Category Archives

Authenticity

Good-byes, Grief, and Growing New

  • December 31, 2019
  • Lis Williams

This past year saw an end to one chapter and the beginning of a new for myself and... Continue Reading

This past year saw an end to one chapter and the beginning of a new for myself and my husband.  We officially became empty-nesters after dropping our sons off at college, our youngest for the first time.

This is one of those stages in life that you know is coming and do everything you can to prepare for it, and yet when it arrives it still hits you in the gut.

The days and weeks leading up to our son’s departure were filled with shared memories, hugs, laughter, and tears.  However, the day we moved him in turned out to be more rushed than we had anticipated and our good-byes brief.  Maybe a good thing.

And then we arrived home to a VERY quiet house.  No family calendar filled with activities.  No basement filled with teenage boys.  No late-night chats over pizza.  

Just silence.  And gratitude for all the amazing times we’ve had and stories yet to be written.

For the first time in 22 years, I have plenty of time on my hands.  Plenty of time for self-care and soul-care.  Time for family and friends.  Time to re-evaluate the direction for AWE Partners.  And time to dream about the future.

But to ignore the grief would be not only potentially harmful but also inauthentic.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there’s a piece of me that feels like it’s missing.  Like it left my body and went off to college.  A piece that can’t be replaced by activities, events, or other people.  

And that’s ok.  The grief is simply an indication of the depth of love I feel for my children and for the life we’ve lived together all these years.  It has molded me and shaped me into the person I am today.  It allowed me to explore the depths of my feminine side and to better understand the depths of the masculine that I have shared space with.

It also allows me to recognize my strength and the strength of all the women who have loved deeply only to release that love out into the world. We women feel the joy and the pain in the depths of our soul and incorporate it into our being adding to the richness of life.

So what next?  Well, apparently, my last birthday was some kind of milestone.  At this stage of life I don’t even count.  I’m just so thrilled to be alive and healthy that birthdays come and go as a celebration. 

But certain family members and friends (who shall remain anonymous) attempted to thwart my positive outlook on life with questions such as, “Do you feel old?”.  Or discussions that centered on providing proof of just how old we are.  

Not going there, girls!   You do you, but the fact is given my DNA I’m likely only at the half-way point of my life.  Which means I have A LOT of years ahead of me.  And I plan to make the best of them.

Rather than growing old, I feel myself GROWING NEW!!

Never before have I been at a place in my life where I felt such potential for freedom.  Freedom from the responsibilities of school or work. Freedom from the responsibilities of parenting.  Freedom from caring what other people think or expect of me. Freedom to follow my bliss and do things that bring me joy.

Freedom to tap into the depths of my soul and listen to the voice of intuition that is guiding me forward toward a calling that my entire life has been preparing me for.  My purpose, my destiny, my dharma.  

Can I see it clearly? No!  Is the path certain?  No!  Do I know how to get there?  Nope!

But those aren’t the questions I’m asking in this second half of life.  Instead, I ask myself…

Can I trust it? Yes!  Am I ready?  Yes!  How can I serve?

How can I empower other women to heal their wounds, trust their journey, answer their calling, and serve from a place of love, compassion, and kindness?

Good-byes and grief are part of the journey, as is darkness.  But the Universe is constantly evolving toward the light and co-creating through us as we grow ourselves new and inspire others to do the same. 

We need you out there as a light-bearer and I could use some companionship.  Will you join me in growing new?

Be bold. Be daring. Be AWE-dacious!

Lis

P.S.  Reach out to me if you want to explore opportunities to partner/collaborate in 2020!

The Sweet Spot Between Your Comfort Zone and Chaos Zone

  • December 11, 2019
  • Lis Williams

Has this ever happened to you?  You come up with a great idea.  You dream about it, imagine... Continue Reading

Has this ever happened to you?  You come up with a great idea.  You dream about it, imagine what would happen if you went for it, and then decide for a variety of reasons not to take the plunge.  Next thing you know, somebody else somewhere on the planet implements your idea with great success.  And you’re left kicking yourself for choosing to stay in your comfort zone.

We all do it.  Make decisions that feel safe, familiar, comfortable.  Who needs more stress and anxiety?  And why would anyone want to risk failure and being judged? 

Why? Because the truth is personal growth and transformation happen when we’re living outside our comfort zone When we’re challenging ourselves.
  
Sure, it’s scary.  But the only way to conquer our fears – the only way to freedom – is to walk through it.

You have to experience the fear if you want to overcome it.

So I always encourage women to stop playing small and step outside their comfort zone.  But what happens when you leave your comfort zone only to discover that very quickly you’ve entered the chaos zone?

Not everyone experiences this.  We all know those women who seem to be able to have it all – all at the same time. And if this is working for you – then girlfriend you do you!

But this ain’t me. When I enter the chaos zone I am not good for anything.  I get stressed, overwhelmed, and crabby.  And I wonder how I got there yet again.

Recently, I was trying to understand if this is just my personality.  I know I tend to be a bit of a control freak.  I know I like order and thrive on organization.  But have I always been this way?

Apparently so!

My first job was at McDonald’s.  Now you might think I worked the counter, and I did at times.  But I found it so stressful – particularly when I had to use the ice cream dispenser and could never get the cone to look right.  So instead, I preferred to grill burgers. Honestly, I was fascinated at the process the company used to ensure that every burger came out perfectly.  It should have been clear then that I thrived in an environment that provided organization, structure, and certainty.

My second job was as a waitress at Poppin’ Fresh Pies (now Bakers Square).  Now as long as we weren’t too busy, and I had plenty of time to service my tables all was well.  But when we got “slammed” I was a hot mess.  My friend, Heidi, was the hostess and I would plead with her not to give me another table.
  
Fast forward to becoming a parent.  When I realized that my to-do list was rarely completed in a day and that my time was not my own – the stress set in.  It took me quite awhile before I could adjust to this new reality.  Twenty-two years and two kids later, I think I’m finally beginning to relax now that both boys are out of the house.

But as an entrepreneur I am constantly being pushed outside my comfort zone, which has been a really good thing for me.  I needed to stretch myself.  I needed the challenge.  I needed to remember what skills and talents I possess and the new ones I have yet to acquire.

We forget how much we have to share with the world!

However, it takes discipline for me to know my limits.  Know when I’m stepping over the line and into the chaos zone where I’m just not as effective. Where I don’t thrive.  And, frankly, where I’m miserable and completely miss out on the joy of life.

The key is to know and love yourself just the way you are.  Your personality, your temperament, the way you want to live.  

​​That’s your sweet spot!
 And it’s absolutely perfect.  Radical self-care and soul-care will help you get there and stay there more often.  

Find the sweet spot between your comfort zone and chaos zone and live there!

Need help knowing how much of yourself to give? 

Book a FREE Impact Breakthrough Session with me here… https://SchedulewithLis.as.me/

Be bold.  Be daring.  Be AWE-dacious!

Be Brave! AWE Partners

Are You Using Your Personal GPS?

  • November 19, 2019
  • Lis Williams

When one of my favorite books Eat, Pray, Love came out I dreamed of being able to escape... Continue Reading

When one of my favorite books Eat, Pray, Love came out I dreamed of being able to escape like Elizabeth Gilbert did.  But as a wife and mother it wasn’t possible.  Now that my boys are both in college, I took the opportunity to embark on a month-long sabbatical in Portugal and Spain.

There’s nothing like getting away from the day to day responsibilities of life to relax, clear the mind, and ignite the spark of creativity.  For one month I had no “to do list”.  Instead, I found plenty of time for savoring delicious food and sipping wine (Eat).  Time for some inner work, visits to spiritual sites, and co-hosting a small group retreat (Pray).  And quality time with my husband of 28 years (Love).

Yet despite my attempt to disengage, the experiences I encountered kept revealing lessons and metaphors for life that were hard to ignore.

Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone to enjoy the grander view

For one week of the excursion I was completely on my own driving through the Duoro Valley, making my way from Porto to Santiago de Compostela to meet my husband who was completing a 200 km walk on the Camino de Santiago.  (He walks…I drive…it works.)

I frequently met women traveling together and they were quick to invite me to join them for dinner, unaware that I was relishing the time to myself.  And when they heard I was driving alone they were shocked as navigating through the city streets was ridiculously confusing.

And then there were the mountains.  As I was leaving one winery hotel to make my way to the next, I was advised to take it VERY slowly.  The roads are narrow, steep, and there are no guardrails.  Add to this the fact that I was driving a stick shift that didn’t always cooperate.  More than once the car stalled, and I started sliding back down the mountain.

So I was really nervous to begin the trek.  But as I already had a reservation, I decided to carry on reminding myself out loud…”I am brave.  I am strong.  And I am an excellent driver.”

