Shared History

shared historyShared history.   I have thought a lot about this over the last couple of years. We all have a sense of belonging when we have people that have known us for many years: Shared holidays, tribulations, milestones and loss. People that know the path we have walked, understand why we feel certain things with such conviction. Shared the history of our journey like no one else.

What happens when the connection to these people start to break and slip away? Like an ugly divorce – drives uninvolved people to opposite camps – our personal journey might drive people away from us as well. If we live long enough, death and illness can break the lines of shared history.

I have recently found myself detached from quite a few that have shared my history. For numerous reasons, many listed above….. That sense of belonging seems elusive to find. Who do you call just to talk things over with? Who will know what you are talking about without the whole story?

Basically, I am asking how to start this process all over again? It has been so long, I am not sure where/ how to start?

Advice, please….

Creating a buzz…..

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Perfectionism

perfectionismPerfectionism…..Who feels they must try achieve this in every aspect of their lives?

Perfect children, prefect husband, perfect home, perfect job, perfect vacation, perfect dinner…

Perfect Perfect Perfect.

I was watching Oprah and Brené Brown on Oprah’s Life Class.  Brené Brown said that when perfectionism is in the driver’s seat, shame is riding shot gun and fear is in that back seat. Wow,  did this resonate with me.

I have been striving for years and years to create perfectionism, somewhere, anywhere.  But in the universe’s way, I was thrown curve ball after curve ball.  You think I would have given up on perfectionism after awhile.  But NO, I did not.  Kept pushing and pushing.

I really thought about how I had been hiding the real me.  Why? Frankly, I never thought I was good enough.  Afraid people would not like me. Fearfully that any weakness would be used against me.  If I showed who I really was, someone would laugh…..

Oh my goodness,  I saw my small, my little 3rd grade self so full of fear for so many reasons and I was still in that moment in time.  In my life, I used my 3rd grade self as the litmus test for who I did not want to be and did everything I could not to be her.

Til now!  I stopped.  I had to grow up and put that 3rd grader in her place.  I had to be the woman I was.  I was tired of living a life that did not allow me to make a mistake. I wanted to accept my imperfections.  BE ME!  Only Me the person I am today. Not perfect but beautifully imperfect.

How has trying to be perfected affected your life? Work or personal? Please share your story.

Creating a buzz……

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Creating a new journey

creating a new journey, Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustA few years ago I started to create a new journey for myself.  I was in a development class.  As part of the process, I was asked to write my Eulogy and share it with the group.

At that time, I had recently been to a funeral for someone that I had known from a distance.  At the wake and the funeral there were a few hundred people.  It made me think about his legacy and how he had touched these people in such a powerful way while living his life.  Especially since his funeral was a weekday morning.

I started contemplating my own legacy.  What would my kids, family, friends, co-workers say of me.  So I wrote my Eulogy at the point I was on that day.

I share it with you to inspire you to think about your legacy…….

Eulogy:

She was honest with everyone except herself

She was there to comfort those in pain, even though she was never able to receive it

She was able to see others where they stood but could never look at herself

Forgave many hurts but never forgave herself

Held herself to the most unattainable standard of integrity but would not expect that from others

Loved her family with her whole heart and soul but was unable to consider herself worthy of the same

Never feeling like she fit in…she always considered everyone’s feelings

Until gradually she felt the numbing she had created by not caring for herself and half way through her life she realized she was wrong. Determined to find those things that she loved about herself, she started a new journey – determined to give herself what she gave to others: honesty, comfort, forgiveness, empathy, integrity, belonging and love.

It was during this journey that the light of Kimberly began to shine.

Creating a buzz…..

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Feel Free to Drop your Baggage

I have a story I tell my children all the time regarding being a parent.  I think it is so relevant to tell the story here as well.  Many times we see ourselves as a collection of events and situations that have determined our path.  We fail to see that we have been influenced by the events, situations and people that raised us and that raised them and so on and so on.

DropYourBaggageWhat makes this real to me is uncovering small nuggets of truth in my own family history.  The stories you hear from family members are often about funny or happy times.  Rarely the difficult or bad things.  However, listening carefully you will hear what they have packed away.  As they moved forward in their lives, they packed away negative experiences and carry it with them everywhere they go.  Every new relationship, their spouse, children and even friends experienced what was in the baggage that they carried.

