How & Why I Work So Hard to Brain Wash My Husband…

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I have a plan to take over my husband’s brain…

BWAHAHAHAHA.

No really, I work relentlessly to brain wash him (as most women do), the only thing is I don’t brain wash him with my thoughts or what I think would be the best… I work at brainwashing him to better empower HIS THOUGHTS with who he considers are “the greats”. Imagine being married to a man like Billy Graham, John Maxwell, George Muller, Gary Chapman, Dale Carnegie, Malcolm Gladwell, or even Jesus. WAIT – WHAT?! Yes, I am married to a Jesus type man – and it all came about through brain washing.

You think I am kidding? Nope. Not at all. See, for 19 years this July I will have read OUT LOUD hundreds of books in the car while we go places. Books that are mostly non-fiction (I think the only ‘fiction’ book I have ever read was The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino) I have read books that inspire, books that teach, and books that can motivate even the most weary soul. Mostly, I have read books by people and subjects only HE is interested in learning more about. Frankly, I have come to enjoy them too.

HONESTLY

Honestly, it’s hard for me to keep a straight face when I hear wives who tell me they are struggling in their marriage, and they believe they have done everything they can to inspire their spouse. Until you have read out loud hundreds of books to your husband that inspire him – in my opinion, you haven’t. 

I learned long ago my mission in life… was my husband. I also learned I am the thermostat in our house, and only I HAVE THE POWER to turn on or “off” my husband.  This does not mean my husband does not have a mind of his own – this means that MEN ENJOY BEING WITH WOMEN MORE  than they enjoy being ALONE (even with their own thoughts). We as wives can take advantage of this desire – in a good way or in a bad way.

Let’s take for example the married couple who is struggling. They argue all the time, or worse yet they don’t even talk, and yet somehow they stick together. They still go places, they still sit in the same room watching different programs on their mobile devices – why? Because God made them to “go together”. The reason these two are together, is because it is nature and at its most remedial it is good. 

What they are doing with their time – not so good. 

In most unhappily married cases – 9 out of 10 of them – the “dead time” in which a couple is together in this natural environment is spent unwisely. Typically it consists of a wife nagging her husband on all the things he ISN’T doing right. This my friends sadly is fact. Words like this are routinely spoken, “You never! Why didn’t you! Why can’t you be more like (so and so)!” 

Yet, the husband (who doesn’t want to be alone) will continue to go back to the verbal attacks and engage SOMETIMES, but most often will sit by and let his wife get more and more mad. She on the other hand will be frustrated because she EXPECTS change out of her “dead beat” husband, (which in all honesty is also 9-10 times the case as unmotivated men are in epidemic portions in this generation) and yet he refuses to move, change, grow, or learn anything new on his own.

WHERE I AM “DIFFERENT”

Here is where I am different. I was engaged twice to men I thought were going to be “the one” by the time I was 18. I desperately wanted to me a wife and a mommy. I also was taught I needed to “go to school”. So naturally, I discovered and looked for classes that would best come in alignment with my ambitions to be a “professional housewife”. I studied Psychology, Neuroscience, Childhood Development, Biblical Studies, Humanities, Art Appreciation, Art History, History, and Social Sciences. As time progressed, I added courses on Leadership, Public Speaking, Writing, Teaching, and Marriage Relationships. In all this learning about the brain, neuroscience, personalities, and personality disorders – I learned that our brains are LITERALLY sponges and will “SOAK UP” whatever we expose them to. As a strategic woman, as a Woman of God who understands the power God has given me in a marriage relationship, I decided to embark on an experiment of epic proportions – BRAIN WASHING MY HUSBAND FOR SUCCESS.

WE WERE YOUNG

Jeff and I were only 19 and 21 when we met. His first job was at a retailer as a temporary job during the Christmas rush. I worked at the mall. Neither of us had finished college and while we took courses intermittently, education to us has always been and “ongoing process” not a final destination. In other words, we were not college grads. If we EVER needed to learn anything we picked up a book, or sought a personalized teacher of life.  Now we both own our own businesses, we have been asked to speak in public to groups as collegiate as Stanford University, we have been written up in magazine articles and have been interviewed for online publications on the topics of family, success, and business. This DID NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT.

