Where have you been? Take time for you!

You might be asking, “Where has Laurie been?” My last blog post was nine months ago. Yes, I am alive. Yes, I am well. I have been taking “Laurie time!”

Do you take time for “you?” Have you ever recharged your internal battery? When was the last time you felt your life was balanced? Well, that is what I have spent the last year doing. I am an all new Laurie, and it feels amazing!

We have had several people requesting Motivational Monday to return. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Motivational Monday will not be returning… HOWEVER, some other GREATER things are coming!

Over the next several weeks, we are re-launching my social media, and I am being interviewed on numerous radio and television stations. April is Child Abuse Awareness month, and we are getting the word out…

We have launched a website entitled Abuse Is NO Excuse (www.abuseisnoexcuse.com), and I will be reentering the speaking arena. If you are interesting in booking me for a speaking engagement or coaching workshop, please contact my agent Lisa Kalz at lisakalz@imagentagency.com.

Plus, there are some VERY exciting National Media announcements coming, so stayed tuned. We will not be posting here. Please follow me on these links in order to be kept in the loop with the exciting announcements and posts coming:

All my blessings to everyone, and remember, everything you do and every life you touch, you decide the fingerprint you leave on their lives! Be happy… Choose wisely… and remember that YOU can make a difference in the world around you!!!\

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-

 

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Climb to the Top

ClimbtothetopHave you ever climbed a large hill or a mountain? During the journey upward, did you ever think of turning back when the terrain became too steep?

Today, I made an unexpected climb. I needed to clear my head, so I parked my car in the Wood Canyon parking lot, located in Southern California. I popped my trunk, propped myself on the bumper, and put on my hiking boots. As I closed the trunk, I headed down the trail that would take me through to the valley. It was only going to be a quick hour or so walk to clear my head and contemplate some work options I had in front of me.

After an hour or so, I found myself at the base of the large hill in the middle of the canyon. I had been so deep in thought that I had hardly realized how I arrived at that location. I started to turn around to head back down the valley, and a very audible internal voice said, “Climb it!” I looked at the time, and I knew had to get back to the house for a commitment. Again, the voice said, “Climb it!” So, I turned toward the path that started upward on a gradual slope. As I walked, it became steeper and steeper. There were a few times that I had to stop to catch my breath, and each time, I turned 180 degrees to look down from where I came. Twice during the climb, I looked at the time and contemplated going back. Each time, I would hear the voice say, “Don’t quit… Keep climbing!” So, I climbed. Many steps later and over an hour of climbing, I walked to the crest of the hill to instantly see the valley.

Here is a video of what I saw:

So, every time you think in life, “I need to stop… I need to turn back… I can’t keep going…,” remember to “Keep Climbing!” You will eventually reach the top. Take the breaks you need. Catch your breath, but just keep climbing.

EXERCISE FOR CLIMBING TO THE TOP

Find the largest hill that you think you can climb. It doesn’t have to be the biggest hill ever, just a hill that you know your hiking skill level can conquer. Climb to the top. During the climb, look back down occasionally to see your success and where you came from. When you need to rest, rest. When you need to climb, climb. Just DON’T QUIT until you get to the top.

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-

 

 

Be Unique!

My unique strawberry!

My unique strawberry!

I love fruit stands! I love the smell of fresh fruit. I love knowing that I am getting food that is not factory processed. Most of all, I love purchasing from the local farmers.

This weekend, as I was travelling with a friend from San Jose to Los Angeles, I said, “We have to stop at a fruit stand so I can stock up.” Twenty minutes later, we pulled into a small gravel lot that said, “Fruit from your local farmers.” It was a quaint little stand that stood in front of what appeared to be a family farm house. We were warmly greeted by a young Spanish girl.

I immediately migrated to the berry section, and my eye instantly went to a carton of lush strawberries. I stared in amazement at the strawberry that was lying on top. As I showed my friend what I saw, I stated, “I have to have that strawberry… how unique!”

My friend was chuckling as I was like a little kid in a candy shop. I collected an array of fruit consisting of strawberries, blackberries, mangos, kiwi, lemons, limes, pineapple, and an array of different onions. With a warm thank you to the girl who assisted me, I paid for my items and returned to our vehicle. As I was placing the items on the rear floor of the car for our travels, my unique strawberry caught my eye. It made me smile as I once again thought, “How unique!”

