|If we aren’t aware of where we are and how we are living, we can hang on to ways of being that served us well at one time but may not be the best now.|
During the busy years of building my career and raising four kids I needed fast, affordable, and simple in almost every area of my life, especially in the kitchen.
Recently, my husband and I became empty nesters. The first thing we did was clean out the refrigerator. Then came cooking too much food that was fast and easy…then throwing it out. Then came the recurring food rut.
My son suggested we try one of those food delivery services. It seemed like a good thing especially since I am a vegetarian and they offer many meals I would not know how or think to prepare.
The first box arrived. Three preselected meals for two. I opened the bag to find vegetables, seasoning packets and boxes. I immediately became annoyed that it wasn’t prepared. Really? How appalling I may have to cook. LOL!
Then I asked myself, why wouldn’t I want to take the time to cook?
I was peeling a carrot for the first time in probably 30 years. A real rugged carrot, not a mini peeled carrot in a plastic bag. It felt good.
I realized I was disconnected and stuck in a previous chapter.
Fast, affordable and simple served me well for a long time but I don’t need them now.
What things are you letting linger in your current chapter?
My new one is creative, intentional, and slow.
I am going to peel the carrot. Use the pretty napkin. Let the savory smells fill my house. Stand next to husband as we navigate what we think are complicated recipe instructions.
Don’t let yourself get stuck in things that no longer serve you.
Turning the Page, Erin
P.S. Are you In a life rut? Join me Saturday Morning here.
Everything is a process.
Change is an opportunity.
Change hit me hard when I ran across this picture of an event where I was the keynote speaker, which wasn’t taken that long ago. It felt like a faraway reality. Who could have ever imagined that a room full of people would appear odd?
Now my work is all done from home.
One year I flew on 99 airplanes and now I don’t have any idea when I will fly again.
The current reality is drastically different. I am different. I bet you are, too.
I hear people share they have slowed down.
Parents report they have spent more time with their kids than they ever have in the past.
Work and life have come together (if you work from home). Workplaces are seeing people as more whole because you are in their living rooms, hearing their dogs bark and their family members pass by the screens.
More people are gardening and growing food.
It is amazing to me how adaptable we can be.
We can pivot.
We can change.
We can grow.
One of my favorite things during this time is the amount of snail mail I have received. Snail mail is a consideration, an effort beyond a text or email.
I have written many notes and mailed them. It is fun! In fact, I created these cards to send out for people to giveaway. You can put it on your desk, your bathroom mirror or in your wallet. Don’t Postpone Joy, even when things are hard. What are you waiting for?
So, while things are hard, and many people are suffering it is important to step back and acknowledge our strength and our adaptability.
What are you leaving behind?
What are you now creating?
Keep growing. Don’t let yourself get stuck.
You are in process. I am in process. Situations are in process.
I am wishing you bright days ahead.
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My dear friend, Barb, recently passed way after a three-year battle with lung cancer.
One day, before the holidays in 2019, I was visiting with her and we were talking about gifts we had bought and for whom. She shared that she bought her daughter a Flowering Teapot and showed me a photo online. It was super cool and said I need to get one of those. Of course, I never did. I forgot about it.
Here is where the story gets interesting.
During COVID-19, I offered to do mini workshops by Zooming in, to spread JOY for organizations serving children and families. I did one for a public-school district in Colorado.
A few weeks after the workshop and a few weeks after Barb passed, an Amazon box arrived.
When my daughter opened this box it was a Flowering Teapot. I immediately became confused, like Barb sent it to me. I may have even said “oh my gosh, Barb.” Then I came back to reality that Barb was no longer in this world. The Flowering Teapot was a thank you from the school district.
Of all the things to send someone. A gorgeous Flowering Teapot.
I don’t really believe in coincidences. I believe in serendipity. In magic. In many ways to connect.
Thank you, Barb. Thank you, colleagues in Colorado. Thank you to the powers beyond us.
This past weekend I did one of the hardest things I have ever done and spoke at Barb’s service. I have spoken for thousands and thousands of people in all different venues but this one I could barely get through. Grief is tough. But so are we.
I want to be more like Barb so I am sharing my tribute to her with you.
Today, I enjoyed a cup a tea on my porch thinking of my friend.
Since Barb was the first person I walked a labyrinth with, I dedicated the labyrinth on my lavender farm, Big Roots, to her.
With gratitude, Erin
June 27, 2020
Barb was one of the special ones.
