There are so many AWEsome Human Beings Out there in NATURE…

Nature is our home, part of our family, and I know that NATURE HEALS. There is a universal connection with nature. Moods can be changed while changing our physical well being in nature. Health can be maintained and healed in all ages and generations as each of us can become calmer reconnecting with our inner nature. Art incorporating nature can be therapy as well. A good friend Bonnie MacKay lives in nature both literally and in the classroom and art studio.

TO BE HEALED BY THE EARTH is a book I love written by Cleveland healer Warren Grossman. His story talks of his relationship with nature which all of us can replicate! His book is in my car along with a yoga mat for sessions with the Earth!

SERENITY SOUNDS YOGA many times takes its yoga sessions to the beaches of Lake Erie but even more wonderful is when the founder Katherine Carp plays her singing bowls in Nature on the beach and elsewhere. Meditation, yoga, and simple symphonies provided by natural means become so heavenly.

There are so many friends and acquaintances who practice healing in nature. Please do comment and let’s talk about your practice.

With the founding of AWW Ageless Women of Wisdom earlier this year (www.empowerexcellencewithjan.com) the concept included the sharing of wisdom across all generations through one-day retreats in 2020 and overnight retreats in 2021. The flow of topics is being developed not by AWW but by participants in the three SUMMER OF AWE (Ageless Women Emerging) conversation sessions of what women would like to participate in to change their lives for the better and to design their individual story moving forward. The summer sessions were held in the outdoor, natural settings of a new winery in Richfield, Ohio. Somehow the Universe smiled on the sessions with amazing sunshine in one of the rainiest summers I can recall in Northeast Ohio.

And as AWW/AWW progresses, Wendy Osborne Kertesz appeared as one of my LinkedIn Connections so connected to nature through her MONARCH a living resort that is developing in Canal Fulton, Ohio. There was a connection, but there is a now greater connection as Wendy is realizing the Universe serving her with a long-time dream with her resort that has me fascinated as it develops not only because of the name–my original company Empower Excellence has had the butterfly, a symbol of transformation, as the center of its logo since its inception seven years agobut also because of the desire to hold our retreats in natural settings. Monarch, a living resort is a promise from the Universe to AWW. Wendy and I will be meeting soon, and I know there are no accidents, there are dreams which become intentions. That is why AWW hopes to partner with women locally at first and nationally in the future to allow the women themselves to design their future program for a better life, a greater story, and even a healing for them in their home… Nature!

Starting With Self Love…and then comes the R-Evolution!

Positive Me

It may be Friday, and it may be a holiday weekend, and I may have stayed up hours past my bedtime last night, but today is today, and I know I have crossed through the barrier that was holding me outside of my vortex.  It was a hard road to travel because I am an energetic person…and my energy was not attracting what I wanted to be.

And then, yesterday happened, and small things became manifested, some unexpectedly, and all have to do with money, even in small ways.  And I am on the path to my energy.  Things happened…

My home was paid attention to by the homeowner, and that felt good.  A new faucet in the half bath to replace the dripping original…symbolic of energy leaking and now energy back in my field.  The foundation was sprayed…keeping the unwelcome critters out…the energy suckers.  No bugs, peace returns.  Then listening to the local radio station, I was the third caller and am now in a drawing to win one of two gift certificates to Brasa Grill in Cleveland.  The drive to Lyndhurst during rush hour was uneventful, and the party was family fun with “The Great Liam”!  I must say that my energy was good–I looked young and vibrant, I was engaged with all, even a “hello” to my ex of 35 years.  I am not being mean when I say that, even with his three wheeler Honda Gold Wing with mag wheels (Oh no!), he is a very old man with a very old scraggly beard and pot belly.  He is the epitome of all Honda Gold Wing drivers I have seen–it is hard to tell them apart.  

While everyone absolutely deluges the boys with toys and more, I am now very comfortable focusing on my college money deposit –I even had Liam open the card even though the concept of college is far away!

My departure signaled the bedtime for the boys, and I headed back to Oberlin about 8 with a stop at the Oberlin IGA to pick up groceries and home to do laundry.  No worries about money NOW or for the future.  I was up till 1 trying Nicole’s OM Organics Grapefruit Body Scrub–wonderful sleep aid!  

