Month: February 2017

Being Assertive

Being Assertive
Take-aways from Dr. Julie Hanks latest book:
The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Dr. Julie Hanks has created a gold mine of information about being assertive. But let me warn you, this is a WORK BOOK!! If you aren’t ready to put in the work to learning more about yourself, don’t buy this book. However, if you are ready to take the steps necessary to learning this trade of being assertive I would highly recommend it.

Let’s just do a quick re-assess of what being assertive means, shall we? My initial impression was not the definition that Dr. Julie Hanks used. “Assertiveness is generally defined as a way of communicating that is clear, confident, and self-assured. It enables you to express your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants without infringing on the rights of others. Assertiveness skills help you articulate your unique sense of self while maintaining your connection with others and allowing them to have an experience that is different from yours. At its core, assertiveness is about the courage to express difference.”

Now THAT is a great definition of being assertive and from the moment I read it, I wanted it. I generally consider myself a pretty assertive person, but there is one area where I get hung up and that is my emotional response during conflict. In her book, Dr. Hanks gives 5 Skills of Assertiveness; Self-Reflection, Self-Awareness, Self-Soothing, Self-Expression, and Self-Expansion. My biggest insight came from the self-soothing portion as it provided tools to pretty much calm myself down during any conflict.

“Assertiveness is an expression of difference.” In this book I found it re-assuring that we need each other and our relationships. “Splendid isolation is for planets, not people” (Johnson 2013). This book shows you how to make the most out of your relationships by nurturing certain ones and possibly severing others.

My blogpost today is not to give you the full enchilada, but to entice you to go out and buy this book if you find that it might help you in your life. It made a difference in mind and I will share just a few of my key take-aways here:

I feel _____________ when you _______________ because I think ______________.

This sentence alone can change your life.

Phrases to have up my sleeve or in my back pocket when I need to say no:

“I’m not able to commit to that right now.”

“I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.”

“No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…”

Phrases to help me ask for change:

“It would mean a lot to me if…”

“I would appreciate it if you would…”

I loved it when you did _______________.”

If you’re not yet sold on the book, start by listening to my interview with Dr. Julie Hanks on my positivity podcast for women, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, by clicking here. Listen as she takes me through a real life scenario that happened to me with my family and shows me how I could have handled it differently…talk about putting yourself out there for the world to hear! She is funny, brilliant, and right on the money.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below…I read every one!

Do Small Things with Great Love

Do Small Things with Great Love

Small Things = Big Change

This wooden plaque sits on my desk and was given to me by my middle daughter, Dayle. It is a constant reminder that to do big things, it takes a hundred small steps to get there. Because Lauri’s Lemonade Stand is a new venture for me and I took a leave of absence to get it started, I was really worried about bringing in income in a timely manner. Really worried. It wasn’t until I was confronted with a business coach about it that I realized I needed to remember my “why” in starting this journey to begin with. My goal is to be of service to women, period.

My plan is to do that by using three main hubs: Speaking, Writing, and Podcasting.

My podcast is meant to be a hub of beautiful, talented, knowledgeable women whom I interview to bring about change in you or to just hear a romantic love story, or even a tragic one so that we realize we are not alone in our journey. Some of them are just plain fun like learning how to geocache from Irene Thomas. Most are inspirational and motivating to the hilt.

My speaking is geared towards women in which I tell a bit about my story and then give actionable tips to put into practice right now to get up, get moving, and be your own best friend in finding your “Happy Middle”.

My writing is simply creative joy and pleasure for me. I love to write about what I’m thinking or review someone else’s thinking for that matter.

All this said, I was worried about money. After my little confrontation and remembering my “why” (to serve you!), I decided that I would make 2017 my year of service. I would simply go out and serve. I would find the best of the best to interview on my podcast, do 10 FREE speeches this year, and continue to write my blog and work on my first book.

The moment (I mean the very moment down to the second) I made that decision, a burden was lifted and I felt free from the pressures of making money this first year and just be a volunteer of service doing what I do best – connecting with other women to help them into the next chapter of their lives.

