I Have Nothing

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Learning To Receive

I had a breakthrough recently.  In reading Joel Goldsmith’s essay, The Secret of the Twenty-third Psalm, I realized that I have nothing.  I am a blank canvas through which God expresses Itself as health, wealth, and love, among other things.  As that canvas, I experience many things such as wellness, jobs, relationships, and possessions, but I don’t really have them.  They come and go.  Jobs end, people die, objects wear out or break.  The good news is if I don’t really have them, then I can’t lose them.  When Sterling Drug closed the plant I worked at in 1991, I didn’t lose my job.  I just ended my experience as a manager there.  It was time for Spirit to express in a bigger way on my canvas – and It did.

Muscle beach 238x307Likewise, I cannot lose my good health.  If I’m open to it, I experience excellent health as the expression of the Divine Creator.  There is no such thing as an incurable disease. There are just diseases for which humans have not yet discovered a cure.  Our Creator knows only perfect health, which is what Anita Moorjani expressed after she realized God’s unconditional love during her near death experience.  (You may recall that she had stage four cancer, and doctors declared she had just hours to live.)

Can you feel how freeing it is to have nothing?  When have you felt the most free?  For me, it’s when I’ve released something, such as a job, a possession, or a relationship.  I feel it when I’ve had a garage sale or even cleaned out a closet.  Similarly, it’s said the best time to take a vacation is between jobs, that period after we’ve ended one position and the new one hasn’t started yet.  We have no responsibilities to think about from either job – we’re free.  Isn’t this what the Scriptures mean when it says “the truth shall make you free”?

To grasp this freedom at a deeper level, let’s take having nothing but being open to receiving (experiencing) anything to an extreme for just a moment.  If I have nothing, I don’t own anything.  I can feel free to give anything in my possession away, because it isn’t mine anyway and I can always receive it again if I need it.  I can be as “generous” as I want to be, knowing I can always express more wealth.  If I had nothing, I’d have nothing to insure or to worry about being stolen or damaged.  Now I’m not suggesting that we no longer carry insurance, become careless, or give everything we own away.  After all, taking care of what we’re entrusted with at the moment is an expression of appreciation and gratitude.  But this understanding frees us from worry about the decisions we’re called to make regarding giving, investing, carrying insurance, and taking precautions to maintain our safety.

I invite you to reflect on the idea that you truly have nothing.  Oprah does not have more money than you and I have.  She is having an experience of greater wealth than we are at the moment.  She came into this lifetime without it and will leave without it, as well.  While most of us don’t really desire that level of wealth, we would like to experience more financial abundance than we are right now.  What if we were to visualize ourselves as completely empty-handed, a blank slate?  Let’s see ourselves as having nothing, but being ready to experience anything, knowing that Spirit is always intending to express at a greater level and only as absolute Good.  Please understand that it’s not our responsibility to make this happen.  The canvas doesn’t do the painting; that’s the painter’s role.

I am adopting this mindset as I allow God to express a greater level of professional and personal fulfillment and prosperity in my life.  I am guided clearly, and each step I take is natural and supported.  I no longer cling to experiences that do not serve my greater good or grasp at opportunities that do not naturally and gently unfold for me.  In remembering that I have nothing, I am ready and able to receive my heart’s deepest desires.

Dating For Mature Audiences

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

Dating 2 Everyone expects younger people to date, but what about Baby Boomers and beyond? With 39% of the population over age 45 single, there are some 49 million single, older adults in America. No wonder senior dating sites such as OurTime.com, DatingAARP.com, BabyBoomerDates.com, and Over40andSingle.com are so prevalent. As you explore these services, consider the following advice I give my more mature clients when they are ready to begin dating:

  • Don’t be pressured or even influenced by what you see in the media about dating today.  Everyone is not having casual sex, and you should not feel compelled to be intimate with anyone until you feel ready.
  • When you are ready, insist that you have safe sex.  (A 2010 study conducted by Indiana University found that about 90% of people over age 45 said they had not used a condom during their past ten experiences (http://www.nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/).)
  • Please do not lie or misrepresent yourself.  If you’re using an online service, post a clear and recent photograph of yourself.  While you don’t have to announce your age, please don’t lie about it either.  If the relationship progresses the way you hope it will, this will only come back to haunt you.
  • Avoid compromising out of desperation, just to go on a date. A bad date is definitely worse than no date.  Trust your inner guidance.
  • Be yourself, at the age you are now.  Being active, light-hearted, and ready to have fun are good.  Don’t try to compete with a 20- or 30-something because they will always win.
  • Make sure you have disposed of your baggage before you begin dating.  Retain only the lessons, and let being older and wiser this time build your confidence.
  • Finally, be good to yourself.  If you’re not having fun and it can’t be fixed, politely remove yourself from the situation.  You’ve earned your own self-respect.

