Reflect

Resort Girl – Traveling the Road of Purpose

March 8, 2019

After sharing my “Living the Dream in 2019” article in January, I realized something was missing in my “6P” formula for making a dream come true. Why do we seek change, or something new to do, or even a problem to solve? Why do we wake up one day and say, “This way of living is not fitting how I want to live today!”

Part of my personal life transition included asking myself frank questions like these. And, as I sat one sunny day in my glass-lined office, the answer came to me as I gazed out the window. I became inspired and quickly jotted down what became one of my first short poems:

In corner of my eye
Came gliding by
A glimpse from the sky
Oh, how freely the eagle danced
Weaving in and out of the steel window slants
A reminder to my soul
To balance my goals
For the freedom is given to all living creatures
To soar high above living in just functions and features
And live their greatest life.

While I realize this isn’t earth-shattering prose, the words were now coming from my head and into my hand. I also came to the realization that the ambitious side of my personality had started to wind down after years of competing, building and growing both my career, marriage and business. I was starting to shift in life and even in purpose. As my mind was seeking daily inspiration, a profound film by Dr. Wayne Dyer caught my eye titled “The Shift”.

Dr. Dyer states, “The Shift — illustrates how and why to make the move from ambition to meaning. Such a shift eliminates our feelings of separateness, illuminates our spiritual connectedness, and involves moving from the ego-directed morning into the afternoon of life where everything is primarily influenced by purpose.

As we contemplate leaving the morning of our life, where ego has played a commanding role, and entering the afternoon (and evening), where meaning and purpose replace ambition and struggle, we may encounter unexpected occurrences that accompany this new direction.”
My life needed more meaning and less material things and business accomplishments.
As Dr. Dyer’s movie illustrates, some people shift earlier than others and some never even do. His movie is now streaming for free on You Tube and I highly recommend watching it for inspiration.

So…drum roll…I SHIFTED! While I still physically was able, I began my journey of becoming a creative. I made a very bold move and gave my notice to the firm which had co-founded. And, my life as I knew it had ended.

It was a good life. It was a thrill to build an innovative and groundbreaking firm which took many years of personal sacrifice to achieve – but it was ultimately not my life calling or ultimate purpose. It was my partner’s – and he still enjoys it.

Dr. Dyer mentioned a Turkish proverb that inspired his writing of the Shift concept:

“No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”

Even though I was long way down the road of life at 50 years old, I still felt had the time to turn back – to find my purpose. And that is when I realized another P must be added to the formula – Purpose.

So, how do you find your purpose? Purpose is a top sought-after goal in life for many as I have discussed above – but many times, it is the most difficult thing to figure out.

One way is maybe listen to audiobooks, read articles and books, and surf the web. I did, plus, viewed spiritual TV programs when initially starting to write up drafts on Purpose – the 7th P. But even to this day after much research, it still eludes me as to what to say about how to find it. That is why I have never published any articles or blogs on Purpose. I am still in awe of this purposeful journey that one takes.
I think I’m awestruck maybe because it is more of a “personal” and many times “spiritual” journey. You must ask yourself deep within – and maybe seek some divine inspiration. I was listening to a “Soulful Sunday” piece with Oprah Winfrey recently. She had a Benedictine monk on her series and asked how he felt one could find his or her purpose.

He said start by asking yourself what you DO NOT want to do!

So, my shift took the form of living the life of a creative from that of a business one. I got accepted at SCAD in graduate design studies and began my journey of being more of an artist over a business woman. It was cool at 50 to go back to school at a highly regarded art institute. My design classes were held in a warehouse with cool vibes and creative class topics. And to play the role, I changed my wardrobe from business suits to jeans and funky tops. I also began to reduce my living footprint to allow for more freedom, reduce my responsibilities, and to explore new avenues and adventures.

