What???!!!

The best AND the worst thing in our lives is….

Communication! 

 

Isn’t that the truth? Besides golfing, communication is something none of us fully master, yet it is such a powerful tool, if we improve our skills!  Effective communication can rocket us to success or plummet us to a crash landing in our business or personal lives.  And the key to successful communication is understanding, to the best of our abilities, the audience or other person first.  This obviously takes time, so if we don’t invest the time first, there is a very good chance that our communication won’t be on target and may not be successful.

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CRASH LANDING

Sometimes we get so wrapped up with what is happening in our own business, life, relationships, world, etc. that we focus on ourselves instead of the audience when communicating.  We speak from our perspective, not from the audience’s perspective.  It’s easy to speak from our perspective because that is what we know, but it can be so much more effective if we take the time to get to know our audience, and speak from their perspective, in a way that they can best understand us and obtain value from us, actually hear and listen to what we have to say.

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Another hindrance to communication is fear.  Fear of the unknown, the outcome, etc.  Fear is a big problem, a huge deterrent in effective communication and acting out of fear produces regrets. Facing fear brings rewards:  success, honesty, understanding and maybe even new ideas, collaboration?

Being overly scheduled, committed, worked, not enough time, etc. also hinders effective communication.  This is probably something we can all relate to, but if your audience is a priority and important to you, show it by taking the time needed to communicate, because you may loose your “priority” person, client, etc. if you don’t make time.

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Interrupting is another way to have a “crash landing” in communication.  If we interrupt, we are not listening, we are talking and we can’t do both effectively.  Besides that interrupting is disrespectful and tells the other person what we have to say is more important than what they are saying; obviously this doesn’t “win any friends” for us.

SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION

Oddly, successful communication isn’t as much about talking, it is more about listening first and foremost!  We all know that feeling when someone is either engaged with what we are saying or they are in “la la land” thinking about something else; it’s easy to see.  If we are rushed, then we aren’t taking the time to listen, it’s better to slow down and focus on being mindfully present, not somewhere in the future on to the next event.  Time is precious, valuable and limited, so when we have it, it’s best to take advantage of it and make it count or we’ve wasted time.

'When I first started working here, I thought our boss would be a good listener. But, that hasn't been the case.'
‘When I first started working here, I thought our boss would be a good listener. But, that hasn’t been the case.’

Personally, I believe that successful communication involves honesty.  Most people can intuitively spot honesty and dishonesty even though we may not say anything.  If we are not being honest, there is a very good chance that the audience knows it, even if they don’t show it or “call us out” on it; and eventually truths become evident, so it’s just a matter of time. Again, it’s wasted time if we are not honest; both our time and their time. No one benefits and the dishonest person ruins his or her reputation in the process too.

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Successful communication involves being prepared, organized, thought through in advance.  Spontaneous communication sometimes misses some elements if we did not think it through in advance.

If we all work towards getting better at this:

  1. Get to know the audience
  2. Communicate from the audience’s perspective
  3. Face and overcome our fear
  4. Make time for communication, don’t do it when we are rushed
  5. Don’t interrupt
  6. Listen first, then respond
  7. Be honest
  8. Prepare and organize our thoughts first before communicating

Then we will be better communicators and avoid some stress in life!

 

Waiting

Thought and Questions on “Waiting”?

Personally, I’m not one to wait, “patience is a virtue” doesn’t  come naturally to me; I’m all about taking action. As time progresses, I’ve acquired more “tolerance”(the best descriptive word to me) for patience, even though it’s not natural for me and a continual struggle.

EXPERIENCES

Not waiting has given me some amazing opportunities: ones I wasn’t fully ready for, but worked out. On the other hand, it’s also put me in bad situations. So what is the right choice waiting or not waiting?

In 2017, I’ve made some changes, and realized that I probably need to work on patience and waiting.  For the first time ever, I searched “waiting” in the back of the Bible I bought and read the passages:

waiting-reference

 

Waiting and patience are not natural to me, so this is a change I will try.  Sometimes the application of what we read to our own lives is confusing…to me at least, but I’m trying!  I already heavily booked my weekends through mid June, so I’m going to try to hold back now and slow down.

WAITING

I can see “both sides” of this:

A) Patience and waiting can bring good things, like the examples in the Bible

however, I’m also a strong believer in:

B) If you want something, you have to get off your butt and work for it, you can’t wait for it…

So which is it?  Or does each one apply to different subjects?  Or is this taking it out of context?  Questions!!?

