11.11.16 RadioWrapUp: Veteran'sDay

browder_laura
It’s Veteran’s Day and author Laura Browder came to Happy Hour to talk. Laura’s book, When Janey Comes Marching Home, is an interesting looking into the service and post-war lives of women veterans. Annmarie and Laura chatted about that and also touched on Laura’s next book, about her grandfather, who was a leader in the Communist Party.
51chtbu3m3lFor When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans.,Laura Browder interviewed 52 women from all branches of the military. She is also the executive producer of the 2012 PBS documentary The Reconstruction of Asa Carter, based on her book Slippery Characters:  Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities. Her previous books include Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America, and Rousing the Nation: Radical Culture in Depression America, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. Laura also edited With the Weathermen: The Personal Journal of a Revolutionary Woman, by Susan Stern. Her plays have been produced in Boston and Richmond. Her most recent exhibition (in collaboration with photographer Michael Lease and sound artist Benjamin Thorp) was Driving Richmond: Stories and Portraits of Richmond GRTC Operators.
Here’s some more for and about our Veterans:

If you are looking for something good and different to take for Thanksgiving or Christmas, here’s the link to the Prosperity Sisters: Full-Spirited Flavours
My quote was for our vets…who can barely be thanked enough:

There are not words big enough.
There is not a hug strong enough.
There is not a smile wide enough.
All I can offer is thank you.
You are my hero.
You are in my thoughts.
You are in my prayers.
For all you’ve done…
THANK YOU!!

Tune into the Friday Happy Hour at 3pm on West Chester PA local AM radio 1520, online at WCHE-AM  and on yourmobile devices at Tune-In Radio.
Call-in: 610-701-9243

Victorious Woman Contest: 1st Place

Petra Monaco
A Story of Overcoming

2016-04-11-04.55.44-1-e1462118673269-300x261My life and practice have been shaped by my own story. Growing up in foster care since the age of 2 and I have overcome many challenges and adversities despite the odds, always believing in finding a dream that leaves her fulfilled by living her life according to her own rules.
With a vision of owning my own business, 10 years ago I created her first business, Hippie’s Creations. Being very much a DIY person, I learned how to set up a blog and manage my social media, letting out my geeky side and leading me to create my second business, Unusual Bits.
My son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder at the age of 4, and life became a 24-hour crisis, leaving his life in limbo until he underwent his third liver transplant.
Time for a Shift
I realized that life is too short and I needed to stop talking about my dream of helping others and start taking action. I became trained in mental health counseling but realized that in order to be present for my son’s medical needs and my own dream, that helping transform the life of others was my passion. I use what I have learned through life and my training to take a dream and turn it into reality and do this with my third business, Petra Monaco – Transformational Life Coach.
I believe that everyone deserves a shot at creating freedom however they envision it. I help women like myself move forward and overcome the challenges in making their own dreams real through her business, one-on-one coaching. I have written three books and continue to create my own freedom pursuing my own dreams.

Congratulations Petra!
Glad you shared your story!

To all you Victory Chicks:
There is victory in each of us – in you! You have what it takes to make the victory stretch out of your comfort zone from where you are now to where you want to be.

Can you relate to Petra’s story?

Making your dreams come true, achieving your goals, being successful – it isn’t always easy and sometimes, like Petra, you have to make a few attempts before you have the success you desire. But, with each attempt, you learn. You get smarter, bolder and sometimes more impatient. All of that pushes you forward, and you are more likely to put yourself “out there” in a way that you might have been too shy or reticent to do the first (or second) time around.

And you succeed.

I hope Petra’s story inspires you to look at what you’ve done until now and what you dream about doing to make your tomorrows even better than your todays…and, then, start taking action.
One way to start is by asking yourself:

  • Where’s my comfort zone? Is it by staying so busy helping others that I don’t have to think about my own goals? Is it watching too much TV or disappearing into a world of mystery or romance through books? Or, are you choosing to believe what other people tell you about what you are worth, or capable of, and let their negativity numb you into the comfort of the same old same old?
  • If you could, what do you need to do to stretch out of it and into that bigger, richer, picture of who you really are?
  • What’s one small thing you can do today to take a step – even a little one – out of your comfort zone?

For information and resources, including Annmarie Kelly’s upcoming teleseminars and Victory Groups, check out the Victorious Woman website. And for support and encouragement, join my private FB page at Victory Chicks Community.