MY BODY WISHED IT COULD SLEEP

Since we were broke as a new couple and spent most of our married life as students of it (life) instead of masters of it – if we EVER needed to go anywhere, we DROVE. Imagine having no car stereo and driving everywhere in ONE CAR. I can remember driving Jeff to work daily 1.5 hour round trips, so I could have the car for the day. Or driving down to California from Oregon, 13 hour road trips. We even drove as a family once from California to South Dakota and back. What would you do with all that time?

I READ OUT LOUD.

My body wished it could have slept. My flesh WANTED to look at People Magazine or read US!, heck even a CD or two would have been great. But these are the opportunities I decided long ago as a Psyche student could MAKE or BRAKE our success as a family. I have read SOOO MANNNYY BOOOKKKSS. Thankfully, my husband likes the sound of my voice, odds are yours likes the sound of your voice too… the secret here however is, I NEVER READ BOOKS I WAS ONLY INTERESTED IN. I READ BOOKS ABOUT THINGS HE WAS INTERESTED IN. 

Was it boring? Initially. You better believe reading how every hole on Augusta National Golf Course is played strategically IS BORING. The only words I even recognized was “AMEN CORNER” and “AZALEA”. *YAWN* 

If Jeff was interested in beer, I would go online and find a book on beer, The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World by Stephen Mansfield. If Jeff was stressed out about work I read, Focal Point by Brian Tracy. If Jeff wanted to make more money I read,How Rich People Think by Steven Siebold. If Jeff had doubts Christian men could make money REAL MONEY, I read Mover of Men and Mountains by R.G. LeTourneau. If Jeff was hard around the edges and having a hard time making relationships I would read, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I have also read FAR MORE GOLF BOOKS than I would like to admit, SERIOUSLY – I am starting to believe I CAN PLAY GOLF ON THE PGA TOUR. I have read business books, marriage books, statistic books, sports books, and countless biographies on rich people. How many books FOR ME have I read…? Hmm….. LOL.

WOULD YOU?

Would you be willing to pick up a book, and leave it in the car door pocket so every time you got in the car you turned off the radio and instead read about Barry Bonds, Michael Jordan, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, or Bear Grylls? Would you be willing to take the time to read out loud about how certain men became men… how certain sports became sports… how certain men shaped certain sports?

WHY???

DO I REALLY NEED TO SPELL IT OUT? When I read to my husband what other successful men have done – he gets fired up inside to be successful! If instead I read to him some fantasy Cinderella love story book – he would have crashed our car long ago! I started using our drive time as our audible book time LONG before audible books became a thing, and even today I STILL READ OUT LOUD because it is MY VOICE he is hearing, and we BOTH become on page with success. As a matter of fact, we just came back from a trip to Oregon (12 hours) back and forth and with six kids in the car I STILL READ a book out loud. Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by “Doc” Rotella. After which he came back and shot the low round of his life… yeah, this is how it works.

IN CONCLUSION

I work diligently as a student practicer of Logotherapy (you can wiki it) to find meaning in ones life. Why are we here? As a married woman, this doesn’t just apply to me, it also applies to my husband. Helping my husband BECOME ALL HE WAS CREATED TO BECOME is my MISSION in life. I do this by first taking into consideration his strengths, his natural tendencies and desires, and then YES … I brain wash him and exploit these desires by conditioning his brain to EXPECT THE SUCCESS OF THE MEN HE DESIRES TO EMULATE FOR HIMSELF.

I think of, and am motivated quite often to prove this saying incorrect in our relationship… “Behind every successful man is a successful woman … and all too often, that woman is NOT his wife.”

Jeff and Jessica have studied many subjects such as business, marriage, and parenting. Jessica runs and operates wholeheartart.com. You can read their bios here: https://www.wholeheartart.com/meet-team-wha.html

Dealing With Mommy’s Hour of Condemnation… The Conde’mom’nation Hour.

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This blog post taken from our sister website “www.wholeheartart.com

CONDE’MOM’NATION

For me… it happens every night right as I am about to go to bed. Those nagging questions begin to flood in, you know the ones … “Am I doing enough? Did the kids brush their teeth? Should I work more on the calendar? Do I have a coffee date tomorrow? What am I making for dinner? Did I get the laundry done? What’s in the wash? What’s in the dryer? Will I be able to sleep through the night?…” It is almost as if we expect the “Siri” in our brain to answer all of our pestering questions and then go to work on them like a Genie in the lamp, leaving us to wake up refreshed and all our work finished while we sleep.

