Make up your day

Linda at home officeHe: What does your day look like?
She: I don’t know I’m going to have to make it up.

This was a regular conversation I had with my husband/business partner throughout the decades of my successful sales career. While nobody else scheduled me, I did live out of my Daytimer, Palm Pilot, or Iphone calendar. My hours were determined by my to-do, to-see, to talk-to list. The days I made up were the ones without appointments already. I had made those days up in advance.
Now, as I am starting a new venture there is not the momentum of projects to keep me in the flow. I am truly making up my day.
SCHEDULE SOMETHING DAILY
The most rewarding weekdays are when I am busy interacting with people or producing something creative. Your rewarding day, you get to make up.
What is key to that rewarding day is to have an appointment, something on the calendar that has me touch someone. When I am out or in action, it facilitates more of the same, creating that momentum. One task, accomplished, gives me energy to do another.
FIND YOUR ROUTINE
I heard a woman say “After three years of retirement, I have finally gotten into a routine that fits me.” Hers was to work on her garden from 7-9AM on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week was other occupied. My routine includes auditing one class a semester at Florida Southern College. This term the class is Middle Eastern Politics, next semester, I hope to get into beginning acting. They don’t have my demographic in that college class, so I might get that part.
HAVE SOME FOCUS
Have you ever NOT had the experience of reaching for your smart phone to do something and gotten distracted by what pops up? The destroyer of focus are the phone interruptions, computer notices, news alerts that lead you down the rabbit hole. Facebook can be rationalized as work, but don’t confuse “Busy” with “Productive”.

TIME BLOCKING
In this 24/7 techno world we live in, it is important to decide what time to work and what time is personal.  Uninterupted family time is a gift to yourself and the ones who love you.
LOCATION
Where is it that is your productive space? An office in the home, the kitchen table, an office out of the home, Starbucks, Catapult? Mine is an office in my home, even though I have an office at Executive Plaza. What isn’t my productive space is in the Florida room answering emails while watching the news. Included in LOCATION and TIME BLOCKING is to bunch your errands and appointments close to each other or on a path like the UPS driver, she never makes left turns.
VACATION
It is important to have a plan of something to look forward to: hence the Vacation. This time is crucial, even if your life looks like a vacation. That is the time to disconnect and VACATE. You will accomplish more by taking that time to get bored, even, than you will by staying connected. You will give your mind time to incubate on problems to solve and your body to be in different motion. If you have a spouse that cannot do this without going into hard jerking fits, then take a cruise or leave the country……AND don’t get international phone service or buy the WiFi package on the ship.
REALIZATION
Life goes on without you. Both my partner and I discovered that our business went on without me for a year when I took a sabbatical to take Coach University classes on the phone and later when he left for 7 months to focus on another business. AND the business continued when we both left after selling it many years later.
YOUR TIPS WELCOME
Whether you are retired, starting a business, in sales, in transition, or a stay at home mom, you are your own boss. What do you do that gives you energy? What tools do you use? What activities have you added when you came into a new phase of your life? Let’s start a dialog.

By the way, the list should not include any “SHOULDS”. I am certainly not going to make up my day to include cleaning out a closet, just because I should.

Beta Test-imonials

10660221_10205647822407532_4016315201782743541_n[1]Endorsements for Creative Collaboration with Linda Bagley Wiggs

I am grateful for the entrepreneurs who were willing to be my weekly collaborators. My Tuesday energy exchange with them was always enlivening and awe inspiring. I asked them each if they would let me know their experience. Here are the comments with their permission to use their names:

Our meetings have been refreshing, inspiring and has helped me refocus on the bigger picture!
Your questions are great sparks to my thinking! Your feedback is straight to the point, allowing me to see clear and keep execution simple!
Adriana Mellas, Drica’s Favorite

As a novice to politics your experience has helped me put my thoughts to words. On several occasions you have been able to phrase my thoughts in a way I had not thought of but was spot on. Your take on some of my ideas have spurred my thought process to go in a different direction which has turned out to be a much better idea.
Bill Braswell, Polk County Commission candidate.