And then this morning, it hit me!

My energy has been dragging because I have been sending duplicitous messages to the Universe!

Small business cash flow slows down when the energy is being put into new ventures, which I have been doing becoming online with Teachable.  The focus disappears…Simplicity less focus

And the time is now for more focus…less work, more life!  

Kurt and Nicole are dreaming big looking at another house, with an in-ground pool, in Aurora Saturday!  The move may be earlier than June of 2019.  That really put the energy in motion.  

Should I rent in Aurora?  I believe my original decision to buy is the right one–I was giving myself a Plan B and not believing that I can get the down payment together and then get approved for a mortgage.  It was an easy out, and Kurt is agreeable to moving me sooner than I had planned.  But that is not the answer.  The ride home to Oberlin last night reinforced my reason for being in Oberlin:  to truly find myself and like myself for who I am.  I thought I was doing that, but I believe I am still in the process.  I like Oberlin without the involvement.  Leaving the Women’s Fund put me into me.  I am not defined by what I am doing in the community any longer.  I had lived my life in that mode since 1983; I lost my true identity then.  My writing is happening through the blogs, the live Facebook schedule, and more.  I was trying to fill the hole that was created through my marriage–I never knew who I was before I was going through a divorce as a single parent.  I never had the time to stop and breathe.  Oberlin is my breathing place!  

But Aurora is the R-Evolution…family and foundation.  I will be buying, and Empower Excellence with all of its parts and pieces will provide whatever I need. So it is now time to send only clear messages to The Universe that the vortex has a lot of ideas within but they all have led to the biggest deposit being made right now.  

While I have plans for Sunday of this holiday weekend, it will be a weekend of journaling, which I have totally departed from.  The energy was not there..

And that was all a part of my moving to Oberlin, to sit and work on me and my business looking out over a treed backyard.  Sleeping better than ever, eating better than ever, and making new friendships.  The foundation is being built.  The family part is there with Keith, Kurt, Nicole, Liam and Kurty.  Joyce and Marge and their families are part of the stifled energy.  They are there but they chose not to be a part of my larger family now…Stifled.  But I am no longer stifled.

The time has come for Professional Women’s Connection to GROW BIG!  The time for Teachable to become BIG is happening.  Now it is time for me to fit the profile I have created without any hesitation.  It is time for the R-Evolution in Money and more, and it is in the process of showing itself.  I am ready, I am receptive, and I am grateful!

image002Empower Excellence, LLC

home of Empower Excellence Transformational Moments

home of Professional Women’s Connection and more…

janicelitterst@gmail.com      440-670-2252

Flow is always happening…good or bad!

vermilion-harbor

It is easy to imagine “flow” in motion when you are on or near the water.  This photo is from Vermilion, Ohio, my home from 1997 to 2005.  

But “flow” became a significant word to me a number of years ago through the study of The Powers of the Universe.  The Universe came into existence billions of years ago, and it was “flow” from the beginning.  I came to accept that I entered the “flow” of The Universe when it was time for me, which was midcentury 1900’s.  Every plant, every creature, including us, appeared when it was our time.  And so it goes…

I began to use “flow” in my language to indicate when everything was going as it should…good or bad.  And I sincerely mean that.  We enter the flow when it is our time, we exit the flow when it is our time.  Simplistic, it is true, but it works for me.

In my work with money over the last several decades, “flow” usually referred to cash flow in the traditional sense; but for me, it has come to mean much more.  If you get stuck in the cash flow belief, money has a difficult time flowing to you.  You need to be ready to accept, to be receptive to the flow of money no matter what the circumstances.  Sometimes it flows to you, sometimes it flows to others.  But it is still flow.  

What is your thought of “flow”?  After all, “flow” and money are personal!

How DO You Measure Joy?

Joy is a Net of Love

Joy is an intangible that is tangible!  And it does take any amount of money to own joy!  On a Friday where the weather in Oberlin, Ohio is as glorious as yellow flowers of any kind–have you ever wondered why yellow flowers are so “YELLOW”?  And so full of joy?  

