Tag Archives: hope

Day 14 – Living the Dream #30dreamdays

11 Sep

I have to say that this 30 Dream Days Challenge is getting me to realize that even though I sometimes focus on what I don’t have or what I haven’t achieved yet, I really am living a dream already.  I have everything and everyone I need.

In 2002 I was a single lady living just outside NYC.  I had grown up in Queens, then lived in Manhattan and had bought my first co-op apartment in Rockville Centre, Long Island.  I sold that one to move next door into a bigger unit and things were good.  I had a “great job” and I owned my own place and car (or at least a significant portion of…the bank owned the rest).   I had finally graduated college by going at night and my 15 year old sister was living with me to go to a better high school than John Adams back in Queens.


Then I met Chris and everything changed.  He was so charming and like no one I’d ever met.  So I fell in love.  Hard.  I got laid off from my job (by my request to save someone else’s job) and sold my place and moved to Connecticut.  Chris & I were married on 4/12/03.

[Link to youtube video of my wedding song – A little Rumba, anyone?]

Chris was a single dad of 3 kids when we met. Krista was 6, Aaron was 5 and Faith was 4.  I fell in love with those 3 even harder.  They welcomed me into their lives and we became a family.

KidsatWeddingFor anyone who knows my husband & I, we are determined to use our marriage to inspire others.  We have encountered some rough years but we made it through and now we travel around presenting marriage seminars for Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage determined to spread hope and eliminate divorce.

I have learned so much by being a wife and mother.  I really had no idea what love was before these 4 people made me part of their family.  I loved my mom and my sisters.  I loved my dad and still miss him even though he died when I was 10.  But it was through the relationships with my husband and my kids that the LOVE of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 became so very real to me.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Living and loving like that is the dream of a lifetime.  It was the dream of my 20’s, probably even my teens.  It has not come easy.  Love like this is frequently a 2 way street, but not always.  Because I am not always patient and kind.  I am sometimes self-seeking and easily angered (usually when I am stressed an exhausted but notice that these caveats aren’t in the verse).  How can I ever “learn” my way out of this existence?  I can’t learn my way out.  I have to love and be loved out of it.

This family and life of mine doesn’t look exactly like I thought it would, but it feels so much better than I could have predicted.

So as I continue to dream of my future, I have this amazing love surrounding me.  I know it can and will grow stronger as the years go by.  I also know that it is exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think.  And so even though I believe in the power of dreams, I believe the Power of God is greater than that.  I’m blessed because I can have my dreams and God too.  For my brothers and sisters out there who do not have an earthly love like mine, if you have God…you have Faith and Hope and Love.   Deep loneliness is like manure  to the heart, preparing it for true love…but stinky nonetheless.  Prepare your heart.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13


Day 3 – Dream Team #30dreamdays

31 Aug


A dream in honor of my departed friend Tom Edge

Tonight I get to participate in a super exciting event that 10 men (and one woman) wait with baited breath for each year…the LIVE fantasy football draft at the Millers.  I have served as Assistant to the Auctioneer in this draft for 3-4 years (maybe more) and while I CAN enjoy watching a football game I am not a REAL FAN.

So I enjoy this draft simply because the enthusiasm of the 10 fantasy team managers is infectious.  Tonight one of the guys Mike expressed his thanks to the Auctioneer (Mrs Miller) and proclaimed this to be “OUR CHRISTMAS”.   That analogy sort of put things in perspective for me as to how much enjoyment and enthusiasm these guys had for this event.  NOT that I didn’t already know this with Mr Colter counting down the days over the last few weeks but Mike’s Christmas metaphor heightened my awareness to how thoroughly enjoyable this night was for these 10 men (and one woman).

