The Value of a Simple List

Life is too short to ignore that which brings us joy. We deserve to engage with our hearts within the context of our lives. This core belief points directly to the value of a simple list.

A list means the path is opening before our eyes. The words that come to us immediately, fleetingly, are enough. Deeply insightful opportunities await. An array of ideas, from which we can choose.

Elegant by way of its simplicity, a list means our best is always good enough. A simple list affirms that we already carry the knowledge we need to move our soul’s purpose forward in the present.

Here are 23 ways that I bring consciousness to the art of simple listing to:

  1. Focus attention for manifestation
  2. Brainstorm anything
  3. Yield a set of finite results
  4. Explore a thematic approach
  5. Establish the realm of possibility
  6. Narrow a range of options
  7. Reinforce positive potential outcomes
  8. Function as a checksheet
  9. Identify problems or pain points
  10. Track work flow by process and team member
  11. Keep myself in “Choice”
  12. Explore potential solutions to a problem
  13. See fears and blocks
  14. Affirm positive beliefs about self or situations
  15. Identify next steps or options
  16. Render big ideas more manageable
  17. Know what is sufficient
  18. Exhaust a topic
  19. Examine probable scenarios
  20. Consider the road less traveled
  21. Establish group mind for collaboration
  22. Yield unforseen insights for individuals
  23. Move forward with ease and clarity

A simple list, once created, can be:

  • Ranked
  • Checked off
  • Circled “best of”
  • Step by Step
  • Categorized
  • Prioritized
  • Tasked
  • Assigned
  • Shared
  •  Chronological

One I have a simple list, I use it as a proactive, living, creation tool to activate the next steps in my heart’s desires while on my entrepreneurial journey. Here are 5 things I do with my lists:

  1. Transfer the actionable items to my calendar
  2. Make optimal choices for future action
  3. Rule out options that have low return on investment
  4. Make decisions based on pros and cons
  5. Generate new knowledge

For me, the value of the simple list is that it ultimately establishes order out of chaos, to find silence in the chatter, to capture our thoughts with immediacy, and systematically make sound decisions.

What are the ways you value the simple list?

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence based marketing public relations pro, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International,http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

(C) 2017 BY SHERRI L. MCLENDON, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINT WITH PERMISSION.

That’s Entertainment: Tap Dancing Around the Issues of Everyday Life

Miss Barbara, my neighbor, leans over the fence to watch me chase chickens every chance she gets. I’ve got a variety of routines. Her favorite is the one in which I wield a big black umbrella, flap it back and forth, and make hawk noises to scare “The Girls,” six beautiful fluffy white-and-tinted hens, hand raised by yours truly, back into their cozy condo.

She missed the show yesterday when a real hawk showed up and swooped down into the chicken corral. The feathers flew, but he went away with talons empty. My routine varied to include a floppy yellow dust mop and percussive “shoo” noises. My girls performed beautifully, running for cover just as they’d been trained.

My fear? Someone’s going to install a hidden camera and my 6-year-old will see me on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Heaven forbid. Of course, my pied piper clucking and my grandmama’s fail safe “chick-chick-chick-chick-UN” calls are worthy of a You Tube video or Grand Ol’ Opry appearance.

I’m known for my studious nature, but the time I spent in dance, theater and entertainment industries means I value showmanship and a good laugh in a variety of circumstances. That’s why this week when the plumbing dissolved into a swimming pool in the basement, I chose to laugh about it. That’s why this week every time the roofing job gets post-poned, I look for the sunny side up instead of dwelling on the Humpty Dumpty side of things.

Entertaining women are anything but boring. We can tap dance their way around any subject, or spotlight a personal passion. We consciously create memories weaving the fabric of the meaning in our lives. The most entertaining women, who we may know as lifelong learners, dancers, potters, weavers, painters, dreamers, and do-ers, have perfected the arts of reckless abandon, personal expression and manifestation.

Whether sharing a pot of perfectly brewed tea as we cultivate our friendships, or hanging over the garden fence with the woman next door, entertaining the important women in our lives may be as simple as recognizing the significance in our everyday dramas, then finding what makes the serious parts laughable.