By then, writing had become the most intriguing and interesting potential adventure, but I also got hooked on social media while at SCAD. It is the future of so many things.
Some of this story is a about me. But I think it is good to offer an example of a personal journey – like in school – a case study. And a story of someone who dared to – Shift.
I lost a lot initially when shifting. It was frightening at times, but also so freeing and exhilarating. And life had taught me some hard lessons in my 50 years, so I was not too naïve. Life is a gamble…you must take into consideration all the angles.

My reason to write this article is for you to consider your Purpose in life when living the dream in 2019. You may be living it and blessed in doing so. But sometimes, we get so busy just living our lives day-to-day that we fail to take the time to check in with just why we are living a certain way. We are existing much like my poem – living to function and just enjoying the features that immediately surround us. We can begin to live in a bubble. That is not really a bad thing, as it brings security, routine and predictability…just make sure it is your bubble and you’re not living in someone else’s. Or, maybe it is time to burst it and explore for a while.

When searching deep within for your Purpose, you might also reach out for insights into how it may come true. I suggest watching “The Shift” movie as maybe a starting point. Or you can seek out top experts in your field either in print or in person.

So maybe today, begin to think of what you don’t want to do…it might help start guiding your on Living your Dream in 2019 — and with a Purpose.

I lived a good life — it had just shifted in purpose and, just needed to turn back as the Turkish proverb states.

My desire was to end my life on a different path – a road less traveled.

And down the Road of Purpose – Relax, Reflect and Recharge!

 

Relax

The Intimacy of an Inn- for Resort Girl Romantic Adventures

February 11, 2019

It’s the month of February and “Love is in the Air”. The Valentine’s holiday falls right smack dab in the middle of the month, bestowing upon it the reputation as the month of love.

When it comes to a planning a romantic travel adventure, very few accommodations can compare to the intimacy of an inn. Romance is definitely on the itinerary when checking into a remote, quaint and even historic inn to Relax, Reflect, Recharge and Reconnect. The term “inn” is usually associated with a rural setting, and many offer romantic settings – located in places enhanced by nature, such as seashores, orchards, vineyards, or remote mountain tops. Many others can be found in the centers of small, picturesque towns situated along rural highways.

These characteristics afford not only a serene setting, but also a chance for intimate dinners, adventures in nature, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, and walks in spectacular parks. And that brings me to one of my favorite inns, located in Madison, Georgia.

As you know by now, I prefer to travel the back roads and I find U.S. Route 441 is a good option to see the sights of small-town Georgia.

On this GPS route sits the beautiful and historic town of Madison, Georgia. This small Georgia hamlet is rich in history and architecture that includes many antebellum homes dotting the center of the town. And here, you can also find a charming inn – the lovely James Madison Inn.

As with most inns, there are only a few rooms and each one has its own individual flair. Evoking the atmosphere of days gone by, the comfortable rooms are decorated with antique four poster canopy beds, fluffed with rows of white pillows and many feature a set of vintage-inspired chairs in front of a roaring fireplace. In other rooms, you may find a small balcony overlooking the park, town square or the railroad.

As a writer and poet, my mind imagines the days of old as I walk the streets, photographing old homes and taking in the historic markers. One picture that comes to my mind shows these same train tracks dropping off couples coming to visit this once booming town many decades ago. Men in top hats and long black coats walking with arms entwined with women in fine flowing gowns strolling down these brick-lined streets and checking in to this historic inn as the sun set.

Romance was in the air…and still is in this captivating town.

And if you keep traveling up U.S. 441 you will encounter another one of my favorite inns – the Old Edward Inn in Highlands, North Carolina. Highlands is a popular destination for Atlanta folks who long for a quick weekend getaway. Mountains surround this scenic town and the streets are lined with small boutiques and high-profile cafés such as Wolfgang’s, serving an eclectic menu of German, American & Cajun cuisine. In the summer months, the city comes alive with wine gardens.

