A Road To Riches: A Story That Could Change Your Life

My Dad always said, “The beauty of a rose is not in the color of its petal, but in the prick of its thorn.”

When my first book came out in 2014, I was at the top of my world. Life was good. I was driving my little silver Volvo, held a membership at the elite social club and the press loved me. I thought I was living the dream.

A few months down the road silence covered my world. The press interviews stopped, books didn’t sell and clients stopped calling. The only thing you could hear within the silence was money being sucked out of my bank account. I lost everything.

I did everything I could to hold it together; preserving every ounce of ego I had by continuing to show up and be seen as the successful business woman everyone thought I was. Meanwhile, my utilities were being shut off, my cell phone service disconnected, I had no money for food and not a dime for my mortgage. I was dead broke. The only way I could make a phone call was though Google Voice, and even then no one would answer my call because it was an unidentified number.

One day during the height of my dismay, a friend of mine said, “Gina, sometimes you have to ask yourself: is this an odd thing or a God thing.” I knew in that moment this was a God thing. I had a significant lesson to learn. I just didn’t know what that lesson was…yet.

About a week later D-Day fell upon me. Sitting in my office that I would soon move out of, I broke into a million pieces after realizing I was out of toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper! The Universe will use anything to get your attention.

A friend of mine was coming over that evening, and I realized that I was completely out of toilet paper, and I had no no money, not even a dime to my name to buy more. This little realization cracked me right open, and I found myself down on my knees with tears erupting from my eyes as I begged God for mercy.

I just kept saying over and over: “Mercy. I can’t do this anymore, God. I can’t do it. Everything is crumbling down around me. I need help! Help me! Why won’t you help me! I’ve done everything I’m suppose to do. Why won’t you help me.” This was the first time I asked God for help. The request came from the depth of my soul. My whole body was melted onto the floor in complete exhaustion.

Once I could finally breathe again, I mustered up enough energy to walk downstairs. Turning the corner, I noticed my friend Rick sitting in the coffee shop. A usual hangout for this comedian professor, he was sitting in the front window as though he was waiting for me.

So for the first time I swallowed my pride and walked inside to ask Rick for help. I told him what was going on and asked if he had $2.00 I could have to buy some toilet paper. Without question, he reached into his pocket and gave me the $2.00. And then I went to Walgreens and bought 4 rolls of toilet paper!

That night I headed to the elite social club in my little silver Volvo to have drinks with my friends. Friends who had no idea what I was going through. In one of my darkest moments, there I was, in the midst of a financial crises drinking wine (that someone else purchased) on a patio surrounded by more money than God. The irony was not wasted on me.

The next morning I told another friend what I was going through. No money for food or gas, and having no idea how I would feed my then 7-year-old daughter, I was beside myself and in tears. My friend graciously gave me $100. That $100, along with the $2.00 Rick gave me for toilet paper, seeded my turning point.

With that $100 I learned to love Walmart. Historically an active anti Walmart protester, I now got it. It was the only place I could go where $100 would allow me to scrape by. That day at Walmart I was able to get food, a very inexpensive cell phone plan using my old Blackberry (a huge dose of humble pie for this girl) and bare essentials for just living.

Then I called my Mom. Oh, the dread! Not because my Mom isn’t wonderful, but because my ego was getting smashed with Thor’s hammer at the very thought of having to ask for the money. I asked, and she graciously loaned me $3,000 so I could turn on my utilities and at least pay a month’s worth of basic expenses. Even after the $3,000 loan I still didn’t have enough to pay for my mortgage or keep my car payment current.

Now let’s be clear, for months I was looking for work with no success. Every gig that I got close to starting fell though for strange reasons. Even my corporate friends couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t landed a job. They would say things like, “Gina, you’re the most employable person we know. Companies would be crazy not to hire you.” Maybe the Universe didn’t think I was ready? Or maybe it was because my ego was still paralyzed in fear because I believed my book failed. I believed that I was a failure who didn’t deserve a job, and I was creating a dark reality for myself and my daughter. This fact was not yet part of my awareness, but I know now I was unconsciously creating my own hell.

One day a friend took me grocery shopping. Filled a cart with cans, frozen food and dry goods so my daughter and I could eat. That night during dinner he recommended I get a temp job. I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that myself! I thought: temping! I can do that. At this point I would do anything…flip burgers, clean toilets…anything (but not anything).

The following day I applied for every temp job I was remotely qualified to do. I was used to getting consulting rates of up to $250 per hour (said the ego), and I was now desperately applying for $12 per hour temp jobs. The $3,000 my Mom gave me was gone, my Craigslist inventory had run dry, and getting approved for state assistance was moving slower than molasses. It was either a lower wage temp job, a homeless shelter or living under a bridge.