The Complexity of Abundance

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Learning To Receive

I read in one of my wellness journals that the reason we haven’t arrived at a cure for cancer yet is that there appear to be multiple causes.  Researchers study environmental factors, nutritional variables, food additives, heredity, demographics, fitness levels, lifestyle, income, and even less quantifiable elements such as mindset, faith, and stress–all in an effort to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.  So far, we have some idea what to strive for regarding each variable in isolation, but when we look at them in combination, it becomes quite complex and not nearly as clear.

Recently, I’ve been toying with the notion that the causes of abundance seem to be similar in nature: multiple and complex.  What has worked for one person, whether they are a business professional or a spiritual teacher, doesn’t necessarily work for another.  In the 30 plus years I’ve been an adult and working to figure this abundance puzzle out, I’ve encountered a lot of teachers telling me what worked for them:

  1. Tithing – we’re advised to give ten percent of our gross income from all sources to the person or entity that nourishes us spiritually.  If you researched this approach you would find numerous accounts of people who became prosperous once they seriously committed to tithing.  I have tithed faithfully and joyfully for almost 15 years, and I have no intention of stopping – but the practice did not make me prosperous.
  2. Giving – we are told that to receive we must give, and tithing is just one form of giving.  We need to look at our time and talent, as well.  I’ve written for years about giving and receiving being two sides of the same coin, so I concur that giving and receiving go hand in hand.  That said, I know many skillful givers who are not as financially abundant as they would like to be.
  3. Forgiveness – Edwene Gaines, Unity minister and prosperity expert, teaches that all debt is the result of unforgiveness.  I love her work and do my best to follow her guidance, but I have found evidence that contradicts her assertion.  Do you know a kind person who does her best to forgive others but is not manifesting abundance?
  4. Setting a specific intention – we’re taught by some to be very precise when placing our order with the universe so there is no doubt or confusion.  We should be clear on the “what” and open to the “how.”  I know of many business owners, however, who spelled out their desires concretely in their business plans yet failed to realize the intended results.
  5. Focusing on the feeling rather than the specific outcome – here we’re advised to be less exact about what we’d like to receive, and instead dwell on how we’d feel when we got our desire.  The reasoning is that when we want something (e.g., enough income to share and spare), it’s the feeling we’d have (security, peace of mind) from receiving it that we actually desire.  
  6. Speaking your word out loud (literally) – one beloved, early New Thought teacher wrote that her prayers and affirmations were not effective until she said them aloud.  She got a decisive demonstration as soon as she began to verbalize her affirmations.
  7. Visualizing what you desire – I’ve read Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization more than once, and I find her exercises effective in helping me hold the vision.  While I had other demonstrations related to health and relationships, consistent abundance did not come from this practice alone.
  8. Letting go – many teachers say that after we’ve made our request, we need to release it to God.  For example, the fifth step of a Religious Science spiritual mind treatment (founder Ernest Holmes’ form of prayer) is to release the desired result into the universe or the law.
  9. Helping others make money or achieve their dream – I love this idea from Deepak Chopra’s book, Creating Affluence: The A-to-Z Steps to a Richer Life.  He uses the letter “M” to stand for “make money for others.”  As a small business owner, I embrace the idea of supporting others, but is it enough to bring us prosperity?
  10. Praying, believing you have already received – this instruction comes from the Master Teacher, Jesus, and was echoed by Rhonda Byrnes, creator of the well-publicized film and book, The Secret.  Here I think the issue is not that the advice is insufficient, but that the practice of believing ahead of the appearance is a challenge for the vast majority of us.
  11. Loving everyone all the time unconditionally – this is the latest teaching in all of Wayne Dyer’s recent work including Wishes Fulfilled and Divine Wisdom.  He believes that when we are able to express divine love in all circumstances, our wishes will naturally and easily be fulfilled.  I put this one with the Master Teacher’s guidance – likely to be effective if we can really put it into practice.
  12. Shifting consciousness – this is the crème de la crème and what every New Thought teacher I have ever heard on the subject of abundance endorses.  We must release any belief in lack and limitation and see ourselves and the universe as abundant, with an all-sufficiency of supply in every form.  Without a change in consciousness, any prosperity we do realize will be fleeting.  Like the two practices above it, it seems to be easier said than done.

