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Archive for October, 2008

Whispers of Spirit Expo

Eric and I went to the Whispers of Spirit Expo last Sunday and met some great people. The Whispers of Spirit Expo is a local Twin Cities (MN) expo put on by Jennifer Salness and Joan Turck, some of our first Cirkla members. There were 42 exhibitors and all of them promote an integrity-based holistic, metaphysical, spiritual business. Great work, Jennifer and Joan! Thanks so much for bringing this into our community!

So as we came in the door, we saw Jennifer Salness and her booth of lovely rocks and crystals. These are from her Crystalline Light shop and were very reasonably priced! It was good to see her. I hadn’t seen her since the LAST Whispers of Spirit Expo last year. She also had copies of her magazine, Whispers of Spirit. Jennifer has been busy for several years in this town generating expos such as this to bring these types of businesses some more exposure. If you are from Minnesota and found this article, be sure and check out her next expo!

Next, Eric and I wandered a bit and found Lisa Severson. Lisa was one of the lucky seven speakers to speak at the expo. She spoke about self-healing techniques. Lisa does life coaching and she had a massage table out to do healing sessions with people at the show. Shows like this are a great way to explore different modalities if you are not quite sure about them or have not tried them before. Lisa also has the Living Love Ministries, where she helps people heal their hearts through love.

There was a lot of love going on at the show! We could not help but stop at the rainbow looking booth that said SHINE ON! in big letters at the front, where Julie Lyden and Mara were selling t-shirts and various items to spread some love for all of us. Julie is a “Life Skills Advisor” with a company called Moving Beyond Yourself.

After that booth, we just wandered a bit and looked at some jewelry. There was a LOT of jewelry at the show! Beautiful stuff, and some of it was practically being given away. We also stopped and chatted with Emilia Bernat from Light 4 U and discussed her Bio Genesis Tools.

Brigid’s House was a booth I really wanted to stop at. I had seen the name (they do a good job with marketing) and after talking to Brenda Mason, I can see why! They are located in Park Rapids, MN, which is a stretch from the city lights but I can’t wait to stop in and visit next time I am heading up North! I am sure that a lot of their business comes from here, so if you are thinking of taking a weekend roadtrip up towards Bimidji, plan some time to stop in!

Soon we came upon Paula Quinlan’s booth for Amazon Herbs. Paula was an absolute joy! As a fellow business person, Paula is a networker extraordinaire! She is a good person to know because she knows EVERYBODY! She works with Amazon Herbs and Young Living Essential Oils, but her main practice is Paula Quinlan Consulting, where she brings the healing arts into corporations. Go, Paula! If anyone reading this is thinking of going that route, you should contact Paula and put your heads together. She’s a lot of fun. Paula also does blood analysis, which is really like a microscope into the true health of your body. Paula was sharing a booth with Cynthia Frantz, another Amazon Herb associate. Cynthia is a Reiki Practitioner who is also using Young Living Essential Oils. These are really some incredible oils. If you are into essential oils but haven’t tried Young Living Oils yet, talk to Cynthia. (I linked to her profile so you can connect with her if you want to.) These oils are really different.

Kevin Doheny was next door to Paula, so I had to meet him too because he is also listed in Cirkla. It is so fun to meet these people who are in our directory! Kevin is a sound man. He works with the Sound Mind & Body Healing Center. I thought that I understood sound until I talked with Kevin. He brings sound to a whole new level! He makes these recordings that resonate with the body for healing work. He then puts them into CDs to sell on his website.

After talking with Kevin, we could not help but stop in at the Closet Feng Shui booth. Or, I should say, I could not help but stop. (Eric suggested that I might need some “closet feng shui” anyways because mine is always such a mess!) So I talked with Karen Hollingsworth about what “Closet Feng Shui” is. As it turns out, there were six women who put their heads together and came up with an idea to work together on helping people to understand how to use Five Element Theory to improve their wardrobe and their life! It was so much fun talking with Karen. She really walks her talk! She was dressed fabulously and definitely understood how this stuff works.

Karen’s booth was next door to the Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest booth, where we met Martie Van Roekel and Carol Seiler, who helped us to understand just how well the community of Feng Shui Practitioners has worked together to educate the public and to build community, thanks to the dedicated work of their Board of Directors, which includes the President, Carol Hyder, the Vice President, Andrew Hong and quite a few others. They also mentioned that much of their thanks should go to Lisa Rock for really helping them to get the word out.

Unfortunately, we missed talking to John Peterson, the “PsyGuy“. He was busy with a client when we walked by.