As a parent, I tried so hard not to repeat those mistakes, but during difficult times the baggage would unpack itself and be thrown all about.  Making a mess of things.  Until recently, I could not understand where this behavior came from.

There were times when my actions were a history of behavior that I repeated from what I had seen.

So, I say to my children… During your lives, I have given you baggage to carry.  I know that at times those bags will seem to weigh you down, making it feel like you can’t go forward.  But you have my permission to drop them and never pick them up again.  Never unpack them or open them to look at what you are getting rid of.  Just drop them, wherever you are and don’t look back.  If you do pick them back up, it is your choice.  I love you and carried my bags too long because I did not know that I did not need what was inside. Fear made me hold on to what was comfortable.

Dropping the baggage left me with an incredible sense of happiness and a realization that as  parents, we did not know that the baggage we carried could be put down…that just because it is how it was done doesn’t  necessarily mean it had to be repeated. Just because someone said it was good enough for me…. doesn’t mean it IS good enough for you.

If you felt loved, you were. Acknowledge that the person that loved you, loved you the best that they could with the baggage they carried.  By giving the acknowledgment and forgiveness will help you move on to the next destination without the unnecessary baggage.

¸¸.•*¨*•*´¨Creating a buzz…. Have you dropped your baggage?

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Why do our kids want to be entrepreneurs, when the rate of small business failures is so high?

I read an article that said our children are more and more interested in entrepreneurship.  I find this interesting, as most small businesses fail with in the first two years.  My daughter recently entered college and they are offering courses in entrepreneurship as well.

Entrepreneurship

However, I ask myself what this could include?

How to be accountable and to whom?

How to create conflict that will benefit the growth of the organization?

Do you have a mission/vision statement that will direct you?

Can you manage your resources?

Can you create strategy in an ever changing environment?

How do you communicate your vision/mission statement?

And so many more…..

I have a MBA and these things were never taught.  It has taken years of experience, outside courses and actually hiring a business coach to help me focus myself on what is important for the corporation.  I actually had to change the way I saw the business in order to make better decisions.

Specifically,  I had to realize that “I” was not the business.  There were so many other factors: economy, buying habits, product lines, opportunities created with technology, employees, legal and compliance issues.  I was the leader!

This was truly eye opening.  It assisted me in making difficult decisions when I knew it was for the good of corporation.

Over the next few weeks, I would like to share some of the awesome experiences and things I have learned.  My hope that is that all entrepreneurs will start to see things differently in order to be more successful.

Creating a buzz….

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Am I the sum of my mistakes?

Life is filled with happiness and sadness, success and failure, ups and downs.  If I looked at my life in fast forward, I would see how all the negative lead me to a more positive place.  Myself, I am ever the optimist, but unfortunately there are people that want to remind me of my mistakes as if that is who I am – incapable of learning and moving forward.

Kimberly BrustI would like to be reminded of the positive things I have done then balance that with the negative choices I have made.  I think if I put all that on a scale, I would still come out with a positive result.   To live in a place simply reminding ourselves or allowing others to remind us of our mistakes over and over is unhealthy and damaging to our self esteem.

If I am able to recall why I made that choice in the beginning, I am sure that with the information I had, I felt like I was doing the right thing.

Sooooo, take it easy. Don’t beat yourself up about the past.  Look forward; how can I make good choices? When I make a mistake, what do I tell myself?  If I realize a failure, remember “Fail Forward.”

Only when we fail do we really learn something about ourselves.  Change the way you look at “failure.” It might be the best opportunity yet.

Tell me about a time when you realized a  failure was really an opportunity!

Creating a buzz…..

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Do the right thing!

It is getting close to the end of the year and I need to get this off my chest!

I have worked in insurance for the last 25 years.  Over this time, families have changed.  We are blended, diverse and unique.  I have recently noticed that this year, I have had more deaths of people in their 50’s from accidents.  The families are devastated by the sudden death of a loved one.  However, that is not where the devastation ends. Unfortunately, the person thinks they have all the time in the world and does not prepare Kimberly Brustfor the eventuality.

Significant others for greater than 10 years; homeless, court-appointed personal representatives to divide the assets, children without money to pay for the final expenses. My comment is “How thoughtless!” The subsequent pain was so unnecessary. It is my experience that death brings out the worst in people.  The grief of those left behind makes decision making so emotional.  Many times things are done and words are spoken that will forever damage the relationships of the people left.

