Where Conflict Comes From – Learning to Close the Gates

Are you leaving a gate open in your life and allowing negative thoughts and words into your life?  This is how conflict comes in – your open gate could be allowing ideas and desires into your life that differ from what you value and believe to be true.  This creates conflict and this conflict can lead to bullying behavior that you exhibit or allow. I’ve been there. I used to live a file that was filled with open gates.  I would allow anyone’s ideas and needs to be met over mine. I would say things like, “I can make that work”, without even considering the potential consequences of ‘making it work’.  Often, I would end up stressed or inconvenienced because of what I allowed.  

I don’t do that anymore, most of the time.  Everything is a constant work in progress – I’m not perfect.  If you struggle with the “making it work syndrome” as I now call it, then try the two strategies below and see if you get more of what you really want.  See if these strategies help you become more comfortable closing doors and gates in your life that leave you vulnerable to conflict, irrigation, frustration and hurt.  

The 2 Strategies you need in order to avoid open gates:

1. Focus daily on your true intentions. 
What do you really want out of your day today?  What are you trying to accomplish and give to the world around you?  This is NOT a “to do” list of things to check off, but rather a broader thought about what you want to give, not get.  If what you want to give is within you such as your time, your knowledge or other resources, then it requires you protecting it.  When a gate is open that allows conflict and negativity in, it stops you from being focused and steals small bits of your confidence.  This leaves your inner gifts and talents (Awesomeness) depleted.  Think about it like a $100.00 bill.  If you want to give all $100.00 to your biggest priority but right beforehand someone comes along and asks you to buy a hat for $20.00 and you buy it.  Now what? You are now left with only $80.00 to give.  You can give what you have left but deep down, you know that what you really wanted to do was to give the whole $100.00.  This sacrifice, while it may seem small, IS what erodes your confidence in yourself and allows conflict and adversity to come in and take root in your life.  Say, “no thank you, not today”, when the offers come and stay focused on your true intentions.  Once you do, you will find you have room and resources to give even more!

2. Making it work is NOT humility.  
Somewhere along the way “making it work and sacrificing what you need” become conflated (combining two or more texts/ideas into one) with humility.  They are NOT the same thing.  In fact, the humblest of people will understand they are not that important and won’t think too highly of themselves. Still, they still get what they need and still get to be who they are called to be.  If you sacrifice and go along to get along, you may end up resenting the other person or situation and turning into someone you don’t really want to be.  

When I started putting these strategies in place in my life and business, I stopped apologizing when I didn’t mean it and started saying yes to what was most important.  In return, I able to give more time to my faith, my family and my clients by building awesome programs and services to help them solve their most difficult challenges.  

What would you do if you put your true intention into focus?  How would you show humility by bringing all of yourself into every situation you encounter, daily?

Advent – What Do You Anticipate?

It seems that this holiday has been going on since October, and if you’ve been in some stores, you have, indeed, seen holiday decorations up quite early.  Hallmark traditionally celebrates Christmas in July and most stores begin to mingle the holiday goods with Halloween. Selfridges, a major London department store, opened its celebration on July 29th!  That’s 149 days before Christmas.  Wikipedia has a name for this – it is called the Christmas Creep. 

We can easily get lost when we start to ‘anticipate’ 149 days in advance.  Many people start the rush the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday (so named as it is one of the few times a year that most stores run in the black instead of the red!). The worrying aspect of this is that we can spend weeks or months in great anticipation for a particular day but forget to live in the moment. We can lose sight of that which is important and needs our attention, namely family, loved ones, and our own health and well-being. If we live through a few months every year just anticipating the arrival of Christmas I’m afraid we run the risk of spending up to ¼ of every year focused on ONE day instead of focusing on every day.  

Each day is a gift, and it is unwrapped every morning when we open our eyes. We wake and rise, and instead of running through the day in anticipation of what is to come several days, weeks, or months down the road – how much MORE could we get out of life if we focused on the NOW, the CURRENT, the day that has been gifted to us as TODAY?