Where does this leave us?  Despite what some have taught, my experience is that items 1-9 are not a guarantee of abundance.  However, these actions don’t contradict each other, and practicing any one of them is likely to make life better for all of us.  More importantly, I’ve found they are stepping stones to accomplishing the heavy hitters: items 10-12.  These final three are all essentially the same thing, just expressed differently, and any one of them ultimately will enable us to realize the lasting abundance we desire.

Navigating the Singles Dance

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

dance

 

If you’re single, I hope you’re at least thinking about going to the semi-annual Calculated Couples Singles Fair and Ball I wrote about last week.  Don’t let the thought of facing the event alone keep you away.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  • You may want to go to with a friend or two; just don’t hang around with the person you came with. 

  • Read Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room, Revised Edition: Your Essential Guide to Savvy Socializing (link) to become more comfortable mingling in groups where you don’t know anyone.

  • If you’re more experienced, you’ll find that going alone can be quite fun.  You have to get out there and talk to people, but you can leave when you want (or stay as long as you want).

  • Avoid sitting at a large table with five or more people; make it easy for people to find you and approach you. 

  • Sit with one or two people of the same gender and keep the conversation on small talk – and be positive. 

  • Be interested in what’s happening around you, and make it possible for people to break into your conversation. 

  • Look for someone alone who appearso need someone to talk to; this is your opportunity to approach him or her.

  • Finally, one topic you’re sure to have in common with the others at the dance is being single.  Using this as a conversation starter is a great way to learn about other singles events and groups you could explore.

 

Demonstrate Your Readiness to Lead

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Academic & Career Success, Blog

You’ve put your time in, you’ve been paying attention, and you’re ready for something bigger.  You’ve noticed which managers keep you growing and motivated and which ones no one cares to follow, including you.  Maybe you’ve caught yourself thinking, “If only I ran this department…”  Perhaps you’ve applied for a promotion and been turned down.  You suspect it’s not that you lack the ability, but that the higher ups don’t see you as a leader.  Or maybe it’s just that promotional opportunities are not regularly posted in your organization.  Just how do you move into a leadership role?  Kathleen Hawkins

Begin by recognizing that you are not powerless.  Avoid slipping into the “poor me,” victim mindset.  There are several ways as an individual contributor you can show you are ready for a formal leadership position.  Start immediately to dress, speak, and behave the way successful leaders in your organization do. If your peers notice and give you hard time, count it as a positive.  If they’re seeing a difference in you, management is likely to, as well.  It sounds too easy to be effective, but it works.  Presenting a visual image of yourself as a leader and backing it up with similar speech and behavior will make it easier for others to accept you as a member of the management team.

In addition, as an aspiring manager be on the alert for any relevant training being offered by the organization in the area of leadership, communication, team building, and so forth.  Don’t wait to be asked.  There’s no harm in requesting to be included, even if it’s geared to leaders only.  If you’re told there’s no room, asked to be put on a waiting list.  Managers often bail out on training at the last minute due to unanticipated travel or other unforeseen work demands.  You could take their place and avoid having the company forfeit the cost of the training.

Say “yes” to your manager’s requests as often as you can.  Filling in for co-workers or stepping up when a volunteer is needed sends a strong signal to upper management that you care about the organization.  Leadership positions typically involve extended hours, so strive to arrive early.  Avoid watching the clock or being the first one out the door.  On the other hand, don’t work excessive hours, as that can create an impression of inefficiency and that you’re not capable of getting the job done in the hours allotted.

Toastmasters ACB AwardJoining Toastmasters (at work or outside) is another effective and affordable way to acquire both communication and leadership skills.  Most people think of public speaking when they hear Toastmasters, but that’s only half of the program. Toastmasters has two professional development tracks: speaking and leadership.  You can work either or both; the training materials are top notch for each track.  In addition, meeting management skills are practiced at each Toastmasters meeting.  This benefit alone is a strong selling point to most organizations.  Another valuable aspect of Toastmasters is the award program which recognizes members’ progress and achievement.  Each time you earn an award or complete a training program, submit it to your supervisor and the Human Resources department for inclusion in your employee file.

