after being homeless. 
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I love adding touches of whimsy in my home and imagine the approach of Thanksgiving would be a time where this lady turkey would need this reminder!                                             BTW – If you haven’t seen Free Birds, it’s a fun movie animated movie about the lengths to which turkeys will go to avoid the Thanksgiving Table!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a young swan), who has been posting quotes from The Smile Jar for a few months now, seldom has one aligned so well with my blog post. Today’s was: “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong. Knowing how much I love the softer side of Thanksgiving decor, I still wrestled with whether to purchase a unique piece that spoke to me from the beginning to the degree that I solicited advice from two other people. I strive to be a good steward over my resources, so I suppose the hesitation was whether or not I needed her or wanted her. The answer is that I wanted her. And while I won’t condone instant gratification of our wants, I am grateful that I went with mine. The fact that the curved edge of the sideboard caught my eye the minute I walked in the door and fit the piece perfectly was confirmation. Not  only that I made the right choice, but that I should trust my decisions and not doubt them.

What about you? Do you seek advice when you know the answer? About home or office decor? Personal and/or professional decisions? How can you be more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic in these areas of your life?

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Feeling Grateful for First Full Day Out with Family, Food, and Fun

Feeling Grateful for First Full Day Out with Family, Food, and Fun

Day 178 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project is my first full day out and about since I got sick nearly a month ago, so I looked forward to spending it with family, eating good food, and having fun. After reading several articles in the newest edition of Artful Blogging and a chapter of my latest novel last night, I slept relatively well and awakened feeling more like myself than I have for weeks. So much so that I did some juege-ing in the laundry room to make it more inviting (will post pics when I pull it together), then did a little holiday/ gift shopping. By the time I needed to head over to the family birthday party, I still had plenty of energy. And though I ate a bit of pizza, I was cautious and didn’t add my usual peppers or peppercorns. My hubby and I also split a nice salad. It was so fun celebrating my youngest sister-in-law’s birthday, especially since I’ve had very little socialization as of late.

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Family, Food and Fun. Pink Collar Coach in the middle.                                                               Calvin Klein peacock trumpet sleeve sweater, jeggings, & brown wedge boots with a peacock handbag. Hubby and his sister were the photographers and are not pictured.

One of the articles in Artful Blogging was about developing an attitude of gratitude. It reminded me of an old saying I used to hear around the church where I grow up, that went something like “You don’t know how good it feels to be well until you’ve been sick.” This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been really sick, but because of my blog, I’m more mindful of the experience. And I believe I’m more grateful to be feeling better than I may have been in the past.

Not only was I more mindful of that, but I was keenly aware of the season my husband’s niece is in. Like mine, her girl and boy are close in age. I’ve always referred to my daughter and son, who are only nineteen months apart, as my Irish twins. Because of a divorce and changes with parenting time, they aren’t around for many family get-togethers, but I vividly remember the days when I was exhausted and overwhelmed with mothering very young children. This made me intentional asking how mom is doing and offering to lend a hand any time she needs it. My prayer is that this sweet young couple and their children never experience the ravages of divorce. But even if they remain as tightly knit together as they are right now, I hope they can see past the fog of exhaustion and being overwhelmed to hold on to the memories that make up the threads of this precious, fleeting time. The late nights, the chaotic days, and all the mess makes up the beautiful tapestry of their lives.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chic who is dealing with medical challenges, I’m thankful for them because they bring gratitude. And clarity. They also make me want to capture it all in a way that I, my children and my family can look back and remember. Writing about my first full day out and about with family, food, and fun may not sound blog-worthy, but maybe, just maybe, someone will read my words and see the pictures I’ve included and it will encourage or inspire them. Somehow, it may even point someone to God. If that happens, then it’s worthy after all.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach