Saturday, January 30, 2010


The lady tossed her keys on the counter, the emblem shining brightly taunting me with the realization that she drove a luxury car. The quick movement startled me, the clanking noise abruptly changed my thoughts. I couldn’t take my eyes off her keys. I knew this happened for a purpose and the purpose struck me as one in which I should take notice. She obviously was proud of her ability to own a car of such stature.

The set of keys still lay on the counter in front of us as I asked her to wait a moment while I checked the price on an item she was purchasing as I thought it might be on sale. She told me, “No. Don’t bother checking. I prefer to pay full price.”

In the light of everyone I knew, and everyone whoever walked in or shopped in the store this was very unusual. They all wanted a deal, they all wanted to pay less than the discounted price, and they weren’t ashamed to say so.


Not only was this lady boldly exhibiting the fact that she had money and could prove it with the car she owned, but also that she did what most everyone does not and that is to establish the fact that she owned the mind-set of being wealthy. Not one ounce of her exuded a near-poverty belief. She was the epitome of a wealthy mind-set and I had the opportunity to witness it up-front and close.


I grew up in a family that had money and they spent it on what they needed and wanted. My Father had a good job that paid well, my mother did not work outside the home and she had the innate ability to manage their money.

My life as a child in my family meant that my father bought a new car every two to three years. My mother bought her clothes at an expensive department store in Denver equivalent to Nordstrom’s. We had the best food and the best meals. My mother, for our Sunday dinner would prepare a five-course meal beginning with a shrimp or oyster cocktail. When we had our farm, my father insisted that our cattle be grass fed with the most healthy grains added. With all this, my mother still managed to save money and we lived well.

The only time that I remember rejection was when I had asked my parents to buy me a sweater like that of one of my friend’s, and I was told it was too expensive. That having been the only refusal to my requests seems innocuous in my thoughts now.

My life in my family seemed quite easy financially, and this was a pattern that would have been my way of life going forward. But because of choices I made, because of a crucial turning point that I am responsible for my life started in a different direction. This was a direction in which I could never have imagined the results.


For me, though, I was sidetracked from my dream of being a costume designer by my parents, and had to quickly make other choices. I did not research and plan for my future. I settled for getting a job and did not know what to expect. This lack of planning ultimately turned out to be very foolish. I didn’t know if I would like working at a job for the rest of my life, but I made the choice and knew I would have to live with it.

Maybe I was following in my father’s footsteps since as children we learn from what we see before us. Whatever the reasons this began my foundation as an adult. Since I did not have a dream job to plan my life around, I set myself up for failure without my realizing it.


I learned how to struggle financially since this is what I saw around me. After I married, I learned even more since all of our neighbors and friends were struggling. This is where I learned poverty thoughts, where determination turned into failure.

Watching all that was going on around me I soon learned that men went to work, disliked their jobs and never earned enough money, while women stayed home, raised children and became the ultimate homemaker.

I learned from my best friend and neighbor how to can peaches, pickles, jam, and beets. I learned how to make clothes for my children so I would not spend so much money at the store. I love doing creative and artistic things so cooking and sewing are even now quite enjoyable, but that was not all that I was learning. I was learning near-poverty thinking because all of this was not the act itself, but the reason for doing it. To save money, not to spend so much money or to believe that there was not enough money to do and have all that I wanted.

I learned to struggle. Struggle, became the name of the game, but we never called it that. It actually was entrapment in a way of life that we could not get out of. We all believed the same. We did not believe in wealth or living in a way that would induce wealth, we believed we would struggle in near-poverty for the rest of our lives.


Except for my friend who canned peaches and sewed with me. One day she came to the realization that no one was going to take care of her. That she would be responsible for taking care of herself and she made a choice to change her life by changing the way she made money and the amount of money she made.


Words and actions that create a lack-of, continuous worry and struggles need to be changed to those that create prosperity, confidence and freedom. You are changing thoughts that are natural to your way of thinking and that fit the pattern that you are familiar with, to thoughts that are conducive to the way a wealthy person would think. It only takes seconds to change the thoughts running through your mind.

A wealthy person would not need or even think of using coupons when shopping or eating in a restaurant, after all, that would not contribute to being wealthy. Remember that with wealth there is freedom and you are not free if you are confined to the worry of not enough money and to using coupons. Instead you are continually worrying about having enough money for the food you are buying, therefore your mind-set is of poverty.


