LBjorseth_w_mikeToday we offer our Baby Boomer Women friends an opportunity to meet Lillian Bjorseth, a newer NABBW member who has made a profession of training business people to network effectively.

These days, Lillian is putting her expertise to work to help 50+ women, a demographic group who have been long been under-appreciated in the workplace, but are now finding even more challenges due to issues like ageism, and the need to stay current and be relevant.

As Lillian puts the finishing touches on plans for her current venture, a day-long conference dubbed “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50” to be held April 17, 2015 at DePaul University, on their Naperville, Illinois campus, we knew  it was high time we introduced you to this marketing dynamo with a powerful message for all of us.

Especially because it’s not too late to sign up to attend this event, and benefit from her roster of top-notch speakers who are ready to share the ways they are walking their talk, expanding their networks, expanding and nurturing their connections.

As Lillian says, “As empty nesters, we have plenty of time to work on our careers but we often don’t know how to do this effectively. That’s why I’ve designed this conference:  To benefit you in your career, especially if you want to grow, advance and prosper during what is a very remarkable time in your life.”

You should plan to attend if you know that you want to:

  • ​Nurture your confidence, the number one skill for business success.
  • Brand yourself for where you are in your career and what you want to achieve.
  • Acquire executive presence tips applicable to all levels corporately and as an entrepreneur.
  • Develop better corner office business politicking skills.
  • Use social media to your advantage as a woman over 50.
  • Learn to network in the right places.
  • Put your strategy in writing.

That’s precisely what Lillian and her wonderful speakers will be sharing with you — a fellow 50+ working woman — in Chicago. Because we all need to know how to benefit from showcasing our wisdom, not our age!

Lillian is a woman who has always practiced what she preaches: Well before she developed this event, the Chicago Tribune called her a networking expert, and the Association Forum of Chicagoland dubbed her the business networking authority.

But let’s be clear about what Networking actually is. According to Lillian, “Networking is so much more than schmoozing or exchanging business cards. It’s knowing what to do strategically before an event, how to work it and what to do afterwards.”

In other words, relationship-building. A top graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Lillian did executive speech writing and public and investor relations for Nicor Gas and coached top AT&T executives in communication and media relations skills before starting her own firm, Duoforce Enterprises, Inc. in 1990. Which means that during her career, Lillian has helped tens of thousands of people build high-value relationships.

At Duoforce, Lillian and her staff train people on methods for honing their business development, networking and communication skills.  Training which includes learning how to improve your people-reading skills and communicate better verbally, non-verbally and through e-mail. as well as how to polish your professional presence and network strategically.

Always willing to share her expertise, Lillian is the author of Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last, 52 Ways To Break The Ice & Target Your Market, and the Nothing Happens Until We Communicate CD/workbook series. She’s also a contributing author to Masters of Networking, a certified trainer for the DiSC’ assessment tools and a member of the National Speakers Association.

Lillian’s strong work ethic has led to her being recognized by many organizations. Here are just a few:

  • In the Fall of 2014, she was featured as a local inspirational leader in the first edition of Chicago’s I Inspire magazine.
  • She was also named to the 2014 Top 100 Women in Ecommerce by WE Magazine for Women.
  • She was honored three times by the National Speakers Association-Illinois Chapter including Member of the Year.
  • She was named Outstanding Chicago Speaker by Red Carpet Concierge.
  • Lillian, a member of Engaging Speakers, was named one of their Great Woman of the 21st Century and an Influential Woman in Business.
  • And last but not least, in 2013 she was honored as a Distinguished Alum of her Missouri high school.

Ever the consummate producer, Lillian found time to answer our favorite questions, despite being “hip deep” in the last minute preparations for her newest venture, the Chicago conference “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50.” We spoke with her recently, and here’s what we learned:

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an energetic, enthusiastic, inspirational, well-connected Chicago-area entrepreneur, speaker, coach, author and event producer.

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I’m married and have two sons and three grandsons.