But in the winter months, the inn offers a lovely setting with plenty of glowing fireplaces in the rooms as well as the libraries and lounges. But don’t think you must be a couple to enjoy these inns. Last year, I took my mother with me to the Old Edwards Inn. She lives in an independent living home and enjoys quick vacays. My parents lived close by Highlands and my father is buried there…so we travel up that way many times to pay our love and respect. This time, my mother and I kept on driving up to Highlands.

We had a fine time as we strolled down the cobblestone streets, arms entwined, to shop the boutiques and snack on some sweets. After grabbing an early dinner at one of the local cafés, we then retreated to our beautiful suite. As we changed into our Resort Girl sweatshirts, we sat in front of the warm fireplace. As we chatted, I asked my mother to tell her love story about she and my father. Her face lit up just like the fire when she spoke of her early days with my beloved father. And the love stories kept coming with the warmth of the fireplace near. Nothing could take the place of that lovely night with my mother and her memories. Love was in the air.

If you prefer more of a romantic “stay-cation”, our lovely towns of Hilton Head and Bluffton offer some wonderful inns and impressive settings. One of my personal all-time favorites is the Inn and Club at Harbour Town. Even though the rooms do not have fireplaces, you can warm up at the cozy, burning hearth in the welcoming library. The location of the inn offers strolls to the seashore, delightful cafés and stunning balcony views of the famous green links.

So, consider an inn for your next romantic getaway. February is the month of “Love” – whether it’s a new love, a life-long love or a beloved friend or family member. Delight in the love in your life! Maybe this is the year cupid’s arrow hits you…remember…love is ageless.

Relax, Reflect, Recharge and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Recharge

Living the Dream in 2019! Resort Girls and Guys

January 6, 2019

Is there a passion burning inside of you -Resort Girls and Guys- to change the world, invent something new or cool – or just make a living working for yourself and doing what you love? Are you presently “Living Your Dream Life”?

The first of the year is always an excellent time to plan for new beginnings. This article may provide insights and a road map to start your personal journey to begin building your dream life – or to make a dream come true.
My dream has come true, as evidenced by the fact that you are reading this Resort Girl article. Over a decade ago, my dream was to write for a travel and style magazine just like The Breeze. Over the years, my dream expanded to include becoming a travel photographer. My inspiration was Holiday Magazine, which was a groundbreaking American travel magazine published from 1946 to 1977. As Wikipedia states, “The magazine was known as a cosmopolitan travel wish book with photo essays in full color…along with articles by famous authors.”

My Resort Girl® (RG) brand was built upon this concept – to offer travel articles and social media feeds to inspire and construct your personal travel and experience wish book. Experience has become my number one goal in life…and for others too…those I hope to inspire.
The roadmap to building the RG brand was the same as when building my first firm, Finlistics Solutions, Inc., a sales enablement and corporate training firm based in Atlanta, GA. My role was CEO/Co-Founder, and it was my job to build, manage and market the firm.

As I traveled around the globe for almost two decades, our firm trained Fortune 500 corporations on how to show their value in the sales process. It’s a lot easier to sell your goods when you can show how it hits the bottom line in a positive way!

As I conducted this training, I also learned some very important lessons about building an idea. It is crucial to have a big vision for your dream, backed up with actionable steps. So, I decided to write my first book and challenge myself to start my writing career.

Many people had written about building ideas on an adult, business professional level. My thought was to do something different – write a children’s book, which was something no one had authored 10 years ago. The book series I created is called WizBizKids® featuring entrepreneur SmartSamantha and her sidekick Wally, One Smart Dog. From my past experience, I knew that the one unique thing you have to build on is your idea; and I developed a methodology based on core business principles to motivate, inspire and build SMART ideas. It is called the “6 P’s of an Idea.”

The method:
The proprietary “6 P’s of an Idea” methodology are: Product, Plan, Partner, Production, Promote and Purchase. And for each P, I developed tips to help one find or keep in mind ways to build a better P. I call them “Gottas”, “Nots” and “Tuck Aways”.