Pros

  • We get what we truly want; we don’t settle for something less.
  • Waiting means trusting in God’s timing; having faith…

it’s interesting that I bought this necklace awhile ago, maybe I was missing “a message” to me?

Cons

  • Experiencing patience: time feels like it’s slowed down, and not in a good way
  • Missing an opportunity (even though this is true, if we act on this, aren’t we are acting out of fear, which often leads to regret?)
  • Not taking action to achieve; Inaction – we aren’t using our time wisely if we wait? This is probably the one reason that I don’t often wait…

This past weekend’s message at The Crossing was about:  suffering > perseverance > character > hope ….maybe this thought I woke up with, on waiting, is something I need to explore more?  I don’t have the answers!

Trust & Obey

The past few weeks I’ve been posting on social media, on either Instagram or this blog, a summary of a Sunday message from church.  This past Sunday, the subject was “Trust & Obey.”  And yes, the second part is the hardest part, at least for me it is. This post is not a summary of the message, except for the Title, so if you want to hear it for yourself, click here.   The next few paragraphs are my self-reflection on this subject.

TRUST

I realized over time that I’ve had a strong faith, trust, in God throughout my life, even though I participated in different churches along the way.  I struggled to truly fit in at any prior church, but, in this past year I found that I connect most with Christian non-denomination.  For me, it’s because I believe that many Christian religions have commonality relating back to the Bible, but differences in interpretation and those differences in interpretation sometimes feel extreme to me so it was hard for me to fit in at different churches in the past.  This is a continually evolving experience for me and I intend to learn more as I proceed, but I finally feel comfortable at the Christian non-denomination church I’m attending, The Crossing.  The accepting and welcoming of all people from all backgrounds, religions, (even people who don’t believe in Christ are welcomed) is part of why I’ve continued attending; this appeals to me most at this church.  Accepting people as they are, but providing the means and opportunity, through the Bible teachings, to change, improve, take our relationship to the next level, in a non-judgmental way is how I believe God would want us to treat one another.  This doesn’t mean that anything we choose to do is okay or accepted, not at all, our recommended way of life is based on what is in the bible.  Acceptance means wherever our starting point is, it’s okay, even though it can be a very different place for each of us.

OBEY

Wow!  So true, this is the part where anxiety sets in for me. Rules and obeying are something that I’ve struggled with to be honest. I’ve always found a way to bend the rules a little because I’ve felt that rules are too rigid and not flexible enough for real life situations.  If I had to estimate, I would guess I follow rules 80% of the time and don’t follow rules 20% of the time.  Maybe the 80 percent would be a little higher, but I definitely struggle with rules, because I don’t see things as “black and white”; I see a lot of things as “gray” where different viewpoints have validity. Obviously this must be my next area to focus on growth and improvement in “obeying”.

I wasn’t going to share this, but it is relevant: earlier this year, I made, what I think will be, a life altering change.  I decided that I’m exhausted and confused trying to figure out life and haven’t always made the best decisions in hindsight, even though I felt like the decisions were appropriate at the time.  I give up! I’ve had good intentions and I’m not saying that I haven’t made any good decisions, because I believe I’ve made quite a few good decisions, and more good than bad decisions too.  But I still struggle with the bad decisions and don’t want to make more bad decisions if it can be avoided.  So because of my strong faith, I actually prayed asking Christ to take over my decisions in life, to lead me in the right direction.  I don’t know how this year will unfold, but I’m documenting things along the way, being honest about the good and the bad that happen around me and I intend to publish it at the end of the year, 2017.  All I will say right now is that initially after I prayed this, things improved, but then things began to fall apart and not go the way I preferred, but I’m sticking with this. I believe I will learn something from this experience and share it later.

LOVE

February is the “love” month, right?  (think Valentine’s Day), so I’m writing about Love.  It’s a few days before February, when I’m writing this, because I, once again, woke up with these thoughts in my head, so I’m documenting them.

BACKGROUND

If you read any of my prior blog posts from the end of December 2016, you will see that I set goals and an action plan for 2017 so this is part of my following through on them, relying on intuition as guidance, along with daily prayer and becoming more involved in church.

It took awhile for me to commit to acting on getting involved (the weekend before the class started is when I signed up), another thing I’ve never done before:  take an evening class at Church.  But if I am going to stay true to my action plan this is where it starts for me.

