Figuring Out Plan B

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Aug 252017
 

phone-569669This month, our phone service went down before noon the day before I held my teleclass, Vision Secrets to Accelerate Your Success on August 10th. Both landline and cell services were unavailable throughout the region.

Workers on a local road construction had cut a major fiber optic cable. Fortunately, I still had internet service, since it didn’t run on that cable. For that I was very grateful, because many in the area weren’t as fortunate.

This is not the best thing that could happen the day before holding a teleclass. I choose to use a teleconference line for my classes, rather than a webinar service, because our internet service in rural Arizona can be unreliable. It was ironic that the generally reliable service I’d chosen to use was down for the count.

After a few moments of panic, I remembered that I had a ‘Plan B.’ My teleconference service has a webcall, or VoIP, option. So if the phone company didn’t get the cable fixed, I could use that. Not a great solution, but at least I could hold the call.

Fortunately, they were able to fix the cable about 12 hours after it was cut. So I was able to hold the call as I’d first planned. The teleclass went smoothly and harmoniously, and I breathed a big sigh of relief.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes there are bumps, and you don’t know why. When this happens, you can get upset, get angry, and waste your energy. Or you can work to figure out what your options are and how you can continue to move forward. How can you make that shift quicker in your life?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

A Guide to Address Harassment

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Nov 302016
 

Hand holding seedlingI try to keep my postings apolitical, because I respect everyone’s choice. But I’m concerned about the increased incidence of overt bullying, verbal and racist attacks that have been taking place in the U.S. since the beginning of this presidential election cycle.

These issues have been in the shadows (barely) for a long time, but now some people feel encouraged to act out in hateful ways. These problems have always bothered me, and now I see them becoming more common. Unfortunately, there have also been protesters against the election results who have acted in ways similar to the very ideas they stand against.

I believe that now that the bigotry and hate are out in the open, they can be addressed by standing up against them. Only when we stand back and keep silent can they thrive. In the past 50 years, we’ve made great progress against prejudice and bullying. We can continue that progress if we choose to be part of the solution and stand up to the problem. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

If you encounter someone being harassed, there’s a great cartoon that explains how to respond. This is one way you can help. The cartoon was designed to assist against Islamaphobic harassment, but it can be used in any situation. It’s based on a psychological technique and is very effective. You can watch a video describing it and showing what to do, and read the original cartoon that inspired the video. Watch A Guide for What to Do When You See Islamophobia.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Giving Thanks for a Nail in a Tire

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Nov 292016
 

Road to SuccessIn the U.S., we just had our Thanksgiving holiday. As the name suggests, it’s a time for us to be thankful for our blessings. And just in time for it, I had an experience that brought forth a lot of gratitude. I discovered I had a nail in the sidewall of my tire. So why should I be thankful for that? Well, everything worked together to ensure I didn’t have a flat tire from it.

Apparently, I’d driven 200 miles with it in my tire, and it didn’t go flat while I was on the lonely stretch of highway between Phoenix and N. Arizona. My husband discovered my tire pressure was very low during his monthly car fluid and tire check, postponed from the week before. Unfortunately, the nail was in the sidewall. The tire couldn’t be fixed and I needed a new one.

Since it was getting close to my needing to get 4 new tires, I went ahead, got a quote for all of them and ordered them. It turned out they were going to cost considerably less than I expected. When I had them installed, the garage had instituted a new system, which charged me a lot more than the quote. But because I’d gotten the quote with the old system, they honored it.

I had a lot to be grateful for. The timing of everything worked to my advantage. I didn’t get a flat, it was discovered the day before I was heading down to Phoenix again, and because I bought them now, I saved money on the tires.

Even when you have something challenging happen, you can find something good in it if you look. What blessing can you find in your current challenge?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Grand Canyon Anniversary 2016

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Sep 302016
 

Jeff and I spent our 2nd anniversary at the Grand Canyon. On our first full day there, we hiked 1.5 miles down the S. Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge, 1120′ down from the rim.

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A view of the S. Kaibab Trail across a side canyon. You can see it as a diagonal line below the rim.

“Fortune favors a prepared mind,” said Louis Pasteur. It also favors a prepared body, when hiking into the Grand Canyon. I hiked down the Bright Angel trail 30 years ago, and knew what kind of preparation was necessary for this hike. We spend the summer walking and getting into shape for the steep trek. But we also did our research, preparing our minds, and knew how much water and food to take with us.

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S. Kaibab Trail, just before Ooh Aah Point.

Our first milestone was Ooh Aah Point, .9 mi and 760′ down. We took our time, and had frequent breaks, drinking water and eating. Just before it, during one of our breaks, the 2nd and 3rd mule trains passed us, on their way up to the rim.

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Mule train.

From Ooh Aah Point, we descended steps, hollowed out and filled with burro urine, to Cedar Ridge, another .6 mi. We had to balance on the ties between them, rocks beside them, or narrow sections beside the rocks. 3/4 of that part of the trail was like that.

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Trail from Ooh Aah Point down towards Cedar Ridge.

