Week 1: What Have I Gotten Into?

Just before logging into the Master Key Experience webinar, and after reading the material for the first time, I broke down into tears…tears of fear, doubt, apprehension, and a myriad of other feelings, including relief, at the thought of writing my first blog without any experience.

Not knowing how complete strangers would respond had me terrified, but because blogging is a requirement to stay in the MMK course, I pushed past my fear & doubt and decided wherever the chips may fall, so be it. I’d only be giving up a stagnate life, based on the expectations of who others saw me as. It was at that moment, I decided I had nothing to loose.

As the week went on, there were assignments, such as giving up watching t.v., reading each night before retiring for the evening and sitting in silence afterwards, honoring my word – to myself…you know, the usual stuff, that requires action in order for me to stay qualified. Who knew these simple steps to help me find what my real purpose is would be difficult, yet liberating?

Yes, I made a promise to myself to honour my word. Something I have been working on for the longest time; and now, here was something that was shared with me after praying so long for a better life, one with purpose for myself, a life devoted to service, in any capacity, yet with direction.

Now, I am willing to be in discomfort, to do and complete each step of this Master Key Experience to become who I was birthed to be. As I do each exercise, I sense within my inner man that this is the “What”, the “Why”, that I’ve been looking for that will cause my life to be full, complete and filled with joy, peace and victory.

So, each week, I will chart what I am learning about myself and experiencing as I take on each exercise to fulfill the requirements of the course, but also in honour of who I am – fearfully and wonderfully  created!



Week 17#: Changing Season

The sun has started greeting me in the morning, after such a long, dark and brutally cold winter. What a joy to my spirit, mind and body. I wake up in the morning, and see rays   of sun, peeking out like a child on the look-out for Santa on a Christmas morning.

How grateful I am, to be able to sit in bed and watch the sunrise…as trees, bushes and flower stalks with bulging buds, wait to bloom in there season. Waking up in the mornings on weekends has me excitingly planning for my now do-able walks through the neighborhood to see the changes taking place with new developments, shops and cafe openings.

Now with the change of season, it’s time to clean house and what has accumulated throughout winter will have to be tossed or given away to others who have a need….

Week #16: The Best Me!

My future self sometimes appears to be much further away than I’d like for her to be. The wonderful thing about it, is that I can see her in the distance, waving me on, giving me hope!

There have been times I couldn’t imagine, let alone, see her in my mines’ eye, yet, I sense the strength & confidence quietly emanating from her, though distant, encouraging and guiding me, as I move through unknown terrain, familiar to her, in which she has fearlessly conquered, ready to embrace me the moment we meet.

Yes, I’ve got work to do, and the sacrifices are worth it, because my best friend, the best me, awaits!

Sometimes I skip towards her, in excitement then, when I’m not sure of myself, I get stuck in my tracks and that’s when I hear her say, “Victoria…it’s ok, just follow the trail I’ve left for you!” and I am suddenly quickened in every part of my being!

What a wonderful experience! Who knew opening myself up to myself, the best me, could be so exhilarating?! I am grateful to my master mind group and experience. If it wasn’t for the introduction, I may never have been able consider the best is yet to come…

Week #15: Sustained Strength

What to do when faced with a situation whereby the one you love doesn’t think enough of themselves to live?

A friend of mine is recovering from an illness that recently had him in the hospital for five days. During that time, we talked about a lifestyle change that would include a healthier diet and a scale back of his schedule.

He’s a public figure with a heart of gold, to the point that he has sacrificed his health in doing what he believes. That, I absolutely admire, but there is a time when the body begins to respond to the benefits or mistreatment thereof.

Though his mouth is saying one thing, his actions are totally opposed to what we talked about and agreed to, which causes me to question myself. We’ve been partners for a good while and we’ve grown to truly respect, love and admire one another, but because I’ve seen others in my life who work themselves to oblivion, I know first hand, how one can hurt the body by neglecting signs of distress.

His appearance is one of frailty, and I have to leave his presence at in order for him not to see me fighting tears that I struggle to hold back…it’s painful…and yet when I share the concern I have, he becomes defensive. It’s not easy to maintain poise, but I do it out of respect and because I don’t want to argue.