And yet, Joy is sometimes hard to find in certain people, in certain occasions, and in certain times.  But it is at the very times when JOY is hard to find that finding it in a simple smile, a grateful look, or a breath of fresh air, it is at these times that JOY is priceless.  It captures hearts and souls and sometimes there is so much joy that it brings tears to the eyes who are witnessing it.  Joy is simple, it is from the heart and soul and can be found if someone just takes the time to let the feeling come through whatever the circumstances might be.  I truly believe that JOY is a foundational piece of Personal Sustainability!

Calm Friday…

jml-huntington-beach

As we are reminded by meteorologists, fall is here and winter is on its way.  For today, I am happy with “Calm”.  That forecast is so much friendlier and healthier.  No worries, just calm.  It is a lesson to be learned for all of us both in our lives and in our weather.  It is also a place to be 4 days before the tumultuous election.  I share this with you from the Huntington Beach just west of Cleveland, Ohio.  It has seen its own storms including a visit from Hurricane Sandy several years ago.  But the calm of the water always returns inspire of moons, tides, and the weather.  A lesson to be remembered…

The Empower Excellence Experience 2017 is Going Back to Our Roots…

local-produce-3

In 2011, as an active participant in Sustainable Cleveland, I had the good fortune to meet Woody Tasch, venture capitalist and author of SLOW MONEY, as he presented at the Cleveland annual summit.  It set off a path that led to a group in Ohio and in Cleveland focused on SLOW MONEY, investing in the earth by supporting local food entrepreneurs.  That chapter for me came to a conclusion as the Cleveland group had found investable money, created a website, and an advisory group.  Their future path is no longer part of my portfolio, but it ignited a fire within me that has been dormant for almost two years.  

But my evolution has continued with Empower Excellence during those years, and it continues to move ahead.  In 2017 it is my intention to move to Oberlin, ironically the location that led me to really become involved in local food.  Their aspirations through the Oberlin Project include more local food produced and consumed in the Oberlin area.  Truly local food.  

Oberlin has been my destination for a while, and my vision of me in Oberlin is a quieter but more involved version of Empower Excellence now lovingly referred to as The Empower Excellence Experience.  There is much to share at a later time about that evolution.  It is truly exciting and has really excited my soul!  

But on September 8th, I attended a dinner cooking party.  Not my usual activity, but there is always a reason for everything happening in my life.  By the end of the evening, with the help of my hostess and encouragement from other guests, an idea had hatched that I fell in love with.  It was something that touched my heart and soul so much that in the words of Tama Kieve this morning it caused me to “delve into a project with savage devotion, leaving no room for questions.”  

Beginning in the Spring, I hope to be a part of the Oberlin Farm Market doing mini cooking shows weekly using the produce of the other vendors, truly promoting good, local produce as local as it can be short of going to farms all around the area.  Yes, there is more, but that is the kernel of the idea.  I am exploring my participation in the market, but today, I love the idea so fully, that I truly believe that it is being prepped by the Universe with me.  You see, everyone’s experience with empowering excellence begins with health, it begins with good, healthy, local food.  I can be of help to the local food producers while helping local residents who attend the weekly farm market to have fun using the local produce.  I am excited, and I cannot wait to share that happiness about this idea.  Food makes people happy–growing it, cooking it, and eating it for happiness comes from other people sharing life with each other, and that is a part of the Empower Excellence Experience.  Stay tuned…

The Torch Has Been Passed…a Long Time Ago!

Looking Back

Thank you, Michael Beckwith, for this wisdom. for I have been consumed with facts from my past 40 years, and more, for the last several days.  It is truly amazing to me how simple things that occurred in my 20’s are now returning to me in full force.  How can people who crossed your path in the past now play such a strong role in my path today.  It would be amazing if we knew then what we know now and if we would have been any different then towards the folks who remain with us forever…except we do not know that when we first meet them.  I am glad I treated them with kindness then…

what is even more unnerving is that so many of these folks have transitioned…

But today is NOW.  Yes, they remain with me; but, they are now looking out from their current existence at what I am doing, and where I am going.  The people who crossed my path and left an impression then and are making an even greater impression now are influencing decisions I am making.  Let’s just mention a few.