Well the road was indeed narrow and steep, so I drove slowly and carefully.  And if someone wanted to pass me by, I let them.

What I wasn’t told was that the views were breathtaking when I had the courage to take my eyes off the road.  And when I finally arrived at my destination a bit worse for the wear, it was like finding a hidden paradise of grape vineyards, olive trees, and a charming inn nestled between mountains.  Well worth the moments of angst.

When the only light you see is behind you don’t turn back – the darkness ahead won’t last forever

On another part of the journey signs on the road indicated I was approaching a tunnel through the mountain and I should maintain my speed at 100 km/hr.  As I entered the tunnel, I could see the light behind me but only darkness up ahead.  Eventually, the light behind me disappeared as well.  The SOS phones every 100 yards or so brought little comfort.  For a full four minutes I drove on in darkness (which is a REALLY long time to be in a tunnel), until finally a shaft of light broke through and I emerged back into the sunlight surrounded by beautiful vistas. 

Just listen quietly for guidance and take the next right step

Throughout the trip my GPS was my lifeline.  The female voice emanating from my phone became my best friend.  And I got to thinking (because when you’re alone for a week there’s a lot of time to think) that maybe I should be more aware of the guidance system accompanying me in life.  What would that mean?

  • Recognizing that I have an advisory board of angels, saints, teachers, and guides who want to help – all I have to do is ask
  • I need to listen very carefully and eliminate distractions
  • I will only receive guidance for the next right step
  • It won’t always make sense to me – they might use language I don’t understand
  • But if I proceed slowly – doing what I believe I’ve been guided to do – and trust – then I will receive the next right step
  • Sometimes – despite the instruction – I might make a wrong turn – but don’t panic because I’ll quickly be re-directed back to the correct path
  • Without fail I will always arrive at my destination if it supports my higher good

Here’s what I learned on sabbatical.  It really doesn’t matter in life if you go around, over, or through the mountains.  What matters is that you find your mountain and consult your personal GPS.  Your destiny is waiting!!  

Be bold.  Be daring.  Be AWE-dacious!

Is Self-Care the same as Self-Love?

  • September 25, 2019
  • Lis Williams

As women, we hear a lot about the need for self-care. I often encourage women to engage in... Continue Reading

As women, we hear a lot about the need for self-care. I often encourage women to engage in “radical self-care” because, after all, it’s not selfish to take care of you!  And there’s no need to feel guilty.

We can all benefit from doing things that may feel a bit indulgent – like getting a massage or pedicure, taking a bath or a nap, enjoying a girls’ night out or a weekend away. 

It’s so important to do things that make us feel good, help us relax, and re-charge our batteries. Self-care can help us re-enter the world grounded and with a greater sense of purpose.

But is self-care the same as self-love?


No!  Self-love goes much deeper. It gets to the core of how we feel about ourselves.

Ask yourself this:

Do I love me? I mean REALLY love me?
Do I love who I am? Who I’m becoming? 
Do I love my life? Am I doing the things that bring me joy?
Do I know not only how to give love, but how to receive it? 
Am I aware that I’m worthy and deserving of love?


If you’re like me, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time figuring out if you really love yourself. We’re so focused on loving and caring for others that we may have never contemplated the thought of what it means to really love ourselves.


So I encourage you to begin thinking about this: What would it mean to know and love yourself better? What changes might that inspire in your life?

When we truly love ourselves, we want to go deeper. We want to ignite our passions. We want to listen to the yearnings of our heart and discover our destiny…our calling.

Achievement and success no longer do it for us. Our souls demand a deeper meaning and fulfillment.

Ultimately, we want to know what our souls came here to do. But how do we do that? How do we know?

Your Calling is Calling Out…Are You Listening?


I’m convinced now that we don’t have to look for our calling. Our calling is calling out to us. And has been our entire lives.

At the prompting of a spiritual advisor, I have been asking myself these questions, and I encourage you to do the same: 

  • Who am I?
  • What do I love?
  • How can I serve?
 

And I’m surprised to discover that the answers don’t come easily! So I started to think back to my childhood, which is something you can try too to get more insight into your calling: 

  • What activities did I love to do?
  • What did I most look forward to?
  • What did I love to play or make pretend with my friends?

 

There Is a Grand Plan for All of Us…

When I was little, we used to pretend we were moms, teachers, doctors and nurses, secretaries (shows my age), and actresses.

As an undergraduate student, I studied business. In grad school, it was finance, entrepreneurship, and management of non-profit organizations…all things I loved then and now.

