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Breathe

3 Feb

breathe

Secret to Success #5

Breathe

It sounds so simple until you can no longer do it. My late husband suffered from Muscular Dystrophy. This muscle weakening disease affected his core so that during his last years with us he could no longer breathe on his own. He became dependent on a ventilator for his very breath. What is so interesting about this issue was that his lungs remained strong. So what happened?

At the beginning of this process we tried a multitude of solutions. None of them worked. The main lesson that I learned from this experience was to stop trying to second-guess what is wrong and get input from an expert. He landed in the hospital and finally went to ICU. It was a great thing because it was there that the experts were able to diagnose exactly what was going on. His diaphragm stopped working and, although everything seemed fine, he could not take a deep breath in or out.

Get the help you need to analyze your business problems today. Surround yourself with those who can see with eagle eyes what you may not see as you are so close to the situation. It may take some drastic measures or it may be something simple.

Even if everything is going well stop for a few minutes to take a deep breath. If you can do that, extend a word of gratitude to your creator for keeping you healthy enough to do that. Slow down the process by breathing through your nose, hold the breath for 10 seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do this every time that you feel stress building up!

This is another secret to your success – BREATHE!

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Secrets to Success in the New Year – #4

2 Jan

today-i-forgive

Forgive Freely

Why is it so hard to let go of the things others have done against us? They become padlocks on the gate to our next steps.

Start the new year with a fresh slate by choosing to forgive those who have wronged you. They may have not ever apologize or even be aware of what they have done. So why are you holding on to it.

Find a quiet spot and explore the ones you need to forgive. Maybe it’s yourself for not accomplishing all that you had proposed to do. Make a list of each one and the main offense you feel against them.

Here is the key step in this. Make an action plan to speak to them if that is appropriate. If not, you can set them free completely from your side. Let go of the expectation of how it should look and allow yourself the freedom to move forward.

Please let me know if this has helped you. I would love to celebrate your victory over false expectations and lies about needing to please everyone as you move forward.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speakerwho transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world.

 

Secrets to Success in the New Year

8 Dec

success-secret1

Today I am grateful!

Gratitude is your biggest weapon against failure because it allows you to embrace the current situation. When you look around with gratitude, you see opportunities rather than offenses. You see the imperfections of those around you with greater kindness as you see their efforts on your behalf even if the result was less that you had hoped for. You are on your way.

So to be successful in the New Year – start every day with gratitude. I am grateful for opportunities, challenges and breakthroughs.

What’s on your gratitude list? Please add at least one in the comments section of this post.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Success

21 Nov

SUCCESS

Success is to spring to meet the day with a thrill at being alive. It is to go forth to met the  morning in an ecstasy of joy – Lillian Whiting

How do you define success?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Create a Special Day

17 Jul

Nat'l Ice Cream Day

I love ICE CREAM! It evokes childhood memories in a hot, tropical place — Managua, Nicaragua. I was only 5 years old when we moved there. About once a week we would set out on an adventure to make homemade ice cream. Throughout the entire process we would sing – “I scream – You scream – We all scream for ICE CREAM!”

While my mom whipped up the recipe for the creamy delight I would go with my dad to get a block of ice. We had to chip it with an ice pick. I got to help him pack the ice around the metal cylinder – alternating rock salt with the big chunks of ice. We would put the paddle in the middle and I got to hold it while my mom poured in the yummy mix.

Then I got to take a turn moving the handle round and round until it got tough. At that point, my brother and dad would give it the final spins. The reward was in getting to take one of the first tastes off the top.

I commend the entrepreneurs who provide ice cream to their happy clients for setting up a special day or at least taking advantage of its existence. What is your product? Is there a special national or international day highlighting that niche? If not, find out how to set up a special day for your product/service.

What are you doing to promote your business? How are you developing your brand? While I’m at it, what’s your favorite ice cream memory? Or, at least, what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mine is Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. It really does taste like my childhood memory. Now that is powerful! But then again, Hope-Filled Memories are powerful!

 

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Learning from It All

14 Jun

failuresteach2

This is a hard one. It sounds really good in theory but when it comes down to it, I don’t like to think about areas where I have failed. I would rather close the book on them and move forward.

Slow down for a minute and take an inventory of lessons learned, stories to be retold and principles of life that make you who you are.

Here’s my example. Almost two years ago I was fired. For the first time in my career, I was asked to step down from a dream job. It stung! I was angry and frustrated with the whole situation. I had a choice: blame everyone else in anger or learn all I could from this difficult situation.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned:

Use the setback as a reset button

I was working very hard at fulfilling the vision of someone else. I was exhausted at the end of the day and had to time work on my next book. I focused on finishing up my book The Power of Hope in Mourning. It is possible that I would not have ever found the time to do so if I had continued working that job.

Address your beliefs about yourself

I grew exponentially during this time because I began to see that my mistakes did not have be magnified as long as I learned from them. I started treating myself more kindly as I was able to gain God’s perspective on the situation. Initially I was angry at the people involved and at myself for allowing myself to get into this situation. I chose to release the anger and embraced the lessons. This decision made my others did not make me a failure.

Move forward

The main lesson that I learned is that I am resourceful and able to get back up to move forward to do what only I can do. I have a bright future and true success is in my reach. I continue to journal on lessons learned and am so grateful for all the experiences of my life.

Have you ever had a setback like mine? How did you get through it? What did you learn from it?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Transforming Memories

25 May

gratitiudetransforms

“Gratitude has the power to transform your memories.”

I recently was speaking with a friend who was going through a difficult season with someone. She said the following statement that has transformed my own life, “I am using gratitude as a weapon.”

You don’t usually hear those two works together in a one sentence – gratitude and weapon.

As I pondered her approach I was challenged to apply this principle to my life. I set out to write as many reasons I was grateful for a painful season in my life. It was a time when I had felt personally rejected by someone I loved. As I started writing the reasons I was grateful for this difficult time, my perspective changed.

This time no longer felt like a waste of time. I no longer felt defeated and discouraged. I was able to see the good coming out of the pain. My conversations about the difficulties shifted to sharing great growth and breakthroughs.

How would you describe your painful memory?
How can you use gratitude as a weapon today?
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during this time?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

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