The Girlfriend Gala

10th Anniversary Cake
Girlfriend Gala 10th Anniversary Cake
The 2016 Girlfriend Gala was yesterday. It was our tenth Victorious Celebration. If you were there, THANK YOU for coming. You are part of the reason it was MAGICAL. If you missed it, mark your calendar now for May 24, 2017. We sold out this year, so you don’t want to miss it again!
Among the highlights were the special presentations by two fabulous women. My special guest speaker was Pat Ciarrocchi, a beloved anchor with the local CBS affiliate who is now writing her next chapter. Pat talked to The Girlfriends about her girlfriends and described how each one impacted her life in a different way. It was so perfect because we all resonated with what she said. We all know how much impact and influence our girlfriends have on our lives. Think about it…think about the feelings you share with them…and it’s different at every age. Remember what you talked about with your grade school friends? It was other things with your high school and college friends. As life changed so did your conversation with old and new girlfriends…at your first real job…the ones who were in your wedding, then the ones you met through your kids…and on and on.
I remember being in 7th and 8th grade and walking to school with my friend, Karol. We talked about the boys we liked, getting our periods for the first time, stuff our parents made us do. You know, young teenage stuff. OK, the talking about boys stuff – I’ve done that at every age…except now they’re men.
Anyway, Karol moved away in high school, but we still talk about once a year and you know how it is with girlfriends, when we talk, and once we catch up on the details of our lives, we talk like we saw each other last week.
My high school alums were at the gala. That was really wonderful because we weren’t friends in high school but we were together during those awkward teenage years. Over class reunion committee meetings, we’ve developed an interesting relationship over the years. How many of your current friends know you as the person you were then AND as the woman you are today? It’s a very special relationship. And I’m so appreciative that they support me and the gala each year.
So that’s what Pat Ciarrocchi helped each of us to remember. And she had The Girlfriends laughing and crying…and it was really just what we all wanted.
That’s not what comedian Theresa Hummel Krallinger did. She just made us laugh…and she was pee in your pants funny. It was Theresa’s third time performing at Girlfriend Gala. I can’t repeat most of her jokes; they weren’t dirty, just a little blue. Like, when she talked about her spouse giving her a cubic zirconia…a fake diamond…so, to thank him, she gave him fake sex. Theresa also talked about growing up going to Catholic school…and how the big sin was chewing gum. If you were a parochial school girl (and so many of The Girlfriends are), you remember.
Our beneficiary this year was Home of the Sparrow. Matrie Johnson is its Program Director and she talked to The Girlfriends about the Shared Housing and Pre-Senior Bridge Program for women over 50. That’s where this year’s gala proceeds are going.
We had wonderful sponsors and donors. The Girlfriends get excited because we have such great silent auction and raffle items and they know they get a good deal. And our SWAG bags this year…they were worth over $50!
However, what makes The Girlfriend Gala so special is all The Girlfriend energy. It feels electric!
I think part of it is because we have history together. Some of it is personal because we’re there with our actual girlfriends. But, also, women make connections at Girlfriend Gala so they have either new girlfriends or new business colleagues from previous galas.
Another part of it is that we have history that is gender-based. That is, we’ve shared a piece of history together, feminist history. It’s different than what women in other times of history shared…and that’s a bond we all have…even if we don’t know each other personally.
I also think it helps that Penn Oaks Golf Club does a wonderful job for us – from the setup to the good food (and the food got great compliments!). Desserts came from the wonderful The Prosperity Sisters, owners of Full-Spirited Flavours, and they brought us their incredibly good liquor cakes for our desserts. Also, this year, The Masters Baker made us the most beautiful and delicious almond-flavored cake (pictured in this blog post).
Thank you for coming!! Hope to see you again at the 2017 gala…and it would be great to connect with you in between at my private group, the Victory Chicks Community!