John the Baptist begins the Christmas story with his declaration to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!” (Mark 1:3)  He was not telling us to grab the lights and put them up and to start stuffing our shopping bags. His message to us is to take every day and focus on what is important – faith, family, and service to others.  He was reminding us that, although preparation is critical, what is important is the PROCESS of preparing and that process starts TODAY.

May this Advent season be one where you spend every day unwrapping the gift called TODAY, and that your eyes are opened to the wonders and joys around you.  Reach those who need reaching, teach those who need teaching, give to those who are needy, and love everyone. Wake up every day discovering your Awesomeness!! 

Time to Clean My Mac!

Every now and then I’m reminded by my computer to clean the files.  On a PC it’s called defragmenting and disc clean up. On the Mac it’s basically the same thing and I use “clean my mac” to make sure my operating system and my files are updated, the trash is taken out, viruses are shown to the door, and any system junk is removed.  Whenever my computer starts to move a little slow, I run some of these system checks and balances so that I can continue moving through my work day without interruption.  

Here’s the odd thing: it usually takes a few days of frustration and yelling at my computer before I realize that all its doing is asking to be cleaned and sorted.  It will be happy to do its job quickly and efficiently, if I’ll do my part in helping to keep it safe and secure and organized. If you use a mouse, you know what I’m talking about because mouse-users tend to take out their frustration on the poor little mouse! They do take a beating at times, right?!

Wouldn’t it be nice if our bodies and spirits had a ‘clean my life’ option?  Well, it does, you’re just ignoring it.  When we get bogged down and weighed down our vision begins to get a bit blurry.  Our voices can start to get a bit snappy and even our blood pressure can slowly begin to rise.  If we allow these moments to continue to grow, over time, it will really begin to wear us down and will start to show itself in our hardware – we’ll get tired, we lose sleep, our physical strength can weaken, Awesomeness  Stealers creep in, and our immune system starts to break down, allowing viruses to more easily take over.  

Just like our computers and other devices need to be cared for and cleaned, so do we.  When you find yourself slowing down you need to pause and take some time to clean your mind, body, and spirit of any clutter.  System processes should include things like

  • Pushing away from work for a bit
  • Spending time on fun activities instead of only work
  • Spend time with loved ones and people who bring joy to your heart
  • Increase exercise and get to the next level of CrossFit or yoga (or 1st level for starters!)
  • Eat well 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get a facial and/or mani-pedi
  • Treat yourself to a massage
  • Go on a date with your significant other (even married couples should still be going on dates with one another!)
  • Spend some intentional time in prayer and scripture
  • Crank the music and dance like no one is watching!!

Don’t forget to do the occasional ‘systems check’ on your body, mind, and spirit.  Maintain these habits and you’ll have a long, successful, system working in your favor!  It’s October, start now and your body will be well prepared for a busy and fun holiday season.

The Sphere of Influence

We all have our own sphere of influence and we are also a part of someone else’s sphere. The sphere of influence is simply the small group of people with whom you spend most of your time.  Jim Rohn (1930-2009), author and motivational speaker, said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are those five people in YOUR life? Are they ADDING to who you are or SUBTRACTING?   The ones who subtract from your life are the sponges and they likely only have you in their lives so they can gain something without giving.  The ones who add are adding because YOU add something to THEIR lives.  It’s an amazing “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” and it’s simply called, in scientific terms, mutualism.  

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Is your sphere of influence a mutual love and respect group of individuals?  Are they there to ask for your support and to also give it when needed? Do they challenge you when you need it, and do they cry with you when all you need is for someone to understand how you feel?  In your sphere of influence, does everyone get a chance to take turns at being the one who is being led and the one doing the leading? 

In the book of 2 Corinthians, co-authors Paul and Timothy tell the Corinthians to “not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?”.  Taking this Biblical viewpoint in to our daily interactions with others is important and I’m not suggesting that you remove people who do not ascribe to the same belief system as you – I’m suggesting that you take a look to see if they lift you up or tear you down.  The image that Paul is bringing up is the one of the yoke.  A yoke is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs.  When you place together two oxen that are not similar in size and age and strength, the yoke doesn’t work. 