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

I grew up on the outskirts of a town of 83 people in rural Missouri. In fact, the road ended at our house. There were no children within miles of me. I’m the youngest of four sisters all of whom were gone from home for most of my childhood. Being the gregarious person I am, I was delighted any time we had guests so I had someone to talk with … or listen to. My dad spent a lot of time in the fields, and Mom in the kitchen and garden so “company” was special!

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

Inherited German work ethic, integrity, honesty, loyalty, “no quit” attitude,

What inspires you?

Getting up each morning to a new day and new opportunities. I love spontaneity and that I am never sure what the day might bring (other than what is planned) and how one call or email can lead to another and another. I believe all of us are always selling … and I love selling!

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

Having so much time for myself, a wonderful husband to share life with and the good health to keep on trucking with my job and personally.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Love doing crossword puzzles, plus I understand they stimulate the mind!

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

Yes, my husband and I travel. Our latest adventure was a 12-day cruise in the Baltic and North seas where we took excursions to Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Gdansk and Copenhagen … plus we spent a day traveling through the Kiel Canal. What a real-life history lesson! My husband prepared a thorough annotated photo album so we will enjoy the trip for years to come. We’ve also done a Mediterranean cruise that was great!

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

I exercise, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Two years ago I had a bilateral hip replacement and set a record for recovery in rehab … so I am sticking to my routine.

What do you stress about?Lillian book

Not a whole lot!

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

Since people decide 10 things about us within 10 seconds of seeing us, it is imperative to make a good impression professionally and personally.

That decision is based on our image, a combination of our appearance and behavior. Part of the appearance quotient is our dress, which usually covers about 90 percent of our body (especially at our age!), with the rest being our face, skin and hair.

It’s important to use skin care products geared for your skin and age as well as makeup that highlight your features and is also appropriate for your age. Hair style is another key ingredient. If you haven’t changed your hair style in 20 years, chances are it makes you look dated.

When you look dated, people often get the perception that your skills are dated, which can be detrimental in the work place.

MYCC logoThat’s why I created and am producing the Chicago area’s first all-day business conference for Boomer women … and beyond. The “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50” conference.

  • It will be held from 8:15 am – 4:00 pm April 17, 2015, at DePaul University, Naperville Campus, 150 W. Warrenville Rd., Naperville Illinois.
  • The day will be jam-packed with insightful presentations and also provide the opportunity to build relationships with other women over 50 who will bolster their support network. Building relationships is one of the central themes that will be discussed by Sarah Donahue, recently retired vice president Allstate Life and Retirement, who will bring first-hand experience to her presentation.
  • I’ll discuss networking in the right places (vs. just networking) on a panel discussion that will also focus on rebranding and reinvention by Susan Fignar, and Pat Price sharing what women over 50 really need to know about social media.
  • Entrepreneurs and those thinking about it will benefit greatly from Bonita Richter’s experience and knowhow as she will ask and answer, “Are You Wired for Entrepreneurial Success?”
  • Since thoughts are the first step to action, Christine Suva will help attendees master their mindset as she helps them clarify their calling so they can move full speed ahead.
  • Emcee Trisha Svehla will make sure attendees leave on track as she helps them create a realistic action plan from the information they have garnered.

You can get more details at www.bizwomenover50conference.com

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

Somewhat. While I still speak and coach on building better business relationships by honing your face-to-face networking and communication skills, I am concentrating more on producing events. Another I have planned is the 13th Greater Chicago Networking Extravaganza. It will be held May 14,2015, at TechNexus LLC, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 1200 Chicago. Details at www.greaterchicagonetworking.com

Do you plan to retire?

Not yet!

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

Definitely recycle.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

I like to inspire others by my thoughts and deeds. I walk my talk.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

That would be my high school sophomore English teacher who first recognized my oral and written communication skills and encouraged me to dream big.

I had no immediate role models as my dad had to quit school in third grade since he was the oldest son of a big farm family. Mom wasn’t allowed to go to high school because she was a girl and none of my sisters were allowed to go to high school since Dad didn’t believe in higher education for women.

I got to go because Missouri passed a law that you had to attend school until you were 16. From there it was on the University of Missouri School of Journalism from which I graduated in the top 10 percent.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

To inspire others to build professional and personal relationships through networking and good communication skills … orally and in writing … both of which are challenges to many, many people. And, I have found that advanced degrees do not assure success or great talents in any of these areas. We can all achieve good relationships!!