Around this time something shifted. I kept thinking about how grateful I was for my community of friends and family. A luxury many people don’t have. Without that community I truly would have been homeless. At the very least, I always knew I could move in with my Mom. And for that I was grateful. In fact, I began taking this gratitude thing very seriously and decided to focus my energy on being grateful for all that I had, rather than living in the dark story that I was allowing to consume my life. After all, at this point the only thing I could control was my state of mind.

With each morning of gratitude I began to feel better. I even started to say thank you for the things I wanted in life that had not yet arrived. My favorite mantra became: thank you, thank you, thank you that I have a job I love that pays my bills! I must have said this mantra 100 times a day.

Then one day I received a phone call from an angel. Her name was Lisa from the temp agency. She said with a laugh, “I received your resume 30 times for 30 different jobs. I thought, this woman applies for jobs like I do! Let me tell you something, Gina….no one is going to hire you. If you want a job, you need to dumb yourself down. On paper you’re too intimidating to the hiring managers. And you look too smart for the job.” I said, “Seriously? I thought I did.”

Lisa rewrote my resume. I never saw that “revised” piece of wonderful. All I know is that it worked. She landed me an interview for a contract analyst job. Between you and me, I had no idea what an analyst even did. But I was going to be the best damn analyst this world had ever seen!

The day of my interview I work up early, prepared my notes and headed out the door two hours before I actually needed to leave. I figured I would just hang out in my car meditating or rehearse self-motivating mantras before the meeting. Ready to take on the world, I walked outside, looked around, and my car was gone. Nowhere in sight.

I stood there numb and then just started laughing. No idea what to do, I just walked around my house in hope that I parked somewhere else; trying to convince myself that maybe I parked in front of the house and forgot. It didn’t take too long for the realization to sink in…my little silver Volvo had been repossessed.

With my interview now less then two hours away, I walked next door to my neighbor’s house while pleading with the Universe to have someone, anyone home who would allow me to use their car. I knocked with success! My neighbor Justin lent me his car no questions asked.

My pleading with the Universe continued on the drive to the interview. “Please God, have this woman offer me the job right on the spot. I know that never happens nowadays, but please just give me this. Please, please, please.” I’ll spare you the rest of my plea.

I arrived to the interview on time, and found myself sitting across another angel that would change my life. This angel’s name was Barb. We hit it off, and then I was given a gift. After the interview she immediately offered me the job. Miracles do happen.

Over the next month I rode the city bus into work. A 90-minute journey every morning and every night that I soon learned to love. I also learned how to rent hourly “cars to go” if I ever found myself in a pinch. A genius idea.

In my pass time my daughter and I walked everywhere. And we began to look forward to our adventures together. We’d walk the city streets talking, window shop at neighborhood boutiques and hitting all the garage sales on the way to the park. Everyone thought she was so cute, and her seven year old cuteness won free stuff at what seemed like every little stop we made.

One day on another adventure we decided to check out a near by park a few miles away. It was a fabulous meca of jungle gyms, slides and swings. But the “old school” kind made of metal. I was swimming in nostalgia…remembering who I was and where I came from.

That day, once again found myself on my knees with tears running down my face. But this time it was different, I was different. With absolute gratitude I started to talk to God again, “Thank you for taking it all away. Thank you for taking away the money, the car, and stripping my life of all the material items I had been hiding behind for so long. I lost what I thought was everything, but what I gained was everything in this world I could ever want or need. Thank you.” I finally got it.

From that moment on my finances began to improve. The following week I met with my boss and recommended that she needed a change and communications consultant to help her with the team. Barb said, “You’re right. That’s exactly what we need.” I replied, “Lucky for you that’s exactly what I am.” Without skipping a beat Barb smiled and said, “I thought you were cheap.” She had me back up to a fair consulting wage within two weeks.

I spent the next few weeks digging out of debt and loving every moment of it. I was able to get my house out of foreclosure. And I even got my little silver Volvo back from the “repo man”–moments before it was being sent to auction. When I told my daughter we were getting the car back she cried. Unlike her tears when she found out we lost the car and she would have to walk everywhere, these tears were because she was worried that we wouldn’t be able to go on our walking adventures anyone. This experience changed her just as much as it changed me. I assured her that our walking adventures would continue…and years later we’re still walking.

