Friday, April 24, 2009

49,000 Words For You to Enjoy

It's almost been a month and I am still riding high from my first women's conference that took place on March 28th.

I've been talking about the great information the speaker's gave on money, health, life management, and living radically in my blog and bi-weekly e-newsletter (and if you aren't a subscriber to my e-newsletter, why not subscribe today? The link is on the right!)

Jillian Michaels, Barbara Stanny, Brenda J. Smith and Valorie Burton shared practical strategies to help people advance in their professional and personal life. And if you missed this year's conference, mark your calendar now for next year - March 27, 2010!

But enough talk. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So her are 49,000 words for you to enjoy! Click on "View All Images" to see the slideshow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My 100 Days

Just like President Obama, I, too, have reached a 100 day milestone. I have exactly 100 days until my first half marathon!

I've never run a race in my life - not a 5k, 10k, or any other "k". And how am I feeling about it? Well, I started asking myself : “What the heck were you thinking?????”

Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my ability to complete my training runs so far. But, as I look further down the list of my training program, I’m feeling a slight panic in the pit of my stomach. Is that 7 mile run coming up? And a 9 mile run just over the horizon. And my goodness…I see double digit miles in my very near future.

So I began to ask myself another question: “What’s the big deal if I back out?”

Let’s see…
  • I’m out my $70 registration fee (I can live with that!).
  • I can always do it next year (they actually do it several times a year, so plenty of races to choose from!).
  • I could save on the airfare and hotel to Chicago that weekend (even though my best friend lives in Chicago and I’m out there every couple of months anyway!).
  • Who cares if I change my mind? (Can’t think of one person!).

Then, I suddenly thought of one person who would care.


I made a promise to myself to do this for a variety of reasons that are very important to me. Those reasons haven’t changed.

Isn’t is funny how we find it hard to break a promise to others, but will break a promise to ourselves in a New York minute? How many times have you promised yourself you’d stick to your budget? How about the promise to be on time from now on? How about the promise to go to bed early to get a good night’s rest? What about the promise to workout at least 5 times a week? What about the promise to discipline your children and not wimp out when they start to whine or call you a bad parent?

Well, I’ve decided THIS promise I made to myself will not be broken!

So, in 100 days, I’ll be crossing the finish line (because I refuse to be so slow that I run out of time and they have to send the “pick up” bus to get me!!!).

Besides, they put me on their website! I can’t back out now!

Finally, anyone who knows me knows that I love to hear a crowd cheer – which is what my family and friends will be doing for me in 100 days!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Childhood Dream...Adult Reality

Every now and then, I think back to my childhood dreams. What did I want to be when I grew up? Did I come close to living those dreams?

It's funny how childhood dreams fall away as they give way to adult reality.

However, every now and then, I revisit those childhood dreams...I go back to a time when I believed anything was possible. Well, today was one of those days. I decided to take a walk down memory lane. And guess what? I'm taking you with me - but you have to promise you won't laugh!

Childhood Dream: I had plans of being a concert pianist. I took piano lessons for at least 5 years and participated in several competitions. Adult Reality: While I can still read music and play a few notes of Beethoven's Fur Elise, I haven't had a piano in the house in years.

Childhood Dream: Explore the great outdoors and get out of the city life. Having grown up in the Washington, DC metro area, I thought how great it would be to live in the country. Not be a part of the rat race, city streets, and rush hour traffic. Adult Reality: I live in the suburbs and at times it drives me crazy. I love New York and wouldn't mind living there one day. But I still love nature. This is me and my mom riding the rapids in West Virginia.

Childhood Dream: Being a supermodel and hitting the runways in Milan, Paris, and New York (check out my fierce pose below!) Adult Reality: I still love designer clothes and bags (please note that loving and having are two different things!) But Ford Models, Elite Models, and Casablanca's has yet to ring my phone!

Childhood Dream: To not only be a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad, but to be a part of the show group - the select group of cheerleaders that gets to make all the appearances, singing and dancing their little hearts out. Adult Reality: It's still possible! I won't make it to this year's audition next month, but there's always 2010. Keep hope alive!

Childhood Dream: To grow up and party all the time. Be a socialite without a care in the world - the Paris Hilton of my generation. Didn't know where the money would come would just be there. As you can see, I had the party thing down from an early age! Adult Reality: College, work, bills, grad school, marriage. Need I go on?

Childhood Dream: To wear a crown. Miss Virginia Teen. Miss Teen USA. There was something about the sash, the crown, the talent competition, the opening numbers and the interview with the judges. It was nerve racking but I completely enjoyed it. Check out my photos from the talent competition, the evening gown competition, and getting ready for my big group song and dance routine! Adult Reality: I have yet to win a crown and I'm still a little salty about it! :-)

So what about your childhood dreams? Have you visited them lately?