 

 

A high-flying welcome to author Danielle Bernock, who joined NABBW recently. Danielle is the author of “Emerging with Wings,” a thought-provoking book in which she uses her one personal experiences to examine the “mega concepts” of good and evil, of truth, lies, pain and the healing power of love.

Danielle Bernock wastes no time pointing out that even our most minor day-to-day decisions can change and even transform our lives. While her topics are “deep,” readers will be delighted to realize that there’s no need to have majored in philosophy or even studied the great philosophers like Soren Kierkegaard or John Locke to understand her thesis.

In her book, Danielle shares many of her most intimate and vulnerable life moments as she examines the major concepts of validation, personal freedom and love in simple, down-to-earth language.  Though she never mentions psychologist Abraham Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs model, which posits that humans are motivated to reach our full capabilities once our basic human needs are met, (a huge discussion in college psychology 101 classes), Bernock’s story mirrors this model. And since Maslowe points out that we all want to be loved, protected and accepted, we’re clear that she has offered us a book – and a journey – that is sure to speak to everyone.

One final point: As we publish this “Voices” post, it is February 16th, Danielle’s 35th wedding anniversary. So as we raise a glass to toast Danielle and her life’s journey of love and empowerment, we also thank her for the time she gave to answering our favorite questions. Please keep reading to learn more about what motivates her…and then find out where you can buy a copy of her book!

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

danielle bernockI was born and raised in Michigan but recently my husband and I lived in Arizona for a few years. It was life-changing.

We returned to Michigan in 2011. Since being back so much of my life has changed. One thing is I realized how much I love to paint so I have my own small painting company now.

When sharing my life with people I kept being told I should write a book. People especially loved my road trip story.

Knowing my childhood was painful, I began counseling to help me write about it without hurting myself. Now I am also a new indie author with my first book “Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals,” self-published with my own imprint (4F Media).

I am a different person now due to my journey while writing.

  • I laughed.Bernock Wings Book
  • I cried.
  • I discovered.
  • I learned.
  • I am stronger.
  • And I am still learning more.
  • I love to learn like never before.
  • I love questions now – they are tools to explore new places.
Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

My living family is small. I have just one brother left from my birth family.

I have a wonderful husband and we have been married since 1980. We have two married children (a girl and a boy). So far we have three grandchildren (two boys and a girl). They call me “Mima.” I adore them and they know it!

My husband’s mother became widowed and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s soon after our return to Michigan. I took the lead on her care and subsequent transitioning into assisted living. My husband and  I oversee all her needs. He has two sisters that help as they are able, but one is out of state which makes it more difficult.

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

I can remember sing/songy “calling” my neighbor out to play and sitting on the porch playing paper dolls.

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

A desire for more which translates into growth, change and improvement. Also a stubbornness or perhaps rebellion that has transformed into a refusal to give up no matter what life throws at me or how many times I fail or fall down. I have not always been but I have become more like the little kid in the room with the pile of manure looking for the pony, instead of the one crying on the floor.

These qualities have changed our world. Being a younger boomer I can see many before me have blazed this trail.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by beauty, colors, shapes and sounds – the artistry of nature. I am inspired by wonder, the universe and stars, fingerprints and snowflakes – the enormousness yet intricately detailed artistry of creation. I am inspired by gracious acts of love & kindness. I am inspired by mercy. I am inspired by music that carries the emotions to a place of love, healing or worship. I am inspired by stories of overcoming, not giving up, making a difference and helping others. I am inspired by the unconditional love of “The Pursuer” I discovered in my book.

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

First and foremost would be my grandchildren. They are growing up vastly different than I, and it is such an enormous pleasure to be a part of that. Secondly would be what I call the “new me” which enables me to enjoy life so much more now than I ever did before.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Playing with my grandchildren would probably qualify because I do it as often as I can just for fun. Whether it is playing safari, Legos, cars, house, tag, climbing trees or whatnot — I love it!