By Erin Ramsey
I met Barb years ago when she joined the Board of the organization I was running. I liked her authenticity and respectful ways immediately.
The thing I remember most, before we became close friends, was a moment with her in a hallway at French Lick during a work retreat we were hosting. We were discussing the speaker and talking about well-being. I told her that I didn’t know how I felt about anything. She nodded.
I remember thinking, how odd it was for me to tell someone in a work setting something I would not normally share.
In hindsight, it makes perfect sense.
She was pure magic in making space for people.
Time and time again, I have seen people meet her for the first time and immediately connect with her and trust her. Here is a note I received from a mutual friend’s daughter in her twenties who met Barb a few times,
Barb was one of the only voices that got through to me when I was struggling with whether to separate myself from the bad energy and people in my life. She told me to choose kindness in a cruel world. I have never forgotten that. It was one conversation, but I loved her it for it. For seeing something in me that I couldn’t see in myself.
This is one of countless stories of how Barb’s connection and caring made this world a better place.
Barb was straight forward-with a genuine softness,-a rare combination.
When she would lead with saying,
This is what I am going to say to you…
Our friends and me knew a Barb Truth Bomb was getting ready to land. Sometimes we would laugh and sometimes we were like a deer in headlights, but we never ignored her words of wisdom and truth.
Barb’s daughter recently endearingly referred to her mom as having ferocity- yes she was fierce- with the feminine spirit and a frankness that radiated good intent and courageous honesty. She spoke the truth in a way people were willing to listen.
She was so beautiful. I would be remiss not to mention her fabulous outfits, adorable handbags and gorgeous home-she knew how to embrace the finer things without pretention-she was classy, she was hospitable-she was a shining light by the beauty she created and the beauty she carried within.
Barb adored her family. To her children and grandchildren, I feel like I know you even if I have never met some of you because Barb shared her love of you with me every time we were together. She was so proud of all of you-you were her world.
You were her number ones, her everything.
Barb was a social justice and equity advocate in her career and in her life. She served people, empowered people and advocated for people. Not some people, ALL people. No contingencies. She walked in her faith. She was the real deal as a devoted Christian. She helped people grow and heal with her inclusive heart.
Barb was one of the special ones.
She showed up for life and never stopped learning. She was self-aware and reflective. She was curious and willing to explore new ideas, approaches to life and perspectives. She had integrity, a strong moral compass and boundaries but they never closed her off; she always worked to keep an open mind and an open heart.
I could tell stories for hours but instead I will summarize what I think we can carry with us as we honor Barb’s life.
Let’s make more space for others.
Let’s be courageously honest with good intent and kindness.
Let’s do things to make this world a more beautiful place.
Let’s put our families first with action and admiration.
Let’s be a voice for ALL people.
Let’s show up for life and never stop learning and growing.
I will end with this excerpt from a prayer that Barb based a sermon on in this sanctuary a few years ago that I think sums up her spirit:
“O God, release us from our fears and failures to trust your love and live with bold generosity.”
Barb was boldly generous.
Barb was one of the special ones.
You have the POWER to manage your thoughts and feelings.
It sounds easy but it takes practice.
It is necessary to train your brain.
It is one thing that will change how you live and feel.
It will move you away from depletion, mediocrity, negativity…. anything that is preventing you from living joyously and abundantly.
I don’t want to oversimplify or over generalize but I do know that if you start focusing more on what you want versus what you don’t want you will get more of what you want.
After offering numerous workshops, speeches, and coaching conversations I realize this is one thing that people underestimate the most in improving their lives.
The underestimation of focus, details, conscientiousness of our thoughts block all other efforts to live the way you really want to.
Far too many people have been taught or developed habits of focusing on the negative, so it becomes challenging to know what we really want.
Here are a few things to give you an idea on training your brain:
I don’t want to be broke anymore. I don’t want debt.
I am moving toward financial abundance.
Money is energy and I am open to receiving. I manage money well. Money is freedom tokens.
Think about how much money you want. Think about how you will feel. What your life will be like and what you will do.
I need to lose of 30 pounds. I am overweight.
My body is strong, and I honor it. I move it often and I nourish it with healthy food and thoughts. I have healthy routines and rituals that keep my body vibrant.
Visualize how you want your body to be. What you will wear, what you will be doing and how you will feel.
I am sick of being so negative. I procrastinate and I keep telling myself my sad story over and over again.