Victorious Woman Contest 2016

victorious-contest
What’s Your Story?
Every woman has one! Have you triumphed over a seemingly overwhelming obstacle? Survived abuse? Broken through a glass ceiling? Beaten cancer, addiction or other disease? Successfully built a small business or navigated a difficult separation and transition? Have you positively changed your life?
May is International Victorious Woman Month. The Victorious Woman Project is celebrating by asking you to share your story with other women. We think YOUR STORY OF VICTORY can encourage other women to believe in themselves and their ability to find their own victory through any difficulty.
Share your experience with others who may be going through a similar difficulty. You’ll inspire and encourage them to victory, make a positive difference in the world and 1st through 3rd place entries will receive prizes!
TO ENTER:
Visit this link to submit your story!
1. Submit an essay, (500-1250 words) for a chance to win!
2. Make sure you tell your friends to vote!
3. The essays with the most votes will be judged by a non-biased panel of victorious women and we’ll notify winners by email and on the Victorious Woman Project Facebook page.
· First Prize: Kindle + your story featured on the Victorious Woman Contest for 1 year + a personally autographed copy of Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories
· Second Prize: $25 Visa Gift Card + your story featured on the Victorious Woman Contest for 1 year + a personally autographed copy of Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal
· Third Prize: $10 Visa Gift Card + your story featured on the Victorious Woman Contest for 1 year + a personally autographed copy of Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal
Best of luck!
Annmarie Kelly
The Victorious Woman Project
Submit your story now!

Stop Sabotage#4: Avoid Crippling Self-talk

Damaged WallCrippling Self-Talk:
What Are You Telling YourSELF??

If your friends called you stupid, ugly or fat, they wouldn’t be your friends for long, would they? But here’s the kind of crippling things I hear from women say about themselves:

That was so stupid.

I’m so stupid.

I hate my [hair, butt, nose, mouth, hips, etc.]

Why can I do anything right?

I hate myself for [whatever]

What’s wrong with me?

I never do anything right.

I’m such a bitch. Why can’t I be nicer?

Nothing ever works out for me.

Which crippling self-talk is your go-to phrase? I’ll bet you say at least one of them. Why? Do you really think you’re stupid, incompetent, ugly, mean or cursed? Probably not. So why talk to yourself as if you were?
What would you do if your best friend talked that way about herself? You wouldn’t let her; you’d tell her to stop putting herself down. You’d tell her she’s a good person, that she has a lot going for her. That you love her.
So why the double standard? Why can you give her the benefit of the doubt and the support she needs, but not give it to yourself?
Every time you talk yourself down, you damage your SELF – that very special part of you who isn’t like anyone else. You were put on this earth with a purpose and talking yourself down is the fastest way to cripple your ego and distract you from your purpose.
To help you become fully aware of your negative self-talk, you can use the rubber band method (see Tip #3 – “stop apologizing”). When you catch yourself (ouch!), replace whatever you said with something you would say to your best friend. For example:

  • Crippling Self-Talk: What an idiot. Why am I always so stupid?
  • Replace with: Ha! That just goes to show that even us smart chicks can make a mistake. Good thing I’m so kind and have such a great sense of humor!

The attitude shift will happen immediately; you’ll notice it.
When you first start doing this, you’ll have to be conscious of your self-talk. Eventually, as you eliminate the crippling, sabotaging talk that holds you back, it’ll become unconscious. In time, your positive self-talk will become automatic; you’ll find yourself honoring your SELF naturally.

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Make even more progress with the Upcoming Classes that will help you BE MORE, DO MORE and HAVE MORE of the life you LOVE TO LIVE!:

  • September 25: Victory by Design Webinar
  • October 7: Kelly’s Café – Coaching teleseminar
  • November 6: How to Talk So People Will Listen webinar
  • November 18: Kelly’s Cafe – Coaching teleseminar

Find details on the EVENTS page!

