21 Tips to Help You Spring Forward

Spring Symbolizes Change

Don’t Fight It:  Go With the Flow!

In honor of the momentous arrival of spring on March 20TH, I’d like to share 21 tips to help you spring forward in your personal, business, and spiritual life.   Don’t just sit there lethargically accepting mediocrity,  fate, or chance.  Get up, spring forward, pounce ahead, move onward, leap, twirl, soar…  Go after your dreams.  Make life really matter.  Appreciate life more by living it more fully. Pick the life you want from the universal catalog of possibilities; plan for it, prepare for it, and promote yourself right now.  Don’t wait for others to see your greatness.  Give yourself permission to go after your dreams with faith, fervor, and fastidiousness.

Seven of 21 Best Spring Forward Tips

  1. Decide what you want and go after it.  Indecision wastes valuable time and energy. Decide, ask, believe, act, and receive.
  2. Have a spiritual or rejuvenating daily routine.  It can be as simple as having a few moments to quiet the mind and center yourself, to a longer time complete with prayer and meditation.
  3. Don’t sacrifice the most important for things of lesser value.  Don’t choose the easiest, quickest, or most comfortable.  Choose what will have the most impact and add the most meaning to your life.
  4. Get organized.  You waste time and money looking for things.  Have a place for your things and keep those things in their place.
  5. Limit interactions with contentious, complaining, toxic and negative people.  They dissipate your energy.
  6. Get enough sleep, fresh air, exercise, and nutritious foods.  Honor your soul’s earthly temple and treat it right.
  7. Work smart, not hard.  Always ask, “Is there a more efficient or faster way to do this?”   Or, “Should I be doing this at all?”  Remember, “No is a good answer too!”

Click to read the next 7 tips: http://wp.me/ppImQ-iG

Friend or Foe: Ingroup versus Outgroup

We tend to trust, influence, support, and are more flexible with people in our in-groups. We empathize more with, have more compassion for, and want good things to happen to people in our in-groups. In fact, since we see them as “like us”, we want for them, the same things we want for ourselves. However, we tend to patronize, harm, pity, or ignore people in our outgroups. In short, we don’t care about them so we do not take care of people in our group.

Have you ever thought about why we are instantly attracted to some people, and yet are apprehensive of others?  Logically we may be thinking that that is not fair nor does it make sense to make such snap judgments of people, especially if this is a first-time encounter or in our past.  However, if we understand that everything our brain does is to keep us safe and comfortable, then it makes a lot more sense.

trust_me_1600_clr_7204.pngTo simplify a very complex brain calculating formula, let’s just focus on two subconscious considerations at work in every moment, warmth, and competence (Cuddy and Fiske). The brain first decides emotionally if we are feeling warmth (friendliness, kindness, respect, or trust) in the encounter.

What the brain is trying to discern is, “Is this person, place, or situation safe; do they intend to harm me?”

If we feel any fear, then the offending stimuli (person, place, situation) is automatically flagged (so to speak) and the person or incident is put in the outgroup to be watched more carefully.  When we don’t trust people, they are automatically in our outgroup where information about them can be scrutinized more highly.  This outgroup processing is even performed in a different part of the brain.  However, if we’re feeling safe, warm, and fuzzy, we get one thumb up for the warmth question, but, the person is still in a holding pattern.

bully_picking_fight_800_clr_11656.pngWe need two thumbs up to get into the in-group. Even more importantly, the brain wants to know if the person is capable of harming us.

So, the brain asks the second question, “Is this person competent or capable of harming me?

We like to be around people who are credible and reliable. For, while we may feel a person might not like us, we still may not be sufficiently worried if they have no power to harm us. This harm can be perceived as physical harm, emotional harm, or even social harm (competition, unfairness, or microaggressions).  If we get a ‘no’ on the second question, the person is placed in the outgroup. The brain has done a lot of calculating based on our past beliefs, experiences, thoughts, and actions to come to its conclusion. Sometimes we are right, but many times we are wrong and base our expectations solely on erroneous stereotypes.  But when we are right, magic happens. We make connections that enhance our emotional and social well-being. We become part of a tribe. We relax and feel safe. Life is good


If we get two thumbs up on warmth and competence, then our brains are in the reward state and tend to approach the stimuli and welcome them into our ingroup.

