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Several years ago I was talking with a woman I considered invincible. She was an athlete, a woman who ran marathons, went backpacking alone, and climbed mountains most of us only view from the ground. I was telling her how much I envied her courage and lack of fear. She looked at me and smiled, and then told me something I have never forgotten; she was afraid too.

It was an amazing revelation to me. The people we admire for daring such courageous feats are really no different than us. The difference isn’t that they aren’t afraid and we are–the difference is that they move forward anyway.

I keep this quote hanging on my bulletin board, “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” Audre Lorde.

Audre Lorde

Go ahead dare to be powerful!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Apparently I am a slow learner.  For several weeks I have been referring to a situation as a pain in the ass.   I like a drama free zone, and it has been anything but around here lately.  One of those times, whether on the home front or at work we all want to look back on—not be in the middle of.

I know better.  I write about, talk about it, and truly do get the power of our words.  And here I have been week after exasperating week going on and on about what a pain in the ass this situation is.

horses ass

Blame it on lack of sleep, blame it on a moment of weakness, blame it on oops I did it again, but you know how this story ends…  guess who has a pain in the ass?

That’s right boys and girls I am now writing about the literal pain in my ass — the flare up of my sciatic nerve.

Who feels like a horses ass now?

Lesson learned.   Note taken.  A painful reminder that our words have power.  Change of plans, from here to forth I shall be saying, wow I am so lucky to be learning so much from this exciting process.  I am sure it’s all working out exactly as it is meant to be.

Giddy Up!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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The other day I was trying to untangle a bunch of necklaces that had become twisted up together in one big ball of knots.    After about twenty extremely frustrating minutes on this mess it became quite clear to me that the harder I pulled on each chain, the more ensnarled it all became.

tangled jewelry

Half an hour into this tedious mess I decided to just relax and work each chain with patience.  Slowly I began to tug at the ball of knotted up necklaces, winding each chain up, back, around and gently through until at long last it was free from the twisted up pile.

It dawned on me when I finished the project, just how much this process is like life in general.  When we try to force things, pulling too hard in the wrong direction, life fights back.

When we relax and go with the flow, life tends to unfold just how it is supposed to.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Ladies what is the deal?  More and more of us gals are starting to wonder out loud why it is okay for men to walk around like Sasquatch while women get dirty looks if we show up with a tiny bit of stubble on our legs.

We are expected to fight nature and wax, shave, tweeze and otherwise electronically torture ourselves into sleek hairless creatures.  Why is their hair okay and our hair somehow unacceptable?

I am simply getting fed up with this notion of demanding increasingly less and less hair on women while men get to wander around perfectly comfortable with their five o’clock shadows, their Andy Rooney-like eye brows and their hairy backs!

My friend, who shall remain nameless—okay it was Doug—told me that he thinks women should all be getting Brazilian waxes. Oh really? Ladies, lets start suggesting all men get the Guyzilian wax!  A past issue of Men’s Journal says this is a sign of the apocalypse—well guess what guys—we thought the same thing when Brazilian waxing became trendy!

old swimsuit

When traveling in Europe much to my delight I discovered that women there were lounging at the beach eating carbs, avoiding razors and enjoying themselves! Hmmm… I think they are on to something!

They say all fashion is cyclical. So when is that full length swimming suit
coming back?


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I have been asked more times than I can count lately why in the world I would ever sell Femail Creations.  Having spent the better part of fifteen years building up a business with my heart     and soul, how could I ever sell it and move on?

“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” –  Mother Teresa

My mission and passion haven’t changed—to inspire and make a difference.  However, I have learned, as Mother Teresa says,  I must keep putting oil in my lamp.  In order to teach women how to put oil in their lamps I have to pay attention to my own flashing low oil indicator light.

As excerpted from my new book Oil For Your Lamp

“Over the last forty years, research studies have shown that women’s overall level of happiness has dropped.  This decline in happiness has no connection to whether or not we have kids, how healthy we are, what career we choose, what our income is, how old we are, or whether we are single or divorced.  The bottom line is: Women are loosing ground on the happiness scale. I think it’s because we are out of oil.

Over the years as my dream of empowering and inspiring women and girls expanded and grew, and so too did the time and energy required to fulfill that dream.  As many entrepreneurs can relate, the “start up years” last far longer than can be imagined.  I have joked that owning your own business means you can set your own hours—yep, you get to pick any 18 hours a day you want to work!