Once we got to Cedar Ridge, we wondered how we were going to get back up with legs feeling like rubber. Fortunately, by the time we started our ascent, most of the urine had soaked into the soil. It was so much easier going up than we’d expected. It took us 2.5 hours to get to Cedar Ridge, and less than 2.5 hours to hike back up.

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Linda-Ann Stewart at Cedar Ridge.

Many of the people we saw or talked with on our way up didn’t have enough water, if any. And some of them were having difficulty with the altitude. They hadn’t mentally or physically prepared enough. Fortunately, there was water at the trailhead, so they’d be able to hydrate as soon as they got there.

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It’s a long way up. These are the switchbacks up to the S. Kaibab trailhead. If you look closely, you can see diagonal lines going up in the shadowed section.

Because of our preparation, we weren’t as sore as I expected we’d be. I also believe that taking frequent breaks factored into that. I’d learned that during my Bright Angel hike.

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Grand Canyon and Colorado River.

The next day was our anniversary. We hiked some more on the relatively level Rim Trail, and ate at Bright Angel Restaurant that evening. The next day was our last at the Canyon. We hiked the Rim Trail some more, then drove along the East Rim, visiting some of the points along the way.

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Late afternoon in the Grand Canyon.

We have an advantage over most visitors to the Park. We visit it 1-3 times a year, and have acclimated to the altitude and weather. Also, through research and experience, we know what’s needed to safely conclude our visit. On your next adventure, take the time to mentally and physically prepare so you can enjoy it completely.

2016 Sedona Hummingbird Festival

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Aug 032016
 
Linda-Ann Stewart and Ross Hawkins

Linda-Ann Stewart and Ross Hawkins, founder of the International Hummingbird Society

The founder of the International Hummingbird Society, Ross Hawkins, and I met at a monthly meeting of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association several years ago. It was ironic that we’d get to know a fellow Sedonan there, especially since we’d lived a couple of blocks from each other.

A couple of days before this year’s Hummingbird Festival, he called me in distress. The person who’d planned to emcee and introduce his speakers had to back out due to illness. Although Ross had performed that function before, he had so many responsibilities that he really didn’t want to do it again. So he asked if I could step in. I couldn’t on Friday, due to clients scheduled, but I said I could for the weekend.

Friday morning was the only time I had to prepare for the event. Most of the presenters hadn’t sent in formal introductions, so I edited their program descriptions and bio’s so they’d be more interesting when they were read.

Book Signing Table at 2016 Hummingbird Festival

Book signing table from right to left – Jule Zickefoose, Marcy Scott, Dr. Jacques Ducros, from southern France

On Saturday and Sunday, I was honored to meet and introduce several speakers on an array of topics, from photographing hummingbirds to plant that attract them, to current scientific research. Due to one of the presentations, I was inspired to buy a book on “Hummingbird Flowers of the Southwest,” by presenter Marcy Scott.

There were also delightful vendors of all things hummingbird. In Sedona, we have two hummingbird themed shops, and they had booths. There were paintings and photos of hummingbirds, books and feeders, information about the tiny creatures, and lots of other hummingbird inspired products.

It was stressful to have so little time to prepare for the event, but I’m so glad that Ross thought of me and called. Not only did I enjoy participating in the festival as emcee, I loved meeting vendors, attendees, and speakers who share a love of this magical bird.

The Lesson of Saying “No”

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Apr 142016
 

Sunset Crater plant Not long ago, I was urged to lead a bi-weekly group. I knew I was already stretched thin and wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Several times, on several occasions I declined. Then one day, my defenses were down and I was persuaded to lead it “for a short time.” As soon as I agreed, I regretted it.

Over the next couple of weeks, I tried to fit the new responsibility into my schedule. But the realization that I’d made the wrong decision was reinforced over and over. Finally, I called the current leader and said I couldn’t do it.

“It’s my fault. I went against what I knew in my heart,” I said.

Within a day or so, they found a new leader, and she’s doing a fabulous job.

This situation reminded of two valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years.
1. When I say “No” and know that it’s the right answer, stick to it. I don’t have to explain or justify my reasons why.
2. I’m not indispensable. If I don’t step up, someone else will. And if they don’t, maybe the group (or whatever) shouldn’t continue.

When have you gone against what you knew was right for you? How did you feel? Learn from that, and hold to your truth the next time. It’ll save you time, energy, improve your well being and self-respect.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

“Break Your Trance, Take Charge, and Focus on Your Vision” Presentation

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Feb 032016
 

Peoria_SEVEN_talk-1-smI recently gave short talk to my S.E.V.E.N. networking group about “Break Your Trance, Take Charge, and Focus on Your Vision.” At the beginning of the presentation, I mention how so many people have misconceptions about hypnosis. The eyeglasses were to demonstrate what many people think of the process.

What most people don’t realize is that they hypnotize themselves every day. Hypnosis is simply focusing the attention on one thought. You can take charge of this process and focus on what it is you want and where you want to go. When you do, your actions will follow your attention, and you’ll get better results.