The formula:
(What + How + Who + “To Do”) + (Sell + Sale) = Actionable Idea (Dream Come True)
My role is a creator of ideas – not a maintainer. And, as a creator, I understand that a crucial element in developing an idea, one of the first things you need to decide is if you will partner with someone on building your dream or do it on your own.

But…before you can get to that point, you need to answer the question, “What is your idea?” It can be a product or service or even a way to change the world…or even how to live your life. What I call this is your Product.

Consider these tips for your Product:
GOTTA: How will your idea be different? Detail its uniqueness – and remember this: Your idea must “Do Things Differently, Do Different Things and/or Do Things Faster!”
GOTTA: Most of all, your bright idea must have a value! What do I mean? It needs to bring a special something to the person who chooses and uses it.
NOT: What your product is NOT! Don’t focus on lots of cool concepts. One solid one will do just fine.
NOT: Don’t be or do the same old things. No one will email, text or call to hear your voice or see your idea. Instead, do new, do unique. That’s the biggest feat.
TUCK AWAY: Keep thinking of other ideas. Many times, the first idea blossoms into a brighter idea.
TUCK AWAY: How can you expand your product and make it grow?

Even though these were written for a child, they offer a fun and catchy way to develop your dream idea, as well as a unique way to communicate core business principles – doing something in a different way.
The next step is to decide if you will be “Living the Dream” alone or with a Partner. There are so many stories of famous partnerships. In my opinion, a partner is one of the best ways to go, as it is tough going it alone and there are many different skills needed to develop an idea. For example, I excel in the more visionary and creative skill sets of marketing, sales and even management. Where I find I fail is in the details, and the partner in my first start-up possessed a strong finance and detail skill set. It proved to be a good business match.

Consider these tips for when looking for a Partner:
GOTTA: Look for a partner who can work hard and do hard work – and work smart and do smart work, because building an idea is hard work!
NOT: Don’t be shy! Hold your head up high and ask for help with your idea when you need it. After all, it’s a good one!
TUCK AWAY: Consider adding to your team. You might just need one partner now but discover you want to add more later, so keep some names in mind for the future.
The next step is the “How’s and Do’s” for the Production of your idea; and the best way to do this is to start creating a storyboard for your idea. Gather up anything and everything you have saved, seen or dreamed and start sketching a map of your “To Do’s”.
Then it is to me the best part as a creative – how will you Promote your idea. You’ve got your cool idea and now it’s time to tell a darn good story about it. To do this well, your message about your Product must have POP! To skyrocket to the TOP! Think of your brand. What does it stand for and how will it inspire change? What will your logo look like?

Consider these things to Promote your idea:
GOTTA: Build up a Brand! Think colors, designs, images and cards to hand out or now. It’s also important to plan a day’s social media feeds.
NOT: Make sure you know who you want to see your idea. Think about who would like what you do differently. People like different things, so just try to find those who might really like what you do – and pursue!
TUCK AWAY: Be sure you stand firm with your idea brand; and along the way, always remain true to yourself and your values.
And building on these brand ideas comes the next step, Purchase.
Consider these Purchase tips:
GOTTA: How will people buy your idea? Initially, you may even have to hand deliver your product, but later, you can go online when your idea (and your cash flow) grows.
NOT: A sale or service does not end when your customer swipes their card. You need to keep giving back to your customers or they just might return your idea back to you. So, keep the cost of returns in mind. Bottom line: always try to make your product shine. Doing so is a sure way to keep your customers smiling.

And many times, Purchase can help you stand out among the big box competitors. Studies have shown that start-ups and smaller firms’ greatest advantage is their ability to provide great customer service – something different.

So, we are now down to the last P – Plan, which is just taking all these P’s and putting then on paper. There are plenty of free business plan templates available on the web. And, by doing the above exercises – you have a jump start on filling in the blanks. A Plan is a critical part of any idea – but the way it is presented can vary. If you are seeking funding, then you will need a formal business plan. But, if your idea is smaller or doing it on your own, it might partly be in your head and partly on paper. Regardless of which method you choose, it is a good idea to have an overall vision or you might lose direction. You can also share this vision with others, who may be able to offer additional guidance.