My financial depression of 2014 taught me an unbelievable amount of life lessons. Money management. Practicality. Asking for help. Humility. Self-worth. And how to be grateful and show gratitude for all that I am. Most important: I learned how open my heart and have complete trust in God and the Universe. To have faith that everything is happening for a reason. And that no matter what, I would always be taken care off.

For nine months, as hard as it was to go through this gut wrenching experience, I never lost my house, always had food on the table, had just enough items to sell on Craiglist to take care of those out-of-the-blue expenses, and I had an amazing community supporting me along the way.

I’m often asked how I kept my sanity through those nine months. The answer is breath, gratitude and compassion onto myself–all equally important. I had to learn how to sit down and breathe, continuous breathing through the darkest hours. I had to train my mind to focus only on what I was grateful for having in my current state and the positive experiences I would be receiving in the future. Lastly, I had to start treating myself with compassion. Which meant I had to remember that I was a human being deserving of love and grace.

ModWoman, I don’t know what you’re going though, but I do know the beauty of the rose is not in the color of its petal, but in the prick of its thorn. Your darkest moments provide you the opportunity to grow into the woman you’re meant to become. A woman who’s here to change the world. Breathe. Give gratitude. And most of all have compassion onto yourself. You got this.

A Life Of Flow: It Feels Good, And It’s A Choice

This Saturday morning I’m sitting outside on my deck. My two pups wagging their tails. And my daughter chilling out reading her much loved book Wings of Fire. It’s a great morning. My life is in flow.

Over the years I’ve had to learn the concept of flow. The idea that when things in life are running smoothly you’re in flow, and when there not, you’re not.

Flow is a choice. To be in flow means you’re not forcing things to happen. You don’t have to control every granular detail. And you’re not exhausting yourself by chasing that “thing” in your life that always seems like it’s running away from you–it might be running away for a reason, and you most likely will be glad it ran away when you look back years from now.

Flow does not mean a perfect life. It means that you’re checking in with yourself and only choosing to do things that feel right for you. If it doesn’t feel right you choose to say no. And when chllanges arise, becuase they do, you choose to breathe; taking in the opportunty to learn the lesson and grow. And with each decision to breathe rather an react, and with each decision to only do those things that feel right for YOU, you create life of flow.

Having a life of flow is a choice. No one is going to grant you peace, calm and serenity. You have to choose it. And when you do, it feels so good.

So, what are you going to choose, ModWoman?

Photo by Aleksandr Neplokhov on Pexels.com

Ideas: How To Bring Them To Life

My girlfriend Lindsay is an inspiration. She gets an idea and then goes for it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But that doesn’t scare her. She likes to experiment and just see what happens. ModWoman, this is what you call living life.

You see, Lindsay has the courage to just go for it. Her ideas aren’t massive million dollar investments. She’s not mortgaging her home for that next adventure. She’s simply activating a constant flow of ideas no matter how small. Ideas, that one by one elevate her life, making everything in her life better. Lindsay is a ModWoman CEO.

We’re here on this big beautiful Earth to learn, grow and experience. The journey of life is filled with countless opportunities to activate ideas that will take you right to your dream.

Here are three easy steps to bring your ideas to life:

  1. Write down 20 ideas. If you have less, great! Just write down all the ideas you’ve been thinking about over the years, months or days. Then cross off all the ideas except one idea that you know can come to life in one month or less. Here’s a little hint: one big idea can be broken down into multiple little ideas.
  2. Write down up to 5 actions: Write up to five specific actions you’re going to take within the next month to make it happen. It doesn’t matter how small the action just write it down.
  3. Now, start moving! For 30-days just focus on this one idea that you know will happen by the end of the 30-days. You don’t need to tell anyone, just do it. And no matter how small the idea, relish in the moment when you get to step back and see this idea brought to life!

What are you waiting for? Start living and go for it.

Self-deprecating Statements To Stop—#1 Will Surprise You

I once had a colleague who continued to put herself down during meetings and in 1:1 conversations. She had mastered the art of self-deprecation. Criticizing her own actions and abilities in front of others was her way of building rapport and gaining a laugh from others.

What she didn’t realize was how harmful this habit of self-deprecation was to her overall well-being. She was miserable in her job and in a constant state of victimhood; not understanding that her reality was a direct reflection of how she was treating herself.

I see this habit of self-deprecation in so many women–intentionally or even unconsciously putting themselves down in an attempt to win others over. This technique will pull you away from your goals and tear your dreams down to a crumble.

Here’s the message to all you ModWomen CEOs: If you want to achieve your dreams you need to only use high-vibe words when speaking about yourself to yourself or to others. Respect yourself Wonder Woman. If you don’t, know one else will.

