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Authors Posts by Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick
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Melissa Kirkpatrick is a Transformational Coach and Motivational Speaker. She’s been featured in Cincy Magazine , CincyChic online magazine and is the author of the impactful self-help book “5 Steps to Your Own D.R.I.V.E.” Melissa offers one-on-one services, motivational speaking and hands-on workshops, allowing individuals and teams to shift their drive from stuck to unstoppable. To learn more, visit http://www.findyourowndrive.com or email missy@findyourowndrive.com.

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Our life coach columnist offers insight on a recent Brene Brown book, the concept of belonging, and how sharing art can transform people.

Photographer: Lauren Pusateri

Brene Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging” she shares: “Art has the power to share experiences and transform despair into hope... and art has the power to transform something or someone when it is shared. When people share art, it becomes a whisper to that person: “You’re not alone.”

 

What does this mean for you?

I share this with you because I want to challenge you to look in the past to those things that you enjoyed doing when you were younger that involved a form of art that you no longer do. Then visualize yourself doing the activity and see how the passion or desire may still live within. 

Does it light you up to recall this time and place?

As a young girl, my passion for the arts included painting, photography, calligraphy and playing the piano.

I would watch endless hours of Bob Ross on PBS creating those amazing landscapes, I was the pianist at many recitals, choirs, and weddings, taking pictures endlessly, and writing poems in calligraphy.

When I read Brene’s book, the connection to belong resonated in a way that I didn’t realize.  The power and impact of being able to perform through an art is truly a sense of belonging. I haven’t considered my artistic pastimes in a long time and was intrigued about the rediscovery of my gifts after reading the book.

During my personal work around self-care I started to recall those things that brought me joy and realized I had stopped all those artistic pastimes.

I reactivated my gifts by attending a few local painting classes, pulled out music books and began to tickle the ivories, photographed some amazing sunsets and wrote a poem in calligraphy.

The magic in revisiting these simple tasks, of something I once did endlessly, is now transforming me back to a younger version of myself.

Now I ask — Why did you stop?

Is it that you just didn’t have time? Is it just not as exciting? Maybe you don’t believe you’d like to do it anymore.

From my experience, if you allow those passion for art to resurface, you begin to align your heart with something only you knew to bring you pure joy and happiness.  As Brene says it “art has the power to transform something or someone.”

Self-care can transform you in many ways by resetting your mind, raising your vibration, enhancing your mental attitude, and just simply offering pure joy and happiness.  

Give yourself permission to find things that bring you the same feeling you had when you were younger. This feeling is never lost, just quitted and fads over time, but when you can allow it to rise again, you will discover how passionate you are and the love you hold through art and know “you’re not alone.”

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As we reflect on Mother's Day, our life coach columnist explains how to "mother" your path and purpose to go from stuck to unstoppable.

As a mother myself, this time of year is truly a time to reflect on the moment when hearing those words “you are going to be a mother” – an announcement that changes one’s life forever. 

The joy, excitement, anticipation, along with fear, doubt, and all other emotions, swirl endlessly around in the mind. And upon your face a smile that has a magical glow, and a heart so full it couldburst, as this new life begins for both the mother and child!

However, is this announcement always with happiness, delight and joy? Sadly, there are times when a pregnancy isn’t planned, it happens unexpectedly, and changes the course of one’s life forever.

And how about the relationship with our mothers? Not always sunshine and rainbows? And for some they don’t even have a relationship. While others are so strong in the connection nothing will tear them apart.

Now, let’s switch gears.  Consider this:

– How are you mothering yourself?

You are the mother of your life’s journey and you have more strengths then you will ever know.  Whether you are physically creating a human life or creating your life by design and on purpose, it all begins from within.  

For me “mothering myself” was when I learned about self-love and self-care practices.  I didn’t realize how much time I was spending taking care of others, until I found myself not taken care of me.  I used alcohol and food to go numb. It allows me to take off the “responsibility” hat and put on the “who cares” cap.

Simple self-care can include quite time alone innature, a spa day, bubble bath, a run/walk in the neighborhood and my favorite watching a series on Netflix all day long in my bed with no guilt or interruptions.

And for self-love take today an honor yourself as the mother of your life – speak with your higher self and be in gratitude with everything that is yours and what you created.

I challenge you to Be the Mother of Your Life providing all the love and care you deeply desire from this moment forward. 

To all the Mothers out there — This time of year,we celebrate YOU, the one who gave us life and those who have taken the role as a motherthrough fostering, adopting, surrogate or blended– a mother is the center of our life source, the heart that beats in rhythm with the soul, and provides unconditional love.  “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had.” —Linda Wooten

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Learn about the eight life balance pillars that were a game-changer for our life coach columnist and how they can help you, too.

 
“When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” ― Augusten Burroughs, Dry

When you hear the word “health” do you immediatethink about your physical body and overall wellness? Sure, most would. 

What if you were told that your body is only one part of being healthy?  