So now as I look back, I realize that all those things I loved growing up have found their way into my life as an adult. 

I’m a “mom.” I “teach” women how to be effective in the social impact space and the need to “heal” their wounds so they can be more fully who they came here to be. I’m an “entrepreneur” and I “speak” on webinars and podcasts.

It’s as if there was a grand plan all along. As if my life has been calling me to this. Imagine that!

Life is loving you into the magnificent being you are and always have been. 

How does it feel to know you’re loved that much? 

Isn’t it time for a little self-love? Sending you big hugs!!

Be Bold. Be Daring
. Be AWE-dacious!

Lis

P.S. Love yourself into my new Facebook Group called Business Women Giving Back and discover how you can Grow Your Business and Grow Your Impact!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/businesswomengivingback

 

business, holistic business, yin yang

Bring It! The Yang and Yin Approach to Business

  • June 11, 2019
  • Lis Williams

I’ve spent most of my life in the left side of my brain. 🧠 My natural tendencies favor... Continue Reading

I’ve spent most of my life in the left side of my brain. 🧠

My natural tendencies favor anything analytical and logical. And growing up I didn’t think I possessed an ounce of creativity. Maybe you can relate.

So going to business school made perfect sense. I majored in finance in both undergrad and graduate school. I worked at a bank. Numbers were my friend.

As I gained more experience, I realized that I also love anything to do with strategy. I LOVE setting goals in both my business and personal life and then figuring out the path to achieve them. It’s a gratifying process for me.

The first half of my life has been characterized by the pursuit of knowledge, common sense, and frugality. All traits that lend themselves well to entrepreneurship.

 

The years I spent as a stay at home mom challenged my innate abilities.

As much as I tried to maintain order, my children had different plans.

And motherhood naturally encouraged me to explore my more feminine traits – those of nurturing, caring, and compassion.

It was like re-discovering a piece of myself that I didn’t remember existed. And it’s always a good thing to come to know yourself more fully.

However, there were still things that were not in my wheelhouse. I remember going across the street to my friend Mo’s (who is very creative) to pick up my kids. The kitchen floor was covered in artistic paraphernalia and Mo informed me that the kids were doing collage work. “Really”, I responded, “that’s a thing?”

 

Do it the way you’ve always done it? No way! 🙅‍♀️

So when I launched AWE Partners, my wise friend Bridget said to me, “You’re going to want to go back and do things like you used to. Don’t!”

What she meant was that I would likely go straight back to running my business from my head exclusively. And although that might garner some level of success, it would no longer be representative of who I was fully.

I was a different person than I was when I worked in the business world. There I fit in by displaying my more masculine traits.

Now to be successful and fulfilled, I need to bring my whole self to the business. The masculine and the feminine. My head and my heart.

In some ways this has been easy. Like when I write, I find it very easy to share things from the depths of my soul. Or when I work with my clients or have conversations with partners and colleagues, being authentic happens naturally for me.

But when I’m making strategic decisions, my tendency is to go back into my head and figure out what makes sense.

 

Here’s the problem when you’re creating a business…

The problem is that when you’re “creating” a business the answers don’t always emerge from your head. Very often they come from a deeper place within.

And it’s rare that the answers are clearly laid out for you in a straight line that’s easy to follow. More often, if you’re listening, they come as an intuitive sense or gut feel about what to do next.

In truth, what you “hear” may not make sense at all. It may, in fact, be uncommon sense that’s filled with uncertainty.

It may sound risky and force you to step outside – sometimes way outside – your comfort zone.

And it feels a lot like trust and surrender, two words you are unlikely to encounter in business school.

 

business, holistic business, yin yang

 

Try a new, holistic approach to business. 

But this, my friends, is the new approach to business. A more holistic approach that allows you to incorporate both your masculine and feminine sides. Your yang and yin.☯️

An approach that encourages you to focus on both profit and purpose in your business.

Because we don’t want to start a business or go to work and leave a portion of ourselves out of the equation. We’ve been doing that for too long and if you look around you can see it’s not working.

It’s time for a paradigm shift – a new approach to business. One that blends the best of our masculine and feminine traits. One that allows us to show up, take our place, and share fully with the world all of who we are and what we represent.

Because that’s what the world needs right now. It needs you, in all your magnificence, sharing all your gifts and talents, and helping solve our problems. Are you up to the challenge?

 

Be Bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-dacious!