We tend to make mistakes sometimes because our brain uses all of our learned. imagined, or experienced information to make predictions about the future. Even when coded properly, people change.  If the stimuli are familiar and we’ve had a positive interaction in the past, we mark the incoming stimuli as safe and tend to approach it. If we’ve had a bad experience in the past, it makes sense to be cautious, so our brain sends a warning message to the amygdala to be careful. Depending on the magnitude of the fear or threat, we may automatically trigger a freeze, fight, or flight state. In these instances, we are more apprehensive and very unlikely to approach.

In summary, the brain is powerful, but it needs our conscious help. The more time you spend to get to know people better one on one, the less likely you will be blinded by stereotypes and misinformation.  You will enjoy a greater sense of belonging and unity and expand your horizons. More and more people will be in your in-group and you will have a lot less fear and stress.

Barbara Talley
Educator, Facilitator, Keynote Speaker
Appreciative Inquiry Interventions
Strengths-based Leadership
Generative Leadership
Heartmath Certified Instructor
Brain-based Conversations Coach


I “AM”

“WHOO HOO, SO MANY BLESSINGS FOR 2017!” As I conclude 2017, I am choosing to think about and to be thankful for all the things that I am. There is nothing more powerful than whatever follows the words “I am!”  “I am” has an attractive force, is creative and visionary, and should only be followed by what we want.  I am blessed! I am grateful! I am wise!  I am enough! I am wealthy! I am thankful!  I am loved! I am loving! WHAT FOLLOWS YOUR “I AM?”

Thoughts become things and every thought has its own frequency.  Whatever you focus your energy on, finds you. We attract those things that are in the frequency of what we think about and more importantly feel about. When I articulate that I am blessed, I think about my blessings, feel more grateful,  and as a result, attract more blessings to me. When I articulate I am enough, that eliminates thoughts of lack. Like the two sides of a coin, you can only view heads or tails at any given time and not both.

If we follow up the word after “I am” with “for”  or “because”, we open up a whole new world of creative possibilities because a grateful heart attracts blessings. heart_made_of_words_16347.png

I am grateful for …

I am thankful for …

I am blessed because…

Unfortunately, too many people misuse their creative power by attracting through their words, emotions, and deeds the very things that they do NOT want to create. We have a choice in what follows “I am!”  Just keep in mind that you are not just describing with I am, you are attracting and creating what follows it.

I am beautiful! OR  I am ugly!
I am tired! OR I am energized!
I am powerful! OR I am weak!
I am blessed! OR  I am forsaken!
I am at peace! OR I am angry!
I am appreciative! OR I am upset!
I am hopeful!  OR I am depressed!
I am healing! OR I am sick!

Yes, “I am” can be a descriptive label;  I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a friend. I am a soul!  I am a poet. I am an entrepreneur.  I am a wife. We must be very careful because labels can be positive or negative. Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “When you label me, you negate me!”  Clearly, we are far more than our labels, but labels can be powerful guides. I am unlucky! I am doomed!  I am powerless!  I am a minority! I am hated!  Sometimes, we choose labels that limit us. At other times, people may try to put a label on us. Just remember,  we don’t have to claim any labels that do not uplift us. My daughter Radiance just shared a quote that I’d like to share with you to remind you of how special and important you are.

“Whenever you feel sad, just remember that there are billions of cells in your body and all they care about is you.” @MindsetOfGreatness

We have a choice;  “I am” can also be empowering or debilitating!  I choose to focus on the life-enhancing power. I am is visionary!  I am healed!  I am can also be limiting if you allow it to be.   Now, I ask you this question, “When you use “I AM” in a sentence, what generally follows?”

The late Wayne Dyer explained, “We don’t describe the world we see, we see the world we describe.”

Put succinctly, what we see in our minds is what we end up creating in reality. The things we hold in our minds become us, for the reality of man is his thought.  A new year is upon us and we have the opportunity to create what we want it to be.  So, define and create your “I am!”