A quick list of self-deprecating statements to stop right now.

    “I’m sorry”: This is the worst of all the statements. Many women misuse the word sorry. Saying it all the time for any reason. Sorry, sorry, sorry. It becomes such a habit that some women even start saying sorry for other people…even when a sorry isn’t necessary. Knock it off. Every time you say sorry you weaken yourself and give away your power. Now, if you honestly hurt someone, yes, say sorry. But if sorry just keeps flying out of your mouth because it feels like something you “have to say”, or automatically say because of a mental program, it’s time to stop. Choose a different phrase in replace of it. My favorite is, Thank you! Now that’s a super high-vibe phrase that has everyone feeling good.
    “I’m just bad at (x), that’s why this is happening”: When you blame yourself for everyday occurrences, the comic relief and rapport building you think is benefiting your relationships is actually destroying the most important relationship you have in your life–the one with yourself. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself it’s not possible to have a healthy relationship with anyone else. That includes your kids, family, significant others, friends or even your dog. Again, this statement gives away your power and hurts your soul. Try replacing it with an authentic statement like, the truth. “This is happening because the technology isn’t working.” “This is happening because my dog ate my homework!” You get my point.
    Anything negative about your body: Your body was the first spiritual gift you were given in this life. It’s beautiful, magical and strong. Most importantly, it’s alive! Respect it. Love it. And be kind to it with your words. There are millions of self-deprecating statements women say about their bodies at any given time…and each one is as harmful as the other. Tell your body everyday five things you like about it. Every morning, look in the mirror and practice giving your body compliments as though it was someone else. Do this for 30-days and I guarantee you’re going to feel better about yourself inside and out.

You are an amazing powerful being, ModWoman. You deserve to hear words of kindness and respect not only from others, but from yourself.

Accelerate The Path To Your Dreams

Saying no is a #1 ModWoman CEO trait.

If you don’t put boundaries around your own time no one else will. In fact, having time boundaries is the only way you’ll accomplish your goals and live your dream.

You get to choose how you spend your time. Be careful of falling victim to excuses like… I have to do all this other stuff first because others are counting on me. My kids are more important than my dreams. They pay me, so they get all of my time.

You have to put a stake in the ground that you and your dreams are more important than anything and everything in your life. When you’re achieving your goals and living your dream everything else around you gets better! This includes your friends, family, kids, etc. If you’re falling victim to time sucking excuses, you’re choosing everyone and everything over yourself.

To be a ModWoman CEO you need to put yourself first. This means you need to reframe how you view your value. You’re more precious than gold. Now it’s time to own it.

Here are three simple things you can do right now to accelerate the path to your big dream:

  1. Definitive Plan: Write down your definitive goal and plan to achieve your goal. Read your goal every morning when you wake up, over lunch and every night before you go to bed. This is a technique for programming your subconscious mind. As you recite your goal and plan every morning, noon and night your actions will begin the follow. Things you once did that got in your way of achieving your goal become less important and even irrelevant. It becomes easier to say no because your mind won’t think twice before doing so.
  2. Reframe Your Value: Reframing your value can’t happen until you have a definitive plan. Your plan is step 1. Once you have your plan you need to treat yourself, your time, and your plan like gold. Nothing comes before it. Period! That doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids, pets, family and friends. Keep those cuddles in. And have that glass of wine with your girlfriends. But your priority “to do” list is you and your plan. If you’re having trouble comprehending how in the world this is possible, read last week’s blog post: An Affair With Your Passion.
  3. Say No: Say no to anything that doesn’t help you achieve your definitive goal and items on your plan. Yes, you may still have to work and pay your bills, but how you choose to organize your schedule within or around that job is up to you. Create sacred time on your calendar and fiercely protect it…this is called boundaries. Say no to anything that tries to sneak into your sacred time, and only allow yourself to use that time for activities that will help you reach your definitive goal.

You got this, ModWoman!

Motivation, Just When You Need It

‘Just do it.’ Easier said than done, but true.

Everything you want to accomplish starts with a single step. So what do you do when it feels like your body is a heavy weight that only wants to take a nap and veg out watching Netflix?

This is a true reality for many of us climbing the pyramid to reach our big dream. Here are a few helpful tips to keep you on track and moving forward.