As a business career woman or momprenuers, the focus on ourselves is often put on the back burner.  

I learned along my journey there were many times I felt I was juggling so many balls and the expectationsto getting everything done, and done well, were overwhelming.  

Usually my health would suffer with not sleeping, overeating, drinking to numb out, and just feeling sad and depressed. The struggle was real.

Then I discovered a better way to BALANCE all the responsibilities and expectations on my terms through the support of a coach and learning about the life balance pillars – game changer.

How you do one thing is how you do all things, as I know to be true, so of course I couldn’t be focusing on one area of my life without including all areas.  

Here’s what I share with you to get back to living a life by design and how you can make it happen.

The key is Balance in all areas which includes the following eight.

1. Career Work
2. Recreation – Leisure – Fun
3. Spiritual – Personal Development
4. Family and Friends
5. Money – Finances
6. Physical Environment
7. Spouse – Relationships – Significant Other
8. Health – Physical Well-Being

The goal is to achieve equal balance in all eightareas.  How is this possible you ask? By simply being willing to commit, show up, act, and do the work you are well on your way to finding the balance.

The process begins with getting clear on where you are in each category and finding ways to increase your overall relationship in each of those areas.

Using a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being you have a good handle on this area) identify where you are now by scoring them accordingly.

The areas that score low need your attention to improve the relationship.

For example – you score yourself low for Money and Finances because you of the following questions: do you have enough income, are you saving for unforeseen situations, are you accumulating a lot of debt, do you desire more, are you hiding out from your money and finances, are you putting your head in the sand hoping it will all workout?

Take this awareness and begin finding ways to improve relationship with money and finances bymaking simple adjustments which may include auto bill pay, balance your accounts monthly, set up a budget, talk to a financial advisor, find side work for additional income, etc.

The same is true with the other seven areas.  You find where you are not meeting the overall relationship with that area and then find ways to change to improve that relationship.

Don’t get overwhelmed and try to make all areas a 10 by next week.  Take your time to really analyze each pillar and pick on or two and begin there.  Make it a priority and stay focused on simply raising the connection in all areas knowing you can create the business and life you love from being doing this work.

And please remember allowing balance to be your focus, and not the punishment, will offer what you need in order to tap into creating a life by design, and one that you love with passion and purpose.

For additional support I am offering a free assessment available to Chic’er through May – schedule your time here.

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What happens when the road gets rough on the journey toward our goals? Melissa offers some invigorating insight.

Are you a woman with drive, passion and focus ready to jump into a new business or career, or already in business and want to expand and grow? BUT you are paralyzed from the thought of taking on this new venture?

Whether you own a brick and mortar, run an MLM or online business, or a partner in a firm, your focus is on how to grow and be a successful business owner. 

Sure, you had a deep desire to create the opportunity from a place of passion and purpose, and you believed in yourself to be successful, but WHY did you say yes?

What I know for sure is the one thing that can unlock your scarcity and uncertainty about your business, and allow you to catapult to the next level, is knowing and remembering your WHY.

Simon Sinek, author, and Tedx presenter, on Start with Why demonstrates how “why” brings great leaders to inspired action. Many already know what and how they do something for their business but the power in WHY is the purpose for the cause or belief.

So why does your business even exist? It started with a Why!

Often the breakdown of a business occurs when the WHY is forgotten and everything begins to focus on numbers, goals, unnecessary interruptions, shine object syndrome, or perhaps you feel like quitting because you think what “others” are doing is better than yours.

Flip the switch and get back to your Why — write it out and be very specific with details including emotions and feelings.  

For example, if you are with a health care company perhaps you wanted to get healthy, of course, AND that you wanted to live a longer life, without disease, for a long time while watching your kids grow and have their own children.

If you work in a financial instruction because you are good with numbers and want to make a six-figure income, AND you see the value in having investments and savings to create a lifestyle that allows you to vacation often, buy a new car every three years, and put your kids through college.

Or recall a time when you left a job or career, you had a very distinctive reasons why you would leave, and it was strong enough to allow you to do so without hesitation.  

Be encouraged to identify and/or rediscover your why often by allowing yourself to tap back in and recall what made you say YES to the business in the beginning and know that this reason is still true. 

Of course, your Why may change a bit over time but for the most part it is still the reason that drives you and allows you to stay connected to the passion and purpose of doing business and its all centered around your WHY.

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What are the three things needed to be a successful entrepreneur in any arena? Read on as our new life coach columnist explains.

Does one really know they are ready to become an entrepreneur? 

Or is it something that lives within and emerges one day when the soul is ready?

I often wonder how individuals make this decision. If you are, or currently considering, an entrepreneur path, let me shine some light on the work that’s required to be successful, as I have learned during my journey.

So, if you know how hard being an entrepreneur can be, all the work and hustle, late nights, and continually striving for the next best move, and yet you still say YES! –Why is that?