I had a friend who has since passed on, say to me one day. “I have so much money that I could never spend it all.” This coming from a man who I remember some 30 years’ prior was struggling to make his company successful and make enough money to survive. These were words that astonished me when he said them, but I also wondered how it would feel if I were in a financial position to say those same words.

I now choose my thoughts, choose what I want to think in the very moment. There is an instantaneous change in the way my body feels when I change my thoughts. If I am concerned or think about how much an item costs, I quickly change this thought. I can go from worry to wealth consciousness in a fraction of a second and it is breathtaking. I know this way of thinking is changing my life right now, as I write this.

I keep what he said in my thoughts, often. These words are even more powerful because this is someone I knew, and he said this to me not because he was boasting, but because it was a fact.

  • Are you thinking thoughts of near-poverty?
  • List messages of struggle and lack of that are now a part of the way you think and live.
  • Ask yourself if these messages are still valid.
  • If not, then let them go.
  • Incorporate new wealth-based messages into your thoughts.


It didn’t sound like me in the least and when she made the suggestion I thought it was ludicrous, regardless of her reasons. She kept insisting, getting in my face with the idea repeatedly. Finally I gave in. I told her I would go to school and get my Real Estate License. This was my best friend. We lived a few houses from each other, our children played together and within a short period of time we were both divorced and single moms trying to find our way in an era that still believed in lifetime marriages.

She had found a way to have some freedom and make as much money as she wanted. In Real Estate it is your business, to a certain point. You still work under a Broker, and you do split the commission, but it is completely different from my idea of working in an office doing a job, and being paid a certain amount, which was never enough, for a certain amount of hours.

I know she was thinking of my well-being. Trying to make sure that I understood the benefits of being a Real Estate Agent, of having freedom and the potential of making a lot of money. It would be more than I was making in an office, as long as I was willing to work hard selling houses. She assured me this was the absolute best choice to make. It must be, she loved it and from what I can remember she was doing well financially.


I agreed to follow in her advice and attended a Real Estate College in preparation to take the State examination. We were told that the test was difficult and most did not pass the first time. It was pretty common to have to take the test a second or third time. When I was told that, I thought to myself, no way am I going back to school to study for a second or third time. I’ll pass it the first time. And I did, barely. But I did it. This was a huge turning point for me and gradually I became more excited, and a little bit overwhelmed.


The next step was to ‘hang’ your license at a Real Estate office. I decided to go to the office that my friend worked from. In I went all proud and ready, for what I had no idea. I sat down and talked to the Broker thinking that all went well and I assumed it did for he agreed to let me start. What I didn’t know, until my friend volunteered the information, was that he didn’t think I would make it as a Real Estate Agent. I wonder why my friend felt the need to tell me.

It burst my bubble. I thought I was wonderful. I thought I could handle anything and I thought I could easily learn to be a successful agent. Obviously, I was mistaken and he knew I would fail. I began doubting myself, doubting my abilities and wondering why I was there. My fragile self-esteem was taking a nosedive.

I knew I had to do something and do it quickly. My job had ended, actually the company had moved out of state so there I was a single mom with two kids, a mortgage and all the other expenses, and a small amount of money to tide me over. I was excited to get started selling houses, that is until this man offered his opinion and said I would fail.

I knew I had to keep my spirits up. I tried to find someone in the office that could help and teach me. Even my friend did not have time to help me. She already had a partner and was extremely busy being an agent.

They suggested that new agent’s partner with other new agents. That meant that two people who knew nothing about working the field were partnered. It was not an ideal situation and actually led to a lot of frustration. Now I understand why Real Estate has such a high turnover of new sales agents. No one tells them or shows them what to do. They are just told to go out and list homes or work with buyers. Sure they give a few hints, but if you have never sold anything to a stranger and don’t know how to close a sale it can be both overwhelming and frustrating. When I started out, I had no idea what they meant when they said ‘close a sale’.


I had to have an income and after a period of time I was not earning as much as I needed, so it was up to me to decide what I was going to do. I had to let it go and get on with my life, that much I knew.

I may not have been successful in Real Estate, but later on I did learn to sell. It was at a diet center where you were taught to close the sale, you role-played until you dreamed the scenario, and in the end, I was very successful. With this information I am sure, if I do decide to go back into Real Estate, I will use it to my advantage. I also will spend more time searching for a Broker, one who will be supportive of my willing to be successful.

What it did for me was to let me touch base with that part of me that was my innate ability to sell. I just needed guidance and support.