  1. Listen to your body: Your body is smart. Are you pushing yourself too hard? Do you actually need to sleep? Be kind to yourself. Before passing judgment on yourself ask your body what it needs. Sometimes vegging out on Netflix is exactly what you need to conquer the feat in front of you tomorrow.
  2. Nourish your body: Nutrition plays a vital role in your energy and motivation. How much water have you had today? Are you still drinking that sugar filled soda? Eating that bag of potato chips? Drinking too much wine? Or are you not eating enough? Your body needs a healthy amount of calories mixed with good proteins, carbs and fats to stay energized. You are what you eat. See where you can make shifts and feel your energy rise.
  3. Walk your body: Your body was your first spiritual gift coming into this life, and it’s specifically designed to achieve your big life purpose. But it needs your help. You need to keep it healthy, maintained and moving. If you haven’t already, take yourself on a brisk walk or run. As you elevate your blood flow you elevate your motivation levels and get things done! For women, especially as we get older, 300 minutes a week (43 minutes a day) of exercise is the ultimate Wonder Woman goal.

Getting motivated is not always easy, but there’s usually a biological reason for the lethargy. Motivation elevates as your body feels taken care of and nourished. Start with the basics above. Then jump in and ‘just do it’!

The New Vibrant You

To get to the top of the pyramid in this life you have to purge the toxic or low-vibe energy that’s looming around you and choose to surround yourself with high-vibe things you love.

It’s time to upgrade! Not only material things, but people too.

Here’s a little secret… the new vibrant energy that’s going to usher you forward in life can’t come in until there’s room for it to exist. It’s time to make that purge list and get moving.

Here’s a quick sample list to get you started. Commit to the your list and choose to be the new vibrant you!

  • Clear your Closets: Get rid of all the items that don’t feel good to you anymore. Give them gratitude then give them away. This includes your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, basement and even the car and garage. Once you get ride of everything only replace them with what you love.
  • Clear your Body: Choose to be healthy. It’s a choice and society (as well as some family and “friends”) certainly won’t help you with this… Choose to throw out low-vibe food like soda and processed foods. Consider an alcohol detox. Drink at least 64oz of water a day. And if you can, eat only organic fruits, veggies and meats.
  • Clear your Relationships: It’s time to cut the cords. If you have relationships that you know are unhealthy and energetically depleting you need to remove yourself from those relationships. No one will make this decision for you except you, especially not the “friend” or family member you’re thinking about. To make it to the top, you need to have a high-vibe tribe that supports and authentically loves you every step of the way.

Alight ModWoman, go be that new vibrant you!

An Affair With Your Passion

Some of the best advice I ever received to help me reach my goals….have an affair with your passion.

An affair is often fueled with anticipation; sneaking around to have desire filled moments. Taking every opportunity to write a text, take a call or see that person who captivates your mind. Rearranging your schedule for that one little getaway that feeds your appetite for adventure.

What would happen if you had an affair with your passion?

Sneak away to write that book, make music or check that certain something off your bucket list. Rearrange your schedule no matter what to go create that one thing that feeds your appetite for adventure.

Turn your passion into a love affair, ModWoman. Captivate your mind with the vision of you at the top of the pyramid, looking over your creations that changed the world.

What is a ModWoman CEO?

She knows she’s here for a reason; to make an impact on this Earth. No matter what it takes, she’s going to live her purpose, accomplish her dreams and achieve her goals; unapologetically and authentically.

She is light. She is expansion. She is a warrior. She is strength, perseverance and resiliency. She is love, nurturing and gentle. Beautifully bold. Intuitive. Empathic. She knows in every ounce of her being that she’s destined for something great—and in this life she will achieve that greatness in big ways while honoring herself and humanity.

She knows that to reach the top of the pyramid and achieve her highest possible reality, she must continue to expand in consciousness. Continious expansion, continuous growth, spiritually, physically, psychologically and financially. She stops at nothing to reach life mastery, and she does so with balance, grace and dignity.

She is a force like no other. She is a beacon of light. She is ModWoman CEO. She is you.

Your High-Vibe Tribe

As I get older my friends have become of greater value in my life. The quantity of friends has decreased, but the quality of those friendships has certainly increased.

Quality friendships are key for any Wonder Woman who is striving toward her goals and dreams. Having those close friends to laugh with you until you cry while drinking wine and eating ice cream is both therapeutic and fun. But most important, the collective energy of a high-vibe tribe will accelerate your growth. Having a tribe that “gets you”, supports you and loves you fuels your soul.

Now here’s the key. To achieve this amazing circle of high-vibe friends you need boundaries. We’ve all had those “friends” who are more toxic to our life than healthy, and if you’re not careful just one toxic person can zap your energy and hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Set and honor your personal boundaries now and you will soon see yourself surrounded by friendships that elevate who you are as a woman, and a high-vibe tribe that will help you accelerate your growth as a human being.