I believe that with the abundantly available multilevel marketing and online businesses that have sprung up, and now surpass what one could have ever imagined and expanding to new heights, it opens the opportunity for anyone to go it solo as a business owner, especially online.

When I became an entrepreneur, I was at an age that I had no idea I was going into business for myself, and the word entrepreneur had never been uttered nor could I even spell the word.  And yet, my 10-year-old-self stepped right into growing a business.

I had a magazine that I ordered stationary from so I could pen-pal with my cousin in Alaska.  Since I was without income, my mom had to supply the money for my purchases.  When the items I wanted began to grow in value, I had to figure out a way to find money to buy more.  And there in the catalog was a way to do just that – it stated if so much was ordered get so much for FREE!

I found my customer base which was the farmer’s wives.  I lived in the country, so I jumped on my bike and rode house to house asking for a sale.  And it worked! 

And from that place something emerged within, and I knew my desire to own and operate my own business was my desire and passion.  

Connecting the dots looking back, I saw clearer that the first step in becoming a successful entrepreneur was to have an Action Plan! How to get from island A to island B as one of my coaches always described. 

I used an Action Plan again when I turned 30 and attended college to earn my teaching degree in business and technology education.  I did not know at the time it would serve as a catalyst to my future businesses.

As a mother of two small boys and working full time, I had to develop a solid Action Plan to be on target to complete my degree in four years (my own personal goal). And I did just that!

After graduation I began teaching technology at the high school level.  Being able to teach, mentor, direct and lead a classroom of students making an impact on their future was just the beginning. An opportunity in the form of a brick and mortarbusiness came to us and we became golf course owners.

This step into a bigger entrepreneurial opportunity allowed me to leave teaching and grow the business successfully we were able to buy a second course.  

This is where the second step in becoming a successful entrepreneur comes in to play.  I hired a business coach.

Having never worked with a coach, the opportunity was a new experience.  Her support allowed me to learn business practices, how to grow and expand revenue, work with employees, etc.  My goal was to be a successful business owner.

What I discovered during this work with the coach is that everything is interconnected.  My ah-ha was when I realized that how you do one thing is how you do all things. What was going on with the business was often relating to what was going on in my personal life.  They intertwine and without having someone see past those blinders you can miss a lot and begin a downward spiral and get out of control without even realizing the magnitude. 

This relationship with my coach, opened my mind up to a new possibility which was stepping into learning the game of golf, especially since I am know an owner, and taking those principles of life/business on the golf course where I taught women the game of golf AND how it relates to the game of life!

My entrepreneurship business was in such alignment with my talents and gifts.  What I learned on the golf course is now being translated to others on their own course of life.

Stepping into being a mentor and personal coach was my next opportunity to be available for those wanting to make a difference and live their life by design.

What happened that was unforeseen was my use of alcohol, smoking, spending money, and gaining weight to go numb and unconscious to my decision making and plans for success.

This is where step three become the focus for up-leveling out of my current circumstances and situation.  I realized that using the alcohol was linked to all the other uses so if I eliminated the drinking, I’d be able to manage my business with a powerful and businesslike mindset.

So, I did.  My self-care become my priority.  If I was going to continue as a successful badass business woman, I had to take care of me first.  Like on the airplane to put your air mask on first before helping others.

In all of this I learned four powerful words “You Make It Happen” as learned by Melanie Griffith character Tess McGilfrom the movie “Working Girl”.

Now I am playing on a bigger course in the game of life with being on stage giving motivational speeches, teaching teams and groups how to work together, grow their bottom line, and keep reaching for the next best thing that lights them up, and columnist for Cincy Chic, and many other opportunities just on the horizon.

I leave you with this: What’s needed to really be a successful entrepreneur in any arena?

1. Action plan
2. Support
3. Self-care
 

These three simple things can be super challenging if you aren’t aware of their value for the bigger picture.

Action Plan is what keeps you going from the up and down cycles, much like that feeling after Christmas.  You’ve planned and prepared and in an instance the day comes, and everything is over and done with in a blink of an eye. The next day it sets in to the “now what” feeling.  Much like growing a business if there isn’t a solid action plan these moments will take you under.  

I’ve learned to create the list out for the months ahead.  Much like a flow chart in a sense that when this happens its followed by this, but if it doesn’t happen then this next step takes its place. Through my experience and working with others this is a very time-consuming step that most folks don’t even want to take the time to work on and yet it is the most powerful tool in the tool box.

Support! Even athletes have proven that having a coach is what leads them to their successes.  And they not only have one coach but multiple.  A food and diet coach, a trainer, a mindset coach, etc. So, if their success is foundationally proven with the support of a coach, then why would going through life and running a business would be any different.

Self-care comes in many forms and is usually the one that is mostly overlooked.  When I find myself struggling, I stop to see where has my self-care expired? 

I hope these tips have helped you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or inquiries. 

Learn more at http://www.findyourowndrive.com/

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