Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My Second Life

 Ten Sights guest post for She Chooses(R) by Debbie Felton.

Lee1.  My daughter waiting for me at the airport in Boston after a long time apart. I  cried. The Museum of Fine Arts, dinner at Legal Seafood, the first time ever for both of us seeing "The Nutcracker," performed live by Boston Ballet with the shimmer of Christmas enveloping us in a mystical, transformative night.

2. My brother's fairy-tale wedding.

3. The acceptance letter from the University of South Florida telling me I would be enrolling as a junior for Spring 2010.

4. Standing in front  of Van Gogh's "The Bedroom"  at the Art Institute of Chicago.  I cried.  It was a visceral experience of the presence of the artist.

5.  Chicago in spring, with the tulips a riot of color and the weather so perfect it was magical. The view outside our room at Hotel Burnham as J.H.  and I people-watched the fascinatingly endless parade of passers-by.

6.  The interior of the Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the public library and also known as "the People's Palace."  The mosaics, the domes, the quotes of great writers and thinkers – and to think such a beautiful and wondrous place was built to hold books and was there for everyone. Where has that spirit of civic-mindedness gone?  Yes, I cried again.

7.  The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, and a most fantastic day spent in the company of a friend and mentor helping me learn that life is worth the effort.  On the drive home, a rainbow that flew up into the sky **from the hood of my car** as we drove through sun-shining-through-rain, and the most apt metphor for smiling-through-your-tears I have ever experienced.

8.  The grounds at the Tallahassee branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society USA in the spring when everything is blooming and fresh from rain.  Walking among the foliage with B.D. and sharing her love of all things of nature.  Peace reigns here.

9.  My friends, I.W. and G.R., who keep the memory of our dearly beloved alive because they are unafraid of talking about him, who help me understand it wasn't all a dream, and who make it possible to cope with the fact that it wasn't.

10.  The face of an amazing young tubist receiving the gift of an instrument he could never afford because of a mutual friend who has been the link between my first life and my second.

Debbie Felton is a lover of books, music, art, food, and friends who make life worth living.

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Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life – then send 1) the list with its title, 2) an accompanying image, 3) a one-line bio, and 4) a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

Top Ten Sights That Make Me Smile

Ten Sights guest post for She Chooses(R) by Gail Billingsley.

I automatically think of things that made me smile then, and make me smile now just thinking about them.

(1) The first flower of spring.  Every spring, I just get giddy.

(2) A Little Blue Penguin in Dunedin, New Zealand.  You've never seen anything quite as cute.

(3) Ed Weathers's mischievous smile!

(4) The view from Ptarmigan Pass in Montana.  The "green side" is awesome!

(5) My cat Spot when, at the age of 20, she caught a chipmunk.  She died the next day.  What a way to go!

(6) Standing on at the top of Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand.  Wow.

Gail's feet while parapet sailing over Queensland, New Zealand
(7) Sunrise from my bed on the porch

(8) A perfectly hit golf shot!  (It so rarely happens!)

(9) Watching the gardeners at the Hale-YMCA Gardens

(10) A beautiful waterfall – anywhere, anytime, anyplace

"These are a few of my favorite things…"

Gail Billingsley is a senior marketing and strategy executive.

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Please read more Ten Sights.

Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life – then send 1) the list with its title, 2) an accompanying image, 3) a one-line bio, and 4) a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

 

Top Ten Sights I’ve Seen in My Introverted Life

 Ten Sights guest post for She Chooses(R) by Lizetta Staplefoote.

  1. First glimpse at the ocean at 15 and every sight since to scope the vastness of the world and the beauty of constant motion.
  2. The universe from the top of Crabtree Falls soundtracked by running water to provide an easy-access route to sanity. 
  3. Crabtree FallsThe lifeless face of a child, a brother, and a mother to break me down and build me up stronger. 
  4. The smiles of pride on my sons’ faces at my college graduation to make every second of the struggle studying worth it.  
  5. The Cure, live, three times, to put me in the same room with Robert Smith, the man who wrote lyrics that still stir my soul decades later. 
  6. The grounds of Bonnaroo (10), Lollapalooza (94), and Woodstock (94) serving as food for the spirit of a shameless music addict. 
  7. The inside of a jail cell to kick start life changes to prevent ever seeing those bars or orange jumpsuits again.  
  8. My name in print associated with the word writer. 
  9. The Desiderata, a poem that hung on the wall of my childhood home and on my wall today to remind me not to panic because I am a child of universe and the universe is unfolding as it should.
  10. The clouds clearing this morning to sprinkle sunshine on my morning walk.