The world is my oyster. I am open and worthy to positive experiences and thoughts. I get to decide how I feel and how I act. I smile, laugh and talk about good things. I am a person action because I know what I want.
You might be having thoughts like this:
Whatever Erin. You haven’t been through what I am going through.
This is annoying.
This won’t work for me.
I need more than just thoughts.
I get it. I understand. I was there too.
I am here to remind you that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Thoughts are free.
It can be fun if you let it be.
Nothing changes unless we do and the first place to start is with our thoughts then followed by action.
Take care of business while you expand your thoughts.
Deal with challenges then put most of your effort in retraining your brain to focus on the good and what you want.
Challenges will always be a part of life, what we do with them and the direction we move in is our choice!
Before you know it, things that seemed impossible and even delusion will come to fruition.
Be disciplined toward joy and abundance.
Trust me, this city girl lives on lavender farm in rural Kentucky…never in my wildest dreams!
Join me on the fun way to live no matter where you are now you can begin to discover dreams you don’t even know you have.
Your thoughts and words are magical, start using them to your benefit.
Everyone around you will win!
Think big and think good, Erin
Do you feel like you need more support, inspiration and tools to clear the way for joy and abundance? Join me for my new six-part online course called JUMP START JOY. The launch will be in late March! Only $99. You will have the course forever along with so many other benefits. Watch for an invite!
Check out this one on one opportunity: Day of Clarity.
I started rearranging my office last night to prepare for the recordings of my online workshops called JUMP START JOY (look for registration in March only $99 for six workshops with me). You will want to join in!
The real point of this email is to share a moment with you.
As I was putting my books back on the shelves one caught my eye. It is called The Alladin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. I picked it up and looked at which pages I tabbed (I tab all the books I read.)
As I was perusing, I remembered vividly how I had read this book ten years ago on a cruise during spring break with my four kids and my husband. It was a cruise we couldn’t afford but I was desperate to not have phone service (a forced vacation from work).
I remembered how I cried in the bathroom more than once because I felt alone.
I remembered sitting on the deck reading this book and getting a glimpse of hope. It is weird I have not re read this book. I plan to this weekend.
So, if you have heard me speak, you know this was the breaking point in my life for my stress level of being in a failing marriage, a grumpy mom and a broke workaholic.
Man, I was sad. So very sad…to my core. I may have looked stressed or grumpy, but the truth was it was pure sadness. Everything may have seemed fine to others, in fact many have told me now they had no idea, but nothing was ok, and I was hiding.
Looking back, I truly could not have ever imagined how my life is today.
This is a reminder, anything is possible.
This is the exact same trip where my daughter Molly, found the first heart! You can read the story again in my book, Be Amazing(p.7). Little did I know that tiny heart on the beach would be the turning point for me and for so many others.
Here is what I tabbed:
If everything went perfectly for you in the next two years, how would you like to see your life change?
I don’t remember if I answered this on the cruise, but I have been disciplined in focusing on what I want rather than what I don’t want for these past ten years and it certainly pays off.
If you feel sad, lost or on the cusp of greatness, keep your focus on what you really want. Practice courage to think about the good and the possible.
Today I live on a lavender farm with my two of my four kids, three grand babies, my daughter in law and husband. My marriage is strong, my business to help others live big is growing and I have so many awesome experiences travelling, learning and experimenting with my life!
I have problems just like anyone else. We all live under the human condition. But I am certain there is way more good than bad if we start looking for the good.
What goodness do you want over the next two years?
We can do this together. We are intended for joy and abundance and we have the strength to handle the hard times. You are not alone.
If you are planning an event or in service, I would love to be your speaker. Contact me for an inspiring and effective engagement. Here is the Request Form.
If you need a special day for yourself join me on my farm. I want to help you get clarity and act! Here is the Day of Clarity details.
Yesterday I had a vegan hot dog for lunch, and I booked a trip to Italy for my husband and I this spring. What a day. A day that I could not have even imagined a few years ago.
Everything is a process and unless we stop to notice where we are, we might run in circles instead of pursuing paths of possibilities. My hot dog and travel plans are the perfect examples of paths of possibilities. Neither one was on my radar just a few years ago but as I continue to think big and bust moves all the right things show up.