The class I’m taking is called “Body Life” through The Crossing and it’s about relationships, community, and purpose, this also ties in well with my reflections over this past year of my life.  I’m in the first week and the first week’s homework was reading and reflecting on a few passages from the Bible (both Old and New Testament) where the bible illustrates a “calling,” that time when a person recognizes the unique gift that God gave us before we were born (grace), and using or cultivating that gift to serve God’s purpose.  Although I know I received bibles in the past, somewhere, probably packed away, I didn’t know where they are, or if I still have them honestly.  So, I decided to buy a new one, and found a good one for me, because it has side notes (questions and answers) that further explain what was happening at the time, background information, or relating it back to today, and features a paragraph at the beginning of each book about why we would want to read a certain book (what to expect, what type of information we will see, etc.) which is helpful for beginners.  If you’re curious about this Bible version, it’s an NIV (New International Version), called Quest (click for an Amazon link to purchase): a question and answer study Bible.

ABOUT LOVE

Getting back to the subject of love, while I was reading the passages for homework, one referenced passage was: 1 Corinthians; which happens to be the book with the script read frequently in weddings, many of us have heard it before, beginning: “Love is patient, love is kind…” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) and something clicked with me the next day after reading that, and I decided to summarize this passage with one word for each thought from this passage as a text overlay, adding it to a photo I took of my seasonal chalkboard message (the main photo).  This photo now serves a quick reminder or checklist to go back to at any time:  i.e. Are we showing love to others?  Are we in a loving relationship? Many people question our relationships at different times, i.e. what’s the status, how we are treated, or how we are treating others, so this summary is a good basis to evaluate love in a relationship.

Relationships are important for all of us because they help us get through life’s ups and downs.  Relationships aren’t always permanent either.  Another favorite relationship quote of mine is about each relationship (person) having a purpose in our life:

Opened book and hand drawing building sketches

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime and the relationships that don’t last teach us something. Be grateful for the gift in every relationship!

If you want to read more from the Bible about marriage, being single and our ultimate purpose clarifying what status suits each of us, check out the book of 1 Corinthians.  And if you want to read about purpose, check out the book of Ephesians.

FEBRUARY AND BEYOND

Valentine’s Day. We all have some relationship status:  single, taken, married, divorced, or as I’ve seen a lot lately on Instagram: “building an empire” ha ha 🙂 but relationships still affect all of us and have impact. Remember, we can all do something or be someone who makes a difference; we aren’t in this world alone!

Have a Happy Love Month…and Beyond!

P.S.  If you need ideas for your someone special, visit my Facebook page, February 1st post, for the ideas, complete with a website link to shop.

Follow me on:  Twitter, Instagram, Flipagram, Facebook

 

 

ARBONNE’S 30 DAYS TO HEALTHY LIVING AND BEYOND

MY PERSONAL REVIEW

First, I must disclose that I am an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International.  Secondly, as part of my personal initial commitment to try the products when I joined in October 2016, I am following through with my personal review of the program.

What I purchased as part of the Nutrition Starter Pack:

  • Vegan Based, Non-GMO, Gluten Free Protein Powder- Vanilla and/or Chocolate (30 Day Supply of two “meals” per day)
  • Digestion Plus (30 day supply)
  • 7 Day Cleanse (7 day supply)-the gentle elimination of toxins and support of internal antioxidant activity, and gastrointestinal and liver health
  • Fizz Sticks (2 boxes of 20)
  • Herbal Detox Tea (2 boxes of 20)
  • I added: Greens Balance (30 day supply)

Added benefits that are offered with the Program:

  • Private Facebook Group access
  • Nutritionist participation for insight and questions
  • Weekly shopping list for the third meal of each day (two meals are shakes)
  • Recipes for each week
  • Nutrition information

I honestly didn’t know much about all of this, but I did know there are so many choices and companies promoting these type of products, and asked myself:  How does a consumer really know if what they are getting is beneficial or is just hype?  So, I participated to see what I learn from my experience and this is what happened to me:

  • I lost weight,
  • had more energy,
  • slept better,
  • gave up coffee (from a pot a day habit) for the month
  • gave up drinks with friends for the month
  • reduced sugar (only strawberries, raspberries, green apple and blueberries consumed, no other sweets or juices)
  • learned healthy eating habits
  • added more vegetables than I ever had before

I also wondered what is the importance of all these products working together?  Can’t I simply use one or two of them? Especially after completing the program, I wanted to know what I would be interested in reordering.  So, I researched these topics below and provided a link to a third party (non – Arbonne) article so you will see what I found in my research and understand how it may benefit or apply to you:

This is a wonderful start to healthy eating and I’m so glad that I did it; I will probably periodically do this program in the future too, if I get off track, which is easy to do when we can’t cook at home.  I find the program extremely beneficial and honestly it makes meal planning effortless! It’s all pre-thought out, all we have to do is cut up veggies and protein and cook them!