Our last stop was to Michele Mayama’s booth. Michele has always really impressed me because she has such an interesting blend of being fully grounded and yet has such a connection to the higher realms. If you spend any time around her, she has a very calming presence. While we were there, Chris LaFontaine shared with us the evolution of their project with the Channeling brought forth through Michele and talked a bit about their workshops and programs they have going on at the Lightsmith shop in St. Paul.

I know that I missed a lot of people. I wish that I could have talked to every single person there but there just wasn’t the time (and you would have to read a novel by the end of it!) If you were there, and I haven’t met you yet – I look forward to meeting you in the future!

Please take a moment and check out our website – www.cirkla.com! We are a brand new Twin Cities based “body mind spirit planet” business directory and online community. Listing your business in online directories is a big part of getting your name out there in the community and should be a key part of your marketing strategy! Our directory site is a lot of fun! You can post articles, watch videos, listen to podcasts and find other people who have an interest in these things through other social networks! I look forward to seeing you out there!

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Writing Comments

If you write a blog, you know the value of a comment – good or bad.

“That stinks.” or “I liked your piece about the rainforest.” Anything. Please. Comment! As writers, we don’t know who you are when you quietly visit. Maybe it is my teaching background and my constant monitoring of feedback that makes this drive me crazy. Although it is only a virtual room, it is a room in space where we are sitting here together on your computer screen. I wrote this piece for you.

Alright. We got that now. So here is my request. Write a comment today as you visit my blog. Tell me who you are and why you like to read blogs and how you discovered this one. If you write a blog yourself, tell us a little about your blog and give us a link so we can check you out. If you have read any of my other posts down through this page, add a comment on one of them that you like or dislike and tell me what you think. You can be honest. If you think it’ s crap, say so, but tell me why.

If you are a blog connoisseur, you should also check out my collection of blogs on Cirkla. Just make sure and leave a comment for the author. Give ’em a bone!

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OK, if I actually HAVE any readers, some of you might be disappointed and some of you may be applauding me. (I am not sure, because I have no idea who reads my stuff!) But here’s the point… in honor of the previous title of my blog – MY CHANGING MIND – I have decided to change my mind about the direction of this blog (and the title). Yeah, I suppose that is sort of like McDonalds deciding to do fine dining but I reserve the right since, well, it’s my blog! Plus, I was just having too many conflicts with my wanting to get a better blending of this blog and my business ideas. But here is my promise to you, dear readers – I will continue to keep the flavor that I really do love and I will not make it an altogether serious “business” blog. It will still be fun, it will just have a little more DIRECTION.

So here goes…

Today was my first venture out into the real world to talk to REAL (live) people about my real business idea, Cirkla. So we started in our own locale, of course, with an Expo called Healthy Life Expo in Hopkins, MN. First take was that there was no parking, which meant that there were a lot of people and I did not mind searching for a parking space if it meant that there were a lot of people inside to meet.

For those of you who know me, you know that I am not really a shy person. But when I walked into a huge room full of people that are basically ALL people that I want to meet, I froze a little. Eric was with me, thankfully, or I might have chickened out and gone home. I had my little purse full of business cards, ready to go, but it was a little scary at first. But then I remembered the great words of my favorite marketing guy, Andrew Lock, and just started talking to people to find out what they were about instead of worrying about what I was going to say to them.

The first table we stopped at was Alina Janssen from Brain State Conditioning. They had a computer all rigged up with these colorful lines that demonstrated the states that the brain is in. Alina started explaining to us how, when we are caught up in thinking too much, a part of our brain is in a fog and stays in the theta state. (Uh, yeah! Me!) That seemed to be the theme of the day actually – thinking too much. Good life lessons. Her knowledge of brain states was quite amazing, so I asked her what got her into this work. She went on to explain that she had seen the effects from her own experience and that she thought it was so good that she wanted to get involved with it. She ended up giving us a free CD before we wandered off.

Then, Eric (my fiance and resident business coach) told me that we were doing it wrong – that we are supposed to first circle the entire space and just skim the booths and then dive in for more information. So we skimmed. I am more of a dipper and was easily distracted, but I tried to stay on track! lol…

The next booth we stopped at was Valerie Lis‘ booth. Valerie runs Courses for L.I.F.E. I knew that she was the moderator and was going to be here and I was excited to see her because I hadn’t seen her for several years since we had done The Wellness Circle together about five or six years ago. She is a pillar in our community and does good work. I know from personal experience! She let me attend one of her Silva Method trainings – a weekend workshop to develop and focus the mind to achieve what you want in life. I missed Valerie at the booth, but I met two wonderful ladies – Kathleen Watson and Cheryl Hiltibran. Kathleen works with Client Connections, a company that helps business owners to market their business and Cheryl is a life coach and is currently developing a really beautiful website for all of us (it is there, but under development!). Kathleen also mentioned to us that she has a service for sending cards out for people which sounded interesting.