I hope this article offers inspiration and insights into just how you might make an idea into a product, service, charity or change in the world – and know that by reading my monthly Resort Girl series, you are making my dream come true. You can also follow me on social media at Instagram at Resortgirlcom or Facebook at ResortGirl.

January is a great time to REFLECT on new beginnings! Are you ready to start?
“Living the Dream in 2019!”

Relax

Forging New Traditions – Celebrating the Holidays, Resort Style

December 13, 2018

You may think of resort holidays as a way to still be able to wear leisure white, day and night. You could also see it as running the A/C to make the heat emanating from the holiday fireplace more bearable.

What many may not have realized is the extended family a resort can provide to Resort Girls and Guys. Life brings changes…work demands, changes in marital status, children leaving the nest and even, sadly, death. Life can get demanding and may bring expected or unexpected changes —it is an inevitable part of the life cycle.

When life changes, it’s only a matter of time before holiday traditions begin to change. So maybe it’s time to start a new tradition – celebrating the holidays club or resort style!

During these changing times, extended families of non-family members consisting of close friends, new friends, neighbors and even “Club” members can develop. This week I heard about a generous golf pro who was helping with the move of a woman whose husband was dealing with cancer. He may have just been carrying the boxes, but he became a valued member of their extended family.

This sense of family extends beyond a caring resort team member, it also can come from caring club members. When you find the right club or resort, you may find yourself forming lifelong relationships. This may just be what you need during a life transition, especially during the holiday season.
Resorts and clubs can easily become part of a holiday tradition. All four seasons bring a reason for festive holiday events held at your club – from spring golfing and summer BBQs to fall festivals and, of course, winter holiday celebrations. As I talked about in last month’s article, a trip to your favorite motel or hotel each holiday season was a valued family tradition. That special place held an important space in your life and your family.

You were greeted by smiling associates…you sat down to supper with other members or guests who decided to go to “the club” or hotel rather than celebrate at home. You even danced the night away and rang in the New Year with familiar, friendly faces. Famous songs have been written about these holiday traditions.

Are they traditional? No, they do not evoke the tone of the grocery store commercials showing folks making all the fixings of a holiday feast at home, but they have their own special quality. These individuals and families decided for one reason another to make the club or hotel their choice of celebration place for the season. Surely other celebrations take place, but these folks…single, married, young and old decided to hold their celebrations together at this place away from home.

These celebrations can either be formal with silver decorations, china and silverware or casual with paper napkins and plates, but they are all a great escape from the usual traditions of the holidays.
For this Resort Girl, this has worked out great in recent years, with my life transition and moving to a new town. There is always room to add a single seat to a large, festive table.

On Hilton Head island and in the town of Bluffton, clubs and hotels to enrich your holidays and traditions are plentiful. With club parties, New Year’s celebrations and even the pro shop making a great place to purchase holiday gifts, it is far easier to drive your golf cart up to the clubhouse to celebrate and holiday shop than turning on that car key.

So, pack your friends and family into that golf cart this holiday and drive on the fairways – instead of the highways – to your holiday celebrations. You could also walk down the hotel corridor to the beautifully decorated ballroom or oceanside event to celebrate the season.

Could this be the year that you take a different avenue to your holiday celebration? Let someone else dish out the fixings and clean the plates and give you the chance to just celebrate with your family, friends from near and maybe even far, and maybe even a new friend or two…and be beside someone who may have needed a friend this year. Consider ringing in the New Year in a new way…celebrate at a hotel or club instead of home…even though home is a good option too! Just if you wanted to explore something new…hop in the car…or golf cart…

Celebrate this Holiday at a Club or Resort.

Wishing all Resort Girls and Guys a very Happy Holiday Season!

Relax, Reflect and Recharge…and REJOICE!