DO THE RIGHT THING! You know you are going to die. Don’t rely on the courts to do the right thing by your loved ones.  Take the power and control in your hands. See an attorney or go online and create your will, trust or whatever will be necessary to have your wishes done after you are gone.  Don’t make that the burden of the living.  No one truly knows what you would do.

Tomorrow could be your last day.

Creating a buzz……

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Do you have an epiphany that reminds you what is important?

Do you have an epiphany that reminds you what is important?Picture3

I remember one as clear as if it were yesterday and it was approximately 15 years ago.  It has become a moment in time I have reflected on quite a bit lately.

As if my life hasn’t changed enough in the last 2-3 years, my daughter leaves for college soon. I am thinking about all the things she has taught me and the list is long.  However, one day she said to me while driving to school; Mom, are you happy?

She was in the back seat; I could not make eye contact with her in the mirror because I was afraid what I would see there.  So, in usual mom fashion, I said “Of course, I am, honey. Why do you ask?”  “Mom, you never smile,” she said.

My heart was pounding, tears sprung to my eyes and I was speechless for the first time in a long time.  But I knew she was right.  My little 3 year old saw what I could not see in myself. The physical manifestation of what was missing in my life was my smile.  She saw it and I am sure the others in my life saw it too.

After that moment, I made changes looking for my smile, and I found it for a while then lost again, then found it again a couple of years ago.  This time, I will not lose it!

I give myself the litmus test:  Am I Happy?  Am I smiling? Do the people I love me see me as happy? (sometimes I lie to myself)….

What was your epiphany and how did it change your life?  Please share….

Creating a buzz…..

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How you ever realized how self centered we are?

Have you ever taken a moment and actually realized how self centered we really are?  How we put everything in terms of “me”? How, when we run into someone else’s journey, we don’t recognize that for a brief moment, we have shared a same path?

A conversation I had with my sister reminds me of this situation.  One Christmas, after my sisters and I had graduated from college, my mother bought us each a mink coat.  Now keep in mind that we lived in Florida.

Self CenteredMy sister was angry that my mother had purchased a coat made from animal skins and she vowed to never wear it.   I listened to all the reasons why my sister was angry and finally I asked her, “Why do you think it was so important for mom to buy each of us a mink coat?  As with most of us, my sister could not see the journey that my mom had been on for all of her adult life.

I knew…. from the time we were little….my mom started telling us that we would go to college, that we could be anything we wanted, to never stop trying. Her part of our shared journey was to see that each of her girls received a college education; that her daughters would be successful women, achieving much of what she would have wanted for herself.  She dreamed that we would have opportunities to gain independence and wealth that our college degree would gain for us.  That mink coat was a tangible way for my mom to say to the world that her girls had made it.

I remember my mom’s face to this day on that Christmas morn.  She was filled with excitement and joy.  Only to be destroyed by the immaturity of her daughters not to see her journey and thank her for making our part of the shared journey so much easier.

To all those who have shared their journey to lighten the journey for others…..THANK YOU!

Creating a buzz…….

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Do you see yourself as resilient?

Life has changed so much over the last 2 1/2 years.  Those things that I worried about never came to fruition. Some things I thought would be my stabilizers were never really there.

Picture1I was reflecting one day when my daughter came up and asked what I was doing.  I told her that I was simply thinking about the last couple of years.  I explained that I felt I had made some pretty big/bad mistakes and that I worried that the scars might affect my children in a permanent and negative way.

As with all my children, she was not afraid to be painfully honest. She said, “Mom, I have seen you down twice in my life (18 years), and each time you come back better than before.  It is your resilience that I admire so much.”

Resilient?  Me?  I really thought it was so much less than that.  I just get up everyday, faced with what needs to be done and know I can do it.  I had not seen myself as she had.  I simply saw the day to day.  As I have said before: “small steps taken consistently over a long period of time with faith and burning desire,” kept me focused on just what I could do today.

Life knocks us all down and it is how we handle the aftermath that counts.  From her point of reference, that ability to never give up, keep pushing forward affected her in such a positive way.  In her I saw a reflection of myself.  For that moment, I know that I had given a gift that would take her a long way on her journey.

What lasting gift have you given through your journey?

Picture from pin by Anya Griffin on yoga life | Pinterest

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