Then, I wanted to go to see a Q&A workshop. Eric thought that I should stick to networking, but I digressed. It was only an hour, right? It was interesting to see how a panel of people, somewhat unrelated, were able to come together (unrehearsed) and present a single topic – Healthy MIND. Since I have done presentations myself, both by myself and with another person, I thought it was interesting to look at it from the perspective of five people coming together to lead a discussion and to see how they managed it. I thought they did pretty well, actually, considering that there were five of them and it was a completely random session with questions coming from the participants. Valerie Lis was the Moderator, so she introduced people and did her best to keep things on track. First, we had Lisa Cotter who was there to share her ideas of using the mind to collaborate with other people. She has a restaurant called Q in St. Paul and is working on spreading kindness all over the cities. Then there was Larry Caldwell, from Acupuncture Healthcare right in Hopkins. Larry spoke about how we carry emotional states in our bodies that need to be released. He discussed using meditation, tai chi and acupuncture techniques to help you unblock these areas. Next was Hanakia Zedek, a Philosopher/Poet who shared his ideas on how to just let go of thoughts that control you so that you can be freed in your mind and in your body. Then, Judith Froemming, who works with Infinite Mind Hypnosis and Coaching. Judith recommends going back to the breath to settle the mind. She also suggested that you forgot how to be serious, which I thought was some great advice! Christine Naylor on the panel talked about maintaining a sense of balance in your life to keep things moving forward. All five of them took gratious turns answering questions about breath, energy and eliminating blockages.

After the Q&A workshop, we found the food area (I was starving) and I was not only impressed by the selection but also by the prices! Wow. I think I paid $3 for a bowl of soup! Unheard of, except maybe at a school parent’s night fundraiser or something! Wow. (They also had delicious peanut butter chocolate bars, but I am not mentioning those…oops!) I’ve been to other expos where the food was either not available or bad. This was good, cheap food – a win in my book!

OK, I know that this is getting long, but you know how you go for a walk and you get so far along and it is shorter to keep going than it is to turn back? Well, I started something and now I have to finish! Only a few more to go. I just want to honor the people that I met today. I only have a few more, so go get a cup of coffee or tea and then come back and read the rest… these are some cool people! You will get a lot more fun out of it if you actually click on some links, though, so if you’ve just been reading it – stop! It’s pretty boring that way! Go back and click on some of the links. Check out what these people are offering the world. I promise, I only have a few more…

So then Eric and I saw this really pretty booth called Aihu. Tara LeQue was there and she was really a sweetheart. We got pampered too! Aihu was actually created right in our neighborhood! (We live in Mound, so I consider Delano a neighborhood!) If you are not from Minnesota, that is a joke that you may have missed. We live quite a ways out of the Twin CIties (Minneapolis & St. Paul) and so a city that is 20 miles from us is actually a neighbor. The Aihu booth was both beautiful and smelled good, two things that are a win in my book. I hate chemically smells. This stuff smells quite intoxicating. So she puts some salty stuff on our hands to rub off the exfoliants and some moisturizer. That was my favorite booth. Tara told us that she does these little open houses and, as much as I am not a fan of Tupperware type parties, I am definitely tempted. Since she doesn’t have her own website, here is her email if you want a really yummy smelling party with free promos for selling to your friends. I can verify that these are some really good smelling products!

We also met a few more people, too many to mention in depth except to maybe provide you some other links to check out in your spare time. There was Kathy, the Kettleball Lady from the new Center for Harmonious Living, and the people from Twin Cities Naturally, a fairly new magazine in town out to give the Edge a run for their money, and a neat little booth about alien radio shows (ABOUT aliens, not BY aliens). There was also John the PsyGuy doing readings for people in his spare time and Dr. Olinda with the pretty Italian name doing chiropractic consultations.

Well, that is about it. My first expo as a soon-to-be-hopefully super popular website and directory owner. (Yeah, can’t forget my own plug..lol!) Hey, it’s all in good fun and that’s what expos are for, aren’t they? Goodl luck, all of you fellow business owners! I hope that you all have a wonderful and prosperous year.

Epilogue… while you’re here, read some of my other blogs (below) and please leave a comment! Feel free to tell me that I am an absolute doofus for changing my blog or for making all my readers hear a blow by blow on my expo visit. Just remember that it could have been YOU that I was highlighting here and that would have been kinda fun to see your name in lights, so to speak, without paying for it or asking for it! And people say that there is never a free lunch! Here’s one! My way of sending back some of the kindness for the cheap lunch they served me at the expo today. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

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I almost missed writing this week. Almost. Then the Universe intervened and I was actually given the topic when I found a website that listed TODAY as Blog Action Day, where people all over the world write about a singular topic. This year its POVERTY.