Another visible way to demonstrate management readiness is to seek out opportunities to function in a leadership capacity, such as heading up the annual United Way campaign or a blood drive.  Managers are typically thought of for these roles, but they are often too busy to devote the time needed.  If no such opportunity exists, look for a need and capitalize on the fact that you have a perspective management may not have.  Is employee morale low?  Are your co-workers unhappy with conditions that could be addressed?  Offer to head up a cross-functional team to explore the issues and alternatives.  This will give you the chance to learn about operations outside of your department and broaden your network within the organization while acquiring leadership skills.

Finally, be sure to let your boss know about your desire to advance.  Gaining their support is likely to make your move easier and quicker.  However, if you sense resistance, possibly because they’re threatened by your ambition, don’t be deterred.  Continue to be loyal and conscientious while building alliances outside of your department or office.  Keep your network outside of the organization growing as well.  Taking the actions I’ve described will be advantageous wherever your next step turns out to be.

Dance Outside Your Box

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

Don't miss the 2014 Singles Fair!

Don’t miss the 2014 Singles Fair!

It’s less than a month away – the semi-annual Singles Fair and Ball at the Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale.  On Saturday, September 6, from 6 – 8 p.m. singles will be introduced to a variety of vendors offering services and products specifically for singles.  So often clients complain that society is geared to couples, and I understand this perspective.  I remember how it felt when I was single and found so many activities suited to couples.  That’s why I was always grateful for Calculated Couples and its founder, Dave, who is holding this special event.

After the fair, from 8 – 10 p.m, the lights go down and the dance begins.  While Calculated Couples dances are held almost every Saturday evening around the valley, these fairs and balls draw the largest, most diverse crowds.  I know, because Roger and I present my book at every fair and then stay for the ball.  Visit Dave’s website and check out the entire schedule dances.  You might just meet your special someone there, the way Roger and I did on January 13, 2007.

Clear the Garden of Your Mind

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Learning To Receive

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

Gloria Steinem

GardenAs an educator, I spend a lot of time thinking about learning, how to enhance my own and that of my students and clients.  While school teachers don’t talk much unlearning, my spiritual teachers have.  Dr. Kenn Gordon, co-pastor of the Centre for Spiritual Living in Kelowna, British Columbia, likens our minds to gardens, which require not just planting, but regular weeding.  It’s great to take on new ideas, but they’ll get crowed out by the worn-out lessons that no longer serve us if we don’t prune those out periodically.

I have been studying, writing, and reflecting on receiving for over four years.  As I look back, I’ve done my share of unlearning.  One of my first blog posts dating back to May 2010 was about giving up the idea that asking for things, even simple items such as towels that weren’t frayed, was selfish when people were starving.  If I did manifest more abundance, shouldn’t I give it to those living in poverty?  My first New Thought teacher, Rev. Lei Lanni Burt, began to help me unlearn the view of the world as lacking and limited.  I needed to let go of the message that my having somehow takes from anyone else.  It doesn’t.  My Source is unlimited, and so is everyone else’s.  The only limitations on my supply are those I create.

I’ve written and even given speeches at Toastmasters that the “it’s better to give than to receive” message is one we must unlearn, as it doesn’t even make sense.  I’m absolutely convinced that giving and receiving are equal in importance and value, yet I still have to stay alert not to slip back into old thinking.  (If you need a refresher, check out this post.)

Then there is the notion that we get what we pray for.  I needed to modify this idea, as well.  Even the Master Teacher was clear on this: we get what we believe we have received.  Prayer without belief is just a wish.