I have named this “The Conde’mom’nation Hour”. If when our babies were newborns they had “witching hours” – times of day when all they did was cry – I think we moms as we grow older in our parenting seem to develop a condemnation hour – same time every night. Right as we are trying to relax.

How is it we can WORK ALL DAY at doing our best; driving our kids to practice, making dinner, being there for our husbands… and then in an instantall our “good deeds” become forgotten and we are left questioning everything from our hip size to our house size? Honestly, I think it’s because as moms we have decided to become by day total CONTROL FREAKS.

Wow, that was a revelation right there. I normally don’t consider myself a control freak. And have only began thinking in terms of this as I write this post. I have SIX KIDS and everything to me is OUT OF CONTROL, like 99% of the time. I don’t like babies to have dirty faces (which they do), sit in dirty diapers (naturally), and I don’t like them wearing dirty clothes (of course). I don’t like dishes in the sink, or toys all over the floor. We live in 1000 sqft and if a towel is so much as left out in the open – it is as if you moved the couch into the center of the room.

I think the last eight years of living with eight people in a “quaint” space has made me a bit of a control freak. (YES I AM ADMITTING THIS) But is being “clean” controlling? I suppose it is, if I loose focus of myself and instead of cleaning up to serve others, I only clean up to stay busy keeping up appearances and in-turn become some sort of house drill Sergeant. Perhaps the Condemomnation Hour is a direct result of all the micro-controlling decisions I make ALL DAY LONG compiled into a MACRO self-condemnation moment right when I need to relax enough to fall asleep to get the energy I need to be “mom” all over again the next day.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE our house – I do not desire to move or uproot our family from the nest we have built. These last eight years have been amazing in the sense of discovering what is most important to our family. Today’s revelation seems to be the last and final piece to the puzzle of what it means to be in this Chapter in my life. The realization that condemnation only comes from two places – myself, and the devil. Yeah, I wrote about the nasty adversary who seeks to destroy.  All he wants is for me to feel like a BAD MOMMY, and when I am a control freak all day long and can’t control anything even into the night – I AM A BAD MOMMY. No one should go to bed feeling inadequate! No one should go to bed feeling the pain of condemnation!

WHAT CAN WE DO?

First off we can take a deep breath and realize some stuff is just out of our hands. Not everything is going to get done before bed, sometimes our kids will forget to brush their teeth, sometimes we will too. The Bible says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who love God and are called according to his purpose”. (Romans 8:1) I agree with that – and need to remember that more often. Jesus hasn’t condemned me for my sins… as a mater of fact in Him I won’t even be persecuted for my sins! Is not picking up a pair of undies off the floor an unforgivable sin? NO! So I have no right to treat it as one! Jesus loves me for me, not my spotless floors!

Secondly, we can understand these things are only temporal. As a mater of fact, the longer we work to remain clean and tidy (it’s a constant process) the tidier and cleaner we will get, and the tidier and cleaner we get as we grow – when our own children are up and grown – the tidier and cleaner we will have become. Then that day will come when they have up and moved out, and our houses will always be clean! This too shall pass!

As for tomorrow, I VOW to make tomorrow better. I will try to “control” less and GIVE more. I will go to bed without a bag of condemomnation weighing on my shoulders because I will defer to others some of the daily work, or simply allow it to get done in it’s own time.

Just as babies eventually grow out of their “witching hours” it is time for this mom to grow out of her “condemomnation hours”. Who’s with me?

Three Tips for Parenting with STRENGTH

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In the movie The Little Mermaid – King Triton was a really ripped “old” dude who eventually had some pretty awesome parenting skills.

 

PARENTING WITH STRENGTH*

Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. – Deut. 34:7 NIV

It’s difficult to feel strong when your house is a mess, the dog needs a bath and the cat is in your face. In today’s modern world it can be extremely frustrating when it seems as we grow older our bodies seem to begin wearing out and giving up. Sadly, everywhere we go on television, the radio, the news, or on social media: age = falling apart.

This doesn’t have to be the case! Many men and women in the Bible are mentioned to actually getting stronger and better as they got older. Sarah became more beautiful with age, Abraham fathered sons, and as in this scripture the great leader Moses was old and not showing signs of age at all! Even some celebrities and businessmen we know today look and feel better as they get older. They have learned the art of how our strength can come from within.