Lis

Abundance…or a Scarcity Mindset? The Choice is Yours.

  • February 4, 2019
  • Lis Williams

I grew up with a scarcity mindset. Like many of you reading this right now, I grew up... Continue Reading

I grew up with a scarcity mindset.

Like many of you reading this right now, I grew up in a scarcity mentality. It’s not surprising and I don’t blame anyone. But it’s something I’ve needed to spend a little time unpacking in order to live more fully.

My father’s parents came over from Poland as young adults in the early 1900’s. They married, settled on the south side of Chicago, and had eight children together. Dziadek was a carpenter and Babcia took care of the home and family. They struggled to make ends meet.

My mother grew up in a small town in Central Illinois and her parents divorced when she was just five years old. Her mother eventually re-married the president of the local bank. You could say she had a comfortable life comparatively, but wouldn’t be considered wealthy by today’s standards.

My parents and grandparents lived through World War II and the Great Depression – experiences which had a profound effect on how they lived their lives. As a result, I was raised in a home where we watched every penny.

Dad was a salesman whose income fluctuated each month. Mom was a nurse anesthetist turned stay-at-home mom. When my dad died of cancer while my siblings and I were still in school, finances became even more strained. As a result of life circumstances and studying finance in college, I adopted frugal financial practices which have served me well.

Being a Financially Smart Woman is Never a Bad Thing, BUT…

I attended a public college in my home state because it was the least expensive way for me to get my education. (I only applied to one school, which is virtually unheard of now.)  Right out of college, I took a job with a large firm and began contributing to my 401-K plan as soon as I could.

Eventually I earned my MBA by attending classes at night while working for a company who paid 75% of the tuition. I lived within my means, bought clothes on sale, drove used cars, and did essentially whatever I could to build a solid financial foundation so I could feel secure.

Being financially smart is definitely not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a VERY GOOD thing. It’s very important, particularly for us as women, to be financially literate and to take control of our financial destiny. So, I can’t stress enough how much I highly encourage this!

What I hate to see is women being frugal because they’re afraid.

Maybe you can relate to some of these financial mindsets:

  • I’m afraid there’s not enough to go around and if I don’t get mine now, I might miss out.
  • I worry about being frivolous because I have to pay off my debt/save for my kid’s tuition/finance a major purchase/etc.
  • If someone else is successful and makes a lot of money, then maybe I won’t (because I’m not good enough/smart enough/etc.)
  • The financial world is spinning out of control and the powers that be are holding the strings of us, their puppets.
  • We really have no say in what happens anyway, so the best thing to do is hunker down, protect any wealth we have, hold onto it tightly…and pray that we don’t have to endure another financial collapse.

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, who could blame you? Just a few minutes spent watching the nightly news, and it’s completely understandable why you would feel that way. Not just of what could happen financially, but in every aspect of our lives. Why? Because the purpose of the news is to make us feel afraid!

Banish the Scarcity Mindset Forever

scarcity mentality, scarcity, financially independent, financially independent woman

But that’s not the world I choose to live in anymore. I’m done feeling afraid. And I’m done living a life of scarcity.

Because scarcity doesn’t just impact your pocketbook. A scarcity mentality seeps into every aspect of your being if you allow it.

It impacts your self-care. How hard you work, how much you give, how overwhelmed you feel. Is it too indulgent for you to take a bath or a nap? Can you treat yourself to a massage or having your nails done? Can you buy those sparkly new shoes that make you feel spectacular?

It impacts how you show up in the world. Do you celebrate the unique gifts and talents you’ve been given and share them with the world fully? Or do you hold back because you think maybe what you have to offer isn’t really that special after all? Who are you to shine your light?

The Impacts of a Scarcity Mentality are Everywhere

It means we hesitate to invest in ourselves and our businesses, robbing the world of what it needs to continue on the path of evolution, of which you (yes, you) are a critical part!

It impacts how much we’re willing to share. Because if the world is a scary place and there’s not enough to go around, then we better hold on tight to what we’ve got and only give from the leftovers.

And it impacts what you believe about God, Source, the Universe, or whatever term you use to refer to the Creator of all that is. If your God is a strict disciplinarian that doles out gifts based on who is deserving of them, then maybe you don’t make the cut. Maybe you’re not worthy.

STOP Believing in the Myth of Scarcity

  Scarcity is a lie!  I eventually figured that out and I hope you will as well.