Do-Over Tip#10: Focus

6.20.14 047The Power of Focus

A recent Victorious Woman survey indicated that distractions are a woman’s biggest goal-achieving challenge. Not surprising – women are so used to multi-tasking and giving their time to help others, that they often get side-tracked.
But it’s not just other people that create the distraction. Most women have many interests and talents. It’s easy to pay attention to that shiny thing over there instead of focusing on that boring, tedious thing right in front of you. And that’s how your life gets to feeling fractured and unproductive and lacking the satisfaction of purpose.
Fifteen years ago I joined a behavior modification program for weight loss. It became the focus of my life. My B-mod program and my work were the main things I worked on. I gave those two things about 80% of my attention, time and energy. The rest went to my relationship with Joseph. Over the course of twenty-four months I lost fifty pounds. I maintained that weight loss for over ten years.
Then my mom got older and needed progressively more care-giving. Though I’m one of four children, I felt more and more like I was the only child (many of you know what I’m talking about!). I lost my PPF – personal positive focus.
When my mom died, and I got fully back to my work, my business felt like a hobby and I was twenty pounds heavier. Though I had no regrets for using my time the way I did, at the same time I had to start over – not what I anticipated at that stage of my career. And taking off twenty pounds in midlife is not a piece of cake.
Still, difficult doesn’t mean impossible. You can trust me and my experience when I tell you that you can only manage a challenge by staying laser focused on your end game.
Do-overs and Second Chances demand that you order your priorities, be crystal clear about what you want to do (your goals), how you’ll do it (your strategy) and laser-focused on completing tasks. When you do, step-by-step, you turn your life around and experience the joy that second chances promise: the life you love living.


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Do-Over Tip#9: Get Accountable

GroupFind A Coach or Accountability Partner

We all have good intentions when we set a goal. But, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That’s why, especially in a do-over, you need someone who will hold you accountable to your commitments.
A coach is a good choice. There are different kinds of coaches. If you want to meet someone new, you can find a relationship coach. If you want to change your lifestyle, do something new or achieve a specific goal, find a life coach. Whatever change you want to make, a coach will help you do it.
Most coaches will do a baseline meeting to determine if you are a good match. Those first meetings are usually at no charge but the coach will talk about how much, how often, what you expect from the coach and what the coach expects from you.
If the cost is too much, or if you really just need to be accountable, find an accountability partner. S/he is someone you meet with regularly. You might meet weekly, every other week on just once a month. When you meet, you and your partner talk about what you’ve done since the last time you talked and what you are committing to do by the next time.
If you can find someone who is also working on a goal, the two of you can help each other. Or you can have a group of people who are all working on goals. As a group, you figure out the time, the frequency, the location and establish rules that you all agree to for participating in the group.
At the Victorious Woman Project, we have “Victory Teams” of as many as six people. The members help and challenge each other to their next victories. Most Victory Teams last anywhere from six months to a year. That’s pretty common for accountability teams.
To get started, find one person who is interested in making some personal or professional change. Establish your ground rules and get started – you’ll be amazed at what you get done!


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Do-Over Tip#8: Find Your Tribe

Smiling Group of Professionals --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisWhere’s Your Tribe?

OK, so you aren’t a native American. But you’ve heard it before – birds of a feather flock together. That’s because they have something in common. A tribe, in today’s culture, are those people you resonate with – your birds of a feather. Your do-over will go much easier if you are with people who understand what your experiencing.
Between in-person groups and online groups, you have no excuse for not finding people with whom you can connect and share experiences. There are groups for the divorced, for the loss of a loved on, singles, new business owner, ballroom dancers, scuba divers, hikers…just about anything that you’re feeling or anything want to do or learn, you can find a group.
When Regina went through a very nasty divorce, she joined a group at her church. It helped her connect with other people who were in the same kind of pain. Gradually she got more comfortable being by herself at social events. After a while, she remembered her love for dancing. Sp first she joined a line dancing group at the local night school – no partner needed. She learned new dances and, from time to time, the class went out socially together. Little by little she found other dance groups and learned other dances. Finally she took ballroom lessons and found her passion. Last time I heard, though still single, Regina goes dancing a couple times a week, goes to ballroom dancing weekend workshops and even does an occasional “showcase” – all with partners who are happy to be with her.
You can find online groups easily with a few clicks. “Live” groups aren’t much harder. If you’re stuck for ideas, go to meetup.com. There you’ll find hundreds of places where you’re “tribe” hangs out.
Enjoy!


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Do-Over Tip#7: Embrace the Change

OpenArmsGive That Change a Big Hug!