Lizetta Staplefoote is a Senior Copywriter and closet novelist who loves long walks and beautiful views.

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Read more Ten Sights.

Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life – then send 1) the list with its title, 2) an accompanying image, 3) a one-line bio, and 4) a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

She Chooses Is Mobile!

ChooseExciting news! The mobile version of She Chooses(R) is in the iTunes App Store!  

At the heart of She Chooses is Feel. Think. Choose(TM).  She Chooses is both a personal awareness and a social sharing app – we developed the personal awareness side of Feel. Think. Choose. for our first mobile release and look forward to adding social sharing features in future versions and updates.

Here's how She Chooses works:

  • In the 1-to-5 minutes per session smartphone users spend with mobile apps, members of She Chooses take a moment for themselves.
  • Members check in with themselves about what they are feeling.
  • After choosing from the "feelings wheel," a member is asked to select what she thinks she needs from the "needs wheel."
  • Now aware of her feelings, thoughts and needs, a member views a list of choices other members have chosen to share, listed in rank order by community members.  She can choose one of their choices or choose her own. 
  • She has checked in with herself and with her community before making a choice.  She has fostered the personal awareness that leads to choices that are true to who she is and wants to be.

We invite you to celebrate with us and enjoy She Chooses mobile!

We welcome feedback!  Please let us know what you feel and think about She Chooses mobile. Help us give it all the features you would choose to have!

And thank you to all She Chooses members and supporters – look at the vision you are helping make happen.

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She Chooses(R) mobile was developed by Alex Edelman using Titanium Appcelerator and designed by Kelsey Sarles for Handshake Mobile, a division of Handshake Media, Incorporated

Sight Lines

A Ten Sights guest post for She Chooses(R) by Lura Burnette.

Photo by Lura Burnette1. The Milky Way, always. 

2. Sampans on the Yangtze River, with green and blue mountains beyond. 

3. Dawn on Sanibel island: pearl sky, and Sandpipers running in the waves. 

4. The Grand Canal in Venice, at twilight, with the lights beginning to glow. 

5. Inspiration Point at Yosemite National Park. Breathtaking.

 6. The view from the top of the Empire State building, late at night. The city glitters and sparkles, to the horizon. 

Lura Burnette's Cat7. Tall ships from all over the world, in New York harbor, on the Bicententennial Fourth of July, 1976.

8. Fireworks over Paris on Bastille Day.  

9. Paradise Meadow on Mount Rainier, in the spring. Wildflowers in pinks, reds, blues, lavenders, golds, as far as the eye can see. 

10. The Great Wall. Walking along on it and imagining Marco Polo's footprints, emperors, thousands who died to build it.

And there it is.  

Lura Burnette is a transplanted Floridian now in the Northwest, who survived the 1960s (!)  and whose loves are photography, writing, the ocean, and the snow-capped mountains that surround Seattle.

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Read more Ten Sights.

Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life – then send 1) the list with its title, 2) an accompanying image, 3) a one-line bio, and 4) a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

Ten Sights I Have Seen in My Triathlete Life

A guest post by Cortney Martin:

(1) Athletes stopping in the middle of an awards ceremony to cheer for a 70+ year-old, the last competitor to finish the race long after the next-to-last competitor had crossed.

(2) Sunrise in Ellett Valley, Virginia on a cold, quiet, and peaceful morning run.

Cortney Martin(3) The stern face of a park ranger with a gun telling me I was breaking the law by swimming in his lake!

(4) The finish line of my first marathon with a Boston Marathon qualifying time on the clock.

(5) The ocean just after sunrise, with me swimming just beyond the breakers, not another soul to be seen.

(6) Appalachian vistas while cycling up to Mountain Lake with my coach.

(7) Triathletes (including me) shedding winter coats, hats, and gloves to put on wetsuits for a lake swim, bike, and run in 40 degree temperatures.

(8) Stopping during a training ride to chat with a deputy sheriff who had corralled a wayward horse after having just finished returning a roaming cow!