But a subject we shouldn’t tap dance around is the need to respect and protect our uniqueness in our businesses. A hard-won lesson I’ve learned first-hand as an entertaining woman, whether performing, speaking, or writing with a client or collaborator, is the need to “get it in writing.” No matter how simplistic, contractually defining the responsibilities and ownership of any work for hire agreement or collaborative venture is important. The terms need to be spelled out by individuals who enter into creative partnerships of any kind.

I learned this lesson the hard way. In the early ‘90s, I pioneered a publication series which gathered and aggregated data for sale to business owners within a specific industry as a service. My co-collaborator offered to do the computer work if I’d create the information stream and do the marketing. As soon as the first month’s edition was ready to go, she copyrighted my work under her name, grabbed my marketing strategy (I’d trained her), and earned a living off the fruits of my intellectual property.

I didn’t see it coming.

Yesterday, a writer friend of mine told me the same thing happened to her. She recently collaborated on a movie script with a colleague, and the colleague took the entire work – including my writer friend’s significant contributions – cut her out of the mix, and claimed the work as her own. Now her colleague is collecting the royalties, and my friend’s significant writing contribution? Immaterial.

She didn’t see it coming, either.

So here’s the moral of this slightly scrambled and anything but over easy tale. When we know what the expectations are, it’s easier to mix business and pleasure, to share laughs and build businesses, to create networks of support and community around our work. When those expectations are in writing, and both parties have agreed, we eliminate the same-old-song-and-dance routine and raise the curtain on a new evolutionary leadership that entertaining women consciously craft.

Believe me, any actor worth her salt since Katherine Hepburn became the first woman in Hollywood to manage her own career and contracts knows that necessity is the mother of re-invention: “I have not lived as a woman, I have lived as a man. I’ve done what I damn well please, made enough money to support myself, and I ain’t afraid of being alone.”

Katie would be appalled if she knew ours is a 21st century United States in which women are not guaranteed equal rights under the law. That after burning her bridges and setting new, high standards for feminine leadership, we continue to be historic and social minorities, without equal pay for work product, or adequate legislative recourse for creative copyright violations.

She’d likely have something pithy to say about the whole mess. On camera.

Until women require contracts which favor their rights under the law, we’ll continue to give up our power to the benefit of others – a decision which makes about as much sense as running around with an umbrella trying to convince chickens you’re a scary hawk while the neighbors watch you instead of television.

Yeah, right.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., owns and operates Professional Moneta International, http://www.professionalmoneta.com, specializing in mindfulness approaches to marketing public relations and feminine leadership. This article originally appeared in WNC Woman Magazine in November 2012. All rights reserved. Reprint with permission.

In January, She Dreams: An Invitation to Wisdom

In Appalachia in winter, the days dawn with a bright yellow white light that glistens off the damp ground. Snowfall, an invitation to deep insight and inner wisdom, encourages us to shift from planning to doing, from note taking to writing, from inaction to action. As the Epiphany window closes, the door to the next phase of our path and work opens with Capricorn new moon, then unfolds with the sun in Aquarius, followed by a Leo full moon.

Beginner’s mind belongs to the fool, the one who is ignorant of what the future holds, but remains filled with optimism at the journey ahead. As initiates, we enter anew the journey toward Sophia, the divine feminine experience of wisdom.

The Tao Te Ching tells us, “Experience is a river bed. Its source hidden, forever flowing: its entrance, the root of the world. The Way moves within it. Draw upon it; it will not run dry.”

CypressSatillaRiver

A Stand of Cypress on the Satilla River, Georgia

In my mind’s eye, the tannin-amber mirror of the rivers of my native south Georgia wend their ways through my veins, carrying me back to source, back to the wisdom of my own experience. Wisdom, then, is an initiation into our relationship with Source. Within the wisdom of our experience lies our path, our unfolding journey within the flow of source energy.