  • Talk to anyone who is in the business that interests you, those who are seasoned and those who are just getting started.
  • Specifically ask questions about the methods they use to prepare you for success; the guidance they offer, hands-on training or a mentor.
  • Tell them you are interested in doing what they do and would like to ask them questions, over a cup of coffee or lunch.
  • Create questions in advance that focus on the realities of what it takes to become successful in that business.
  • If possible tell them you would be willing to volunteer to learn the business.

Friday, January 29, 2010


It was the time in my life in which I would make a life changing decision as does everyone who is about to graduate from high school. With brochures and an application in hand from Bauder College of Fashion Design located in Dallas, Texas I, with unwavering confidence and absolute joy, presented them to my parents. They wanted me to go to college so I assumed they would be happy and that when I came home, they would have read through the brochures and put their signatures in their perspective places. My dream would have taken its first step to reality.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It wasn’t until I was in school that day did I realize the negative impact my decision would have not only on my parents, but the school educators, also. I was called into the Principal’s office welcomed by a group consisting of the Principal, Vice Principal, Dean of Boys and Dean of Girls, who informed me of my parents’ concern. They were convinced I was making a very bad and unreasonable choice and they were going to change my mind. When that failed, they called a professor at the University of Denver who would later send his assistant to take me to meet with him. They were being logical, I was being emotional and we were at a standoff. I knew what I wanted, without a doubt. I also knew what would not work for me and no convincing or manipulating would change my mind.

This was a major turning point in my life. Without realizing it I was going to be traveling down a devastating and destructive path. A path that would affect the rest of my life.


I had known since I was eight that I would be a designer. It was all I wanted to do and all I spent my spare time doing. When my older sister took me to the movies, we were the last to leave. We waited until the list of credits came on, the title Costume Designer and the name Edith Head. It was at this point that I visualized seeing my name in print in place of Edith Head. This was before the self-help books were available and told us how to visualize. I just knew this was the path I was meant to be on.

Still, to this day I notice a warm feeling in the pit of my stomach when I look at a sketch that a designer has made. It is a calm feeling. It is a feeling that I am safe that I am home. I wish it were I sketching the dresses, coats and hats, but it isn’t. So I let it go.


I had been elected to the National Honor Society and mostly my grades were very good, so with this in mind, my father expected me to go to college. He wanted me to become what he could never achieve. He wanted me to study business, and become wealthy buying and selling my own houses. There was nothing wrong with what he wanted for me, except I wanted something different. And what I wanted was to the extreme opposite of his plans for me. What I wanted and needed was the freedom to make my own decisions and choices and to feel good about these decisions and choices.

I should have known that he would never agree on my studying the arts, of any sort. My fathers twin brother was an artist and had the honor of studying at Walt Disney’s studio. I remember the loud arguments that my mother and father would have with him. They telling him, he would never make it as an artist, that he would have to get a job. He did give up and give in and I saw a very sad man. My sister could play piano by ear, but she was never encouraged to continue. Instead of pursuing my dream, I made a conscious choice to work for someone else and then to eventually marry.

I had obeyed my parents as best I could, appeasing their appetite for controlling me and kept my dreams to myself. I had never discussed this with them, knowing that if they knew ahead of time that would have squelched my idea immediately.


There is a message that creates a pattern in my life. It is a self-defeating pattern that goes something like this. “If you don’t let me do what I want, I will show you just how miserable I will be.” I must have thought they would take pity on me and give in. It didn’t happen and with that kind of attitude how could I not be miserable. This message set me up for a pattern of giving up and giving in. I knew I was not good enough to fulfill my dreams.


Were my father and mother disappointed? Of course, but then so was I.

Had my father been the man who would listen to my opinions, who would take the time to discuss what I wanted, possibly he might have been able to discourage me from being a designer, and at that point it would have been my idea. Instead he would become angry, turn red, raise his voice and demand I do what he told me. He was domineering and it was impossible to have a discussion with him. It was his way or no way. My mother would call him a bullheaded Englishman. There were times when my mother would intercede and convince him to let me have my way, but this time my mother was on his side.

I decided I would not attend college. Instead I would get a job which would lead to a succession of jobs, all lackluster, dead-end and low-paying, some even demeaning. After setting myself on this path, because it was the result of a choice I made, I then decided to get married and have children. I never felt that there could be any other choice, any other path to be on. I had made my decision and that was it. There were children to be raised and they became my sole purpose.