(9) The excited faces and waving arms of my children and husband as I head toward the finish.

(10) My name on the Team USA list. 

Cortney Martin is a wife and mother of two boys, ages 9 and 11, a research faculty member at Virginia Tech, and a late-blooming athlete who finds daily joy and discovery in training for marathons and triathlons. Here's the link to her name on the Team USA list (.pdf).

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Read more Ten Sights.

Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life – then send 1) the list with its title, 2) an accompanying image, 3) a one-line bio, and 4) a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

How to Be Fierce and Feminine

A guest post for She Chooses(TM) from Rebecca Grado and Christy Whitman:

In our book, Taming Your Alpha Bitch: How to be Fierce and Feminine (and Get Everything You Want!), we show women that the habits and attitudes that have helped them succeed to date may be holding them back from the incredible abundance and fulfillment they are striving to create. 

Rebecca Grado and Christy Whitman Whitman.Here are tips for moving from a forceful, controlling, competitive, or disruptive Alpha Bitch to an Empowered Woman. 

  • If you catch yourself being bossy or intimidating your employees, remind yourself that being recognized for your contributions is a basic human need, and rather than playing the role of taskmaster in the office, look for opportunities to extend your appreciation. In most cases (if not all), the “carrot” will yield much better results than the “stick."
  • Remember that your interfering ways often hinder more than they help. Pushing and prodding your co-workers only makes them dig their heels in deeper and resist the very things you’re trying to get them to do. Next time you catch yourself micromanaging others, redirect your attention to your own tasks. All of that focus is sure to bring about more positive results. 
  • When you find yourself feeling anxious because your colleagues are poised to out do you, or you recognize that you’re overly invested in their achievements, focus your energy on doing your job to the best of your ability and resist the urge to see what others are accomplishing.
  • You can be so much more productive when your energy is calm rather than chaotic, focused rather than frazzled. Slow down, get centered, and create a work environment that is harmonious. From this place of balance, you open the flood gates for creative genius to flow! 

However your inner Alpha Bitch reveals herself – whether as forceful, controlling, competitive, or disruptive – it is vital to understand that only by shifting from the aggressive, rigid, and anxious stance of the Alpha Bitch, to the open, flowing, and calm one of the Empowered Feminine woman, do you position yourself to attract the things you want, easily and efficiently. 

Rebecca Grado and Christy Whitman are the authors of Taming Your Alpha Bitch: How to be Fierce and Feminine (and Get Everything You Want!).  For more about the authors and their book, please visit the Taming Your Alpha Bitch site.  Taming Your Alpha Bitch surpassed 6000 books sold on January 17, 2012.

Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My Beautiful Little Life

An excerpt from I Can See, by Anne Giles Clelland:

(1) My sister's baby born

The list could start and end there.

(2) Alex Edelman playing the piano

AlexPhoto:  Piotr Edelman

(3) Alisha Jones Edwards performing in a play

(4) Gargoyle at the very top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

(5) Botticelli's Birth of Venus in Florence

(6) Michelangelo's David in Florence

(7) Black, wet, pointed, leafless tree limbs against a gray winter sky in Blacksburg, Virginia

(8) Virginia Woolf's handwritten manuscript for Mrs. Dalloway at the British Library

(9) The Gem Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution

(10) My cat, my cat, my cat, anytime, anywhere, never, ever again

Anne Giles Clelland is a co-founder of She Chooses(TM).

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Would you share your Ten Sights list for possible publication on the She Chooses blog?  If so, feel free to choose your own life description – for example, Top Ten Sights I Have Seen in My ________ Life, then send it, an accompanying image, a one-line bio, and a link to your website or LinkedIn profile to shechooses@handshake20.com.

Read more Ten Sights.

Women everywhere are invited to read women's stories in the Her Choice(TM) seriesshare their stories with She Choosessubmit images to She Chooses and to join She Chooses.

What to Put Where

From Anne Giles Clelland:

"Separate personal from professional."
- Advice given to me by Dr. J. Donald Miller when I was a graduating senior at Virginia Tech

I have struggled with Dr. Miller's advice to me for decades. I have argued that I am a person so I take everything personally. I value the honesty and integrity required for corporate transparency and respect the dependence we have on each other, especially online, to tell the truth. And I find such power in Feel. Think. Choose. that I use the process in both my personal and professional lives. I have urged She Chooses members to take She Chooses personally!