I gave the attendees some action steps to get them started: writing down what you want your steps, becoming aware of your autosuggestions, and visualizing yourself succeeding. The presentation inspired a lively discussion afterwards. I had a great time, and based on the audience’s reaction, so did they. HynpnoGlasses-SEVEN-1-22-16-sm

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

If you want help on creating or achieving your vision, reaching your goals, or getting focused, ask Linda-Ann about her complimentary coaching consultation. Email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with “Coaching Consultation” in the subject line.

Always Look at Your Compass

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Sep 242015
 

Recently, Jeff and I visited the Grand Canyon again. Since it’s only a couple of hours from our home, we try to go at least once a year. This time, we drove in through the eastern entrance. The eastern rim is less crowded and less well known than the more popular south rim.

Grand Canyon Colorado RiverOn the eastern rim, you get completely different views, because this part of the Canyon is much wider you have a clear view of the Colorado River as it winds its way through the canyon floor. We had a late picnic, then went for a hike across an undeveloped promontory to an overlook. There were no trails to the point a mile or so away, but I thought we’d find it by following a dry creek bed.

We took a compass reading at the beginning of the hike and started out, following the creek bed. Every so often, we’d pull out the compass and check it to make sure we were headed in the right direction. Sometime later, the creek bed disappeared. We again looked at the compass and kept going.

We had to keep detouring around fallen trees and dense bushes. After about an hour, we began hearing Grand Canyon-Moran Pt.traffic, and a few minutes later saw cars driving by. We’d looped back to the road.

This is what happens when you don’t keep your goal in the forefront of your mind. We should have kept the compass out at all times and followed its readings. By having to detour around all the brush, we got off our heading and ended up far from our goal. It’s just the same as when you have distractions in life and don’t check your priorities (your compass) so they can stay on course. Get off course, and you may never reach your goal, just like we didn’t on our hike.

Since it was getting late, and we had no idea how far we were from the point, we headed back to our car. Linda-Ann Stewart at Grand Canyon-Moran Pt.Since we’d trekked a long way from where we’d planned and from where we’d started, it took an hour to reach the parking area. Although we were disappointed we weren’t able gotten to see that vista, we’d had an enjoyable hike. And we spent the rest of the afternoon at developed points on the eastern rim. Getting off course doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you need to correct your course and head toward your goal.

Enjoy the Journey

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Nov 192014
 

Jeff and I recently visited the Grand Canyon again. We try to get up there at least once a year. The past couple of times, it’s been windy when we first got there, but died down in the afternoon. This time, it was windy when we got there and just increased during the afternoon.
Grand Canyon Rim Trail
We walked along the Rim Trail, and out onto a couple of the points that jut into the Canyon. In the late afternoon, the wind was blowing a gale. Once, I had to stop walking and crouch down because the wind would have blown me down if I hadn’t. Jeff grabbed the handle on my pack and steadied me as we continued.
Linda-Ann Stewart at a windy Grand Canyon
We had to be careful not to get too close to the edge without bracing ourselves, because a sudden gust of wind could have caused us to lose our balance and fall. And it’s a long way down.
Grand Canyon Rim Trail
I realized it’s like life. You can coast along with calm breezes, then have gale winds buffet you, trying to push you off course. Sometimes, you have to hunker down until they pass. And sometimes, you need some help to ground you and keep you on track.
Grand Canyon Rim Trail
But no matter what the winds, you can enjoy the scenery and recognize that the challenge is a temporary situation. In another day, the weather can be completely different. Your choice is whether to complain about the conditions, or adjust to them and enjoy the journey.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Officially Married

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Sep 302014
 
Bride on left, groom in middle, maid of honor on right.

Bride on left, groom in middle, maid of honor on right.

Jeff and I have been together almost 20 years. Since it seems we’re compatible, we decided it was time to make our union official. And since it was simply a formality for us, we wanted a small, informal type of wedding.

Last week, Jeff and I did the deed. We got married in an intimate, nontraditional ceremony in a Flagstaff park. Since we love all things Celtic, we used that as our theme.

Celtic music played in the background and we wore Renaissance inspired dress. Our minister is the president of a Celtic Heritage organization in Arizona and a friend of ours. Jeff wrote our vows. He’s amazing at writing from the heart. I treasure the sentiments he writes in the cards he gives me.

We had only 3 guests. My oldest and dearest friend, Linda, was my Maid of Honor. Yes, we’re both named Linda. It caused all sorts of confusion when we were young. We’ve known each other since we were 4 years old, and have been through a lot together. Jeff’s folks were the only other attendees.

We lucked out with the weather. Months ago, when we chose the date, we planned it to be after the main part of the monsoon season would be over. But Arizona has had a late monsoon this year, mainly in the month of September. We had major storms the week before and also a couple of days afterwards. Fortunately, the weather for our wedding was as perfect as it could get.

Now we embark on a new voyage, as married partners. I anticipate a smooth journey, but with more adventures to come.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart (I’m keeping my birth name)