Parenting your child at whatever age you are doesn’t have to leave you feeling weak, tired, or out of sorts. You can parent with strength! How can we operate with maximum efficiency as strong and healthy parents?

First, we must take care of ourselves. The Bible calls it “taking care of our temple.” Just like when your house needs a new roof, the human body requires regular maintenance. The human body needs good foods, exercise, and good thoughts to think. As soon as you begin to make healthier choices you will begin feeling stronger and function with less fatigue as a parent. (Think green salad with grilled chicken instead of Po’boys next time you go out to eat. While the occasional fatty fried food is acceptable, it is much easier and better for your strength to eat salads or grilled foods while you are out. Remember someone else is preparing it… that’s treat enough!)

Second, we must have activities worked into our day that will renew our strength. Anytime your exhort energy by cleaning the house or discussing with a child why they need to make their bed for the thousandth time, you will need to recover in some small way. Sit down and put your feet up for a minute, drink a glass of water or walk around the block alone. Resting in between our activities helps us get our strength back when things are taking strength from us. I highly suggest NOT watching television or checking your phone for social media updates during these rest breaks. Rest breaks are needed to shut EVERYTHING down, even your mind if only for just a moment.

Thirdly, in maintaining our strength we need to make sure we are associating with people who encourage us and BRING us strength. Having friends hang out with you or at your house which are negative and constantly leaving you in a state of exhaustion – will not leave you in a strong and empowered state. While we as human beings cannot often avoid these types of personalities all together, learning when and how to engage properly with them is very important. Sometimes less is best.

APPLICATION:

Today as you go about your day don’t forget to “recharge”. Take that walk around the block to clear your head or maybe meet up with an encouraging friend for a cup of coffee. Make sure you get plenty of sleep tonight as well. Whatever it is you choose to do to regain strength, remember it is all for your maximum strength with your children. The stronger you become the better off they are. Children need their parents to show them life isn’t too hard, you don’t grow worse as you grow older, and age is just a number. Help them begin to see age (can) = strength!

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Jessica Heilman is a mother of six children ages ranging from 17yrs to 2. She has five boys and one girl. This writing is an excerpt from Jessica’s current book project “The 365 Parent” a daily guidebook for parents. Jessica has been a homeschool/unschooling parent for 17 years and firmly believes all children have been created by God as unique individuals and with the right parenting are fully capable of doing GREAT things! #365parent 

Fatherhood Means “FATHERING”

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Two of our five boys walk with their dad, provider and protector.

FATHERHOOD MEANS “FATHERING”*

There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God’s Message to you that I became your father. I’m not, you know, asking you to do anything I’m not already doing myself. – 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

When looking up the word “father” in the Dictionary, one of the primary definitions of the word is : a man who exercises parental care over other persons; paternal protector or provider.

While being a father in general means being a male who has had children – a father can be any man who exhibits protecting or provisional characteristics. This is how we have come to know many “father figures”. Hopefully this was your own father, if not perhaps an Uncle, a Grandfather, a cousin, or even one of your teachers growing up. Father figures are men who have led by example and sometimes need to use tough love in order to show their children a better way of life.

Can there be negative father figures? Honestly, I don’t think so. I believe there are two types of men with children – those who father and those who DO NOT. “Fathering” consists of leading by example, protecting and providing the best possible scenario under the circumstances for the family, and sacrificing self often in order to do so. A man who gang bangs, steals, and exhibits other negative behavior to his children in “provision” for them is not fathering. While food might be getting to the table by breaking the law in order to do so, it is not honest work and only honest work will carry a family through temporary hardships to lasting significance.

“Christians don’t steal!”

Our Pastor when we lived in Oregon had a criminal past when he was young. Over the years he had changed his life and devoted himself to serving God in ministry. As a changed man of God he decided to raise his children on principle, unlike how he was raised.

Once when his son was around five years old he had taken some trinket home with him from the store without his parents knowledge. It was some sort of toy he had kept his eye on while they were shopping they toy didn’t even work! It was just a five cent something-or-other that had fallen on the ground his son had to have. Later that night the boys father (our Pastor) found him playing with the toy and the boy got into BIG TROUBLE. Even though the toy was cheap and was for all intents and purposes broken, since the little boy didn’t pay for the item, he had stolen it.