Some of them, we naturally outgrow, however, there are still those that linger - like making the cheerleader squad or winning a crown. Perhaps it's time to dust off some of your dreams! You may have to readjust them a little...but don't give up. Your childhood dream could still become your adult reality!

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Doreen Rainey is a Life Coach and Speaker who helps her clients Get RADICAL! For a FREE 30 day membership to the RADICAL Lifestyle Women's Network or to subscribe to her bi-weekly newsletter, visit her website. Join Doreen in the Washington, DC area for the 2010 Get RADICAL Women's Conference featuring Jillian Michaels, Fitness Trainer from The Biggest Loser and Rhonda Britten, Emmy Winner Life Coach from Starting Over and Celebrity Fit Club.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday's Soapbox - On Saturday - Friendship

Yesterday, my schedule got completely off. As a result, I missed my workout and couldn't do my Friday blog entry until today. The reason the day got totally away from me? I had lunch with 2 really good friends.

We agreed to meet for lunch around 1:00. Five hours later, neither one of them ever made it back to their office and my afternoon plans were suddenly shot. I was suppose to do a little writing and then hit the track with my hubby for my training run (my half marathon is just over 100 days away!!!!!). I missed out on both. And you know what? I couldn't have cared less.

In this day of technology - email, voicemail, text messaging, twitter, Facebook, Myspace - we actually don't need to TALK to anyone. When you add in long commutes, 50-hour workweeks, kid activities, and just being tired, getting together with friends becomes a challenge. And all of a sudden, your communication with the people you say are very important to you are reduced to forwarded emails, quick voicemails, and the few and far between get-togethers. Weeks go by. Sometimes months. And, in many cases, years pass!!!!

Yesterday, not only did my friends and I "catch up" - you know, those standard rushed questions we try to get through to make us feel like we still have a connection with each other:
  • how's the family?
  • the kids?
  • the job?
  • any vacation plans?

We actually had a chance to go beyond the surface and talk about the very personal things we were going through - the very things that drew us together as friends in the first place. We relaxed and forgot about the time. We talked about the good things that were going on in our lives, along with some of the things we were struggling with. We laughed, got choked up, and irritated the hell out of the waitstaff as they kept giving us the side-eye, wondering when we were going to leave.

But we ignored them. We ignored the ringing of our cell phones (including the calls from hubby). We ignored the ding of the blackberry from work. As a matter of fact, the only text that was sent was the one stating that returning to the office was no longer an option! Finally, we got the hint from the restaurant when they started vacuuming around our table (I guess they were getting ready for the dinner crowd)!

It was the best afternoon I'd spent in a long time.

What about you? How's the relationship between you and your close friends? Has it been reduced to short phone calls and promises of getting together, even though you all know it probably won't happen?

Friendship requires the one thing we have all become selfish with. Our time. But as yesterday afternoon showed me. It is always well worth the investment.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday's Soapbox - Theories, Plans and Action

"Everything sounds good."

That's one of my favorite statements.

People talk about their goals all the time. They even have a theory about how to make that goal a reality. Then, they take that theory and create a plan - specific steps outlining how they are going to get it done. And finally, they begin to act on those steps.

You can sense their excitement - their exuberance - their high energy level. They were about to make it happen!

Again, it all sounds good.

Then, something happens along the way. Suddenly, the action begins to slow...until progress to getting what you want becomes virtually nonexistent.

Learning a new language? You order your Rosetta Stone and can't wait to pop it in your computer - even downloading the lessons on your iPod. Then, after three or four sessions, you skip a day...then another...until the weeks turn into months and suddenly, you can't remember the ten words you thought you learned.

Want to lose weight? You buy new shoes, put a workout schedule on the refrigerator and cross off the days you hit the gym. You subscribe to a few fitness magazines and start shopping at Whole Foods. Next thing you know, it's been a month since you've crossed anything out on your fridge, the front desk person at the gym couldn't pick you out of a lineup and you start hitting the drive thru.

Focused on getting a promotion? You show up early, take on extra projects, and join a professional organization for training and networking. A month later, you start hitting the snooze button, pull back on the additional work and skip the next couple of meetings with your professional development group.

Want to put a spark in your relationship? You promise to say "I love you" as often as you did before you got married, you refuse to say goodbye without a good, ol' fashion kiss, and you both pick a day of the week where you'll have date night. Soon after, you have to work late, you're rushing to get out the door (no time for kisses!) and the kids activities take over date nights.