Change is a forever part of life. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, change happens.
Every second chance in life begins with a change. Maybe the change happened outside of you, like the death of a loved one, a move to a new house, your company merging with another, or even your favorite TV show going off the air. On the other hand, you may be the change catalyst because you decided you want something different than the empty relationship or the iunfulfilling job.
Either way, whenever change happens, you experience grief. Of course, the grief you feel will be very different if involves the loss of a loved one vs. your favorite TV show begin cancelled. And it’s easier to manage if you initiated the change. But the one thing that is as constant as change is the sense of loss. Loss is accompanied by grief. Grief has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
When it comes to dealing with change, it’s safe to say that most women get stuck in one of the five stages of grief. Most commonly it’s in the anger or depression stages. Here’s an example: You’re angry over a divorce or losing your job. You bargain in your head, thinking, “maybe if I do this…or that…I can still keep my marriage together or hold onto my job.” When that doesn’t work, you get depressed. There is much research that supports the idea that depression is anger turned inward.
So what do you do? Stay angry for the rest of your life? Some women do. Or do you go into a depression that you don’t get out of without medication? That happens a lot.
While change is constant and grief has its stages, in the middle of all that, you have some control.  No matter what happens, you control your reaction to change.
Once you understand the stages of grief, and recognize where you are, you have a better shot at moving through the stage if you let go of the past and embrace the change. Of course, it’s easy to do when you’re reading it and not so easy when you’re living it. But resisting the changes don’t do anything for you except make your do-over transition harder, maybe even more painful.
The faster you recognize, deal with and move through the stages of grief, the sooner you’ll embrace that fact that your life has changed – and the faster you’ll get to the good stuff.
So…what are you waiting for?


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Do-Over Tip#6: Trust But Verify

FreeFallHow Much Should You Trust Your Gut?

A LinkedIn discussion started with the question: Do you trust your gut in making big decisions or do you have a process that you follow?
I was surprised by how many business women trust their gut exclusively. I believe that’s a mistake. Not the trust your gut part, but the exclusively part. And I say that coming from a lifetime of being pretty intuitive. I can honestly say my “gut-o-meter” is better than most. Still, in times of stress, I know how easy it is to confuse a gut feeling with fears and wants.
Too often I’ve listened to women who tell stories about jumping into something because some feeling says “yes” even when everything else says “no” or “wait” to get more information. They are willing to get involved with that “bad news” guy or get talked a business partnership that could never work out except on paper. When asked “what would happen if…” questions, too many women are willing to say something like “I”ll worry about that if it happens.” Later, when something goes bad, most women admit, “I had a feeling about that, but I ignored it.”
Trusting your gut is easier when you’ve looked at all sides and faced potential problems. Yes, it’s true you can spend too much time weighing pros and cons and lose an opportunity. What’s more likely, however, is that you’ll only focus on the good potential outcomes and ignore the rest. You can get into more trouble by not looking at all the things that could go wrong and determining how you will handle them if something happens.
On top of that, in the middle of a do-over, your intuition can get clouded by stress. It can also get clouded by the desire to get to the end or the pressure to make a decision.  Any of those can gunk up the channel to your higher self.
How do you avoid that? Look at what you want to do, then:

  • List of all the good outcomes
  • List all known obstacles
    • Get input from people you trust. That may or may not be family and friends. It might be really good to get help from a coach or counselor.
    • Brainstorm how you could handle those obstacles
    • Be honest with yourself about your physical and emotional ability to deal with the obstacles and its remedy
      • Let’s say you want to buy a house. You find one you really love and the realtor says you can afford it. Yet it’s at the very high end of your price range. Still, you really, really want it. On the upside, it’s in a great location so there’s a 99% chance it will appreciate in value. On the downside, it needs some work. You think your gut is telling you to buy it, telling you how happy you’ll feel living there. But the obstacles include living in the home for a while before you can redecorate, furnish and upgrade. Can you live with that? Will the stress put a strain on your personal relationship, and maybe other relationships?
  • Once you know what obstacles you could be facing, figure out how you will handle them.
    • In my success workshops I teach women to list out whatever obstacles they can so those can be dealt with up front, or at least prepared for in advance. That preparation can relieve some stress and, as a result, let real intuition float into consciousness and be helpful.
  • Sit down with the pros and cons. Now you’re better prepared to make an intuitive decision. Sit quietly and let your gut talk to you.
  • If you feel a ‘yes’ then go forward. But pay attention and be open to a ‘no’ if it comes up (that is, don’t ignore your gut).

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Victorious Woman: Victory by Design Victory By Design offers step-by-Step instructions for you empty nesters and midlife women who are ready for a change to something better – to a life you love living. Victory by Design gets you out of your boring comfort zone and skyrockets you though your personal glass ceiling so you can experience the personal power that is that greater, even more fabulous expression of the real you.
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