Happy New Year

Thinking Beyond Dichotomies

I’m trying to rise above dichotomous thinking of all or nothing. Perhaps it’s possible to adhere to  “everything in moderation” and “to thine own self be true.” There is a lot of gradient between dropping people completely or being around them all the time.  Part of me doesn’t want to waste my time on the people that cause me to feel badly about my light. It takes too much energy to get back to homeostasis. It’s a heart thing and the heart matters.  Another part feels the need to bring light to darkness. Therein lies the dilemma for which moderation can provide the answer. Above all, I know that this life is fleeting and temporary, and while I don’t like wasting my time, I also feel the responsibility to help guide people to the light.

Place Your Plant in the Correct Amount of Light

We have been given free-will and choice to choose the amount of light in life that allows us to grow.

People, like plants, require differing amounts of light to grow. If you give some plants too much light, they will die.

Others in that same light actually thrive and grow. That’s where the “to thine own self be true” part comes in.  Perhaps some can only handle so much light, while others like me thrive in bright light.  We tend to give what we like. However, one of my children once told me that while I seem to get energy from large groups of people, too many people actually drain their energy. Now, that’s food for thought!  How much light can or should you give? How much light can you handle? How much light do you require? I guess these are questions that we all must eventually ponder.

I, just as everyone else, am a unique creation of God, endowed with gifts and strengths to share with the world. As a poet, author, speaker, coach, and trainer, the gifts of a loud voice, high energy, and a sense of responsibility to share and inspire what I’ve learned, assist greatly in being able to do what I was born to do. These same gifts while appropriate on stage, might not be in other settings. Other people have their unique gifts and purposes that do not require the same tools that I was blessed with. The great thing is that this world is filled with diversity and there is a space and place for us all.


This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine…..

Do you remember the spiritual song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… Let it shine; let it shine; let it shine!”

It may seem okay and even normal to shine if it’s a little light,  but, what if it’s a BIG light? That is my meditating question for today, “to shine or not to shine?” Most people see me as high energy; for some, my energy is inspiring; for others, it is exhausting. I am aware of this high energy, extreme thirst for knowledge, and pure desire to share what I learn when I feel it is helpful and appreciated. I’m also aware that I am not always valued by others, because of these gifts of high energy, certitude, gift of gab, and enthusiasm. And, for a time, I began to see my gifts as a block instead of a blessing. Fortunately or unfortunately, we all have an innate biological need to belong, “to fit in.” However, if the person fitting in isn’t the real me, then am I truly accepted?

Answer from the Mouths of Babes

My oldest son used the analogy of headlights:  “Some people may just be blinded by the intensity of high beams to the point where they cannot see.”  In that context, it’s just courtesy to turn the high beams off.  To others, it might be just the amount of light that they need to see in the darkness and so they are appreciative.  After a little discussion, he also acknowledged from my response that I had a point, when I talked about choosing a tribe that had higher beams than mine.  In that environment I get to grow and don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring the switch!

I was discussing this same question with my youngest daughter, about turning down my light, and she said, “Mom, isn’t that the opposite of what you told me to do when you shared the Marianne Williamson quote with me years ago?” Marianne Williamson wrote:

“We were all meant to shine” and “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

From the mouths of babes, I got my answer. I am choosing to shine. Dimming my light doesn’t help others adjust to the light, it just makes me comfortable in less light. It’s kind of like Plato’s parable of the caves. There is a lot of darkness out here and a need for a lot of bright light. We need to choose the space where we can shine and are encouraged to shine.  I understand that my “playing small does not serve the world” (Williamson, . I am choosing to find my tribe, to be around those who value my God-given talents, and encourage me to grow and shine.

Dear Mom.png

Sadly, around some people, I feel that I am only truly accepted when I dim my light, when I shine less, or when I ride the breaks of life. A few people in jest have actually told me that my energy drains them. So, I have consciously, over the years, spoken less, tried to be less excited, but have felt drained by the experience. But, to be fair, far many more have told me that I inspire them, so that is why I am meditating on this topic today. I want and need to be around people who appreciate me for being me, to do otherwise takes too much energy, which I don’t have.

One thing however remains a truth: “Let’s all help each other shine more brightly and be conscious to not put out anyone else’s light.”