In Ella Wheeler-Wilcox’s poem, “Two Kinds of People” she outlines the two kinds of people in the world as “lifters” and “leaners”.  The lifters help carry the load while leaners simply add more weight.  Are you yoked with lifters or leaners?  Which person are you in the sphere of influence in someone else life?  

In life, if we find ourselves unequally yoked in business partnerships, relationships and in our friendships it can become a chore to get the work done that we need to be about doing!  Take a look at those 5 relationships that Jim Rohn suggests are our strongest influencers because he suggests those are the ones helping us define who we are.   

If you are unsure who your 5 people are, or how to be a stronger lifter in the lives of others, I want to hear from you.  Message me, connect with me, leave a comment below.  Each day we choose to be a lifter or leaner in someone’s Sphere of Influence.  

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Tuned Up, Fueled Up, and Fired Up

I love this scripture from Proverbs 16:9 “in their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”  

It’s about timing, isn’t it? We hear so often from people that it was just a matter of timing. They were in the “right place at the right time” and things seemed to “just fall together”.  We all know that it doesn’t “just” fall together.  As we prepare and plan our course – we make goals, we take actions, we have hopes and dreams and visions of the future and then we work to make it come to fruition but because God is the one establishing our steps, I imagine God establishing not only direction, but speed.  Either a nice, slow, casual pace or a quick, hurry-up, or frantic sprint – the timing and the footsteps are being established by God. We are charged with doing the work.

I also know that it is our job to make sure the vehicle is ready for the journey. Again, it may be a quick sprint or a long marathon, so we need to prepare for that trip and make our bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits prepared for it. We do this through a few steps.

  1. Prepare the Mind.  When we begin to develop our mindset of success and growth, we change our ways of thinking and doing. We grab concepts and images and place them in our minds to create the scenes that we will see along the way.  The milestones, the hurdles, the ups and the downs.
  2. Prepare the Cheerleaders.  We need cheerleaders.  We need people to encourage us when we get weary and to loudly push us as we near the finish line so we include people on this journey.
  3. Prepare our Spirits. We remain in the Word. We remain diligent to our calling to first and foremost be followers of Christ and then to take His Light to the world and BE His light. 
  4. Prepare the Body. Eating, sleeping, and exercising.  Those are the three primary areas of physical well-being but reminder that controlling our stress is critical to our health as well. Take in good nutrition and drink plenty of water.  

All of these preparations are important so that we are tuned up, fueled up, and fired up to stay the course and take the course.  

As you continue through your day and week, and as you continue to make plans, know that although we do not know what tomorrow brings, we are in good hands because we are in His hands.

Where’s My Charger?

I recently spent some time online researching the topic, “recharging your personal battery”. Let’s just say there are a LOT of opinions on this subject!  Most of the ideas gave me a feeling of, “really?”  Suggestions included a visit to the spa, working in the garden, go rock climbing – the lists were as varied as the authors.  Although all of the ideas are great ones, they aren’t very practical when our lives are on fast forward. As life swirls all around us, it kicks up debris and we spend a lot of time dodging the flying objects while we make our way down the road.  

Every night it’s a good idea to plug in your cell phone so the next morning it has a full charge. That’s also a great way to make sure it has enough power should it need to auto-update.  Running the battery down on the phone can cause stress. Especially if you are like me and constantly ask, “has anyone seen my power cord?” mode.

Much like our cell phones, we need to plug in every day. We need to find a source but it’s not practical to stop every day and head to the spa, or climb a mountain, or read a good book. Those are great if you want to unplug for a day or more and I strongly suggest you schedule times to do that. But practically speaking, we need to find ways to quickly charge our own batteries so we have enough power to stay the course and focus.  Our vision can get blurry when our batteries run too low.  

Recharging at the Java Station!

I would enjoy hearing from each of you as to how you plug in your battery and recharge your day. It may be as simple as that morning cup of coffee on the back porch for 20 minutes.  Whatever YOUR charger looks like – remember where you put it so you can plug in and re-charge everyday!