Reflect

Are Memories Becoming a Thing of the Past? – Resort Girls

November 27, 2018
Palmetto Bluff

In today’s “insta-age”, has it become just too easy to turn to the new – pieces, places and faces? The instant gratification found in our social media feeds fill our minds, every moment of every day with flashes of the present that quickly become memories of the past.
But what happens to those images from our past? In these fast-paced days, there is little time to REFLECT – on snapshots of days gone by.

Our smartphones now hold most memories in instant and constant flashes of daily life. With limited memory space, unless downloaded, these images can be easily erased. And even with the remaining photographs taking up space, it takes some time to get back to those earlier memories…which are generally only one or two years past.

So how can we keep those memories dear from over the years? Maybe we should bring back the good old-fashioned photo albums and scrapbooks. These books are the storytellers of a family’s past and they are passed down through families to teach the newer generations how their relatives lived and loved.
These albums used to sit on tabletops or were placed on family book shelves. They sat just waiting to be opened to tell of days gone by. That was their purpose, to keep traditions alive and to thrive for future generations.

They opened minds both young and old to stories of days of old. These moments, both joyous and even trying at times, made up part of who we are. They should be cherished and appreciated. Life is about loving, living, crying and even dying. It is about meeting new faces and remembering the old ones.

Let’s not make haste or waste what took place in our days of past.
Let’s respect those who stood by us.
Let’s respect those who raised us.
Let’s respect those who mentored us.
Let’s respect those who loved us.
Let’s cherish those who held us.
Let’s honor those who supported us.
Let’s honor those who challenged us.
Let’s even remember those who left us.
Let’s praise those who taught us to worship.

Let’s just remember….

So maybe this year for the holiday season, give an old-fashioned scrapbook to someone you love – or make one to pass on to your family. Download and print those iPhone photos and take some time to include those saved a few years back.

Put them in a beautiful binder as a meaningful reminder of days gone past. This keepsake can now sit on a tabletop or take a prominent place on the family bookshelf. And when the days grow colder, you can pull out this binder as a reminder of those warm sunny days of past. Share the stories behind the pictures with your friends and family members. Or, you can just indulge in personal reflection of how these moments in time made you laugh, love and even sometimes cry.

I play music when I write, and a song playing in the background right now seems so appropriate for this topic, it’s “The Story in Your Eyes” by the Moody Blues.

Look back and reflect on the story in your eyes, Resort Girls and Guys. It tells us who we are and where we came from and even helps us on where we are going….
Relax, Reflect and Recharge!

Reflect

The Leaves of a Resort Girl Life

November 5, 2018

A quote by one of my favorite personal development gurus, Jim Rohn, says:

Success is a Journey not a Destination

This seemed to be a theme this week in my reading – if you think you reach success and then stop – you will also put the brakes on your personal growth. Growth must always be a part of our life, even as we advance in age.

As I have officially arrived in the Fall season of my life, the leaves of life are starting to turn.

Like the Fall leaves, my true colors are starting to emerge. It took years to grow into who I am. Maybe that is what life is all about…growing into a beautiful person of many ideas, thoughts and – ultimately –wisdom.

We are so green and growing in our youth, just like the Spring blossoms. Then, we are bright and sunny during our adult years. Our souls are shining with new ideas and the thrill of discovery. We are like the burning rays of a hot summer day…setting the world on fire.

Then we reach the Fall years, when this growing turns our souls into their true beauty. We have become a mixture of colors influenced by all the loves, careers, cares and dares of our younger years.

Our souls are almost there…to the winter of our lives where we are wiped clean, like the first winter snow. Our minds and even hair turn to the purest of white…we are ready for eternal life.

I plan to appreciate the seasons of my life and not fight them. I will make the best of each season.
This is my season to appreciate what wisdom the world has given me and keep building and growing towards the peaceful Winter rest that is given to us.

We leave this world as we came, naked like the winter trees and with minds reborn just like a newborn.

That is my hope in life.

Resort Girl