My father, Stanley J., had a vision of Lorain County, and I was lucky to have been taken there on day trips when I was very young.  Lorain, Ohio’s main street left an impression on my father, partially because of his short time working in the steel mills of Cleveland.  We would go on a sunny day for a road trip, fid places to eat ethnic food, and have a good day there.  Lorain was a great town then, and it is still a great town today.  Stanley J. liked ethnic places!

Many years later, newly married and living in Columbus, I worked with the Ohio Board of Regents.  The most memorable people I worked with were Dr. Max J. Lerner and Dwight Diller, a cousin by marriage to Phyllis Diller.  Max and Dwight worked together at Lorain County Community College where Max was the first President beginning in 1963.  He was a forward thinker for Lorain County, and he brought Dwight with him to be part of the development of two-year campuses in Ohio at the Regents.  I loved Dwight’s stories and Max’s quiet leadership style, more at home in Lorain than in the state government scene in Columbus.  Also with this group came Karen Pritts Parker, a graduate of Lorain County Community College, as an Administrative Assistant.  From what I know and have been able to ascertain with the help of the internet, Karen died at the age of 39 in Arizona, Dwight cannot be found on the internet, and Max died in 2013.  But they all created a picture of Lorain County that remains with me today:  leadership, education, humor, and simple beauty of a soul.

Not long after my time with the Board of Regents, with life interrupting in the form of family and the pursuit of my own education, I met J. Leonard Camera, Chairman of the Ohio House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee, Representative from the City of Lorain.  Many look at this as my beginning in politics.  But it was so far from that; I did not even now what party I was registered in.  I simply applied for a “government” job, was hired, and thus began a long time in government and politics.  But back to “Lenny”.  He was no more than 5 feet tall, but a powerhouse labor leader from a labor town called “Lorain”.    He had a dozen children–and they all left their own mark in Lorain County–and his wife, Laverne, who he called “Queenie”.  And he still loved her after all of their years together.  Lenny taught me about politics in Lorain, about family, and about the labor movement.

And then, I left Lorain County for Northeast Ohio, with my soon to be ex-husband.  There are no mistakes.  So much growth occurred in that time of my life.  1983, with a newly minted degree from Lake Erie College, two little boys, a new mortgage, a new car payment, and a divorce decree from a man who would some day become “Santa Claus”.  Enough of that.  

In 1983, I began an 8-year term as District Administrator for then Congressman Dennis E. Eckart, from Euclid, but whom I met in Columbus while on Lorain’s J. Leonard Camera’s House Commerce and Labor Committee staff.  In 1985-1986, upon the request of the Congressman, I began the exploration of my becoming a part of Leadership Cleveland which led to the creation with Marguerite Krueger, Jim Capitan, and Gus Gehring of Leadership Lake County through the tutelage of the then executive director of Leadership Lorain County, which had just recently started their own Leadership Program.  Once again, Lorain County played a mentoring role for me…while forgotten for several years.  

And then in 1997, as a bank manager for then Bank One, Cleveland, I was recruited to Lorain County for a position with Premier Bank & Trust.  Moving to Vermilion, I was living in the Lorain County area for the first time.  While I stayed there for 7 years, moving to Cuyahoga County when my mother was terminal in a nursing home, my involvement began but was not very deep.  But there I was in Lorain County, very different than when my father introduced me on our road trips to Lorain, so very different.  

But the pull of Lorain County was still there.  This time it was Oberlin, Ohio, and its community, its love of local food, and First Church.  I loved what Oberlin was doing through the College and the Oberlin Project focused on Sustainability.  I explored living there, but it was not to be until now.

I have found my intended landlord, I am back as a member of First Church, and I was ready to settle in to Oberlin to write, run my virtual coaching business, and be a part of the local community, quietly and liberally.  Now it was just waiting until February of 2017 when my lease would be up on my current home.  It was a plan, and God laughed and said “Oh, yeah?”