As I was clicking my seatbelt, I thought, “That is how we should all be… intriguingly unique.”

Are you unique? Do you go with the flow, or are you comfortable just being yourself?

So, what does unique mean?

It means being a person that others admire…

It means not going with the flow “just because”…

It means not worrying about what others think or say about you…

It means not having to be accepted by someone else in order to love yourself…

It means not having to be like everyone else…

It means being content with who you are…

It means loving ALL of yourself, inside and out…

It means looking in the mirror and saying, “There is only one of me!”

I love being unique. Do you?

EXERCISE FOR BEING UNIQUE

Every time you see yourself in a mirror, say to yourself, “I love being unique!”

 

Live with passion,

 

Laurie Calzada -Author and Motivational Speaker-

 

Life is a Dance Floor

dancefloor2I am in the Southern California area for six weeks for both personal and professional reasons. This weekend, I had the country dance itch, so we headed out to the foothills for a little boot scootin’ boogie. After dancing non-stop for two hours, I had to take a breather for a few songs. As I sat there observing the dance floor, I found myself getting lost in watching people and their partners make it around the dance floor in a country two step.

There was such a variety of activity, and I realized how much we can learn about our lives from the dance floor. As I watched beginners through advanced dancers maneuver around the floor, my mind started paralleling the dance floor with life:

  1. Trust your partner. If you do not trust your partner, whether they are the leader or the follower, you will not successfully complete your dance.
  2. Practice. I have so many people say they wish they could dance. My response is always, “Practice. It is like learning a sport. You can’t play basketball twice a year and then wonder why you can’t get the ball in the hoop.”
  3. Learn from your missteps. When you begin dancing, you will step on toes, bump into people, and not be able to find your center of gravity. It isn’t the mistake you make; it is about how you address it. Kindly apologize for the missteps and keep moving around the floor, knowing as you get better, it won’t happen as frequently.
  4. The leader must lead. In a dance, one must take the lead and one must take the follow (notice I didn’t say “man”). Some of the best dances I have seen and experienced have been where the experienced partners alternate the lead and the follow. The important part is that only one can lead at a time.
  5. Your shoes are your tool. Just a carpenter must have the right hammer or saw, you must have the right shoes for dance. If you try to dance in rubber soles or platform shoes, I guarantee you it will not be as good of an experience as dancing in low heeled, leather or suede bottom shoes. Tools in life make you or break you.
  6. Don’t teach on the dance floor! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. There is a place to learn, and there is a place to dance. When people try to give their “Pointers” to their partner on the dance floor, it doesn’t help them; it only makes them wish they could get off the dance floor sooner. If you are a qualified teacher in life, then know when and where to help your students. It isn’t in the middle of a business meeting or correcting them in front of their peers.
  7. Feel the music… the beat… the rhythm. Go with your intuition. It isn’t always about the steps you take- it is about the grace with which you get there.
  8. The song will change. If you don’t like the song, remember that “this too shall pass.”
  9. Different strokes for different folks. Some like it fast, and some like it slow. The best dancers adapt. You might enjoy a fast two step, a slow tango, a sexy salsa, or a hold you in my arms sway… the key word is “enjoy.”
  10. Have fun! Life is too short not to…

EXERCISE FOR LIFE IS A DANCE FLOOR

Go dance. Pick a night this week, and either go to a place where they dance or perhaps just put on the radio and dance in your own home. It doesn’t matter when, where or how… Just dance to the joy of life!

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-

 

Which door are you?

Saturday, I was visiting wineries with friends, and I was walking down the path from the front entrance of one of my favorite wineries to the patio that overlooked the Missouri wine country. I had walked the cobble stone path many times, but this time something was different. I look up and stopped. This is what I saw…

green door

My friends had stopped suddenly, wondering what on earth I was doing. I said, “That is one hell of a step!” It took them several minutes before they realized what I was contemplating. Look at the picture again. At first glance, did you realize there were two green doors?

Which green door represents your life? Be honest with yourself… really, which one?

I have experienced both of these doors in my own life. There was a time when I lived as the top green door…always living on the edge… always one step away from taking a plunge to earth. However, now my life peacefully represents the lower green door.

Let’s take a look at each door:

The higher door:

  • It serves no functional purpose.
  • It represents danger.
  • It is a poor design.
  • It lacks a beautiful awning.
  • There is no staircase.
  • It isn’t safe.