Make It Work…

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Success.  Everyone wants it – few people know when they have it – and even fewer people can define it.  I talk with people all the time who want to succeed. In order to achieve levels of success we first need to be able to put it in to words.  But it gets even more difficult when you realize that merely putting it in to words isn’t going to magically make it happen. I’d like to share a few quick steps you can make to define your own success. My desire is that these steps will help you realize it, name it, motivate it, and bring it to fruition.

First, ask yourself, “what does success LOOK like?”  Picture yourself in the midst of the “successful” you that you want to be.  What does that look like?

Second, is to forget the masses. Never measure your own success story with others.  The success of others is THEIR story, not yours.  The measure of success can only truly be measured against YOUR wants and desires. It’s the little ache deep inside of you that feels like a void and you just have to fill it.  If you KNOW you want it, that is your motivation to keep going when times get tough.

The third step in this process is to get specific. If you have a goal to “lose weight” or “work out more”, that’s fine but if you can’t get specific and dig down a bit deeper in to those goals, you’ll find yourself never succeeding at them.  “To run a 5K by December” is a much more attainable goal than to simply, “get more fit”.  “Getting in to a size 7 dress by Erica’s wedding” seems a lot more focused than, “losing weight by Erica’s wedding”.  

Now, circle back to the first question and see if you can clear that one up a bit.  Be specific, draw the picture in your head and then put it in to words.  Having the idea in your head is great but once you commit it to written words, you’ve actually given your brain time to chew on the idea and forced yourself to find the words that bring the picture to life.

Finally, make it happen. Your success may not have a timeline or that timeline may need to be adjusted.  Fashion consultant Tim Gunn is famous for telling young designers who find themselves in a bit of a mess with a particular design, “make it work”. He’s spot on with that advice. Dive in, stay in, re-focus if you have to, wipe the tears away, and keep going. Nothing was ever achieved by merely thinking about it – you have to put it in to action.  Make it work!

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Distraction VS Re-Direction

As I was walking around my neighborhood the other day, I came upon someone walking their dog. We stopped and chatted a bit and then she starting walking away with the dog but the little dog was easily distracted and was not paying attention.  I overhead the dog’s handler say, “Come on sweetie, I need you to focus; focus puppy, focus!”.  I LOVE that.  A reminder to keep your focus – I wish, at times, that I had a voice reminding me to keep my focus. There are so many things vying for my attention every minute of the day that it is a miracle I get anything done.

Distractions happen and Tony La Russa wrote, “There are always distractions, if you allow them”. Are you allowing distractions to pull your focus?  If you KNOW the distraction is pulling you AWAY from what you need to be doing then pause, breathe, and focus. But if the distraction is an attempt to re-direct you, then still pause, breathe, and focus, and re-evaluate.  

By focusing in on the process, steps, and goals, you should be able to discern a distraction from a re-direction. A re-direct can come as an obvious, “NO!” or sometimes be hiding behind subtlety.  It is our responsibility to ourselves to take time to discern and that means to pause and focus.

There are two mains tasks your brain goes through when it is focused on a task.  First, visually, you take in all data and information and you process it in order to determine what requires your attention.  We picture that process as if it was a blurry photo that is slowly coming in to focus, watching it come to fruition.  

Second, you focus on one area in particular within the larger photo. As it comes in to focus, find one thing to look at and work on it.  Then, move on to the other parts.  

How many times a day are you distracted from that on which you are working?  Did you know that it can take up to 25 minutes for your brain to fully return to a project once the distraction has occurred?  Each time you get distracted, you’re getting more and more tired and draining yourself of energy and drive.  We have so many distractions from technology to weather to other people.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you maintain your focus and be able to define distractions as ‘distraction’ or a ‘re-direct’. 

  • Understanding WHERE Your Focus Needs to Be. This also means knowing what is WORTHY of your distraction.  
  • Making Sure to Randomly Unplug and Take Breaks.  Step back, push back from the computer, take a walk, breathe, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.  By purposely taking breaks, you are less likely to welcome and be receptive to distractions. 
  • Doodle.  A recent study from the University of Plymouth In England shows that to help improve cognitive performance and recollection, spend some time doodling!
  • Let others around you know that you need some time to focus and would appreciate their help. You can wear headphones or earplugs for a while, or pull away in to a different area of the house or a work conference space to focus on a particular project. Whatever YOU need to focus, let people know so they can help you achieve your goal.