Yes, I am moving to Oberlin.  Yes, I will continue my business albeit in a different format, but my attorney began working on that weeks ago long before God made his plan known….I was meant to be an active member of the Lorain County community.  Now we will see how Max, Dwight, Karen, Lenny, and many more will influence my life moving forward…It took a lot of time, but they have had the time to look down and say “It is time, Jan”.  

janicelitterst@gmail.com

empowerexcellencewithjan.com 

Butterfly Smile

Life is so interesting.  This blog started out to be all about money.  It has meandered down many roads to reach today, and it is still all about money because money is really all about energy–positive or negative.  But we do not talk a lot about money, and that is the key!  The less you think, worry, discuss, and contemplate money and its problems–which are really problems in other areas of your life–the fewer concerns you have about money.

Many years ago, right after a very unexpected divorce, I found myself raising two young boys.  We lived in a unique neighborhood where, once they were reading after their evening baths, I went for my daily walk.  I could see my home, and my children looking out their windows watching me, but I was really watching them.  My mantra during those moments of solitude was “Thank you, God, for I know I could not do what I am doing alone!”

That divorce is history, the boys are adults, and I am on career #4 or #5 or more.  and I am starting off on a new venture, which I have wanted to do for many years.  I am moving to Oberlin, Ohio, alone.  But I am not alone.  God and my butterflies are with me–life is always a transformation!

But the most rewarding words came from my youngest son yesterday.  As we talked about my quest for Oberlin, and how some people literally refer to their lives as “Groundhog’s Day”, he told me something very gratifying.  He told me “I live my life in a different way every day because I never want to keep doing the same thing.”  He is married, the father of two little boys under the age of two, and he is very involved in his life, but he is always open to the “new”.

That made me smile for many reasons, but I smile a lot because I know I am never alone.  In my Oberlin quest, I have found someone who is moving to Oberlin, and we are contemplating splitting a lease.  Her name is Janet.  This morning, I spoke with someone who graciously answered all of my questions through the Oberlin Business Partnership; her name is Janet.  God is providing the folks to make sure that I am not alone on my move to Oberlin.  By the way, my name is Janice.  My travel companions on this road are making sure I am not alone, and I do not even to try very hard to remember their names!  Call it divine providence or the Universe, they are all the same!

And, yes, all of these decisions have involved money in many different ways; but it is not the money.  My energy is positive; and I work with others making decisions about divorce, about relocation, about career changes because money is always a determining factor, but it is so much more than money that affects our money relationships.  Putting the money in the proper perspective makes the decision so much clearer and easier.  You can smile about money at any time, once you put it into perspective!

janicelitterst@gmail.com

empowerexcellencewithjan.com

Priceless Conversations

Yes, it is a beautiful Sunday with many things on the agenda including getting the deck ready for Spring and going to the beach….I have been talking to myself a lot lately, and it is true that deep conversations with the right people are priceless, even if that “right” person is me.  In fact, those personal conversations are truly priceless.  It is taking the time to find myself again.  It has been over three years of fighting to bring my company to life, and it is alive!  But I have to find me again before I can engage with really deep conversation with others.  

I am slowly working my way back to other people, and that includes my decision to move to Oberlin, Ohio within the year.  I need community, and I have given up community–true personal community–to build all pieces of my business.  Interestingly enough, I am getting ready to license pieces of the business so that I can get back to me and still make a living that is adequate and more than adequate.  

And, yes, many may take a look at what I have just said and cite the 100+ women in my networking groups who are truly part of my community…  Yes, they are all part of my community, but I am seeking the priceless connections of “friends”.  Friends who understand where I am in my path, and friends who are not competitive with me on that path.  I thirst for deep conversations with others over a glass of wine, a cup of tea, or a cup of coffee, that has nothing to do with business.  It is on its way, and it is priceless…it has nothing to do with money!

 

janicelitterst@gmail.com

empowerexcellencewithjan.com

Have You Always Wanted to be a Mentor?

I believe in you

This is the week to really kick off 2016.  This is the week to finetune my passions in my personal and professional life.  This is the week to focus on what is important to me.