The next day the little boy was given the task to march up to the store’s owner and return the item that was stolen. This not only hurt the boy, it hurt the father too. No father wants to have to admit their child has stolen something, but without bringing situations like this to light, there can never be a positive change for the future. One offense leads to another, and another, and another.

The little boy in tears went trembling up to the shop owner, admitted what he had done and returned the toy. Feeling compassion, the shop owner forgave the boy and told him he could keep it after all it was broken anyway! While this moved the father, he told the shopkeeper “No sir, we cannot keep this toy, even if it WAS broken – Christian’s don’t steal.”

This episode left such a lasting impression on the boy that several months later when he was out shopping with his mother and he saw someone drop money on the ground he quickly ran over to pick it up and return it to them. When the stranger turned to thank the boy, the boy looked up with a big grin and said, “That’s ok! Christian’s DON’T STEAL!”

APPLICATION:

Maybe you didn’t have a “father” growing up, someone who was there to protect you and make provisions for you. Perhaps you had the opposite of fatherhood and were required to protect and provide for yourself. There is a scripture for you… Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. – Psalm 68:5

Today is a great day to begin reading up on fatherhood and what it means to become a “father”. You can start by asking yourself what your picture of the perfect father/role model is. We aren’t looking for perfection, but what we are looking for are certain characteristics – here is a good start:

For Guidance in Fathering read Proverbs 6:20-23

For Fathering Associated with Virtuous Living read Proverbs 31:10-31

For tips on Fatherly Wisdom read Proverbs 4:1-27

*This is an excerpt from Jessica’s current book project “The 365 Parent” a daily guidebook for parents. Jessica has been a homeschool/unschooling parent for 17 years and firmly believes each child has been created by God as a unique individual, fully capable of doing GREAT things! #365parent 

Guide Your Child Naturally

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Our son Joseph at 13 as he dives off the three meter springboard. He is a Junior Olympic diver here in California.

GUIDE YOUR CHILD NATURALLY*

Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost. – Proverbs 22:6

For centuries left-handed prone individuals have been ridiculed and criticized for their natural preference to do things in “not a right way”. Throw a ball, write a word, or hit a golf ball. Out of our six children, one of them is left-hand prone and I as a mother, couldn’t be happier.

What does having a “left-handed” child mean to me? It means an opportunity to witness progress. Since as a society we no longer need to scrutinize differences like handedness in a right or wrong way having a left-handed child, I am confident he is just as capable as a right-handed person to do things. A hundred years ago a person was ostracized for being left-handed, thirty years ago a child was forced to learn to write with their right hand but today lefties are celebrated for their uniqueness.

Just as you would never force your left-handed child to write right-handed… you should never criticize your child’s gifts or talents which come natural to them. God has a purpose for their lives. Just the way they were created.

I will never forget the time I took our oldest child to the bank at two years old. He was always an outgoing and pleasant child to be with. I had always been more of an introvert so I CONSTANTLY struggled with my own insecurities being with him – even at just two years old! Where I was always quiet, subdued, and respectful to others this child was the life of the party and very much my opposite!

On this day, I needed to go into the branch for some banking and as soon as I walked in with him to the deathly quiet branch he belted out “HEY EVERYBODY! HOW’S IT GOING?!” I nearly died.

My sweet little two year old broke through the bank’s silence and captivated the customers and tellers right away. I KNEW as a parent I could do one of two things… encourage this behavior – or totally blow it and tell him to “Be quiet.. shhhh!!”. What did I do? I celebrated his awesomeness and smiled and waved to everyone looking at us!

Every parent blows it sometimes. I know I have. At the bank I was given two choices. I could either ruin his gregarious nature by putting him down and forcing him to comply to a stoic atmosphere, OR I could let him CHANGE the atmosphere with the gift he was given from God to lift others up. I rejoice about the fact at that moment I went with my gut, and let him be himself.

APPLICATION:

Today, watch your child for signs of their TRUE selves. Are they artsy? Are they dramatic? Do they have an outgoing or introverted personality? Instead of FORCING them to fit into society… what makes them stand out? Take notes and begin reading up on how you can encourage them to be the best versions of themselves as possible!

*This is an excerpt from Jessica’s current book project “The 365 Parent” a daily guidebook for parents. Jessica has been a homeschool/unschooling parent for 16 years and firmly believes each child has been created by God as a unique individual, fully capable of doing GREAT things!
Chef Jeff
This is our “Chef Jeff” the original go-getter bank shaker-uper. I wouldn’t change a thing about him, going for his dreams and making things happen!
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Our only daughter as a Heidi doll in the Nutcracker… beautiful, smart and sweet.   