Rarely did I ever take a real day off.  Even when I took a “vacation” the laptop, cell phone and work came with me.  As the owner of the company I was never off duty.  After almost a decade like this true exhaustion set in and health challenges were mounting.  My body started refusing to comply with this inhumane schedule.

I wish I could report to you that as soon as my body spoke up, I listened. I want to tell you I wised up and started to take better care of myself.  But that would be a lie.  I am ashamed to admit while I was telling other women to nurture themselves, I was spreading myself far too thin.

The passion to help other women was stronger than the call to help myself and I unwisely started another business.  Yet even with the best infrastructure in place and devoting endless hours to the new business it became a financial and emotional bottomless pit. It had finally depleted every once of energy I had left.  It was a wake up call for me.

We all have to start with ourselves.  It was time to walk my talk.  I had to get serious about putting oil into my very depleted lamp.  I began a journey of making very difficult decisions.  I started removing things from my life that were not filing up my cup and adding things that brought joy back into my life.  Some changes were sweeping, other changes were small. I started cooking again and I started writing more books, something I rarely had time for with my old work schedule.  I tended to my garden, weeding out the draining things, and planting more of the things that replenished my spirit.

It wasn’t easy for me to admit how far off track I had gotten.  After all it was my mission in life to inspire and empower other women, and here I was failing at that for myself.   However, the gift of burn out, and a soul crying out for OIL, finally snapped even me out of it.”

125x125_OFYL

To purchase your copy of Oil For Your Lamp visit  www.simpletruths.com


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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The other day I was searching for a photo for a new picture frame I’d just bought. I sorted through dozens of vacation snapshots—the ones I keep telling myself I will some day put in adorable scrapbooks—but for now they sit in shoe boxes.

As I poured over the pictures I had a few good laughs going down memory lane. The good times, the bad times, and the  what-were-you-thinking clothes and haircuts.

Then I found the unthinkable—an old picture of me in a bikini!  My husband had managed to snap a full-length shot of me on the beach. I was instantly transported back to that day almost 20 years ago. I vividly remembered changing swimming suits three or four times that morning trying to find one I thought best hid my love handles.

As I thought back about the morning, and how self-conscious I felt about wearing a bikini, I feel really stupid. Because you know what—that mother of two looked just fine. And yet I wasted precious energy and time stressing out over my not perfect body. What an idiot!

Twenty years later I would love to have that body back. That very same body I anguished over back then!  It was a real ah-ha moment for me. Twenty years from now I will most likely wish I had the body back that I have today.

The reality is even the women we think have perfect bodies aren’t content. We are ALL spending way too much time on if-only. If only I wasn’t sagging here or there.  If only I didn’t have stretch marks. If only I didn’t have these saddle bags.

The moral of the story is… love the body you have RIGHT NOW.

Think of all the energy we waste worrying about wrinkles, cellulite, belly pouch and gray hair. Does it really matter? NO. Never was that more clear than when I stared at that photo from two decades ago and lamented over the time and energy lost worrying about nothing. I vowed right then and there to spend my time appreciating health and well being instead of berating myself over silly things like stretch marks.

Let’s start today loving and accepting ourselves—lumps and all.

Tanner

I challenge you to give yourself the gift of perspective. Go get out an old photo of yourself. Remember what you worried about back then… Not so bad, huh. So be gentler with the body you have today.

Don’t waste another minute of your precious time worrying about cellulite! That is what self-tanner is for. Ha!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I believe there are two groups of people; those who like to live with a fire extinguisher on each hip and those who don’t.  I fall into the don’t category.  I like to avoid those last minute fires whenever possible.

put out fires

I figure life hands us enough twists and turns that can’t be prevented.  I am sure as heck not going to add any fuel to the fire by being unorganized.  But lately it seems I have been surrounded by the friggin fire department!

One last minute challenge after another keeps popping up and smoldering, many of which could have been prevented with a bit of organization and communication.

Good thing this don’t has a sense of humor and an extra bucket around just in case.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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If you read my last posting you know I have been in need of more than a chiropractic adjustment, I needed an attitude adjustment!

I have often said when kids are crabby put them in water. I think this applies to big kids too.

When my kids were little I would instantly put them in water if they were irritable. When they were babies I would give them a bath when they were fussy. As they got older I would send them out to the pool. Their pleasing personalities soon returned.