Why, why, why do people think they only need a theory, a plan and a couple of action steps to accomplish a goal?

The reality is, a goal will NEVER be accomplished without the the "D" word - Dedication!

People who are dedicated understand that the process is just as important as the end product. They get their reward from sticking to the plan - not just obtaining the outcome. Dedication means to devote wholly and earnestly - giving 100% to the process.

So, what have you let fall by the wayside? What have you started that you haven't finished? Are you in it 100%? Wholly? Earnestly?

You probably have the right theory - the right goal - the right plan. The question you have the dedication?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday's Soapbox - The Other Weight

What does it feel like to carry an extra 20, 30, 50, or 100 pounds?

All of us can look to people in our family, people we work with, people we serve on committees with, or even ourselves, to find out the answer to this question. You may notice these people don’t move as fast. They get out of breath quickly. They have a medicine cabinet full of pills. They constantly talk about losing the weight and getting fit. They may try to lose weight and fail – feeling defeated and helpless. Yes, with these people, it’s easy to see the results of carrying around those extra pounds.

But what about those who carry an extra 20, 30, 50, or 100 pounds that you can’t see? They may be fit, trim, and healthy. Yet, there’s another weight bringing them down. It’s invisible to the naked eye, but it’s there in full force. Keeping them from moving forward in life. Keeping them stuck. Keeping them from feeling true happiness and joy. Keeping them from experiencing contentment.

This weight does not show up in a pants size or an extended seat belt on an airplane, but it can be just as destroying. Just as detrimental. Just as devastating. Just as damaging. This weight is unseen by those who come in contact with these people everyday. What is this weight? It’s the weight of guilt, unforgiveness, anger, regret, unhappiness, shame, past hurts, and bitterness. These people are the walking wounded.

I climb slowly onto my soapbox today because I know the challenge of dealing with the weight that has nothing to do with your physical self. It’s the chip you have on your shoulder. The monkey on your back. The emotional baggage. The weight of the world.

Why, why, why do people hold on to emotional anchors that do not serve them...does not help them move on...and does not allow them to experience REAL freedom?

I can already hear the “buts”:

...but you don’t know how bad he/she hurt me.
…but you don’t understand how screwed up my parents were.
…but you don’t see how guilty I feel for leaving/putting me first.
…but I just can’t forgive them for what they did to me.
…but I refuse to forget.
…but the pain is too deep.

You know what? I believe those “buts”. However, the issue is not whether your “buts” are true, the issue becomes how will you deal with it so you can release that weight once and for all.

Here are a few tips:

First, figure out why you are angry, bitter, hurt, in pain or unhappy – and if you can’t do that on your own, seek professional help. It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with getting counseling!!!!

Second, get out of victim mode. Don’t give “them”, or what they did to you, any more power. They have taken more than enough from you. It's time to take your power back!

Third, let it go. Sometimes we hold strong to the weight because we don’t ever want to forget…forgive…or let others forget. But "they" have more than likely moved on. You are the only one wallowing in the past.

Finally, don’t be afraid of the freedom. We get so use to carrying the weight around, that we can’t imagine living life without it. But believe me, getting that monkey off your back, knocking that chip off your shoulder, and dumping that emotional baggage? There’s no greater feeling in the world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Soapbox Rant

Oprah Winfrey built a media empire with it.

Bill Gates rules the computer world with it.

Lisa Price founded a $30 million dollar (and still growing) cosmetics company with it.

A friend of mine works full time, is involved in professional organizations and still manages to coach his son's baseball team with it.

What is it?

It = 24 hours in a day.

Can you believe it? These people managed to accomplish great things with the same number of hours in a day that we have!

(Stepping on the box) How do they do it when in OUR 24 hours, we can't make it to the gym, sit down and eat breakfast, finish our college degree, spend quality time with our spouse, write that book we've been talking about for years, go to our child's football game, dance recital, chess match, or PTA meeting, do all the work our company is paying us to do, take a relaxing bath, watch our favorite TV show, have dinner with our friends, take a vacation, or ____________? (you fill in the blank).

Is it poor time management? Nope. It's poor life management.

Why, why, why do people complain about their lack of time when THEY are the very one in complete control of it! (stomping on box)

If you don't have enough time in your day to accomplish what want, that's because of one of these things:
  • You spend your time doing things you really don't want to do because you don't know how to say NO.

  • You have placed a higher importance on doing things that may bring you material/financial success, but robs you of the time to do what you claim is important. (I say claim, because if you don't make the time for it, it's NOT important - no matter what you say).

  • You spend your time doing what is expected of you versus what you want to do.

  • You procrastinate because of fear (yes - some people are actually afraid of getting what they want!)