My parents reluctantly accepted my decisions and never again brought up the subject of college. I’m sure they realized that there was nothing more they could do. We remained close, and I watched over them until their deaths. Even after they died and to this day their messages are ever-present and tend to control my decisions and choices. I have been forever angry that I could not follow my dream, but I never told them how I felt. Maybe being a designer would not have been what I wanted, but I was never allowed to find out for myself and that would have been a part of growing up.


That there can be new choices and new endings. I did not have to choose to completely give up my dream, but rather change how I would make my dream a reality.

I kept my desires and dreams to myself. No one knew that after graduating from school I also studied to be a model. I knew that if I told my parents they would never support me, so why take away the joy I found in applying make-up, in walking, in colors and the other classes, even though I ended it before I could be successful. No one knew that I dreamed of dancing on Broadway in New York. The people I confide in are those who are in the creative arts field.

Now I know that by telling myself repeatedly that I can do everything I want, that I am an intelligent woman, that I am creative and artistic is my way of becoming successful. I tell myself I’m going to do it (whatever I’ve chosen to do) no matter what. I must stay focused on what I want and follow my chosen path.

Ultimately, I learned that I have to change the messages I received from my parents so that the patterns will change. The messages they gave me led me to believe that I wasn’t good enough, that my ideas are worthless, that I don’t have what it takes to do what I want. This is how they controlled and manipulated me into doing what they wanted. This is how I failed at being me.


Most noticeable major changes or turning points in my life were my two divorces. Another time later in my life was when I decided to take creative and artistic classes, watercolor painting, dancing, acting and voice. I did not have any plans beyond taking classes, although I did do two local TV commercials.

I made a choice to stop dating for a period of time because I was using relationships and marriage as a replacement for denying my creative and artistic self.  Until I changed, it seemed unadvisable that I become involved.

Now I have made a choice to end my pattern of ‘getting a job’, working for someone else, on their schedule, their pay. An end to depending on a job to give me what I want and need, because it can’t, it never will. I desperately need my freedom and the freedom of making choices and decisions. I will have to learn to use my freedom because for me it never came easily.

There is no way around it, if your life is going to be different you have to make a choice to change it. Anytime you doubt the choice, anytime you feel uncertain, anytime you feel you need someone to assure you that you’ve made the right decision and choice, you weaken your ability to be successful.


Taking dance classes such as tap, ballet and jazz gave me much needed confidence, but also the ability to reach out much further, to succeed beyond my expectations. Dancing affects not only your feet, but your entire body and mind. You learn to center and ground yourself and this makes you feel and step with the music. Once you feel this confidence it stays with you all day, every day.


  • A body/mind related activity such as dancing, or any type of sport is going to teach you to be   grounded.    It will teach you that you can do more than you ever thought you could. It will give you confidence in all of your daily experiences. Start small and move up, but get yourself moving.
  • Forgive those who tended to restrict our dreams and desires. These people showed us our strengths to make choices of our own.
  • Determine what you want to do, what you love, what you dream of and find a way to do it. Allow yourself the freedom to have fun and enjoy whatever activity you choose.


As a child I was told I was shy, so I assumed this must be a problem since I was continually reminded of this flaw. I grew up with a father who believed there were no strangers, that everyone is your friend. I watched him as he waved or spoke to everyone whether he knew them or not. To be like my father seemed difficult and scarey for me, but if he could do it, so could I.


I decided to put myself into a situation in which I was surrounded by strangers, a busy downtown street. Then I walked among these strangers holding my head high and looking into their eyes as they passed me on the street. After I succeeded at this and found that no one would hurt or even scare me, I added on a smile. The earth shattering part faded and after practice it became easy and natural. In my mind I assured myself that I would be safe, that this wasn’t so hard. I then realized that this was fun, genuinely fun.


How was I to ever understand myself if I couldn’t communicate with others? How could I fulfill my dreams if I was too afraid to look beyond my own two feet? By taking control of this area of my life I knew I could do anything I wanted. From this exercise in courage, I received the confidence to speak up, to ask for what I want, to stand up for myself, to do things that without this courage would have remained impossible dreams.


I took command of my life. I took back my power. I changed this part of my life, by changing how I believed, how I perceived a stranger. Change your actions along with your thoughts. The combination is dynamite.

  • Choose something that you would like to do, or someone who does something that you would like to emulate. Those in our lives are there to teach us, we just have to notice and allow.
  • Decide how you can do this, how you can fit it into your life.
  • Then practice. New habits can only be formed if they are repeated and become part of your daily regimen.