The part of me that wants to nurture fights the part of me that I have to keep under subjection to yell & scream like a mama bear protecting her young.

I constantly ask myself if I’m the one with the problem for trying to help and be supportive, and the urge to walk away ebbs & flows like water from a beachfront…yet, when I look in his eyes, they tell me “thank you”, even though his lips are still. So I regroup, and tell myself, “this too shall pass”…while remaining stoic.

On some levels, I am grateful to help him through the healing process because I know how proud a man he is, and because of the millions of people who rely on him, and encourage myself to “suck it up”,  and then there are times I realize I am planting seeds like a farmer, on good soil, to reap benefits in other areas of my life.

I guess the thing I compare it to is the help I give my wonderful sister and brother-in-law, who graciously take care of our father, who struggles with dementia. I visit them every two months to offer relief by staying at a hotel with him to give them time together. That brings such joy, and as he ages, the thought of the time he closes his eyes for eternal rest from discomfort, brings treasured memories of the time we share now…

I am in the autumn season of my life, and I appreciate this time as I go about mending relationships with people whom I may have offended – family, friends, co-workers and even the people I’ve worked for. The pride I arrogantly displayed as a young girl, has pleasantly dissipated with age, and in its place wisdom, forgiveness and love abound, and time, once innocent, is now a precious jewel to be treasured.

So, as I reflect on experiences of the past, I use the lessons learned as stepping stones to move closer to the life I’ve been birthed to live, someone to make life better, peaceful, joyful, funnier, more comfortable for others…

Week #14: Take Time

It really doesn’t take much effort to be thoughtful, especially when seeing the affects of the deeds put into action. How wonderful it is to take our minds off of ourselves, and give that part to someone who has a need. The appreciation, the thanks may not always come from the person it was given to, but the rewards for planting such a harvest is the same as a farmer who plants seeds…abundant harvest!

Just imagine, a baby, a puppy, just going about their day without a care, then suddenly they notice their fingers, toes and tails. What a smile it brings to the faces of those looking on, as they, as we loose ourselves in the delight of seeing them discover themselves…

What about the early weekend walks alone or with a partner on a well laid out path lined with the fragrance of local seasonal flowers; the beautiful colours, and when looked at closely, beautiful shades of a rainbow can be seen in them. Oooh, the strokes of God’s hands that captures our hearts and causes us to briefly close our eyes, inhale and smile as the peace of that precious moment fills our bodies…

Life is so precious. A child laughing. A puppy barking. Bacon cooking on the stove. A tune heard on the music box that takes us back down memory lane. A slow dance with our partner. A hug from mom…mmmm such precious moments…

Taking time to appreciate the people who have helped shape us during the ups and the downs – the myriad of emotions that can sometimes overwhelm us and cause us to feel vulnerable, these are precious moments.


Week #13: Grateful

Gratitude does something wonderful for the soul, it does something wonderful for the spirit…

I find myself going back to Philippians 4:8, MSG – Fill my mind and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not to curse. This particular scripture helps me do a heart check of myself, when I may be feelin’ a little selfish, annoyed, angry, insecure, fearful…you know, when I’m not “feelin’ good”! Who said one has to have a runny noise, body aches & fever to not feel good. I know myself well enough that when I’m feelin’ a little bit funky, I’ve been spending too much time thinking about my own little world – eekkk…!

Learning to re-train my thinking with the help of my Master Mind Experience brings the accountability & support that I’ve longed for, while helping me be truthful without the lame excuses I’d tell myself, giving me a really false sense of self-worth, that would have kept me on a downward spiral….eeekkk!

So, as I walk the 2.5 miles to work when weather permits, or peer out of the windows of my apt., or take a break from work to listen to the sounds of birds singing, children laughing and dogs parking, I realize how grateful & blessed I am, not to be the mean ‘ole person I used to be growing up.