I am a firm believer there isn’t much a bath won’t cure. Water will go a long way toward improving one’s temperament.

My favorite relaxing technique is floating. Give me a lake, pool or better yet ocean, and something to float on and I am in heaven. That is my ultimate form of relaxation. I actually count it as meditation.

Well, now we have diagnosed the problem, a case of crabby. And prescribed the cure. The doctor orders 3 hours of float time, taken once a day for 2 days. Throw in a margarita for good measure!

Cheers!
Float Time!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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This is the year I am going to stop fighting nature… I am apparently born to be a bad packer. I have spent a lifetime trying to master the art of packing. I really want to be one of those people who can show up with a small carry-on bag for a 5-day business trip.  Alas, valiant efforts and hundreds of thousands of frequent-flier miles later, I am still a bad packer.

So I am surrendering!  I am giving in to my bad packing ways. This year I am going to embrace my inner over-packing self.  I am going to check in my luggage–filled with too many shoes and too many clothing options, and I am just going to relax and smile when they give me that judgmental look and tell me they need to weigh my bag. I am going to stop stressing out about trying to be a good packer and continue to over-pack—with abandon and joy!

Once I made this life-changing decision, the metaphorical weight of trying to be a good packer was lifted, and the literal weight of my suitcase increased.   I am oh-so liberated!  Now when I get my bag out to get ready for a trip, I no longer kid myself that this will be the trip I leave with only a carry-on bag.  I no longer stress out about it, I simply pack what I want and stop worrying about it.  Freedom!

It got me thinking about all of the things we continually try to change about ourselves.  I have no doubt I lost months of my life while trying to blow-dry my naturally curly hair as a teenager back when Farah’s straight, smooth locks were all the rage.

What areas of your life could you just release and accept?  Perhaps we should stop fighting our quirks and accept them as part of our endearing nature?  What are you going to surrender to?

Loving my liberation!images


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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bfp94502

Am I the only one with a growing stack of receipts, credit card bills and IRS forms about to smother me? I think April 15th should be a national holiday—so we at least get a day off. Or maybe it should be April 16th so we can recover and lick our wounds!

Have you ever noticed Attorney, Accountant, and Agony all start with A? I am kidding…kidding!

I actually really like my accountant. (Craig, you know I adore you.) Yet, honestly I’d rather have a root canal than look at one more bank statement or fill out one more form!

Calling the IRS hotline feels like a set up, you get a different answer every time. I think I will fill out my tax return in pencil just in case…

Happy paper trails,


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I don’t golf.  But I have learned a trick to playing this devil of a game.

Once a year I join a sort of witness protection program and golf under the cover of darkness—and while wearing a disguise—at the annual Halloween Night Golf Costume Bash.

You see my husband is the club champion.  I on the other hand, am only good at chasing down the drink cart.   But when Halloween rolls around I treat my husband to my presence on the golf course.

Halloween 08 Flinestone 4some

Turns out, along with our friends Linda and Frank, we are a mighty foursome!   We have won best costume two years running now.  So pressure is on this year!

Last year we went as the Flintstones.  Now this is no small feat, when you consider you not only have to dress up, you have to decorate the golf cart too!   A shout out to my staff, always willing to help, who came through with flying colors and even whipped up a six foot tall Dino!

I would tell you what we have planned for this year, but surely the competition will find out and try to foil our plans.  So stay tuned to find out if we reign supreme again!

Happy Halloween!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I have been ready for an update, a fresh look, a new coat of paint on the blog.  When we were discussing what new image should be used to illustrate The Barefoot CEO blog, my daughter and I were brainstorming, and she said just go with a snapshot of a day in your life…. the overflowing bag, cell phone in hand, multi-tasking, with her family waiting on her in the car.  That is the story of my life!  I can’t tell you how many times, especially in the early days of Femail Creations, my family would all pile in the car—and I would be one email, one phone call or one shoe away from being out the door.  It became a running joke for years.

I think a lot of women who are spread too thin, and trying to be in three places at once can relate!   The only difference may be shoes—you most likely have shoes on—and I tend to be barefoot whenever possible, or at least never far from a pair of rescue bunny slippers or flip flops—which I keep in the car, in my purse, under my desk, anywhere I may end up in shoes that have exceeded their expiration date—and in my case that’s only a few hours.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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