Meeting with Linda has helped me flush out new ideas to promote my business and product and has also helped me make new contacts and networks here in Polk County. I appreciate her zeal to help others, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile to see me and my business succeed!
Noel Rosa, President New Sound Acoustics

Linda’s coaching has been a great fortune for me both personally and professionally. She provides pragmatic feedback with undaunted optimism. Her method of consulting works with issues as broad as finance, emotion, and spirituality and her advice is always grounded with her expertise in sales and marketing. In a short time Linda has helped me to navigate the rocks and celebrate the success of being an entrepreneur. Thank you, Linda!
Corey Stevens, Inventor / Entrepreneur

What I do now

IMG_9582 (1)Since we sold our business, people have been asking me what I do with my time now. Of course, I started a new business.

You may feel the pull of your idea and yearning to create.  With whom can you collaborate for perspective, ideas, and connections to springboard your creation?

As a business owner of a promotional marketing company and partner with my husband through four decades, a Colleague of the Creative Education Foundation, Coach University graduate, political wife, mother stepmother and grandmother, I have unique perspectives and experience in three main areas, business, politics and life.

Where do you start?  How do you get unstuck? For most of us, our stuck-ness is in our self-talk.  My gift is to be the sunlight that clears up the fog that clouds your vision.  The one who can help you look at the possibilities that you are uniquely gifted for.  Someone who will identify the messaging needed to spread the word of the benefits of your ideas.  I will hold up the mirror for you so that you can see your awesomeness.

Our thoughts control our feelings and the way we respond to the world.  As we grow into happy, caring and well cared for individuals, we make our way in the world with optimism and joy as we share our ideas, businesses, lives.  The best way we can enhance the lives of our loved ones and co-workers is to be happily energized by possibility and success.

I want to coach people who are willing to explore and live at a frequency that elevates the vibrational energy in our community.  By shifting our perspective to the creative question of what’s good about it, we can move past the drama that is on our airwaves and concentrate on the goodness that abounds.

CEOs, business owners, sole proprietors, inventors, politicians are folks who have few people that they can confide in and get pragmatic guidance.

My intention is to be in creative collaboration with people who are doing meaningful work and want “pragmatic feedback with undaunted optimism…..on issues as broad as finance, emotion, and spirituality”.

Training Happened

Be careful what you do that first week of marriage.

IMG_7076
Exactly 1 week before the incident

As glowing newlyweds, fresh off a cruise, we returned to his house to the bloody stench of dead rotten meat. It was powerless, the freezer in the utility shed. Long brown streaks that had been red were no longer streaming down its walls. If only it had taken our breath away, then we wouldn’t have been overwhelmed by the nose singeing smell.
As the new good wife, I assured him it would be alright, I would clean it. Go sit down and relax.
NOT. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I was a 30 something woman of independent means. Advice to young women watch what you do that first week of marriage. It sets expectations like feet in concrete.
My response to the situation was more like:
“Awe, that’s awful. I better go home to my condo and get a nap.” I hightailed it in my twelve cylinder Jaguar XJ-S back to the lakefront townhouse in Lakeland leaving him with HIS mess in Keysville, a suburb of Nichols, which was three potential railroad stops outside Mulberry.
Allow me to digress: When he had asked me to marry him, he said that this was a life commitment. To clarify, I said “So one of us doesn’t make it out of this one alive?” That was the bargain.
I couldn’t fathom. “Why mess up a good friendship?” To me, marriage was the beginning of the end.
“For the sake of the children.” He had possession of his three boys. “And you don’t have to live with us.”
It was a compelling invitation for this lifelong commitment.
I counter offered. ”It better be fun, because I am not long suffering”.
When I returned to his house a few hours later, I had regained my serenity and as a rested, clean and dazzling bride who cheerfully greeted him.
There he was holding a stiff Scotch highball, tensely seated in the brown velvet chair in front of the stereo with Credence Clearwater Revival booming in his psyche. With narrowed eyes, and a week of marriage under our belts, he said, “I don’t think this marriage is going to work out”.