So what does this have to do with MY DREAM?  I’m glad you asked!!!  I have the very important duty of pulling stickers off the sheets as the managers call out “Quarterback, Tom Brady for $X” and the bidding begins.  As each round passed I started to think, if I could draft a team, what would it be?  Immediately ideas were bouncing in my head and I decided that I would draft a team of speakers and collaborators to put together a Touring Conference on HOPE that would sweep across the country like a tornado where the effects of its presence were  noticeable well after the speakers left and the audience went home.

As much as I believe that one day I will be a speaker in these types of conferences, at this point I am much more comfortable ENVISIONING the formation, draft-like recruitment of talent, detailed execution of a well thought out plan and most importantly the lives that will be transformed by experiencing the HOPE pumping through ever message spoken night after night after night.   I know that I could be the Visionary for this type of event , I could be the Project Manager on all the details, I could be the Editor of each speaker’s message ensuring that they all tie together neatly AND rattle the cages of the audience in such a way that paradigm shifting is not only likely but inevitable.  But I would NEED a team.

This is a recurring theme of my dreams:  I can’t do them alone.

Needing other people is not comfortable for most people, myself included.  I CAN and DO a lot by myself but whether it is my family team including my husband, our kids and myself OR teams that rally around the work and philanthropic endeavors I pursue, I NEED OTHER PEOPLE.  Regardless of what dream I post, I must remind myself that I cannot do them alone…nor do I want to.  I want a team to help and be helped by.  I want the support of my family and friends.  The image of a Lone Ranger is LONELY and that is NOT ME.

So it is my privilege to passionately pursue my dreams in such a way that others may choose of their own free will to raise their hand and say, “I can help you” or “Can I help you?” or “I want to be part of what you are doing!”.

P.S.  I am not always in the business of recruiting my own team…sometimes I get even more excited by being part of a team someone else is recruiting.  If you think I would make a great member of your team, send me an email to me at nicole@bartermatchmakers.com.   You never know what I will be interested in doing next!!!

Day 2 – #30dreamdays

30 Aug


Originally posted on Facebook on 8/29/13 at 11:59pm

So I finally sat down at 11:15 to start writing my DREAM of the DAY and I spent the last 15 minutes thinking up and reserving a new domain name www.30dreamdays.com.  I haven’t set it up yet but I reserved it and now in this post I will reveal my Day 2 Dream….{drum roll please}…BLOGGER.  Blogger at 30dreamdays.com.  A website where people share their DREAM OF THE DAY as part of an individual commitment to passionately pursue a WHIMSICAL dream even if for just ONE DAY.  Do that DAILY for 30 days and YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!  Something inside YOU changes even IF nothing AROUND you does.  But it really is impossible for NOTHING around you to change IF you’ve changed on the inside.  Your passion will bubble up even if it is just a teenie weenie bit, but people notice.  They FEEL it, even IF they don’t think it.  And it affects them and MAY in some small way have an affect on easily 500-800 more people simply by that person posting on Facebook, Twitter…you get the point?  That can start a movement.  That can start a revolution.

Am I going to start a revolution?  Maybe not…but PROBABLY.  I may start with the negative but I am always more positive in the end…because I CHOOSE TO BE.  So my conclusion is I will PROBABLY start a revolution one day.  Is that today?  Who knows!  Does it matter when?  Hoping and believing it WILL bring me MORE overall enjoyment than the object of my hopes and dreams.  At least that is how it is for me because I am a VISIONARY.  I SEE things as they COULD be, how I DREAM they one day WILL BE and I am able to VISUALIZE what can bring that desired end result about in a detailed but DEFINITELY NON-LINEAR way and then I START.  I will START something in less than 15 minutes usually when I have these “creative bursts”.  Everything starts to FLOW and I can spend HOURS upon HOURS just IMAGINING the WHOLE thing…so very detailed.   I work at it, this THING, this IDEA…I work at it and at it for HOURS UPON HOURS and I can put a great detailed yet RAW picture of the vision into the written word and SHIP that to someone else who can RUN with it or not.   Businesses would pay me to SHIP these works of art to them on a X # of times per year basis.  Some may be genius and some may be TOTALLY UNDOABLE, but the overall ROI for my services would be so astronomical that it wouldn’t matter if only ONE idea per year actually was implemented.   And the BEAUTY of this for ME is that I DON’T EVER HAVE TO IMPLEMENT.  I’m GREAT at implementation but I don’t LOVE it.  I CAN do it but I don’t WANT to.  And sooooooooooooo much more time is spent in implementation which is what has made me struggle MORE and MORE to stay focused once a new idea is birthed and taken it’s first breath.  At that point, it CAN keep itself breathing on its own.  It needs a mom and a dad and other grown-ups (or siblings) but even a newborn baby was designed to keep itself alive.  That’s what I do.  I design ideas.  I paint pictures with words and a multi-dimensional work of art.  I do that.  Almost everyday.  Great ideas just rush over me NON-STOP.  Imagine how hard this makes focusing on implementation or day to day stuff.