Now as I continue to discover things I need to rethink, I realize that unlearning is an ongoing process.  Here are some of the thoughts I’ve been revamping this year:

  • “Hard work is always rewarded,” or “To get money, I have to work hard.”  I know the first idea is not accurate from my own experience, and I imagine you do, too.  While I can’t speak from personal experience about the second notion, I can think of plenty of examples of people with money for which they did not exert extraordinary effort (or in some cases any effort).
  • “I must always be doing something or have something concrete to show for the time I spent on the planet today.”  Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to Be Me, challenges the various versions of this line of thinking, and she’s really got my attention.  No one is keeping track of how my use my time or grading my checked-off to do list.  My life would have greater meaning if I focused more on being than doing, and the more meaning our lives have, the greater the positive impact we have on others.
  • “Being concerned about how I will pay my bills and keep my commitments is the responsible, mature thing to do.”  I see now that “being concerned about” is code for worrying, and that had become a habit.  If I didn’t get enough worry time in during the day, I’d wake up at 4 a.m. to do some more.  Another of Moorjani’s lessons is helping me overcome this pointless practice: be fearless.  She attributes excessive fear as the cause of her cancer and has resolved to remember that she is unconditionally loved at all times and has nothing to worry about.

One of the most challenging parts of unlearning is recognizing what we need to unlearn.  Beliefs we’ve held since childhood are so much a part of us that it takes a concerted effort to even identify them as a view we can choose to revise.  A good place to begin is by paying attention any time you feel bad.  Stop to notice exactly what is causing the pain.  Is it a thought, and if so, is it an accurate one?  What arguments can you make that challenge the validity of the belief?

Give notice to your feelings.  Identify the thinking that underlies those feelings.  Weed out any problem thoughts, making space for more constructive beliefs.  This will change your feelings – and it might just give you a better night’s sleep.

Should You Schedule Sex?

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Sane Sex for Singles

CalendarI was recently asked if scheduling sex is good or bad for a relationship. Can you guess my answer?  I think it’s a great idea, and I have three reasons. 

First, something that gets scheduled tends to happen.  Sex is worth making it a priority in your life so why not reserve time for it.  When you do, you’re less likely to overlook it or put off due to busyness. 

Second, we’re much more likely to have safe sex when it’s scheduled because we can be prepared.  Spontaneity is not as much fun as the media would have us believe, and there’s nothing enjoyable about an STD! 

Finally, and most importantly, we have the anticipation factor.  Sex therapists tell us that it’s the thought of having sex that sex addicts are actually addicted to, not the act itself. The anticipation of the experience is very powerful and fun, so we get a lot more out the experience when we can anticipate it.

Why not get with your beloved now, and bring your calendar with you!

To Err is Human

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Academic & Career Success, Blog

We’ve all heard it said: to err is human; to forgive is divine, but just how often is this platitude practiced in the workplace?  What if you’re new in your job?  Just how does one recover from a mistake, especially when it involves others?

MeetingI faced this very question myself years ago when I made an error with less than a month on the job.  I was coordinating a training seminar for the managers in our manufacturing plant, and I communicated the wrong date.  I had several people enrolled in a session that I thought was to be held in three weeks, and instead I learned that it was being presented in two days. It’s hard enough for leaders to clear their calendars for a whole day with three weeks’ notice, but with just 48 hours?

Many thoughts went through my mind when I realized I had misread the announcement and miscommunicated the date.  I knew I had to own my mistake and take immediate action, but what impression would I be making?  No one knew me there; I had no history.  Would my supervisor take some grief for my misstep?  How many managers would miss out on the seminar altogether because they couldn’t make it with just two days’ notice?  And what effect would this error have on my relationship with my new boss?

Thankfully, I had excellent training from my parents, who taught me honesty is the best policy.  I called each leader affected, took responsibility for the situation, apologized, and presented the options.  A couple folks actually managed to attend and the others were good-natured about it.  My supervisor appreciated my prompt action and forthright approach.  Of course, I was also very fortunate that my boss was highly regarded and the company culture was forgiving.

I advise my clients to take these steps when they discover they’ve made a mistake:

  1. Investigate what you can do to rectify the situation. If there is more than one possible option, consider the pros and cons of each course of action.
  2. If you have the authority to decide on a solution and can address the situation on your own, take steps to resolve the problem as quickly as you can. Take responsibility and offer an appropriate and sincere apology. 
  3. Do not over-apologize, even if you’re being sincere.  It will call more attention to the situation and damage your credibility further.  We’ve all made mistakes.  It’s part of the human condition.
  4. Tell your supervisor what happened and what you did to fix it.  If the corrective action is beyond your authority level or requires the involvement of other people, discuss with your boss the options you’ve come up with and what you recommend be done. Again, own your actions and express regret, but don’t overdo it.  You will be seen more positively by displaying grace under fire with clear-headed thinking and a practical action plan.
  5. Identify what steps you can take going forward to avoid similar mistakes.  Most successful people will tell you they learn more from their mistakes than their victories.
  6. Follow up on the actions you took to resolve the problem.  It’s natural to want to put it behind you as quickly as possible, and you’ll be better able to do that if all the affected parties and issues are taken care of. 
  7. Update your supervisor on the final outcome and what actions you’ll take to prevent a reoccurrence.
  8. Let go of the mistake and move on.  Ideally your manager and others in the organization will do so, as well.  Don’t remind them of the event by dwelling on it.