It isn’t secure.

The lower door:

  • It is well grounded.
  • It is designed with safety and security.
  • It has an awning for beauty.
  • It makes you feel welcome.
  • It has stairs, making sure you are grounded.

Which one represents your life?

If you make bad choices, remain angry, live on the edge, never make peace with yourself, lie, cheat and steal, then you are living your life as the higher door.

If you face your demons, balance your life, are kind to those around you, live a good honorable life, don’t lie, cheat or steal, then you are living your life as the lower door.

At different times in my life, I have lived life as both of these doors. I spent years living as the upper door, and I would never climb back up to it. Trust me when I say the lower door is a much more pleasing way to live!

EXERCISE FOR LIVING YOUR LIFE AS THE LOWER DOOR

Answer these 10 questions:

  1. Am I an honest person?   Yes     No
  2. Do I try to be happy and optimistic?   Yes No
  3. Do I help others when I am called to do so?    Yes No
  4. Do I live an authentic life?     Yes No
  5. Do I work hard?       Yes No
  6. Am I happy to see others happy and prosperous?     Yes No
  7. Do I strive to meet my life’s purpose?    Yes No
  8. Am I selfless, putting others’ needs before my own?   Yes No
  9. If I died today, would I have made peace with my past?    Yes No
  10. Would people describe me as a “good”man or woman?     Yes No

If you answered Yes to these questions, then you are living your life as the lower green door!

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-

Do your spaghetti noodles stick?

spaghetti, noodles in bowl, paprika tomatoes cherry on wooden table on brown backgroundLast week, my teenage munchkins said they both wanted to see new release movies coming out at the end of the week. Since it was their first week of summer, and I had just returned from New York City, I decided to take the afternoon off from my hectic schedule. I told them each they could invite friends over to spend the night.

So, at noon, I shut down my laptop and picked up two of their close friends. We arrived at the theater just before 1:00, and I purchased tickets for the girls to see Fault in Our Stars, which they were dying to see, both having read the book recently. The boys wanted to see the newly released Edge of Tomorrow, so I purchased three tickets for that showing. With tickets in hand, tubs of popcorn, and sodas to keep them highly sugared, I escorted the girls to get them situated in their show, and then joined the boys in the mega theater for the new Tom Cruise shoot ‘em up bang ‘em movie!

After the movie, the kids went to play at the park, while I did some work from my back patio. As the evening progressed, I decided to make one of their favorite dinners. Around 6:00, I put a large pot of water on the stove, opened a bottle of wine, poured a glass, and proceeded to get out the ingredients that I use to make my own homemade spaghetti sauce.

As the water was heating, I was browning the ground turkey, and I received a call from my good friend and life coach in New York. She was calling to get my intuitive advice for a large presentation she had done earlier that week. As I sipped my wine, gave her my advice, talked and laughed with her, I continued making the sauce, put the noodles into the boiling water, and prepped the garlic bread that the kids love so much.

During our conversation, we were talking about situations in both our lives and giving bits of advice to each other. As my dinner preparation was getting toward the end, I told her I needed to go so I could finish getting the kids ready for dinner. We said our goodbyes, and I hung up the phone.

As I removed the pot of noodles from the stove, I had a flash back to my childhood. My sister and I had learned to cook from a very early elementary school age. Having very little money during our childhood, spaghetti was a common meal that we made, as it yielded a lot of food for a minimal cost. When we used to make the noodles, we would take the noodles and throw them on the cabinet. If they stuck, then we knew they were ready! It is something I long ago stopped doing, as I knew how to make the perfect noodles without having to run that test.

However, the universe gave me that flash back Friday night. While draining the noodles, I thought about my conversation with my dear friend. We are both going through some exciting and rapidly changing times in our lives, both personally and professionally. For me, the past six months have shown some huge changes, as I have been changing my career objectives, started planning for a move thousands of miles away, and have been planning for a very bright future in love, family, career and happiness!