5 Reasons You Can Become A MULTI-Millionaire If You Played Super Mario Brothers

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Last Sunday my husband Jeff and I had the awesome opportunity to speak to college students at Stanford University about Lifestyle Entrepreneurship, problem sourcing, and problem solving. It was a rewarding experience to be able to share with them our failures, our successes, and our wisdom. Especially about Super Mario Brothers and why I believe if you played the video game (our games in general) as a kid, you too can become a multi-millionaire.

Back in 1985 in the Silicon Valley – long before iPads, iPhones, and PC’s you weren’t anyone if you didn’t own a Nintendo (NES) System. This little beauty was THE most coveted and begged upon toy of the decade and if you were an only child (like me) you held out for the Nintendo Robot that played WITH you the game Gyromite … SIGH … such fond memories.

Graphic video games – you know the ones which educate you on how to pick up prostitutes, evade the police, and blow people’s heads off – had not been invented yet. The games we ORIGINAL gamers played were riddled with mazes for solving, codes which needed programming, and that 8bit magic that left us all stunned into a frenzy. We flogged the stores for Duck Hunt, Excite Bike, Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, and of course The Legend of Zelda. A game didn’t have to be any “good” to be played, it just needed to be playable.

Everything I learned about success, I learned from playing hours and hours and hours and hours ….  of video games. Here is how…

In life AS IN Mario Brothers…

#1 There is ALWAYS a problem which causes PAIN.  

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Day upon day, month upon month, year upon year we worked our butts off attempting to get to the Princess at the end of World 1. Only to find out DARN IT she was possibly in World 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… ARE YOU KIDDING ME … 7… talk about perseverance! There were no cheat codes back in 85. You earned your World 8 victory through bloody thumbs (not really), sweaty foreheads, and without blinking.

This is the SAME perseverance I use while weaving in and out of traffic to take my kids to their activities, submitting manuscripts to Publishing Houses, negotiating bedtime with my six kids, and deciding what activities I should do next. Yes Mario, I was your padawan learner.

#2  You have resources available to you.

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Our first business as a family, one that had an actual vision and business plan, was made from stuff we had around the house just like Mario.

Every video game started with a little Mario which would get super-sized and steroid filled on mushrooms (Don’t do that). Too many people let what they see as a “lack of money” keep them from dusting off their sewing machines, mixing some batter, or whittling some wood. Even at the Duck Commander good ‘ole Phil Robertson used the materials he had lyin’ round the house to make his Duck Dynasty. What is it you’ve got?

#3 You instinctively believe in a finish line.

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All “gamers” and “lifers” believe in a finish line. Whether it’s marriage, taking a company public, or just getting to the store before they close. If you have ever visualized a successful end to an endeavor – you have everything it takes to become a success.

Millionaires turn visions into reality. If you have ever completed a video game – you have what it takes. If you ever THOUGHT you could get to school on time – you have what it takes.

#4 Sometimes there is no “clear direction” there is just FORWARD

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Business, life, and video games all have a common denominator called FORWARD. There is NO going back once you have started on your journey. For those of you who remember the original right scrolling video game screens, your character was DOOMED to death if you let your little guy stay glued to the left of the screen without causing some form of forward action, activity, or movement. When we can’t see more than one frame in front of us, all we should be concerned with is stepping ONE foot in front of us. What is the NEXT action you need to take?FORWARD

 #5 There is NO failure only RESTART

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Why is it as gamers we seem to be able to readily accept “RESTART” and yet in life and business it seems so hard? Could it be we take life TOO seriously? I propose that there is an ebb and flow to life, that life is a GAME. A serious game, a game of respect for others and ourselves – but a game nonetheless. The things that mater, like our princesses being in other castles or our families safety and financial futures ARE OUR REALITIES, the things worth fighting for.

“Failing” at activities like jobs, sports, school, etc. Are merely building blocks which redefine us as players. Just like in business, an EXPERT video game player has restarted more times than those who are amateurs. If you are afraid to reboot and restart your game at ANY POINT in time – you aren’t an entrepreneur. Lifestyle Entrepreneurs RESTART regularly, each time learning a different component of the game, until they ultimately SUCCEED.