Life isn’t always easy; everything isn’t rainbows and sunshine, but we can make the good times better than ever and we can bounce back and grow from the hard times quicker and better with this equation:
Thinking Bigger + Acting Bigger =
If I would not have started to let myself discover what I really wanted, how I wanted to be, what I wanted to do the paths of possibilities would have been limited. I certainly know I would not have had a vegan hot dog (I have been vegetarian for over a year…that is a story for another day) and I highly doubt I would be heading to Italy in five months with my husband who I adore.
You can start the process no matter where you are.
Busting Moves, Erin
If you would like to learn more about the tools that got me from there to here join me for LIVE BIG 2020. Register here.
On a recent follow up call to a retreat, I asked each person to share any action they had taken to move in the direction they really wanted to go.
As each person reported, they shared how they were using the tools. Embracing self-consideration, thinking bigger about their lives, focusing on what they want instead of what they don’t and capitalizing on routines and rituals were common themes.
One woman shared that she decided to create more space for thinking time. She realized she had gotten away from it over the years. When she sat in her chair, she realized the reason was probably because the rocking chair was too big for her, it was broken and was being held up by the wall. All of which had been ‘put up with’ for a long time.
She paused and in a matter of fact manner told the group that she told herself she was worthy of a new chair.
She went out and purchased a chair for her thinking space.
Now this may just sound like a `duh’ to some. Broken chair equals new chair.
But I can pretty much guarantee her buying a new chair for herself has improved the entire trajectory of her life.
A true game changer.
When we do small things to consider ourselves, we are opening a door to possibility. We are putting out to the world that we no longer equate ourselves with the 75% off rack or to the broken chair. We are preparing for the big opportunities to come our way and preparing to say yes them and to ourselves!
We are building our strength and self-respect by tending to our spirits and our needs.
One small action can be a catalyst for unlimited possibilities.
We can clear the way for joy and abundance.
What is one thing you can do for yourself to help you tend to your spirit this week?
Get rid of your worn out under garments.
Buy a fresh bath towel.
Drink your favorite drink.
Declutter your closet.
Go for a walk.
Get an extra hour sleep.
Create a peaceful morning ritual.
Organize your purse.
Treat yourself to something that isn’t an afterthought or a clearance item.
Take a bubble bath.
Say how you really feel.
Decline something you don’t really want to do.
Do something you are afraid to do.
Go for a walk.
How are you going to change your game?
Start small and before you know it you will be busting mind blowing moves with your life.
You are worthy.
Busting Moves, Erin
I loved speaking at Nike World Headquarters last week.
The environment was abundant and chill while enveloped in a feeling of excellence and serenity. The campus was beautiful with a lake, gardens, photo banners of athletes who dedicated their lives to be the best and breathtaking architecture with perfectly placed water features. The details were tended to with intentional impeccability.
The quiet conversations being spoken in lots of different languages, the fresh food, bikes, walking paths, photos and beauty made me almost forget that thousands of people were working there. The quiet calmness midday on Thursday was phenomenal. It was chill.
Shoe Dog, Phil Knight’s biography, and my visit to Nike World Headquarters inspired me to remember:
~how important it is to create a business and a life grounded in what you want
~physical environment matters
~focus on relationships
~tend to the details
~things can grow and change fast (Nike was founded when I was a child)
~you can be abundant and serene
~chillness and excellence can co-exist
~dreams can happen if you JUST DO IT!
Keep putting yourself out there. Keep making space for ideas. Keep thinking big about your life and your contributions. You never know where your bold actions will take you.
You are intended to live joyously and abundantly. You are destined for greatness. BUST A MOVE.
Busting moves with gratitude, Erin
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I have been getting my nails done the same way for SIXTEEN years. Short to medium length with a square shape. Today I decided to try a new shape. It was fun and kind of exciting. I know, you might be thinking I need to get a life. Does the shape of your nails really even matter?
Obviously, it isn’t about my nails. It is about mixing things up. Creating a feeling of newness, curiosity, and excitement with everyday things can expand the possibilities for joy and abundance in your life. Keep yourself on your toes!
Mix it up by:
Try driving a different way home from work or the store.
Listen to a new type of music.
Tweak your schedule. Go to bed earlier. Get up earlier.
Buy a new lipstick color. One you would have never considered before.
Visit a new place where you live. A park, a place of worship, a store…make a discovery.
Make a new recipe.
Go to the produce department and buy something you have never eaten before.
Do something nice for someone out of the blue.
There are so many ways we can mix it up. What have you been doing the same way for a long time? Do something new to make room for possibilities.
Loving my new nails.