Soooo, being given an assignment to write things to be grateful for everyday, has caused me to consider the people and experiences I have to be grateful for –

  • the ability to walk to work, even though I struggle with arthritis in my knees
  • holding a pen to write a letter or type an assignment, though my fingers tingle because of carpel tunnel
  • rebuilding relationships with my sisters, some, after years of not talking to one another
  • driving to Louisville, KY from Chicago, every other month to help my sister take care of my dad, who struggles with dementia
  • making plans to buy my first piece of property…YAY!!
  • looking for the day when I’ll be married…WHEW!
  • having a successful business in staging & interior re-design & real estate!
  • living pain-free after a neck injury
  • building terrific relationships with people in my Master Mind group!
  • currently working with very talented people
  • having a towel warmer in my master bath – great during the freezing Chicago winters!
  • having a triple layered pb & j sandwich
  • learning to fish
  • meeting my favorite music artist Yanni
  • and so much more…grateful to have the opportunity to develop appreciation, respect & gratitude for everyday experiences and relationships…

Week #12: Expanse

What a wonderful time to experience the Master Mind – now. I’ve been in a challenging place whereby I have had to press, as I continue at this moment, to prove to myself that I have value. The inner turmoil that I’ve been struggling with to give my best, to give my all, and surrender, and become vulnerable may be the biggest of all, with many eyes watching…

In this global world I am a part of, jockeying to find my place, I stand back and consider the other living creatures that seem to know instinctively what their roles are without a fuss or thought. The ant. The tiger. The pigeon. The oak tree. They have roles and play an intricate, yet intriguing part of the world humans live in, and upon looking closely to each species, there is an order that stays in balance without ever unraveling.

The difference is our gift of choice – the ability to think & create, knowing right & wrong and choosing to do what’s right for the benefit and growth of others. Things are not always what they appear to be, and being given this opportunity, I am grateful that my Master Mind Experience helps me to see things from another perspective, one that helps me to get “me” off of my mind and look at the gifts, skills & talents that I have and look at ways to bring relief, support & encouragement to others!


Week 11: A Friend to Talk to…

Call from a friend that I hadn’t talked to in awhile was refreshing. In listening and sharing our stories with one another, we found out we have similar tales of what’s going on in our lives. We’re both dealing with aging parents who have health challenges, we’ve had to put aside unhealthy relationships all the while dealing with our own issues.

We’ve both withdrawn from things we used to do in making time to help out where we can. It wasn’t a gripe session, it was an opportunity to remind ourselves of who we are – compassionate, sensitive people who sometimes get lost doing what’s honourable.

What made the call so meaningful is that I had a brief thought about her, just before she rang. I thought about her often, with every intention of calling, but didn’t and I’m grateful she called. I recall many past conversations when she offered such wonderful counsel & encouragement.

We didn’t talk long, but the content was moving, for both of us. As we exchanged stories with one another, we’d softly agreed or gave a slight sigh of understanding, and with every response from her, flowed a tear from me. I had allowed myself to withdraw, from shear exhaustion and trying to find out what I want to do with my life. Between helping my sister take care of my father and a meaningless job (yeah, I am grateful for the income, just no heart), I think I allowed myself to grow numb.

As we were about to hang up, she said, “Let me know when you want to get together, would love to see you and I’ll make myself available.” Those words caused an unleashing of tears that I’ve had bottled up for such a long time. It’s not often that I hear those words. It forced me to take a look at myself, and ask the question, “Victoria, when was the last time you extended yourself to someone, and showed you care about them?” “Am I so wrapped up in my own tiny little world that I’ve grown stale or selfish?” God forbid!

It was as if she could hear the conversation I was having with myself, when she suddenly said, “Don’t allow yourself to believe I’m so busy that I don’t have time for you. Just give a couple of days notice and I’m there”! I let out a quick scream, and we both started laughing and we agreed that at some point, we had been thinking the same thing about one another, which is why she made the call. In reality, it was an answer to prayer, as I had prayed that she & I would talk & see one another soon…!

Well, after hanging up, I realized that when I/we spend too much time alone, thoughts of dispare and discouragement can quickly set in like weeds on a lawn, and outgrow and destroy the beautiful landscape. I almost allowed myself to get too far from where I should be. My MKE exercises, which I think overwhelmed me, somehow got lost…now, with a renewed appreciation and willingness to move forward, “I will keep moving toward the mark that is set before me”, as Paul stated.