BONUS POINT!!!

#6 With enough time and dedication YOU WILL WIN THE GAME

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Show me a video game expert, and I will show you a winner. While many of our parents may not have understood our sore thumbs, dry eyes, and weekly toy store excursions the connections for problem solving in our brains were constantly in motion.

I fervently believe if you have ever committed yourself to the task of NEVER EVER giving up on a game … you have what it takes IN YOU to win at life’s greatest challenge – WINNING by RESTARTING every step of the way.

Boys are Called “Ballet Dancers” NOT Boyerinas: Tales of an Overcommitted Mom

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Recently I entered a writing contest for the website Writer’s Digest. The contest included a prompt sentence: “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over”… ENJOY reading my 750 word or less submission… you never know unless you try!

I KNEW IT WAS A MISTAKE…

I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over, and honestly I know it won’t EVER be over. You don’t become a mom of six kids before the age of 37, without some form of overambitious appetite. It’s in your DNA! If there ever was a picture of a poster child on a milk carton for “MISSING: COMMON SENSE” it would be my mug you would see. Yes, this mother of five boys and one girl repeatedly takes on more than she can handle.

It all started when I overheard my daughter’s ballet instructor lamenting over her significant lack of boys in this year’s production of The Nutcracker (darn mom super hearing).

Of course the ballet school had ALL of its girl parts cast, but what they were in desperate need of was more boys. For some crazy reason boys prefer playing sports and riding skateboards over dancing in tights – go figure. Call me a professional problem solver, a bleeding heart Momocrat, or just plain stupid, but as soon as the giant nutcracker shaped light bulb above my head clicked “ON”, I had volunteered THREE of my five to join the ballet school with my daughter… of course, without their agreement. I knew it was a mistake, the moment it was over.

As quickly as the Nutcracker himself could snap a walnut in half, I was committed and became “that mom”. You know, the mom who has to say “no” to social engagements because she is at Capezio buying her fourteen year old a dance belt (it’s like Spanx for boys) and that mom who says in a French accent, “Chassé over here boys and eleve your PBJ to your mouth quickly so we won’t be tardy.” As if somehow my citizenship had become denounced in favor of tradition, formality, and chocolate croissants.

I never wanted to be “that mom”. I always swore on my Joy of Cooking cookbook, I would be a “cool mom” a “hip mom”. Not an obsessive overcommitted to various activities and practices kind of mom. There was definitely nowhere in my “Oath to Joy” written I would become a parent of the next generation of bunless bunheads practicing some weeks up to 20 hours. (Since ballerinas are known as bunheads, I am assuming boys are bunless bunheads)

Here I have committed our family from October through December to absolutely positively give up ALL of our weekends in favor of Drill Sergeantesque rehearsals, open snack shack .50 cent grazeathons, and 30+ hours of volunteer work. This means no long autumn drives to Casa De Fruita for their sumptuous dried dates, no weekend day trips to Napa to melt in our cute-for-the-picture sweaters when it’s 90 degrees outside, and no Thanksgiving weekend break. This ballet pour quatre (ballet for four) is NO joke.

Why do we do things like this? Why do we overcommit and most often underperform? Tonight as I was tucking in my eldest ballet dancer in for the night, I began thinking of the fact that I need to go to the gym, I need to workout, I need to make time for me. For some odd reason I cannot get myself to my own appointments on time and yet there is this inexplicably powerful draw for me to make all of my children’s appointments in order to ensure their future successes. I have this pulsating fever inside me to bend over backwards in order to guarantee a foundation for them that could catapult them to the highest heights. There is a river flowing in me, through me, out of me, and into them that shouts “WE CAN! WE WILL! WE MUST!” Even if it means drive-thru meals, ballet shoes, and dozens of packets of Cheez-its.

THANKS MOM

No, I’m afraid my mistakes will never end. I will overcommit to my children’s successes until the day I die. When my hand is aged and wrinkled, more bone than flesh, I will place my cold fingertips into their warm meaty palms and ask them “Are you doing all you can do? Have you become everything you dreamed of becoming?” I probably won’t remember this holiday season on that day. I probably won’t even be able to see clearly which of my five boys I will be talking to, but they will remember. They will see in my face, and remember in my voice, I was “that mom”… that mom that took them places, places they could have never gotten to on their own.