My first question is, when did they pick this topic?! If it’s like many things, it is planned out well in advance, which I chose to believe that it was just random fate that the world is struggling with this topic and it just so happens to be our collective blog topic around the world today. By the way, thanks to the Zen Habits blogger for reminding of my evening’s destiny. If not for you, I would have surely forgotten to post my blog entry today.

Well, the world is going broke. You should know that I am an American, so in my world, that is very much true. For a select few nations, they may be looking on and shaking their heads but for many many many people around the world, we are starting to take a look in the financial mirror. Good thing, too. I, for one, started this dark night of the soul financial journey well before everyone else, so I am actually doing a little better, personally. At least for the moment. I actually work in a financial services firm, so the daily state of the stock market is actually discussed NORMALLY and these days you just can’t get away from it, so I have decided to plunge in headfirst and check it out. Take this opportunity to learn a few things. Here is one article I felt really did a good job to portray the state of the economy (US). How to Rebuild America

I don’t have a functioning television in my home (choice, not poverty) so we keep up with the news via the internet. I shudder to think what the American television media is doing with this, but I have really NO exposure to it so I don’t know. What I DO know is that Iceland is in terrible shape. They had three banks and they all went bust. Thoughts of Great Depression are looming in many people’s heads…but you know what? The stock market is based on emotions, so people freaking out and the world press highlighting the problems isn’t really helping it out. Some countries shut down the markets. Not a bad plan. Let’s go a step further and lock everyone in their homes and throw their credit cards in a block of ice in the freezer. No wait! We can’t do that because then the global markets would just shut down and everything would come to a standstill! What to do? What to do?! It is a bit of a pickle. But, I can say for myself that this global situation has taught me two things: 1) I have it pretty dang good, and 2) if my whole financial world crashed down, I would probably survive. My life would just be a heckuva lot different than it is now. I take a moment of silence for all those people in the world right now who are struggling. Many of them for their lives and not much concerned for the state of Wall Street. For them, may all of us learn better to be grateful for our lives instead of looking to what we cannot buy.

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It seems that just about everywhere you look these days, they are lowering the bar. Maybe not in words, but most certainly the bar has been lowered in many ways in today’s society. It is a human tradgedy, in my humble opinion. The bar has been lowered so that everyone still feels good. It’s ridiculous. I think that many people just need a good swift kick in the pants!

I was fortunate enough last week to do an interview with a person who is very successful at my company. It was my first interview and I was not at all sure how it was going to go. I was very impressed. This person is quite young and has surpassed many people in his quest for success. His attitude and assumptions are very simple – He sets his goals high, he keeps track of them and he succeeds. He doesn’t compare himself to others, but rather looks only to meeting and exceeding his own goals. I learned a lot in that conversation.

A few weeks ago my daughter had a big project due in school, so we set aside some time over the weekend and did it. I was proud of her. I know that it wasn’t an easy project, but we made it fun and we did it together so we enjoyed it. She brought it to school a few days before it was due, so she had to set it in a pile to wait for the due date. When the due date finally arrived, they were all supposed to complete the project by presenting their project to the class. Well, the project was due last Friday so I asked my daughter how it went when I saw her again. Here is how it went:

“We didn’t do it,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked, incredulous.

“The teacher said that we aren’t doing it because a lot of the kids didn’t do it.”

“Whaatt?” I asked.

Yikes. What is going on? Why would a classroom teacher do such a thing? Why are the ones who do the work getting punished? This is not just in a child’s classroom. It is everywhere. There is an expression called, “the dumbing down of America”. I think, in many ways, that it is true. Unfortunately. Crappy behavior goes virtually unnoticed and definitely unchecked.

But, guess what?

I am not dumb and neither are you. I, for one, refuse to cave. I loved the words of my colleague, who has never looked to others to determine how high his bar will stand. He pushes himself. You realize at some point in your life that you will really get nowhere if you look to others to compare. People who achieve great things don’t generally waste their time in comparison.

As a mother, I can only hope that my actions and attitudes with my daughter will somehow echo in her life enough to guide her in the right direction. We were both disappointed with the teacher’s decision, but we can still be proud that we worked hard and completed something. Every day, what pushes me to do my best is knowing that she is there watching me and may eventually behave as I do – good and bad. Someday she will be on her own and I hope that she will take pride in how she lives her life. That is all I ask. Just give her that one thing to live by.

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