I want to hear from YOU.

What are the distractions that occur in your day that pull you from your focus?

What steps do you take to re-gain focus?

How do you know if it’s a distraction or a re-direction?

I want to hear from YOU.

Please select an option below and share with me.

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What IS Excellence?

I love this meme! Makes me smile every time!

The definition of excellence is, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”.

Excellence is not something that is established and set in stone. It does not magically occur and become something that is a set label.  Excellence is, according to Matt Hann of Hillsong, “…an ever-changing dynamic in both our personal journey and the collective journey of our teams”[1]

When we strive for excellence, we experience true growth. When we strive for mediocrity, we experience stagnation.  When we continually offer up to our Creator the very best we have to give in ALL things that we do, then excellence becomes ACTION and it becomes HABIT.  It changes over time and redefines itself according to our experiences and our mindset.

What is excellence for you? If excellence is not an end, if it is not something to which we can arrive, than how do we achieve it?  Is it a destination or a process?  In Matt Hann’s definition, excellence is absolutely a process and is that not what the entire human experience is supposed to be? 

When we empower ourselves and those around us to make things excellent, we remove our need to examine quality control and we focus more on our actions. 

I want you to strive to be an artist of excellence.  An artist makes a difference. An artist will do something that has never been done before. An artist will dig deep within themselves to find the creative, passionate drive.  An artist will strive to plug us in to the act of making things better.  An artist of excellence is constantly in motion, is constantly changing and adapting, and is constantly striving to exceed the excellence achieved the day before.  Go forth and be excellent!

I would love to hear from you.  What are YOURS plans to achieve awesomeness in 2019.  I’m not talking resolutions – I’m talking about empowering yourself, granting yourself permission to exceed your own expectations!  Head over to the contact page (https://raushawnaprice.com/contact/) and select “I Just Want to Say Hello” and then share with me.  You can also email inquiry@raushawnaprice.com

Don’t forget to join my newsletter group HERE.

[1]https://hillsong.com/collected/blog/2014/11/what-is-excellence/#.W9sE9S2ZPUI

Unplugged or Plugged…That Is the Question

don’t miss the little things…

I recently spent some amazing quality time with several important people in my life. My amazing husband, my fantastic children, and myself.  Although I believe that each and every moment with my family is amazing, I sometimes forget the importance of spending quality time with myself as well.

During a recent vacation, I had an important decision to make. I brought my laptop and was prepared to do some work during my down times.  What harm would it do if I simply etched out a little bit of “me” time and got caught up on some work?

Then it hit me. I needed to spend quality “me” time AWAY from the big things and spend that time focused on what my body, mind, heart and spirit were truly wanting – rest and reflection.

I made the decision to remain unplugged the entire time.  Not even my assistant could find me!  You know what happened during that time?  No crisis – no issues – nothing that could not wait until I returned to my office.  My business aspects continued moving forward while I took some time to stop.

When I returned to work I had not lost any momentum. Instead I had a new-found clarity and my purpose seemed to be in more focus that ever before.  It was because I unplugged and gave myself permission to step away from the big things and focus on the small things.  In reality, what I was truly doing was unplugging from the small things and spending some incredible time with the BIG things – my family and myself.

Psalm 46:10 makes a GREAT breath prayer.  What’s a breath prayer?  First you unplug – shut it all down. Then take a deep breath in and out and repeating in your head a quick prayer.  For me, I breath in while hearing the words, “Be still and know…” in my head and then as I breath out, my head completes the scripture by saying, “…that I am God”.

Remember to unplug on a regular basis.  The rewards for doing this are far greater than ANY reward you will get from remaining plugged in with your head and face buried in work.  Take true ME TIME and unplug from technology and plugin to th

e reality that is your life:  your loved ones, your surroundings, the creating Spirit that is all around us, constantly creating in and through and around us, and yourself.

For more information and a unique guide for breath prayer, check out the Contemplative Monk here: http://contemplativemonk.com/breath-prayer/