I love to swing on swings. I also love walking – it doesn’t matter if it is just around where I live, on a nature trail or hiking a mountain. I enjoy doing puzzles in the winter. I have also been known to mow someone else’s lawn just for fun! Another favorite is riding horses although I don’t have the opportunity as often as I’d like. I hope to give yoga, geocaching and kayaking a try.

Princess BrideDo you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

WestleyThe Princess Bride was the first movie I ever watched over again, way back when they had video stores. I have seen it so many times now that I can almost quote it when watching it. It is funny and romantic. And Westley is definitely eye candy.

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

Mainly I travel with my husband, or when he is out of town for work I travel by myself to visit him. We’ve been to a number of places in North and Central America together. There are more places I’d like to see that are further away. I also like a good road trip with a friend.

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

I had eating disorders many years ago and needed to learn how to eat. I had various health issues as well which have lead me to do a variety of things to be well.

I have an exercise routine I do first thing every morning to wake up, stretch and strengthen my upper body and back. I started it many years ago and have added things as I find them useful. It isn’t elaborate or really very strenuous and it isn’t uncommon for me to do part of it with my eyes closed and in the dark before I am totally awake. I also love going for walks as well as hiking whenever I can.

A number of years back I started taking a daily probiotic © for a healthy digestive system. Around that time, I also started eating an apple a day. This year I added a B complex (stress formula) vitamin.

I have received acute Chiropractic care numerous times over the years and it has always been a very positive thing. Because of this I see a Chiropractor about once a month or so to keep my body healthy.

Our diet is generally on the healthier side (fresh or frozen vegetables, chicken, good cuts of beef but not too often, whole grain etc.) but we do splurge from time to time which I think is important for the soul.

And speaking of the soul I also have words I feed my mind every day by speaking them out loud. Some people call them affirmations, some call them confessions. Some are from the Bible and some are not. For me, it is a way to set my mind and attitude in the direction I want to go. I also have what I call “quiet time” every day that is faith based.

What do you stress about?

Stress is a part of life and it would be easy for me to stress about everything, especially my family. It is not healthy to allow stress to drive me so I look for ways to meet or overcome the pressure. I have had panic attacks and that is very unpleasant as well as not helpful. So I want stress to be a noun instead of a verb in my life. In the last couple years I have learned about a thing called “rest” that is connected with my faith and that is what I endeavor to do on the inside when anxiety arises. I love the Serenity Prayer.

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

I have kidded that I have a Peter Pan mentality and although it is tempting I do not believe I have any plans for aggressive actions. I use a regenerating face lotion everyday but that is probably it, other than doing what I can to be healthy.

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

I am in the process of this right now. Writing my book has helped me with embracing the changes. In it I come to the place where I say “I feel like I have gotten wings although I am still learning how to use them. And that’s OK, because forever starts today…” (Emerging With Wings)

Do you plan to retire?

I feel perhaps I am just getting started. I was primarily a stay at home mom for most of my children’s lives. After they graduated, I worked part time until we moved to Arizona, where I got my 1st taste of what a career type job was and I loved it. Moving back to Michigan, I had planned to jump right back into the career world, but that is not how life unfolded.

Instead, my reinvention began with caring for my mother-in-law, starting my own LLC, becoming an author, getting a DBA to self-publish and on it goes.

So as I said, I feel I’m just getting started and only plan to continue to grow in embracing life more fully every day.

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

We recently purchased a new home and I am thrilled that we will now be able to recycle.

Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

One big one was my road trip to California when I was 18 (detailed in my book). Another was when my husband and I moved across the country to Arizona where we did not know a soul. And finally writing my book brought about enlightenment and change in me.

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

I have one that got temporarily hijacked that I am addressing and I will continue to have more. I believe it is good to always have dreams and visions to keep your life moving forward.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

I do what I can. We have partnered with certain ministries and organizations to accomplish common goals. The goals include: working to help eliminate hunger, rescue from human trafficking, provide clean drinking water, helping the poor in multiple ways (food, shelter, medicine, education etc.), disaster relief, helping/rescuing abused children and women, helping the homeless, preach/share the love of Jesus, and more.

I have gone on working mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico to help children. I’d like to do that some more.

