Hope for the Flowers #Financial Freedom

HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by Trina Paulus 1972

HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by Trina Paulus in 1972 introduces us to two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow”, working so very hard to reach the top of the caterpillar pile. They have no idea that their striving, if left alone, would bring their wings and they would have the ability to fly. Rather they were competitive, not collaborative, as they strove to reach the top of their quest.

There is a small lesson within HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS to learn in regard to your life and in many cases your money. But it is a gentle lesson, “Quit standing on tiptoes!” So many times in life we are reminded that we will never get what we desire without “stretching”, but stretching and standing on tiptoes accomplishes several things: we are not grounded and we are off balance.

Both stretching and standing on tiptoes causes stress and can bring fear into our life when making decisions; most decisions include a financial component. But we have to listen to everyone telling us what to do throughout our lives: STRETCH! Oops, let’s try a gentler approach, “Stop trying, stop stretching, stop standing on tiptoes, let it go”. Let nature take its course with you moving ahead one step at a time and let’s see how much you will accomplish without stress and without competition.

Your Wings are Coming! #Financial Freedom


Meditation is a regular part of my first awakening each day, it does not matter what time it might be. I recommend meditation first thing in the morning since momentum stops during sleep and you awaken with a fresh receptive mind. There are days when meditation only serves to have me start my day out right for me. And then there are days when meditation goes further…it becomes the launchpad for new ideas, for Source “directives”, and I love those days. Meditation gets me through…

And I listen to many thought leaders for inspiration including Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, Joel Osteen, Michael Bernard Beckwith, and more. Many times I turn to YouTube to randomly pick. On Saturday morning, I did just that and a new title by Joel Osteen spoke to me. The title dos not matter now because the content of his talk was totally way out in left field from the title. When that happens, I know that Source is speaking to me. And, OMG, SOURCE was poking, prodding, and talking for where I am right now in my personal transformation resulting form the time of SIP.

It was all about the story of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. This was one of Osteen’s most metaphysical talks ever. And it was my story of EMPOWER Excellence, my money energy coaching practice where the butterfly in the logo represents transformation. I listened to it again this past weekend, and it is so perfectly SOURCE. I know, and I knew, that my wings are coming, but this was mind blowing because it is a transformation that everyone can experience.

You can be moved by what you already know within you even if you have forgotten what you were born knowing. We do not know what a caterpillar thinks and feels, we can only guess. But the caterpillar is a lonely, lowly creature moving about in slow motion. We wonder if a caterpillar knows that he is directly related to the butterfly. If he does, he must really wonder why he must go through what he is going through before he can see that he has wings and can fly. Tortuous process!

Many times many of us feel the same about money in our lives. We know we want more, we want a better relationship with money, but we may accept our position in life and go on many times giving up hope. We begin to think this is our lot in life. We have no idea that our life can change in a split second, or so it seems. Our mind has become grounded much like the caterpillar might feel. We focus on being a caterpillar. It hurts to have butterfly hopes when we believe we are the caterpillar. But then something happens. But it gets worse before it can even be better. Despair and depression in our money lives can relate to this time when the caterpillar finds itself immovable in a cocoon. Depression and despair! Compare it to the current pandemic if you will.

The wings may be forgotten on the surface because we cannot see them like the caterpillar in the cocoon. But then in a very short period of time the caterpillar leaves the cocoon . And there are wings to fly, to soar. Like the butterfly we become who we were created to be. The caterpillar operating on pure faith keeps moving through all of the stages of its life. In faith, we can keep believing and knowing what our mission is. We can fly if we have faith that never ends… We can soar with our money if we keep crawling with faith!

Butterflies…Transform Each & Every One

Gold butterflies cascading

Butterflies are the perfect example of transformation…personally and professionally, and I am here to share everything butterflies with you.  While we are at it, we are also sharing ways to transform; and I do believe personal examples can be powerful.

Have you a good story about your own personal or professional transformation which you would love to share but never get around to it?

Share your story with me through the comments, and, with your permission, I would love to share in whatever way you want, anonymously or not.  

In the meantime, April is almost over, that is 1/3 of 2018.  Unreal, but in December, finally realizing why I made the move to Oberlin, I dug in without resistance and began to transform my personal and professional life; and it is a singular life for one of the things I really learned in 2017 is that there is no division for me between personal and professional.  From here on, you will hear me refer to the combination of personal and professional as “LIFE”.  