Look around you…We live on an ABUNDANT planet. There are countless stars in the sky and grains of sand on the beaches. There are oceans and rivers, mountains and plains, flowers and trees.  And every imaginable creature on land and in the seas. All created from an abundant Source.

Look around you… Look at the people on this planet. Every color, shape, and size. Every race, creed, and religion. All magnificent beings in their own right. All with unique gifts and talents to express if only given the opportunity. Look at your family and friends with whom you share this journey. Look – really look – at who they are as unique beings.

Abundance is YOUR Birthright.

And look at you! Just look at you. Look in the mirror. You’re beautiful!  Look at how your body responds to messages from your brain and how your heart beats and lungs breathe without effort. Just look at your eyes and your smile! Look at you in that favorite outfit and bright lipstick.

If you’ve been living with a scarcity mentality, it’s time for a change NOW. Abundance is our birthright. It’s the natural state of being and one we have the choice to embrace or reject.

You are enough!  There is enough!  In fact, there’s more than enough

scarcity mentality, scarcity, financially independent, financially independent woman

Don’t believe the lies. Deep within, your heart knows the truth. Trust it and live life abundantly!

Be Bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-dacious!

Lis

P.S. Have you been living with a scarcity mentality?  Are you ready to embrace ABUNDANCE?  Here’s what I suggest:

Add a reminder on your phone that says, “Abundance is Everywhere!”. Set it to chime at the same time each day. When it does stop what you’re doing, look around, and take it all in. Say a quiet (or loud) thank-you for the gifts that surround you, then go about your day firmly rooted in gratitude.

Learn How to Make Peace with the Darkness

  • October 1, 2018
  • Lis Williams

Life is a mystery.  Some days we’re on top of a mountain and others we’re making our way through... Continue Reading

Life is a mystery.

Some days we’re on top of a mountain and others we’re making our way through the valley.

This past month I was able to take an amazing vacation with my family, sail on a racing catamaran with Olympic medalists, and participate in a weekend retreat in the mountains.

And then there was yesterday.  When things just kept happening that I couldn’t anticipate or plan for.  And all I could do was be in the moment.  Can you relate?

7:00 a.m. – Wake up. Get my son off to school.  Have some quiet time over breakfast.

8:00 a.m. – Plan to meditate.  Phone rings. It’s my mom.  She has something she wants to share and it’s good to catch up. Yet, despite our mutual love and caring for each other I realize that we are becoming further and further apart politically.  Hmmm…should I care?  Nah!

9:00 a.m. – Catch up on e-mails.

10:00 a.m. – Receive a text from a friend saying both of our high school campuses are on lock-down. Spend the next hour texting back and forth with others trying to determine what’s going on and praying it’s not real.  Finally learn it was a false alarm.  This is the world we live in.

11:00 a.m. – Go for a bike ride.

11:30 a.m. – Receive a text from another friend.  She says she just passed by my house on the way home from a funeral.  A very close friend of hers and her husband’s died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism.  He was our age.

12:00 p.m. – Have lunch while on a virtual call with my Synergy group…amazing women from around the world who support and encourage each other in stepping into our truth and sharing our gifts and talents in the world.

1:30 p.m. – Finish writing my signature talk on when I discovered my calling to empower women and how I guide them to make their AWE-thentic Impact.

3:00 p.m. – Lay down on the couch.

3:30 p.m. – Take a call from a man who my husband has mentored since he was in high school.  He’s African-American, partially disabled from an accident, and out of work.  He shared with me that he’d like to move out of his mom’s place where he’s been living since he lost his job.  But the only places he can afford are in neighborhoods that are more violent than where he currently lives.  So he asks, “Should I leave one bad place for another that is worse?”

4:00 p.m. – Realize I forgot to purchase fresh chicken for the crock-pot dish I was planning to make for dinner, so I decide to chance it and  use the frozen chicken from the freezer.  Livin’ life on the edge!

5:00 p.m. – My son arrives home to announce that the event for Best Buddies and his soccer team that he planned for the following day fell through.  It was partially his fault but also a result of mis-communication amongst other leaders.  He’s heart-broken and embarrassed.  He then sits down at the table – close to tears – and tells me he’s so stressed out from everything.   School, college applications, activities.  There’s no time to just chill out.

6:00 p.m. – Have dinner with my husband and son.

7:00 p.m. – Go for a full moon walk with my husband.

8:00 p.m. – Listen to the news channels debate the upcoming Kavanaugh hearings.  Ugghh!!

9:00 p.m. – Read something positive to shift the energy.