I give blood. I love to encourage people and started a group on a private social media website. I also look for ways to do good things every day and make a private note of it. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as picking up litter in a parking lot or opening a door for someone. This is simply an exercise for me to have my mind set on helping others. I wrote, published and promote my book “Emerging With Wings” because I have learned that my story can help others.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

Most likely that would be my husband. He was the 1st person to show me unconditional love. He chose me – the good, the bad and the ugly. I wrote an entire chapter about him in my book.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

I want to be a representation of the love and grace I have come to know in the person I call “The Pursuer” in my book. Everyone matters – I want my life to show that.

mozilla portraitA “mile high” NABBW welcome to Mozella Perry Ademiluyi, who besides being a successful mountain climber, is a poet, writer, and global storyteller who is able to reach across borders with meaningful conversations through her speaking engagements, writing, and creative retreat tools.

Mozella is passionate about making an intentional contribution to the enrichment of our 21st century world and encourages us to use the positive power of our life stories as a means to enlighten and transform our global village.

As Mozella explains below, her life began in Miami, Florida, where she lived a life many of us would recognize, filled with spelling bees, piano and ballet lessons, YMCA camps and Vacation Bible School.

But at age nine, everything changed for her when her father followed his dream to live in Africa, by accepting an offer to establish an international YMCA in Jinja, Uganda.

There, his goal was to enhance educational and leadership opportunities for local youth. They arrived in Uganda in October 1962 – just days after Uganda had gained its independence.

Suddenly Mozella found herself living a life of totally unexpected experiences, including:
  • Integrating into a British expatriate school
  • Experiencing the blend of African, Asian and European cultures
  • Finding hippos feeding on mother’s vegetable garden
  • Afternoon teas and posh school uniforms
  • Desks with inkwells for our pens
  • Prizes for poetry recitals
  • Bike rides
  • Climbing whatever we could find
  • Boarding schools in Kenya
  • Train rides
  • Forbidden midnight feasts in the dorm
  • Irish nuns,
  • Shakespeare
  • And a red dirt hockey pitch!

As she says, it was a truly memorable educational experience, and  her love for literature, poetry and travel began in those early years in East Africa.

Later years were spent in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria, as well as London, and Washington, DC. In DC, Mozella attended Howard University, eventually graduating with a law degree.

Today, Mozella’s rich background allows her to bring a ‘global point of view’ to retreat and workshop audiences around the world. Through her company’s workshops and seminars, she encourages us to consciously explore new possibilities and design the change we seek in our personal and professional lives. She also teaches us how to ‘discover’ the real power in the underlying lessons of our existing stories and how to create new ones.

love is a mountainAfter climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and reaching 15,000 feet in celebration of her 50th birthday, Mozella established her retreat-focused company Love Is A Mountain.

According to the company website, “LIAM’s” mission is to provide time and space for global-thinking women around the world to express their authentic voices, rewrite their stories, and create transformative change in their lives and communities.

“Love Is A Mountain”, is also the title of her first book, which was, naturally, inspired by that same 50th birthday ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

She says her vision for her firm is that each attendee “imagines walking through this beautiful earth, discovering the power of your story, exploring it with others and sharing the magic of it all!”

The metaphorical significance of mountains and the natural world, as “master teachers” of critical life lessons, is a central theme in Mozella’s work. She is an engaging facilitator and imaginative speaker who inspires her participants and audiences to reach their own transformations. Mozella Mountain book

We caught up with Mozella recently, and asked her our favorite “Voice of Baby Boomer Women” questions, and this is what she told us:

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up and lived in East and West Africa for more than 25 years because my father fulfilled his teenage dream to live and work on the African continent. Originally from Miami, Florida, I left the United States in 1962 at the age of nine.

I am an attorney by training, however through my work – retreats and workshops – I teach individuals (primarily women) and encourage them to create intentional change in their lives by discovering the transformative power of their stories, imagination and beliefs to manifest new possibilities.

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I am married with three birth sons, one earth son and several other adult children to whom I am “mom” or “Aunty Mozella”. My family considers themselves ‘citizens of the world’ having lived in Africa, Great Britain and Europe. They can always come home!