Back 6 years ago, I paid for my original Empower Excellence with Jan website to be created.  It was a beautiful job, and the designer was to maintain it–that is where the design lost my LIFE in the process.  LIFE changed, the website did not in major ways.  I learned I needed control, but FEAR stepped in.  I never designed a website; but I learned the first step was to abolish the existing one.  After much discussion with the host of the website, I abolished it leaving me with no website until I figured out what to do.  It was a brave move but not too brave.  I had a good deal of presence on Facebook and a lesser presence on LinkedIn.  I signed up for a course to create a WIX website at a local college, but I was the only registrant, and the class was cancelled.  With a conversation with the instructor for the course, I set off to create a WIX website with a huge learning curve in front of me.  The website was up the beginning of April–I said it is up, it is not perfect, but it is the address of what my old website was–www.empowerexcellencewithjan.com–it is acceptable, and it is the canvas on which the website of the future will be built.  Enough about that…

It was a transformation, the start of a transformation:

  • Stop being a perfectionist.
  • Change what no longer works.
  • Let go of partnerships and friendships that have been outgrown.
  • Step out of the box, out of my comfort zone.
  • Trust in me.

It was an eye opening period of my LIFE…I was out there alone without the personal and professional BFFs because I realized that even BFFs can be outgrown, and they remain BFF but they are no longer your emotional go-to!  It has been hard to let go without any drama, intentional or otherwise, but there is no drama in my LIFE any more because I made the decisions to eliminate those who created the drama from any major role in my life.  They remain in the back story of my life, and they have no idea of their change of status.  It was a harder decision for me but to share their change of status WOULD HAVE LED TO DRAMA…

So, here we are with a new website.  What else has transformed?  I taught myself how to go LIVE on Facebook in February.  Another scary move, but it was not difficult.  I, once again, had a huge learning curve as I created a new page devoted to “Empower Excellence It’s Your Money LIVE and More”.  Anyone can join simply by requesting to join.  There are over 100 members of the group, and it is a group because I would like others to engage in the page.  I have learned many things:

  • Set a schedule, and take a day off periodically
  • Be there when you say you will be
  • Ask others to “SHARE”
  • Allow myself to make mistakes, but pick up quickly
  • Thank people for watching!
  • Let it all come from my head, heart, and soul.

Having to be “live” three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and not wanting to do this in my pajamas (I am the expert on Money Energy; must command some professionalism), I am up, breakfasted, showered and ready to go for the day at 9 am.  That is a LIFE achievement!

Enough for now, the transformation continues, and I would love to help anyone else in their LIFE transformation…just let me know how I can help you!

Transformation for All, Not Some!

Jan's Butterfly Bottle and Bottega 3 15 18 2

Several weeks ago, I created my first piece of creative endeavor–my blue butterfly!  I have often wondered why I am so totally drawn to the blue butterfly in my logo, in my wall hangings, and more.  For many years, I was very politically active through government channels.  I was touched very much by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and I can tell you exactly where I was coming home from Parma Senior High on Longwood Drive in Parma.   I was touched by the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June of 1968.  But the April 4 death of Martin Luther King, Jr. earlier that year overshadowed the death of Bobby.  I fully believe that all are created equal in the plan of the Source (aka God, Buddha, and more), there was no difference.  But much has stepped in the way of that equality.  Yes, it is not only the color of your skin but also your gender, your nationality, your sexuality, and more that keep us from all  being considered equal.  We are all in the process of Transformation to being equal in the eyes of all.  There is no secret that I absolutely do not believe that our current administration is a part of the Transformation in a positive way.  I do believe that it is so negative that a shift will come sooner because of the emotional immaturity present in government today…in the work by Brian Swimme and The Powers of the Universe, we are in a cataclysmic period, and new positive changes are coming.  I, too, have a dream.  Thank you Dr. King for taking us a step further in our total Transformation.   P.S.  The blue butterfly is one symbol of Transformation in each and every one of us…

Motivation Mojo & My Butterfly…

Jan's Butterfly Bottle and Bottega 3 15 18 2

Motivation is funny and strange!  The above piece of art is an original of mine which began as a flower and became a butterfly.  In my work with money, the butterfly is always in my mind, body, heart and soul!  It is my mission, it is TRANSFORMATION!  It is all about the colors, the chakras, and my mojo.  Really, once I have tuned into The Universe aka God, as long as I stay out of my own way (thank you, Keith Jordan, for that wisdom many years ago), The Universe knows where we are going according to my chosen mission, and it works with me to keep moving ahead!  

Yes, it is motivation, but it is also mojo, the indescribable momentum within my soul, that keeps the path clear for the most part.  My motivation to attend a soft opening of the local, only one in Ohio, Bottle and Bottega, opened by my friend Vicki Prete and her spouse Scott in northern Ohio, was to support Vicki as I have never considered myself to be artistic in any way.  Creative, yes, artistic, NO!  But I went for my reason alone.  This had been a creative work of love for Vicki for months–I needed to be there to support her!  And, yes it sparked my butterfly.  