10:00 p.m. – Contemplate the day I just had.

This is not a typical day for me.  Or at least it hasn’t been.  I’m usually much more rigid with my schedule.  Carving out plenty of time for my business and leaving the personal for off-hours.

But I’m trying to learn how to be more in the “flow” of life.  Watching events unfold and being present to them.  Trying to understand what they have to teach me.

Yesterday it was this…

Joy

Peace

Division

Fear

Freedom

Grief

Inspiration

Creativity

Rest

Frustration

Concern

Gratitude

Awe

Disbelief

Inspiration

Contemplation

 

A day filled with light and dark – interwoven together seamlessly.

So how do we stay in the light when the darkness seems so close and keeps trying to overtake us?

Radical self-care and soul-care.  Recognizing that we’re not the savior of the world.  Not everything is ours to do or fix.  We can listen, we can support, we can love.

And we can find the way to make our AWE-thentic Impact.  That place where we are called to serve, bringing our unique gifts and talents and sharing our magnificence.  And trusting others from our giving tribe to do their part as well.

What’s the other option?  Overwhelm.  Burn-out.  Fatigue.

Giving up or giving in to what we can’t comprehend, control, or change.

That’s not what the world needs right now.  The world needs you to be you.  In all your magnificence.  In whatever way that happens for you.

You don’t need to prove anything.  You don’t need to change anything.  You don’t need to fix anything.

Just love yourself fully. Love others as best you can.  And trust that the Universe is evolving in exactly the way it should and you are part of that evolution.

Just be you!

Be Brave! AWE Partners

Discover your “Outside Voice” for Greater Impact!

  • June 5, 2018
  • Lis Williams

Have you ever encouraged a child to use their “inside voice” in the hopes of quieting them down?... Continue Reading

Have you ever encouraged a child to use their “inside voice” in the hopes of quieting them down? I recall using that phrase on numerous occasions with my own children when they were younger. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes not so much.

Recently, it occurred to me that many of us, particularly women, have been encouraged to use our own “inside voices” in life when, in fact, what’s needed now more than ever is a chorus of “outside voices” willing to speak up for what’s right and true.

The other day I was having a conversation with my husband, brother-in-law, and two sons about a soccer game my son had played in and what a poor job the referees had done.  So much so that they lost control of the game and numerous players were injured.  We were discussing whether or not to write a letter to the league encouraging them to do a better job of training their referees.  The consensus from the group was that nothing would change.

I heartily disagreed!  I believe that the only way anything is going to change is if we speak up.  It might not be comfortable.  It might not be well received.  And it’s possible that nothing will happen.  At least not right away.

But if enough people speak up on a consistent basis and in a respectful manner voicing their concerns and offering solutions, then chances are things will eventually change.

What I know for sure is if we never say anything, never offer another way, never dream of a better world – it’s likely that things won’t change.

Watch my latest video blog to hear how my 90-year old mother found her voice and how doing so can lead to better health, a feeling of empowerment, and greater impact.  But don’t wait until you’re 90 to discover yours!

Be AWE-dacious!

Lis


 

Why Imagination Creates a Better Reality

  • April 4, 2018
  • Lis Williams

As an adult, I often wonder what it would be like if more of us would make pretend?... Continue Reading

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was little, my friends and I had lots of different ideas. Every day, we would make pretend and be all those things.

We pretended we were Mommies with babies, teachers in school, nurses and doctors in a hospital, or secretaries in an office. (I hope today little girls are dreaming they can be CEOs, too!)

The point is, we would get lost in creativity and spend hours immersed in a world of our imagining. And we were never ready to stop playing when it was time to go home for dinner. The next day we’d pick up where we left off and the fun would begin again.

As an adult, I often wonder what it would be like if more of us would make pretend? What if instead of focusing on all the darkness, suffering, chaos, and division that is so prevalent in our world, we chose to imagine a better world?

What if we pretended that we could actually create that better world using our imagination, intellectual prowess, and a little chutzpah?

Could we imagine our way out of the darkness and into the light? I know we can! Not only can we – we must. Because the direction things are headed is woefully unacceptable.

Understanding Our Own Imagination

Imagination is defined as “the faculty of imaging, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses”. So, it’s not that what we imagine doesn’t exist. It’s just that we don’t experience it yet using our five senses.

In other words, a better world – a better way of living – does exist. It’s simply up to us to make it real.