How do you get to divine bliss? You throw a hell of a lot of spaghetti noodles at the cabinet! The ones that stick are the ones that are ready. I have thrown many noodles the past few years, and what I finally realize is that the ones that stick are the ones that are done. So, what do you do with the noodles that don’t stick? When you throw them at the cabinet, and they fall to the counter or floor, you don’t put them back in the pot, do you? I sure hope not! Just as in life, when the noodle doesn’t stick, don’t hold on to it and put it back in the pot. Throw it away! It means the universe is telling you that there are dozens and dozens of other noodles in the pot. It is okay that certain noodles didn’t stick; it just means they weren’t ready. You don’t want under cooked noodles in your life, do you? You need to keep focused on the pot of noodles that still have potential to “stick” in your life.

How many times do you focus on the noodles that don’t stick…getting frustrated they aren’t done yet? Just remember those aren’t the noodles for you! Keep boiling the water, stirring the pot, and eventually not just one or two noodles, but the whole pot… divine bliss…will be ready for you. Trust me…I know!

Just because a noodle isn’t done doesn’t mean you stop cooking dinner, does it? No, it just means to be patient and focus on the task at hand. If you are in alignment with your universal vibration, your pot will yield some very delicious noodles, personally and professionally, and they will stick when the time is right. Just keep cooking!

EXERCISE FOR MAKING YOUR NOODLES STICK

When something doesn’t seem to be going right, tell yourself, “The noodle isn’t sticking. Pitch it.”  Then hold the noodle in your hand up to your head, wave it away from you, and say, “Baaaddd noodle.”  Then forget it. Trash it. Don’t hold onto a bad relationship, a bad job, or a toxic situation. Get rid of the bad noodles as soon as you recognize them, and definitely don’t keep them in your life any longer than needed. If you realize that something in your life is sticking and is good for you, then say to yourself, “The noodle is sticking!”  Then, give a smile. Before you know it, there will be fewer and fewer “Baaaadddd noodles”in your life and more and more noodles that will stick!

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-
http://www.lauriecalzada.com

I Wanna be a Goose

Last week, I was taking my traditional early morning walk around the lake near my home. It was a beautiful Midwestern spring morning, and the sun was just rising in the eastern sky at around 5:30 AM. As I walked down the hill toward the lake, you could see the mist coming off the water, and there were several families of geese in different areas of the small body of water.

geeseAs I got to the bottom of the hill and started around the north side of the lake, there were several groups of geese about 10 feet in front of me. You could see different pockets of families, and one in particular caught my attention. It was a large family with a mother, a father and 10 goslings that had been born within the last few weeks. I had seen them on my walk most mornings that week and would usually pause for a moment to watch them interact with each other.

This morning, something touched my heart as I watched those geese. Instead of just pausing, I sat on a nearby bench and observed them for awhile. As I observed the family’s interaction, I thought about how much humans could learn from geese. They have figured out the nucleus of love, commitment and family bonds.

So, I decided in my next life, I want be a goose! Here are the 10 reasons why:

  1. I wanna be a goose because they mate for life. They choose a mate when they are 3 years old and stay monogamous for life. They don’t spend their time thinking, “Hey, look at that hot goose over there with the super fluffy feathered ass.” No, they bond to the mate they have chosen.
  2. I wanna be a goose because they return to their roots. Like Dorothy, they understand there is no place like home… always returning and nesting at the place of origin.
  3. I wanna be a goose because they lift up each other. By flying in a V formation, the flapping of wings from one goose creates an uplift for the goose immediately following, adding at least a 70% greater range.
  4. I wanna be a goose because they speak a simple language. They only use 10 sounds to communicate between them. Obviously no bullshit salesmen in this species!
  5. I wanna be a goose because they split their time between land and water.
  6. I wanna be a goose because the male honors, protects and respects his family.
  7. I wanna be a goose because they always fly to warm weather.
  8. I wanna be a goose because they watch out for each other. If one goose gets sick or wounded, a couple of other geese will stay around to help and protect him. They stay with the disabled goose until he gets better or dies.
  9. I wanna be a goose because they eat all day and never get fat.
  10. I wanna be a goose because they have such great body posture. Have you ever seen a hunchback goose?

As I continued my walk that morning, I realized I had learned a lot from that family of geese. I want to be a faithful partner. I want to communicate wisely. I want to uplift people. I want a male partner that honors and protects. Most importantly, I want that elegant posture!

EXERCISE FOR BEING A GOOSE

Try living like a goose! Be faithful to those around you. Protect the people that you love. Communicate with a few powerful words. Uplift other people. Return to your roots in body or in spirit. Be a good partner. Be a good parent. Be a good child. Be a good goose this week!

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-