So, why is the butterfly a symbol of balance and inspiration.  If you have ever checked out my Pinterest boards, they are pretty much lately only butterfly pins; and butterflies are truly a work of art of Nature.  You do not see butterflies with abstract patterns–they are balanced and yet each is an individual of its own species.  They are an inspiration.  They are the perfect examples of TRANFORMATION.  They are powerful, but their lives are very short.  They came to do what they come to do and are gone!  No nonsense here!  Even Deepak Chopra has stated in a recent meditation that ” Motivation comes from Inspiration”.  And my famous mantra is the question “Is it fear or love?” questions motivation as a driving force in life…

So, why the butterfly, now?  

This piece of art, and it is, hangs outside of my Empower Excellence office all alone until I create another.  It is a reminder of how far I have come in this my sixth year of business, and it is the motivation of where I am now going.  It is exciting in and of itself, and it gives me chills to know that all the work I have done is only the beginning…



Think Big, Start Small

Buterfly Monarch Ohio Caterpillar

It would be great to be able to talk to creatures in nature to see what they are really thinking.  Just look at the photo above, taken by me at a local nature spot close by.  Two caterpillars, one large and one small, or is it just the perspective of the photograph?  And do either of the caterpillars know what is in store for them in their coming days?  I surely do not know…

But, in comparison to what they may become as a butterfly, they may be thinking fairly small right now.  And, if they knew what their future was, they might be overwhelmed by the gap of where they are to where they are going.  Not knowing is a wonderful thing sometimes–it allows you to take one step at a time to get where you are going.  Martin Luther King, Jr. said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  

Relating that quote to money is really appropriate…we have talked about dreams, your dreams, and we have talked about identifying capabilities, your capabilities, and it is now time to really form that dream in your mind, body, and spirit.  It is time to live the dream every day, taking the small steps within your capabilities to reach it .  Think big, start small!

Staying out of the political realm of the Golden Globes last night, but really looking at the presentation of Oprah Winfrey (I doubt that I need to use her last name), but Oprah Winfrey brought hope to the stage last night and with the media reports this morning–she spoke to everyone last night, and everyone knows she started small, but she had a dream; and now that dream may create a transformation in this country as she thinks big–possible political run–but she started ever so small!  She started small in the realm of money, and today she literally could do anything she wants to do.  But, she has kept her mind, body, and spirit remembering her start and her energy that she used to tae her one step at a time!  

Think big!  Start small!


Empowerexcellencewithjan.com          janicelitterst@gmail.com


Did Not Quite Get the Idea Correct…


On December 30th of 2016, I declared that 2017 would be my year of the butterfly, my year of transformation.  That proved to be very true:  2017 was definitely a year of transformation.  The year included a geographical move to Oberlin, Ohio, 5 upper respiratory crises, a major tear in the fabric of my family with my two sons, the realization that all friendships change radically, a medical experience with my traditional doctor that  screamed of cancer, the final proof that my sibling family was medically harming my future!  And these are just the highlights that have resulted from an intensive therapeutic course of study in the last days of December! 

It became apparent as 2017 drew to a close that much was changed, transformation had occurred.  It had been painful in many areas; but it prepared me for 2018.  And now, we are here in 2018, and I once again declare it the year of the butterfly, but this year is different!  This year I am ready to soften to the challenge!

Transformation is a profound shift in the way we experience and relate to ourselves and the world; and that did, indeed, happen!  2017 was a year of destabilization before the actual transformation.  New ideas took hold as a result of all that had occurred.  Now it is up to me to create the practice of my life.  Decodiitoning and a conscious transformation have now occurred; and the dance between the two still continues.  

Intention, Attention, Repetition, and Guidance are the continuing essential elements; and I will continue to practice them in all I do.  The fires are of vision, heart, creativity, and soul.  While it may be the year of the butterfly because the transformation from the chrysalis to the butterfly has occurred, it is also the year that I want to learn who am I…and that may take many years.  But I like the butterfly, am softening to the challenge.

The Root of the Concern…

Butterfly Listening

The butterflies are back even if only in the graphic of the roots of a tree.  Butterflies are important to me in many respects as they are a symbol of transformation.  They have a short lifespan, but they maximize their time on Earth.  They begin as caterpillars, not really knowing the glory that will be theirs before their lifespan is finished.  They go through what seems to me to be a “dark” period as they begin their metamorphosis.  In the end, they find themselves with wings and the ability to take flight.  Personal Sustainability reflects these changes as we all find ourselves somewhat grounded as children, much like the caterpillar, never knowing what we have the potential to become–to sprout wings and take flight.  As an individual, we each find our wings as we mature, and it is up to us to do what we need to do to become personally sustainable and building upon that to build sustainable families and communities.  We need strong roots like the tree, but we begin as a tiny sapling close to the ground depending upon the right food and the right natural ingredients–sunlight, soil, and water–to grow.  Kept in the dark, nourished with chemicals instead of pure water, and given chemicals to make us grow faster rather than nurturing foods, as a plant or tree, we are not going to reach our pure potential…All of nature is interconnected, butterflies, trees, and more.  Moreover, we are all connected to Nature, and it is up to us to make sure that the relationship is healthy… I think butterflies are great roots for that relationship in the ground or in the air! 