With breath gasping sobs, begging his pardon, I promised him it would never happen again.
NOPE that didn’t happen either.
“Turn off CCR and snap out of it”. He may have pouted for some time after;
But, we understood each other and what he could expect from me. And by the way, the freezer was squeaky, Virgo, clean.
It wasn’t hard being the mother figure of this family of men. They didn’t plop down on the couch saying, “great we got a woman here, now, what’s for dinner?” No, they knew how to do their chores and I fit in by doing what I was good at: Supervising.
That house had been theirs. The Biological Mother (BM) had put the decals of owls on the kitchen cabinets. They had raised the boys there, next door to her parents. I never moved into that house. I would bring an overnight bag, but never hung anything in the closet.
She (My ex-wife-in-law) let herself in with the hidden key and left notes chastising me about not making up the boys’ beds. Hah!
Our happy little family moved to where she didn’t have a hidden key to the newly constructed pond-front home in South Lakeland. I quit ragging on the boys to make up their beds. It was more important to have peace than made beds. Whenever one of them would ask me to iron something, I would laugh and remind them “Minnie comes on Wednesdays.”
One time I was ironing something of mine and my husband caught me. I begged, “Please don’t tell the boys.”

Care Giving happened

 

IMG_7899 (1)“So this is the ‘and in sickness’ part I agreed to, aye?” I asked my husband as I was taking care of him after a surgery.

This whole care giving bit doesn’t get the respect it deserves.  Not easy, especially for me taking care of someone, like him, who is the natural care giver of the marriage.  So my form of care giving is to fuss at him “Don’t do that, you’ll hurt yourself”. Then I have to knock him outta the way so that I can do “his jobs” like emptying the dishwasher or taking out the garbage or making us tea.  Sigh.

Then there are the pain killer meds he won’t take.

I told him he better stay healthy because I would not give him his regimen of 100 vitamins throughout the day…..and now, he won’t take the new prescription.

We all have our spiritual gifts.  One time I took the test and the results came back “Social worker.”  “Really?” was my incredulous inquiry.  They then relooked at the numbers and corrected to “Hospitality.” Awe, yes, the relief of knowing my true gifts.

So that translates into someone who will be welcoming but will not wipe anything that leaks from them.  Which is tricky when you venture into motherhood.  The way I remember the perfect fruit of my loins, our daughter as a baby, was “she didn’t cry, spit up or even poop” AND she felt welcomed into this world.  Glad she had the care giving daddy around, along with the nanny and the institution (preschool, school, etc.)

The nanny and I took her to the pediatrician and I remember asking the nanny, “What’s the command for….”

As we grow older, we wonder who will take care of us. I think the best bet is to stay healthy and self-sufficient.  What I notice about old people (those 20 years older than whatever age I am) is that the ones who have a great sense of humor, are interested in others and contribute by using their gifts are the ones who are happiest and healthiest. 

As I watched my parents grow older with physical and mental decline, I posed the question to our daughter “I don’t know if I would rather be physically disabled or mentally disabled”.  “I think you would enjoy mentally disabled better.” She cheerfully suggested.

Whichever, if either, I would hope to be a joy to whomever was my caregiver.  And to give caregivers credit…..because, Lord knows, we don’t pay them enough.

 

 

 

BRAVERY HAPPENED

It was as joke. It got a laugh, at the engagement party for my classmate who was getting married for the first time at age 63.  That joke landed on me.  It was too poignant for me to find funny.  I had never heard it before, because I had never said it before that moment.  Messages come to me that way: through my own mouth.

Rebecca, the bride, had been in musical theater in New York and our classmate, Diane, had been an opera singer there too.  They both were talking about still having stage freight when they stepped on stage.

I said “Do you know how I deal with the fear?   I don’t get on stage”.

That message haunted me because it was true.  And FEAR was the theme of my focus when I went to the Canadian creative conference called Mindcamp a few days after the party.

The electricity was off on the first night when I arrived at the YMCA camp on the lake outside of Toronto.  You know how those creative types are all alike….they adapted without complaint.  The session I chose included making meaning of the art we randomly pulled from a pile. We used our cell phone lights to show the pictures.

I was glad that it was the first session, and it was dark, and nobody knew me or saw me when I described my picture.  I thought my commentary was too conceited.

mindcampHere’s how I described my picture:   In the middle of the egg was me.  I am sending out loops of energy and reaching north, south, east and west. All of us in the egg are emerging from waters into the light. My diverse audience is influenced by my message.

Yes, it was a great message for me to have received.  Yet, I felt self-conscious that I would be so bold as to suggest that I had an audience.