And this is where it gets interesting…about 2 1/2 weeks after making that decision I’ve all of a sudden been approached by three different companies on joint venture programs. What?? You mean all I had to do was let go? By taking that first step of service towards others, and deciding to make this my year of service, all of a sudden windows and doors are opening that I had no idea would happen.

Small adjustments, small changes make the difference. Learning a new perspective, taking baby steps towards your goal. Letting go and doing small things with Great Love make all the difference.

The Airport Play Date

The Airport Play Date

Let me start by saying that if you are planning your #playdate at the airport, there is not a lot of help on the internet about what to do while you are there.  In the end I took a bit from everyone and made up most of it on my own.  I made it more of a treasure hunt to be documented with selfies to cement the deal.  Here’s my treasure hunt list:
1)  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie.  I didn’t have time on my way in, but I found it and took a picture on my way back into town…yuck!

2)  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.  I didn’t end up with any exotic options, but I chose Portland, Oregon because the guy I was talking to, David, suggested it because the house from Goonies is there…I would totally go see that!

3)  Find the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  I chose beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers from Pasadena.  Are there people who would really buy beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers that say Pasadena on them??  Maybe I missed the memo.
4)  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.  I chose David from the departures board, and this lovely flight attendant which brings me to the 5th item that I couldn’t bring into fruition…read on.

5)  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  Remember those?  They would give them out to kids when they traveled.  Well, guess what?  They don’t have them anymore and haven’t had them for years according to this lovely flight attendant.  I asked her to think of something and she did!  She came back with a plastic cup, a napkin, a cookie, and pretzels and said it was the best she could do.  She gets an “A” for effort!!
6)  Find an airport sign that is laughable.  I found one!  In the Burbank airport there is a long stretch of red carpet that runs the length of the path of gates.  If you are paying attention you notice that it isn’t just for decoration, there is a purpose and a sign.  It tells you that the red carpet is supposed to remain clear of people…no loitering basically because it is meant to be used in an emergency only.  Really?  For what emergency?  A shooting where we all run for our lives?  A gas leak that again, has us running for our lives?  I guarantee that no one is going to be looking at that sign or the color of the carpet when that happens.  The best part?  No one was reading it.  There was one person (who moved before I got a picture)  sitting against the wall, on the red carpet, directly under the sign.  No joke.
7)  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.  Burbank has a hall of art with Amelia Earhart!  So cool!  And Phoenix has an entire exhibit of crazy art there.  Do all airports have art?  I think so…the ones in the Dallas airport…all of the sculptures are pretty incredible.
8) Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.  You should get extra points for the security guard…they are super paranoid!
9)  This is a freebie.  I just wanted to be on the look-out for something strange or weird that wasn’t already on my list.  I found it!  Flying Cats!  I sat down and talked to this poor lady who had both of her cats in small carriers and the cats were meowing like mad.  She told me she had already given them Xanax and it was having zero effect.  I took a video, laughed a bit, felt sorry for those poor cats (and their human mama) and chalked this one up as done!
10)  Two plane photos.  You saw my first one at the top looking over Burbank as I took off.  The other one was the best I could do from within the airport, but it totally counted!
Moral of the story…if you have an airport date…here’s the short list to cut and paste and print out.  It really was a lot of fun and required me to use my social skills and to be brave in talking with complete strangers, videoing flying cats, taking pictures of myself in crazy hats and taking a picture of the beer stein Pasadena salt and pepper shakers without the employee looking at me like I might shoplift at any moment.  Be adventurous!  Tell me about your latest #playdate below.  
1.  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie
2.  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.
3.  Take a picture of the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  Or buy it and give it to someone as your next white elephant gift at Christmas this year.
4.  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.
5.  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  (Let me know which airline you get this from because American Airlines isn’t doing it anymore…so sad!)
6.  Take a picture of an airport sign that is laughable.
7.  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.
8.  Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.
9.  Freebie!  Find something weird/strange/out of the ordinary that isn’t on your list.
10.  2 Plane Photos – One from inside the plane/One from the outside.

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