We are the creators of our own reality. And, if you’re like me, the reality you imagine looks a whole lot different than the reality many of us are living on a daily basis.

The better world I imagine has figured out how to solve our most challenging social issues. Hunger, homelessness, and disease are a thing of the past. Education, employment, and healthcare are accessible to all. Violence, war, and destruction are a distant memory. Harassment, racism, and inequality are not tolerated. Women are not exploited and children are not abused.

And in this better world I am not constrained by feelings of fear or unworthiness. I’m not afraid that I don’t fit in or have what it takes to make a difference. I don’t play small because that’s the story somebody wrote for me.

From Dreams to Reality

In this better world that I imagine, I am courageous, confident, and limitless! I am open to the experience of infinite possibilities. And what I have to offer – what I have to share with the world – is desperately needed at this moment in time.

In fact, the world desperately needs what each of us has to offer, what each of us can dream, what each of us knows to be true.

It’s not that different from when we were little and we pretended that the world was filled with beauty and hope and love.

That’s why I can make this world my reality. I can’t control what others do, but I can control my actions and steps towards creating the world I desire.

Our imagination is the connection to our soul – our AWE-thentic self. We need to spend more time there.

Today I want you to think about something you really want to do. Or a way you really want to make a difference in your community, for your business, or for your family and friends. Dream it then go out and do it!

Leave me a comment below and tell me about the world you imagine and what you’re doing to make it real. Sometimes speaking our desires out loud (or virtually, that is) is the first step to getting them done!

Be AWE-dacious! Make pretend!

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress and Have More Fun (Every Single Day!)

  • March 2, 2018
  • Lis Williams

Laughing, dancing, and playing. That’s why we’re here. So why don’t we do more of it? What if... Continue Reading

When was the last time you laughed hard? I mean doubled over, gasping for breath, pee your pants kind of laughing?

Or when was the last time you danced? Like all out, shake your booty, hands in the air like you just don’t care kind of dancing?

How about playing? The kind of fun that makes you completely forget about your worries and fears.  The kind of fun that leaves you energized, rejuvenated, loving life.

I’m asking because I REALLY want to know!  Because I rarely laugh, dance, and play anymore.  And I don’t know why… 

I used to laugh hard. In fact, I was awarded 2nd place for Funniest Girl in my high school senior class. (Robin Shartle beat me out and I’m still a bit salty about it – but she was funny and hopefully still is.)  And I still am funny and playful but it’s buried deep inside and rarely sees the light of day.

I used to dance. I took lessons when I was little at Bobby Riggs Dance Studio and I loved it – tap dancing in particular! I kept dancing into high school in theatre productions and on the pom-pom squad.  And we’d go out dancing every so often in college and when I was single.  I danced when my kids were little but not so much anymore.  (Although if you ask my husband and boys they will tell you they LOVE to watch me dance to Rainy Day by Coldplay.)

And play.  I don’t even remember the last time I played. Frankly, I’m not sure I know what play looks like anymore as an adult.

Does this sound familiar for you, too? This idea that somewhere along the way we got a bit too serious? That we forgot how to have real fun?

Laughing and dancing and playing.  That’s why we’re here!  So why don’t we do more of it?

Now, I know there’s a lot of darkness in the world, but if we’re to be “light bearers”, Pope Francis says we can’t walk around looking like we’re going to a funeral.

Re-Define Success

As adults, I think we often feel like we are being graded on what we accomplish, how successful we are, or how much money we make.

But what if we re-defined success as how often we laugh, dance, and play?

What if instead of focusing so much on our work, or the daily grind, or all of the have-to’s that fill our days – we began being intentional about finding things to laugh about amidst the chaos that is our world?

Stopping in the middle of the day to put on our favorite song and dance, dance, dance – ecstatic dance.  Getting down on the floor to play with your children or playing a game of tennis, cards, or even (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) a video game with your teenage son.

Schedule Play

It might take effort at first to break out of the habit of always putting work before play or taking life so seriously.

It might actually mean putting it on our calendar or having an alarm go off on our phone so we don’t forget…

  • 10:00 Laugh
  • 12:00 Dance
  • 2:00   Play

But I bet it won’t be too long before you realize that you finally remember what life is all about.  You used to know – when you were a kid – and there was plenty of time to laugh and dance and play.

Remember her? Let’s go find her again.

Take a moment and share with me below: What makes you laugh until you cry? What’s your favorite dance tune? What do you do for fun?

Your sharing will help me remember!

Be AWE-dacious!