This is the summary of the program education about 5 keys to Health from one of the nutritionists, with my comments in parenthesis:

1 – Eat Clean (no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides…)

2 – Eliminate Allergenic, Addictive and Acidic Foods

3- Balance Blood Sugar and pH

4- Increase Nutrient Intake

5- Support Elimination Organs

If you visit my Facebook page, you will see some of the meals during this process, very tasty too!

It’s been a worthwhile education and I’m so thankful for those Arbonne Independent Consultants who have dedicated research and studies to nutrition and are now sharing this knowledge with us and being a nutrition coach/mentor; you are making a difference in lives!  Thank you!

Follow me (annm2705) on:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, refrigerator-contents

 

ARBONNE REVIEW

If you read my prior blog and article published by Prsuit: “DEALING WITH JUDGEMENT OF YOUR ASPIRATIONS BY OTHERS” then you will know that part of this experience had to do with my joining Arbonne International as an Independent Consultant, so I wanted to share my experiences with you about what it’s been like for me since I joined this past October 2016.   This is a network marketing company and many are skeptical of those type of companies, I was too, until I opened my mind to learn more about it and dispelled the myths.  The truth is nothing happens overnight and it requires dedication and perseverance to build a business, so as long as people know that, they will not be misled.  The reality about reputation is, when a company is growing, some people who affiliate themselves with the company may not reflect the company very well and that of course damages a reputation.  Arbonne International is not a new business, but is 35 plus years and growing. Reputation is a concern for every growing business because as a company grows, the people in front of us represent the company, and if those people don’t make a good impression, the company is then tied to that impression.

REFLECTION OF OUR VALUES

My opinion and experience throughout my life is that we should not get involved with a company unless it truly mirrors our values and purpose in life, because we become a reflection of the company and the company becomes a reflection of us.  If a company changes and no longer reflects the values and purpose that drew us to the company, we should end our relationship with that company.  As in life, nothing is perfect, a company is the makeup of its affiliates or employees, and likewise if a person no longer reflects the core values and purpose of a company, they are usually terminated.

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ARBONNE: PURE, SAFE, BENEFICIAL

Arbonne has done a great job of summarizing in the three words: Pure, Safe and Beneficial, the inspiration behind their products.  When I joined Arbonne, I had done a little research on my own on nutrition, but nothing on cosmetics or skincare, that was something I didn’t think about. What impacted me most of all was the statement that our skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs what we put on it, which affects us and our health.   It does matter what we use for skincare and obviously, our nutrition too.   I’ve researched more since joining because I wanted to verify statements and there was so much I didn’t know, and I’ve learned a lot already.  I encourage you to research on your own too, not necessarily blogs, but medical research clinics and hospitals, such as Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins on various topics that we may question.

ARBONNE: MANIFESTO

This is what I connected with and related to when I made the decision to align with the company, it matched my core values:

manifesto

 

ARBONNE: THE PRODUCTS:  NUTRITION, SKINCARE, COSMETICS, BATH/BODY

Before I would recommend any products to my friends or family, I wanted to try them myself.  That is just who I am, I can’t stand behind something I don’t believe in.  My experiences with Arbonne are in process and being reflected on my Facebook Page:  annm2705 but truly I haven’t used something I didn’t like, I do have favorites and products that maybe are not necessary for me personally, but they still are high quality, effective plus I feel comfortable using them or recommending them because of my experience as well as Arbonne’s stated product purpose:  PURE, SAFE, BENEFICIAL.