One of the things that I am most passionate about is helping other women to be successful.  That passion can take many forms, and one is finding success through good money relationships.  A focus for 2016 will be the rollout of The Partnering Program…

WHAT IS THE PARTNERING PROGRAM?

Professional Women’s Connection (formerly Westside Professional Women’s Connection founded in the late 1990’s) became a program of Empower Excellence in the fall of 2013. It is a monthly networking program. Each program features table networking, individual business promotion, a member speaker, and informal networking. There are additional opportunities for members to actively market their businesses monthly and quarterly. The first location, in Westlake Ohio, has grown from 38 members to 64 members in 20 months. The second location, in Willoughby, Ohio, began October 1, 2015, with 24 membrs as of December , 2015.

In 2016, Professional Women’s Connection—Lorain County is being launched. “The Partnering Program” is also being launched in 2016.

Linking the business community to women entering or progressing in the employment market is not only supportive but also increases their earning power while increasing their self esteem and leadership skills. There are impediments for women wanting to network while they must maintain full –time employment to support themselves and their families. In addition, they may bepart-time or full-time students. Plus, they may be limited by the normal costs of traditional lunchtime networking programs.

“The Partnering Program” is designed to overcome these impediments while  “partnering” women with established business members of the Professional  Women’s Connection—Lorain County. This is a form of mentoring but outside the traditional walls of a corporation. The monthly program will be from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, which will allow the “partnering” participants—those looking to learn how to network as they pursue an education, work their regular jobs, or begin to build an               entrepreneurial dream.

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE PARTNERING PROGRAM?

To increase the success of women in Lorain County seeking to enter or progress in the employment market, including entrepreneurship. The project will have significance because it can be added to the other Professional Women’s Connection programs as well as be a model for future communities to use their human capital in the form of women business owners and professionals to assist those who are desiring to join their ranks, increasing jobs, increasing business participation, and improving the economic conditions of women all through Ohio . Through the success of Professional Women’s Connection, we are replicating the parent networking organization, and, yes, this program is being organized and developed to be replicable locally, regionally, and nationally. This is a new, affordable, solution to allow women who cannot leave their fulltime positions during the day and cannot afford the traditional events to network.  In addition, there is no membership fee for them to participate in “The Partnering Program”. They simply pay a reduced rate only for the monthly event to cover the food provided. This is their investment in their own progress.

IS THE PARTNERING PROGRAM A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT?

  • The following organizations are integrally involved in a working partnership with The Partnering Program in the following ways:
  • Women’s Link of Lorain County Community College will be the administrative area in cooperation with the Lakeland Foundation serving as the fiscal agent for The Partnering Program. They are also a source of participants for the program.
  • The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Lorain County Community College: Source of potential participants and space for monthly events.
  • FEBE (Fostering Entrepreneurial Business Education (GLIDE, SBDC, Blackstone Launchpad, and Lorain County Community College): Source of participants. The SBDC, Blackstone Launch Pad, and FEBE are all on board to actively allow recruitment at their events of participants for this total program. A copy of the Blackstone Launch Pad brochure is available.
  • Food Service of Lorain County Community College: Food Service

 

HOW WILL THE PARTNERING PROGRAM BE EVALUATED? 

The goal for participation of “partnering” members will be 10-15 in year one with members of the Professional Women’s Connection volunteering to be the main mentors with all members serving as resources for the“partnering members”. There will be a “checklist” of progress between the two groups. Successful completion of the appropriate number of items, each person’s success will be personally determined based upon their point of entry, will determine the effectiveness for each participant. The final evaluation will include possible membership in the Professional Women’s Connection—Lorain County group in a category, which will be created for those successfully completing the one-year partnering, program.

All milestones will be shared with the collaborating     organizations, as the success of “The Partnering Program” will be due in part to the participation of these groups in referring potential participants to the program. In addition, the use of social media will be effectively and efficiently used to document the progress of the program. The participants’ confidentiality will be respected.

 

 

 

IT IS WITH EXTREME APPRECIATION TO THE WOMENS FUND OF THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LORAIN COUNTY FOR THE GRANT DOLLARS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PARTNERING PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS WOMAN-EMPOWERING PROGRAM N LORAIN COUNTY.