While we all dread making a mistake, a circumstance like this can be constructive.  If you handle it well, you can actually create a positive impression as being a person with character and integrity.  Your boss will learn that you’re trustworthy, and you’ll learn whether the organization is one you can see yourself staying with in the long run.

Begin Again

Written by Joanne Deck. Posted in Blog, Learning To Receive

Growing up in the 1960s, I was a big fan of the Monkees. While Mickey Dolenz was my favorite in those days, I couldn’t help recently but be intrigued by the story of Betty Nesmith Graham, mother of Monkee Michael Nesmith.  It turns out her life has a few valuable lessons for those of us wanting to enhance our ability to receive.

Born in 1924 in Dallas, Texas, Bette Graham dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to marry her first serious boyfriend, 24-year-old Warren Nesmith. He left her after their son was born, and she after acquired her GED and went on to secretarial school.  In those days, women didn’t work their way up to ladder of management as many do today.  Betty took a secretarial position at Texas Bank and Trust, pursued her passion as a commercial artist on the side, and raised her son alone. By 1951, she had been promoted into the position of executive secretary for W.W. Overton, the Chairman of the Board of the bank.

Electric typewriters came into widespread use after World War II, replacing the slow, noisy manual typewriter. Betty and her co-workers found that, while the new models made typing easier, their carbon-film ribbons made it impossible to correct mistakes neatly with a pencil eraser.  Tired of having to retype entire pages because of a single mistake and concerned about effect of her errors on her job security, single-mother Betty set out to find a more effective process.  Having knowledge of art techniques, Betty’s idea came to her as she observed how painters decorating the bank windows for the holidays covered any imperfections in their work with an additional layer of paint. With help from her son’s high school chemistry teacher, she invented a thin, quick-drying paint that would cover typographical errors in a similar manner. She brought a single bottle of the fluid and a small watercolor brush into her office.  Her co-workers watched as she painted over her mistakes at work and retyped the correct characters, saving time and office supplies.  Immediately seeing the value of her invention, they asked Betty to sell them some of the mixture, and her company was born.

In 1956, Betty incorporated the business as the Mistake-Out Company, making the liquid in her kitchen and bottling it in her garage with help from her son and his friends.   She hired her first employees a year later, when the product was mentioned in a trade magazine, resulting in a large order from General Electric.  Betty continued to perfect her product to achieve the ideal combination of paint and several other chemicals.  She renamed the improved product “Liquid Paper” in 1968.   By that time, she was selling 40,000 bottles of her ingenious invention a week, and less than a decade later in 1977, her firm had 331 employees around the world selling 500 bottles a minute.  True to her values, the corporate headquarters included a library, day care center, and art showcase.

In 1979 Betty retired and sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Company for 47 million dollars plus royalties for every bottle sold until 2000.  She establishing the Gihon Foundation, a Bible-based charity that helps support women artists and entrepreneurs succeed. Graham died in 1980 at the age of 56, having described herself as a “feminist who wants freedom for myself and everybody else.”

Betty Nesmith Graham demonstrated a few practices we can employ to receive easier.  She faced a number of challenges in her life: lack of education, abandonment of her husband, limited income, and little room for advancement at work.  Undaunted, Betty used her creativity, displayed resilience, tapped into her passion, and utilized the resources available to her as she took each step. Most significantly, she knew how to begin again.  She completed her GED and went to secretarial school.  As a single mother, she dreamt of freedom and ultimately extended that goal to other women through her foundation.  When her son moved on to have his own career, her new husband joined her in the business.  All along the way, she perfected her product and expanded her vision, at a time when opportunities for women were limited at best.  I’m inspired and encouraged by Betty’s example.  I hope you are, too.