essentials-daily-health_instagram_imageNUTRITION

In January 2017, I started the 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond Program and I am so impressed by the resources offered to those who participate. Of course, we buy a 30-day supply of Arbonne products that may seem expensive at first, because we are buying a 30-day supply, but when you break it down to a per meal cost, you can get the products, for less than the cost of a muffin and cup of coffee.  When you participate in the program, you will also receive the resources of Nutritionists who provide a weekly grocery list, recipes for nutritious meals, as well as suggestions for challenges we face in our eating habits, cravings etc.  I’ve found that my grocery bills are less, but I’m eating healthier.  My shopping cart is primarily filled with organic vegetables, some fruits and protein:  lean meat:  chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, and fish.  And yes, organic is more expensive, but I’m eliminating the sugar and not so good for you type of carbohydrates, so that offsets the organic cost.  And when I thought about what I’m feeding myself and my family and how it so greatly affects our health, this will likely offset medical bills in the future, by taking a vested interest in healthy eating! Not all medical bills of course, but this is something we should all consider with the rising cost of healthcare:  taking better care of ourselves and our family.  I have met people who changed their diets and then no longer needed medications. Medications are expensive and some of the side effects are destructive too.  Take some time to think about that.  If you want to join a future 30 Days to Healthy Living program with Arbonne, I provide my contact information at the end of this article.

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ARBONNE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS

I decided to become an Independent Consultant to get the greatest product discount after using a few skincare sample products, because I liked the products and knew I would be buying more.  It wasn’t a significant upfront cost, so I could justify it.  I wanted to learn more before I suggested the products to anyone else, which is what I’ve been doing these past several months. When I joined Arbonne, the products and the company reflected something important to me: a healthy life style and improvement, so I decided to do it; there was no downside.  Becoming an Independent Consultant has its advantages:  a discount on the products plus we can make income from products that others buy through our introduction, so why not?  Especially if we like the products and will be using them ourselves. If others like the products and want to join as Independent Consultants, they can too, there is no competition here, this is a team and growing!   The more products I tried and the more people I met through Arbonne, my thoughts on this expanded.  I saw this as such a great business opportunity for motivated individuals, who have a passion for the products: the freedom and personal development it offers too.  The improvement side of Arbonne is amazing! Not only do the products help improve others, but the Independent Consultants are provided with such great positivity, motivation, self-improvement, personal development from what I’ve experienced.  I have never met so many positive uplifting people in one place, the positive energy/vibes from the people are the best I’ve ever been around.  So vibrant, supportive, welcoming, fun, dedicated, ambitious, motivating, positive people who want to help others too.  We all have seen quotes that say we become what we surround ourselves with, right?  And I must say, this truly describes the ensemble of Arbonne Independent Consultants whom I’ve met personally.  It wasn’t long after joining that we were making plans socially, outside of the business, to have get togethers.

I met Independent Consultants who have had their lives changed by embracing this as a business and from the nutritional aspect; this certainly doesn’t happen without efforts, but, it is possible for anyone motivated to build success and willing to work for it. And the great thing about it, our team can be our friends, family, or anyone around the world, all we need is internet access to connect!  The success is not overnight like so many may be led to believe with online business promotions, it takes years of dedication and staying with it, but it is a possibility.  You truly get what you give to others…you will be improving yourself and improving the lives of others!

SIDE OBSERVATION

I have not seen this emphasized in the company, but after hearing from or talking to Independent Consultants with Arbonne, I noticed there is a tremendous amount who openly talk about their faith in God (as you may know, I am Christian; however, it doesn’t matter if others believe in something different, I have respect for all.  We each choose our belief based on our culture, experiences and connection with something Greater than us.)  Anyway, this faith component is important to me personally and I wonder if there is more purpose here than what is initially seen, especially because the core is all about improvement and giving back?   There are some amazing heartwarming stories that have happened as a result of someone’s Arbonne business success. Truly inspiring!

If you are interested in anything I’ve shared,  joining my team, or have questions, you can reach me as follows:

Facebook at:  annm2705 (Ann Dulle- Arbonne Independent Consultant Page, on this account, my purpose is posting beneficial and informative information about the products, how I’m using them, health and nutrition, my personal experiences or promoting upcoming informative events (which I have yet to do!)– so “Like” my page and follow if you are interested in receiving updates)

or Instagram:  annm2705 (this is my personal account where I post anything related to Faith, Family, Friends, Travel, Fitness, Improvement = My passions in life)

or my Arbonne Independent Consultant Page (where you can shop Arbonne Products):  www.anndulle.arbonne.com

Wishing you success in 2017!  I hope it is a great year for you!