And yet. As a co-founder of She Chooses, the birth and growth of She Chooses is part of my story.  But I have a personal story, too.  It's another story.

After much thinking and feeling, I am choosing to move my personal writing from this category on the She Chooses blog to my personal blog, annegilesclelland.com.  I have been told on more than one occasion that my candid writing can be what others are thinking and feeling but are afraid to say, so please be forewarned if you choose to follow the link to my personal blog.

Now for candid corporate news.

I so connected with this article on marketing to women in Inc. Magazine. These points particularly struck home: "Don’t build a new community and expect her to change her habits. She’s too busy to bother," and  "Make it mobile."

Agreed.  She Chooses is not a social network and we shouldn't have made that its tagline. She Chooses is a woman friend in the pocketbook. Just like in conversations with women friends, it's a way for a busy woman to become quickly but deeply aware of what she's thinking and feeling – especially when making decisions – running that by other women, then making her own choices, powered by her personal awareness and the wisdom of other women.  And she can give back.  She can make her feelings, thoughts and choices available to other women.  It's what women do.

And we spent over a year developing the website and web application and we should have been working on mobile from the start.  Software development, whether for mobile or desktop, is so very detailed, therefore difficult, therefore time- and labor-intensive. Our developer, one of our start-up's co-founders, is a college student majoring in physics, the same age as I when I got the "separate personal and professional" advice. He's a virtuoso but has limited time and we've used it unwisely. The buck stops with me. That was my fault.

Until we have mobile, we won't really have She Chooses.  Continuing to decide what to put where, my company acquired the company we co-founded to launch She Chooses.  The co-founders are still the co-founders but they are freed from owning a company that hasn't created what it was founded to create.  The co-founders were kind and we ended our company amicably.  Professionally, I felt a deep sigh of relief for having taken responsibility for what had evolved.  Personally, I felt deflated.

What's next for She Chooses?  I still have big dreams:  a re-launch when we're mobile!  I'll post news and progress and women's stories about making choices here on the She Chooses blog, then announce when mobile She Chooses is out.

What's next for Anne?  Feeling, thinking and choosing.  Writing.  Personally and professionally.  Personally or professionally.  Hmm.  I may spend more decades thinking and feeling about that choice.

To everyone who has become a member of She Chooses and wished us well, I thank you for the time and thought and heart you have put into helping us get started. Onward.

Infographic for She Chooses, the social application for women

Please click the image or here for a larger view.

The She Chooses infographic designed by Kelsey Sarles shows how Feel. Think. Choose. works.

Smart Women with Smart Phones

From Kelsey Sarles: 

I was working with Habitat’s Women Build and one of the ladies I worked with said, "Smile for a picture! I want to remember the people I've met today." I said, "Wait! There's an app for that, and it's called Thought Full. You can use it to remember things like people's names."

Thought Full - an app to remember namesShe downloaded Thought Full right then and there. She didn't ask me "How does this work?" She just immediately began taking pictures of people individually, entering their names, and saving them to Thought Full! I've never witnessed someone (who's never seen or heard of the app before) use Thought Full. It was so gratifying to see that it works! And that the person using it found it intuitive and useful! 
 
Anyone can find Thought Full useful, but it was exciting to see it used by smart women with smart phones!

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Kelsey Sarles, graphic artist for She Chooses(TM), designed Thought Full(TM) – an app to remember – as a mobile app for busy women to use however they think and however they best capture their thoughts – as notes, lists, photos, even audio recordings. The user – she! – chooses how she wants to remember!

Kelsey created this timely video for YouTube about Thought Full – An App to Remember Holiday Shopping.

Thought Full is available in the iTunes App Store.

Thought Full(TM) videos are written, filmed and produced by Kelsey Sarles.  Here is Kelsey's Thought Full video series so far on YouTube:

Thought Full(TM) – an app to remember homework
Thought Full(TM) – an app to remember the wine
Thought Full(TM) – an app to remember holiday shopping

"Mi Cielo" is used in the Thought Full(TM) video series with the permission of Joseph Masciello from his album Holy Mother Earth, available on iTunes.

You're invited to read all about mobile app Thought Full(TM) at www.ThoughtFullApp.com.