Moneta Movement: An Invitation to Inner Wisdom
This year, I invite you to join me for a journey into abundance, prosperity and mindfulness to deepen and expand our relationship with our inner self and what we manifest in the outer world. This is a cyclical process to strengthen our relationships with spirit and money in business. I hope you, too, will participate in the dance. Here’s what you’ll need:
  • An uninterrupted block of time
  • 2 pieces of music for dancing
  • Optional background music while you work
  • The Initiation Questions (below)
  • Your Journal and favorite pen
  • A Candle or Incense
  • A Glass of Water
Gather everything together into a space where you have room to move and a place to write. Start by preparing the space, lighting the candle or incense, and working with any inspiration or guidance you chose. Put on the first piece of music, and dance to clear space in your body and mind. Then, as the music closes, sit with your journal and answer the questions until each one feels complete. Drink your water, as it will help your thoughts flow. Allow it to nurture you deeply. Pay attention to the places where you feel resistance, and put a STAR by those, as these feelings mask the greatest opportunities for growth in the New Year. When it’s time to put down your pen, dance in the new with the second piece of music you’ve chosen. Dance until you feel inner alignment with the understandings which have emerged.
Moneta Manifestation Questions
Remember, in every end there is a beginning, so the first stage in the “Invitation to Wisdom” is reflection. Your answers may reflect on your personal or professional lives, in whatever way these answers show up.
1. What trials have I met in the previous year?
2. What gifts have I gathered through my experience?
3. What new knowledge have I obtained through coaching, training or education?
4. In ways do I express gratitude for these experiences?
5. How did I celebrate my successes?
6. What tools do I need to navigate the change which lies ahead?
7. Which tools do I already have, and which might I acquire?
8. What do I need to release? (Use the coming Leo full moon to release in order to expand.)
9. What needs to be re-membered, or made whole?
10. What is the transformation I dream of this year?
 Sherri L. McLendon, MA, @SherriMoneta, is a conscious business coach, marketing PR consultant, and content strategist near Asheville, N.C. http://www.professionalmoneta.com

Letting the BusYness of BusIness Fall Away

For most of August, I’ve been missing. The last of the summer garden awaits in the refrigerator, my newsletter and blog lie quietly like the first quilts across the foot of the bed to abate the bite of autumn, and my presence is going deeper as I focus on self-care.

I’ve had ‘flu and goo. Taken together, they and the cough have lasted literally weeks.

What I’m learning is sweet and simple. The foundation of a woman’s business is her self-care rituals, especially in matters of food, clothing, movement and the tending of her creative spirit. Without those too-oft overlooked pieces in place, we too easily fall ill.

There’s more than one kind of illness. When we forget to laugh, make time for joy, and look within, we effectively sabotage ourselves, and our businesses. We’ve been too strong for too long. We’ve forgotten how to play.

Image

Sherri nurtures her soul in nature in this candid photo taken by her 6 year old son, Riley, last weekend.

Just before I became ill, my sister-friend Beth Pecoraro stopped by to visit on her way to Sterling College in Vermont, where she’s immersing herself in her writing life. The joy of that one day visit went “click” somewhere deep inside, and I’ve begun noticing all the places where I mistakenly believe strength comes from self-denial. I’ve been giving each of those places within my psyche and soul what they need, when they need it. That means… other things, the busy things, are falling away in prominence.

Yes, I’ll recoup my investment in my health tenfold. Very soon, I’ll ask for and receive more help and support to turn up the volume on my mission and message. I’ll work magic and create miracles. But right now, at a time of balance, I’m paying attention to places where the wheel has more warp than weft, and smoothing the imbalances, returning to Nature and Nurture as direct connection to source.

I invite you to spend some time this week in letting the busyness of your business fall away, too. You may be grateful to see the beauty that’s left at the center. Embrace that beauty, and dance it in.

Let the Busy in Your Business Fall Away

Self care rituals form the foundation of a woman’s business

Return to nature and nurture as direct connection to source

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, OM is a conscious business strategist, coach, and writer in Asheville, NC. She owns and operates Professional Moneta International, specializing in helping exceptional entrepreneurs with a higher calling accelerate their money-making communication strategies and deepen their mindfulness practices in business so they can help more people, grow personally and professionally, and improve their sense of value and worth. Her clients need the expertise and support necessary create the change they want to be in the world and close the gap between their unlimited growth potential and their current limitations.