I know that I can use the gifts and talents He has given me and REALLY make a difference.  I mean REALLY make a difference.  And I can see a long detailed series of non-linear maneuvers I must make.  And non-linear means that I can never tell if I am closer to THAT step or closer to another step so it isn’t always easy to CREATE my life daily but I do it…and enjoy it.

So I will make a difference.  I will create my life.

And I will Thank My Heavenly Father DAILY for being the font that my life is written in.

(Photo credit)

30 Dream Days Challenge #30dreamdays

30 Aug


Do you have a dream? Find Mentors, Get Coaching

This was first started on August 28, 2013 before I started this blog.

30 day challenge:  I’m going to post an outrageous dream daily on a whim!  When I think “would i like doing _____?” I’m just going to ponder that publicly here.

So this started with watching the MLK Dream Speech and after many other random connected thoughts I think “Would I enjoy being a speech writer/collaborator?” – MY ANSWER…Probably.

Not sure there is a current speech writer/collaborator demand in the market but we rarely think about what we are missing BEFORE we realize we’ve been missing it.

SO TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO CURRENTLY MAKE SOME MONEY AS A SPEAKER OR FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT ONE DAY DREAM OF DOING SO, WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN A Speech Writer/Collaborator?  Like I would be readily available to review my client’s last minute hair brained ideas of what they were going to say in their Keynote at the Conference the next day.

I only work with clients who REALLY care about what they do.  I mean REALLY!  Your passion is how I figure out what you SHOULD/COULD say and what current or historical connections can you make and thinking about the target audience and how you want to enlist them to help you spread your ideas.

I would do this for people who REALLY care about what they are doing and who I deem a good investment of my time.  If you convince me, let’s negotiate how to make SOMETHING work.  Who cares if it has never been done.  TRUST.  Client relationships (friendships) built on TRUST.  UNWAVERING.

My thoughts explode thinking of the potential for improvement/revolution in the social/business/family lives of people WAY beyond my small circle of influence AND the financial gain for both me and my client.

I welcome the creative muse of a hard and fast CREATIVE deadline…my BEST work is RAW…if you can take a RAW piece of diamond and like a jeweler, polish and cut and smooth, I’m your girl.

Thinking about that job just gets me juiced!!!  Pumped up, spinning, on FIRE and Hopeful.  WOW!!!  That’s what DREAMS can do.  [That was all inner emotions, I present as fairly in a daze a lot of the time…aka deep thinking].

I know there are other dreamers out there.  Who wants to take this challenge with me?  If so, post on FB, Twitter etc and use #30dreamdays and I want you to help me put #30dreamdays and dreaming back in the forefront of people’s lives.

(Please note, NO ONE IS going to condemn you if you start the challenge and can’t complete it EVERY day…if YOU thought at one point during this post “Would I enjoy being a ______?  TAKE THE CHALLENGE.  Regardless, I implore you to please SHARE and HELP ME do this…Thanks…and I hope you enjoy the RIDE.

(Photo credit)

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