Mindcamp has a smorgasbord of creative classes to choose from every hour and a half.  That was my first session during the long weekend.  And it was the foundation to build on for the others I was drawn to.

The next day we came out of the darkness and into the light.

The class I chose was on PARADOX.  There were signs on the walls with paradoxes written on them. We were told to stand near the one that we could understand and we liked.  There we were automatically sorted with partners who were standing by the same sign.  We shared our insights with each other.

The paradox was:

TO GIVE

TO RECEIVE

This made perfect sense to me because to give is to receive.  It is more blessed to give than to receive because giving feels so good.  We have this experience when we volunteer or share or give time to others.  Perfect sense.

Then, the next assignment repelled me.  I breathed deeply through my anxiety, because I knew the sign she meant for me.

Her directions sounded something like “go to the sign that you refuse to acknowledge”.  Argh!  Not that one!  It was the one so against where I would allow my mind to go.  I couldn’t deal with it.  I went to THAT sign.

WE ARE HARDWIRED FOR FEAR (SURVIVAL)

WE ARE HARDWIRED FOR LOVE (AWAKENING)

See what I mean? I am good with love and awakening.  Fear and survival, I didn’t want to deal with. I’m the one who has always said: “If a hurricane demolishes my house and I am on the nightly news, do not put ‘SURVIVOR’ under my picture.” And certainly NOT “VICTIM”.  I am a THRIVE

So here is how I dealt with that paradox: As those seem to be at opposite swings of the pendulum, the pendulum doesn’t stop swinging in mid curve.  In order for me to have the emotional depth of love and awaking, I must not resist the feelings of fear and survival.  In resisting, I am cutting off what I might want to do because of the fear. Since stage freight was a fear and the picture I interpreted the night before was speaking to the masses (love and awakening), I couldn’t have one without the other. I would have to be brave in order to do the outreach.  Fear had been limiting me. “I don’t get on stage.”

Hence the next bricks to building on the foundation from the night before.

I had a newfound sense of empowerment that lead me to the next class.

It was called “From story to stage presence”.  We worked on our stories in small groups. Then Michael asked for a volunteer to get up on stage at the microphone in front of the group to work on our stage presence.  This is the time that I would be a great audience to the brave one who volunteered.  My hand shot up and up to the stage I went.  I was that brave one.

It was a wonderful rush.  He helped me figure my one line:  Everyone thought I had it all together, that’s why he picked me.

He coached me to pause in my delivery.  We went through several exercises with emphasis on certain words and different accents. I was good.  It felt wonderful.  As I was leaving the stage I said “I have a fear of speaking to large groups, so because of that stage freight, I had to get up here today”.

This guy told me later that my admission inspired him to get on stage. He was an imposing big black guy and his line was “I should’ve been in jail, but I am here.”  I got to know him as the weekend went on.

Another man who was one of the creative leaders told me that he wished he had gotten on stage, especially after what I said.  Yep, he was doing what I would’ve been doing….wishing to get on stage.

I was now feeling all powerful. I was no longer limited by stage freight.

I went immediately to volunteer to do a bit that evening event called the Camino.  The night before I had seen what people were offering.  One woman was seated under a tree with a sign “Coach is in”.  There were a group of people standing back from the private session “in the waiting room”.

That gave me the idea for the setup of my space. I had been playing with the idea of reviving “Advice Ladies” that a group of us did for fun at CPSI (a creative conference in Buffalo). But since I didn’t have the ladies, I came up with “NOT yo’ Mama, Edgy advice without the baggage.”

not your Mama photoThe sign says “Nothing confidential, may be tweeting on the spot”  “Shift happens in 2 minutes”.  And since there was nothing confidential, I invited folks to gather round as I recruited people to come talk to Not yo Mama.

It was great fun and I made many new friends in my outrageousness.  I found out something about myself there.  People in Canada thought I had a Southern accent, and with that Southern accent I could say any edgy thing and it was it was okay.  Bless their hearts.

That evening right after me debuting Not yo’ Mama it was time to go to Karaoke.

And guess what I did? I was a great audience.  I didn’t get on stage. Way too shy for that stage.  The good news is that there is still room for me to grow; and the only way to do that is to go straight FEARward.