Values: Generosity aka Lizzy’s Launch Update


Most of the shots from the test drive are a blur...

When I put “generosity” in my list of values it was really about my desire to be generous with my time and talents and creativity and love and joy. I like giving. It feels good and it gives me a boost and the folks around me seem to like it, too.

So, it never really occurred to me that the lesson would be around accepting generosity. I mean, sure, I appreciate it when someone thinks of me or sends me a hello on my birthday or treats me to lunch. I’m always a little uncomfortable with it, though. If I dig down deep I know it’s because I’ve been the recipient of lots of “gifts” with ropes attached. So, I don’t trust generosity. Not really.

And then something breathtaking happened.

We decided to purchase Lizzy a scooter for college. I spent some time thinking of ways to make that happen without having to make the Little Kids go without school clothes. In a move that is completely unlike me, I put up a post about this goal and offered my coaching services, you know, out loud. At the urging of a colleague, I also included a donation button in case folks wanted to chip in.

I clicked “Publish” and then went to lunch with Ned Andrew. When we arrived at the restaurant, there were emails telling us that folks were sending money. What?? Yes. And not just a little money. Over the course of the 2 weeks since I went public with our goal, half the price of the scooter has been gifted to us by incredibly generous friends from around the country.


Of course, I’ve sent thank you notes to each of them. But I am just floored by the response to our request.

With half the money in hand, Ned Andrew called today and placed the order for Lizzy’s ride. The company we are buying from is installing that cup holder Lizzy asked for and will ship her new wheels next week. She’ll have a couple of weeks to get really facile at driving it before she’s off to college.

She’s in for the ride of her life.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Your generosity is absolutely overwhelming.

Lizzy & Berns Off to the Races!

Lizzy & Berns Off to the Races!


Values: Connection

Chuck's Candle

Uncle Chuck's Green Candle

Last week I spent some time plotting out how I would go about making and keeping the commitment to myself to update my site with something new almost every day.

My thinking was something along these lines, “You want to do this and you need a deadline in order to do what you want to do. You manage to announce your every eye blink on Facebook. Surely you can pause long enough to connect with folks in a more meaningful way.”

Thus the plotting. I planned to offer a post on each of my core values on Mondays, a more practical “how to” post on transitions on Tuesdays, a book review on Wednesdays… I even created really neato-skeeto graphics for the Monday Motivation series over the weekend and sorted through my ideas for the one I wanted to write about.

And then I stared at the screen for about an hour.

Because my planned post isn’t what I’m thinking about and it just isn’t very me-like to fake a post. That wouldn’t be authentic. (See, there are those values now!)

What are you thinking about, Gina?

Well, to be quite frank, I’m thinking about my Uncle Chuck, who died about 10 hours ago after being in the hospital for three months in a city far away from his home and his family. I’m thinking about my Aunt and my Cousins and most especially my Mama E who is just starting the journey of grieving the loss of her brother and all of the specific sadnesses and joys they’ll each experience as we move through these days.

I’m thinking about relationships and what makes us fond of one another. How do we determine who gets in and who stays over there? What ties us to someone enough to miss them when they are gone? How is it that you can feel connected to someone you haven’t seen in 20 years while barely taking note of the guy who serves you coffee every day?

One of the things I love most about Ned Andrew is that he connects with people. Not just the people who have letters after their names or hold some major sway in his day. He couldn’t care less whether you have a PhD or M&Ms in your pocket. He learns the names of everyone in his milieu — including the folks at the seafood counter. (Kim at Publix. Al at Kroger.) He greets people on the street. He calls people back. He connects.

I value that connection.

When I was in sales I was accused of taking too long on each customer in spite of leading the team in numbers. “Get ’em in! Get ’em sold! Next!” I suppose they thought if I could sell faster, I could sell even more. I tried to follow the scripts, but not only did it feel awful and awkward and phony, my sales plummeted too. It didn’t work because I’m not comfortable interacting with people that way. I’d rather slow down, ask questions, really listen to the answers, ask another question, call a colleague, research solutions, and actually find a way to help that person get to what they’re hoping to do/be/have. I’d rather treat people as, well, people deserving of my attention and respect and patience as they make their own choices. (Wow. There’s self-determination. Values everywhere.)



It is vital to my feeling like a whole, healthy, on purpose human being to create and sustain connections with other people in my life. I’m not interested in the analytics of our digital realities. Of course I love to see trends (I count my workouts!) but I’m not interested in doing integral calculus on my relationships. Because does it really matter how many followers I have? My reach? Clicks? Views? Pings? Trackbacks? if at the end of the day my only ROI is a cool graph showing more of… whatever those things attempt to count?

Honestly, I’d rather have one really amazing conversation with another fascinating individual over the course of months and months. I’d rather be in relationships that are rich enough that that the day after my death someone misses me enough to inspire people they know to pause, light a candle, and think about what matters.



Values: Passion meets Purpose

values dance intuition validation gratitude creative worth love respect success flourish happiness connection flow sing positive possible pointing forward play help love beauty balanced supportive authenticity respect fun generosity integrity open Collaborative growth self-determination rest purpose bliss rest warmth nature celebration love joy delight holistic balanced supportive learning inclusive diverse fun sing breathe I mentioned Jennifer Lee’s The Right-Brain Business Plan in a Happy Quote last week and promised you’d hear more about this book and Jennifer’s smart insights.

Well, here we go…

Just to get your toe wet, we’re starting with a simple concept.

What’s that, Gina?


Okay. Maybe not so simple. But it is a fundamental element of any business, project, faith, school, book, blog… well, it’s a foundational element of life.

As Jennifer points out, “When you’re aligned with your values, you’ll feel fulfilled and energized, and that is what people will resonate with the most.”

So, if you aren’t sure what you  — or what the folks you interact with — value, you’re leaving some pretty important stuff up to the prevailing winds. So, in interest of full disclosure, I’ve typed my value words into a cool little Wordle (thanks, Jonathan!) for all to see. And, while I have to admit that it’s a pretty graphic, it’s more than just words to me. These concepts bring up strong emotions when I read and think about them. That’s how I know they are my values — they are important to me and when I am not living according to my values — in my passion and purpose — I’m not happy.

But when I am in the flow — WHEW — get outta my way because nothing is gonna stop me from realizing my goals.

Except for one tiny truth: my proverbial cross to bear, the mixed blessing, my Achilles heal is that I am hardwired — trained from infancy — to put others first. So, nothing I ever do is completely about me and my goals. After years of therapy, we’ve pretty much decided that it isn’t going to be. Evidently, I’ve inherited a PhD in Empathy from my Grandmommy Wandi and, like the procrastination thing, I’ve decided to stop fighting it.

So, in short, the good news for everyone around me is that I am passionate about integrity, authenticity, inclusiveness, accessibility, self-determination, joy, and connection. My purpose is to nurture and guide folks safely and smoothly through change — transitions and transformations. I help people define and pursue their unique and authentic purposes.

Ahhhh. Feels so good to know who you are… feels even better to actually be who you are.

Which leads me to this: Where does your passion meet your purpose? What makes you sing? What makes you banana crackers when it doesn’t happen?

What do you value?

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