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

I spent a lot of time playing and exploring outdoors – So, climbing trees and creating outdoor adventures and hiking are amongst my favorite childhood memories. Who needed electronic gadgets then?

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

I have an ability to gather family and friends together to enjoy each other’s company through creative and wildly fun ways. I have the gifts of connecting and communicating.

What inspires you?

I love the feeling of making a difference in the lives of others – there is such joy in sharing stories that encourage women to really be who they are and do what they came here to do. Anytime I’m fulfilling both my passion and my purpose, I am inspired by the opportunity and privilege of doing so.

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

Working and creating empowering experiences for women – especially helping them create more playtime in their lives.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?Moz_MachuPicchu

I love mountain hiking. I have climbed Machu Picchu, The Gros Piton in St. Lucia and Mt. Kilimanjaro twice: once when I was 50 (and we made it to 15,000 feet before having to turn around) and once 10 years later (we made it to the peak – 19,280 ft)

Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

I love movies that ‘fill the heart’ and although I can’t say that The Sound of Music is “my absolute favorite” it certainly is the movie I’ve watched the most – since childhood – and one that I never tire of seeing again…can you imagine I still cry every time I watch it?!

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

I love so many parts of the world – I travel with my family, my husband, and friends at times. The Far East, Bali, Turkey, Hong Kong, London, Italy, St. Lucia and Kenya are amongst some of my favorites spots in the world.

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

I am so ‘sold’ on preventive medicine – and so is my family. I believe that a healthy life-style is an intentional, proactive choice that reaps huge rewards in the way we feel and interact in our world. Our choice of food, exercise and outlook determines the quality of life that we actually enjoy.

What do you stress about?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all that I ‘choose’ to do – especially when I find that I’m not practicing what I preach to maintain a healthy balance! Often I have to stop and course correct. I am not my best self until I get back to the “yes” of my daily rituals. Sometimes, I also worry too much about what others think. Just do it is a mantra I have come to love!

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

I’m willing to exercise to stay fit – I am willing to cleanse my system, eat well, meditate, pray and maintain a healthy, active outlook on life. That’s it – as much as I’d love to look and feel as vibrant as I can – I’m not willing to pursue any artificial (scientifically induced) means of doing so. So, the Serenity Prayer becomes critical for anything that I can’t change naturally!

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

Yes, although I am trained and qualified as an attorney, I didn’t waste too much time letting go of what no longer served me. I now pursue work that is aligned with my innate talents and purpose for being. Sometimes we go in a round about way to get to where we want to be …

Do you plan to retire?

Retire 🙂  ?

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

I think it’s so vitally important that we are consciously aware each day about the choices we make that impact our environment. For me, this means being vigilant about the use and proper disposal of paper and plastics. It also means choosing more natural options that support my health and the health of our earth.

Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro twice in midlife has ramped up my desire to have as much play AND work as I can joyfully embrace. I find myself wanting to not just be more, but to do more too!

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

I find myself in a phase where my dreaming and imaginings are ongoing – that I am always at one place or the other in the fulfillment of them – it’s an exciting and intriguing journey to be on and I intend to keep moving until it isn’t possible or desirable to do so anymore.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

I strive to make a difference by sharing the ‘work’ I do in the world. To the best of my ability, I provide services and resources to others. I volunteer my time to teach “wealth literacy” to youth and their families – teaching them the basics of financial literacy and how to adopt a mindset that helps create well-being in their lives.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

My parents. It took a lot of faith and sense of courage and adventure for my father, who at the age of 33, fulfilled his vision by leaving the United States with his young family to a continent that was largely unknown to him. My mother embraced these changes, shared his passion, and adapted to a whole new life away from home. They changed our lives by introducing us to cultures, people and places that included not just Africa, but Europe, Great Britain and Asia as well.

My father was my living example of the power of thought and the way he lived his life has provided the foundation for the way I live mine.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

Create great stories, turn them into dreams, add a healthy dash of belief, determination and intentional actions. Serve others, have fun watching sunsets, climbing trees, and mountains ~ enjoy a better life.