Time is the one commodity that is limited. We will all run out of it one day. That makes it precious and should not be wasted. Please note, I am not saying that we should be "busy" every second of the day. I am saying that we should spend it wisely, doing those things that give us joy - whether it is building a million dollar company, knitting blankets for cancer patients (as my mom has just started to do),relaxing with a good book, turning off the blackberry a couple of days a week (yep - I said it) or not missing one basketball game, spelling bee, beauty pageant or cheerleading competition.

IF you are wondering how to take control of your life (which, by default, gives you control of your time). IF you see yourself in 1, 2 3, or all of the above bulletpoints. IF you are ready to live for what's important to you. I'd like to recommend 2 books to help you move past the obstacles that rob you of your time.

Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin, and Monique Tilford.

How Did I Get So Busy by Valorie Burton.

Stepping down now...but I'll be climbing back up tomorrow!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Climbing Up!

According to my good friends over at, a soapbox is a raised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject.

The term originates from when speakers would stand on a wooden box meant for holding soap. The term is also used metaphorically to describe a person engaging in an often flamboyant, impromptu or unofficial public speaking – as in "She's on her soapbox" or "Get off your soapbox". A modern form of the soapbox is a blog or a website on which a user publishes one's thoughts to whoever reads the page.

Welcome to my Soapbox!

I’ve decided to climb waaaaaay up on that wooden box about a few topics that seem to always come up when I’m coaching clients. And since I kinda like being on my soapbox, I’m going to hang out there all week!

Tune in every day for my Soapbox Radical Rant of the Day:

Monday: Motivation
Tuesday: Time
Wednesday: Weight
Thursday: Theory
Friday: Friendships

So, let me pull out my ladder so I can climb on up for today’s RADICAL rant: Motivation.

I can't count the number of times I've heard:

  • "I'm just not motivated."
  • "I need someone to keep me motivated."
  • "I start out strong and lose motivation."
  • "I want a coach to keep me motivated."
  • "I'm attending this conference/seminar/workshop/retreat to get motivated."

Why, why, why do people keep looking to others to give them what they already have???? (stomping on the box)

Let's take a look at what motivation is:

Motive is an impulse that causes a person to act. Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. Motivation, like intelligence, can’t be directly observed. Instead, motivation can only be inferred by noting a person’s behavior.

So, what does that mean? First, motivation causes people to act. Second, motivation is internal. Third, motivation can't be observed. Fourth, motivation is only inferred because of what you DO.

What, of those four things, has anything to do with someone other than you? Absolutely nothing. No one can give you motivation. No one can keep you motivated.

Motivation comes from inside of you. It's your internal drive that moves you to act on a goal that you say you want. If you aren't motivated to act, it's because your desire to reach your goal has not yet become bigger than your excuses, your comfort zone and your fears. Others can inspire you, teach you, help you, and encourage you (through workshops, seminars, coaching, CDs, formal education, and books). But the will to ACT can only come from you.

So, when you need a dose of motivation - don't look at me. Get up. Go to the bathroom. Look in the mirror. That is all the motivation you need.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Are You Well-Behaved?

One of the statements Jillian Michaels made during her presentation at the Get Radical Women's Conference was that "well-behaved women never make history".

This resonates with me as I think of successful women I know. At some point, they had to forget about what others said their "place " was. They decided to no longer accept the labels that people tried to put on them. They rejected those that would say they were:

  • less than
  • not smart enough
  • not good enough
  • not educated enough
  • not pretty enough
  • too emotional
  • couldn't handle tough situations
  • wasn't CEO material
  • wasn't able to make the hard choices

At some point, all successful women decide to aggressively step off the path that was paved with comfort, the familiar, the easy, and the ordinary. Instead, they opted to take a deep breath and leap into the unknown - where greatness lies.

With this leap comes the desire to:

  • break the rules
  • make your own rules
  • demand to be taken seriously
  • shake things up
  • kick some butt
  • do the unexpected
  • take charge
  • create a path
  • be a pioneer
  • take no prisoners
  • not be fearful of the "B" word.
As a matter of fact, one of the other speakers that day, Barbara Stanny, encouraged us to embrace the "B" in all of us - giving us her meaning of the word through a t-shirt that she offers on her site:

So, stop being well behaved.

Playing by the rules.

Nodding in agreement when you want to scream NO!

Complaining about your situation instead of doing something about it.

Waiting on something to happen instead of making something happen.

It's great to have goals - a dream. But that's not the end, it's a beginning.

I'll end with one of my favorite quotes:

Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it. ~Author Unknown

P.S. For the men: success comes for you when you decide to break the rules too!!!