Getting Ready to Be Ready to Transform!

butterfly clipping wings July 6 2016

A long time ago when I lived in Vermilion, Ohio, a city by the Lake of Erie, I had a slate wallhanging created for me by a local artist of lake gulls with the words “Don’t Ask Me to Walk…When I have the urge to soar!”

Four months ago, I moved to Oberlin, Ohio from “the city”, the Greater Cleveland area.  It seemed as if “the city” had clipped my wings and found me doing what everyone thought was mine to do.  I needed to leave “the city” to regain my wings.

I am happy here in Oberlin while I am still trying to find where my wings want to take me.  I have rolled out The Empower Excellence Experience:  Personal Sustainability.  I am very diversified and yet unified, but I need to set my core in place while ablaze.  Does that make sense to anyone but me!

Many folks in the city have disconnected since my move, and that is ok.  They are the caterpillars I left behind for the most part.  They knew me as Jan Litterst for many years, the person in financial services in one way or another:  banking, financial planning, financial coaching.  I was slogging my way through amid so many other caterpillars.  I was there, I grew up there, I left there, I returned there, but I was never really there!

And now I can feel it coming, the bigger transformation, but it is not ready to crash the chrysalis to become a really beautiful butterfly.  I think I need a resting time before I begin the transformation, the really big one!  And yet, I have a hard time taking a time out.  So for now, I am slowing down and taking a respite in what I have created so far.  Yes, the financial transition coaching– as money is an emotionally based tool of life– remains in the Empower Excellence quadrant.  The Spiritual–the soul– is residing in The Practice at Oberlin quadrant beginning September 12th.  The Physical–nutrition keeps us alive–is rooted in the third quadrant Pampered Chef “healthy”.  The Earth–our personal bodies and physical residences–is based in the fourth quadrant–Norwex– clearing chemicals from our personal existences.  As spiritual beings having a physical experience on Earth, food, self-care, and money are vital pieces to healing ourselves and healing our Earth, starting on the personal level.

Peace is within me, and I am beginning to share it outside of me…please join me.


You Win Some, You Lose Some


Cynical as it may be, life is not all about winning.  There is  a balance:   you win some, you lose some.  It does not matter what you are talking about in your life.  It can be a love relationship, money, time, good days and bad days.  Not everyone is going to like what you have to say.  Even in blogging, some people quickly sign up to “follow” you.  Some never “follow” but read you faithfully.  How do you know?  Just stop writing, and you will hear from the faithful to begin again.

It is amazing when I announced that 2017 would be the year of the butterfly I lost a few followers.  Why?  Do butterflies bore them?  Not going into that because I would be preaching to the choir.  But I would like to explain why I am totally obsessed with butterflies.  The butterfly is one of the most beautiful creatures, and they come in all sizes and colors, and they are all over the world.  They do not bother anyone, but they serve not only as beauty but as pollinators.  Their life span is short but oh so productive.  Their main fascination for me lies in the fact that they are absolutely the most beautiful form of transformation moving from the fuzzy caterpillar to the beautiful butterfly.  This is transformation that is visible; and we all can use the caterpillar as an example of something that does not know what hits them until they are the beautiful creature, and then their life is shortly over.  They reach their glory, make the most of it, and live the world to all of the other butterflies.  They are happy, I think, I hope, because they create happiness in their beauty to be beheld, and they are the eternal sign of hope in their transformation.

Six years ago I left the corporate world of wealth management…it was a long departure until I finally realized that I was a caterpillar there and wanted to become a butterfly to pollinate the world with better ways to live with money, something I am very good at.  I have had the good fortune to know what I am on this Earth to do.  I lived my whole life learning the bits and pieces I needed to help change fear with money to love with money.  Love has power with everything, but especially with money.  My journey has been spiritual, experiential, and full of fear at times, but you have to live with the fear to know what happens to someone experiencing fear before you can help them transform the fear into love.  That is what I do in various forms and formats, and I love what I do.  So the fascination with butterflies….

Come with me this year as we fly with the butterflies, finding hope, finding love, and being happy!  Ever see a sad butterfly?