It’s a Step By Step Process

deeclarknz.comLife and change and success and reaching your destiny is a step by step process.

And if you don’t go through the process to get it, you won’t have what it takes to keep it.

Epochal Moments

So, do you want to do an experiment with me?

Let’s measure your frustration level on a scale of 1 to 10.

How did you do? (Just keep that number in mind, we’ll come back to it.)

I experienced an epiphany the other day and it has to do with epochal moments.

The word epochal means a point marking the start of a new period in time. Examples in history are the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the freeing of slaves in America, the splitting of the atom, signed treaties and more recently, the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City. All of these events marked a significant, monumental change.

More personal examples would be the coming of age for a young man or woman, traumatic injuries, marriage, having children and death of a spouse or child.

These are moments that change everything in your life.

The times when nothing of your former life is recognisable.

The idea is like that of a renovation. In our society today, renovations are quite popular; the “makeover”, “redo” or “update”.

I love makeovers. Taking something that is well past it’s use-by date and freshening it up, giving it a new modern look.



The makeover I did a few years back (pictured above), was only a cosmetic makeover. We sold our beautiful home in order to concentrate on and be close to our business. So, we decided that we would turn a 20 year old ablution block in an abandoned building into a little apartment. Let me tell you, about some of the frustrations I encountered. 1. There was no running hot water. Picture it, bathing was done out of a bucket with water boiled in the jug (a NZ term for an electric kettle). 2. There were only about 3 electrical plugs that worked properly. So, I lived dangerously plugging everything I owned into electrical strips. I often wondered if I was going to burn the place down. 3. My make-shift closet leaked. 4. The bathroom sink was knee operated instead of hand operated.

The apartment was functional to a degree but not a proper home. The change was no epochal.

In order for the apartment to function as a proper home, the renovations needed to be much more in depth than they were. We needed to rip everything out to the bare bones and replace the wiring, install proper plumbing, replace and restructure the walls. But we didn’t. In our minds, we only planned to stay there short-term. We ended up living there for 3 years. By the time we moved, we were completely over those living conditions. There is no way we ever want to live like that again. I can not describe how frustrating it was at times – even though we calculated the cost of the decision, attempted to keep a good attitude and were learning a lot about ourselves at the time.

Let’s get back to that measure of our frustration level.

The epiphany that I had the other day is this: I am most relaxed, less frustrated, when I have approached the epochal decisions I have made in my life in the right way. I am most frustrated when I try to live between two moments (events) in time that have nothing to do with each other or that conflict with each other.

The idea of epochal change is that the old has to be completely done away with (ended) and completely renovated.

This is why New Year’s resolutions or diets don’t always work. We try to make changes that are not truly fitting with our lifestyle or value systems. When I have dieted unsuccessfully, I changed my eating behaviours for a short time but then went back to my old eating patterns. For the weight to stay off, I need to change more than just what I put in my mouth.

Not every decision I make is epochal. I change my hair all of the time! Long then short and back to long then back to short. I even dyed my dark brown hair blonde one year–big mistake. My frustration level on these types of decisions is almost nothing because I don’t mind back and forth result.

Having children was an epochal decision in my life. Do you know how different life becomes once you have children? Everything changes. I had to reconstruct or renovate everything about my life from what I said to how I did everything.

My children repeated a lot of my conversations at the most inappropriate times. It was embarrassing and frustrating. I learned quickly that if I wanted to prevent the embarrassment and lower my frustration (with them and myself) I needed to change what I discussed in front of them and many times I had to change the way I thought about and talked about everything.

I had to change my sleep patterns, my schedule, and my alone time because my time was not my own anymore.

Attempting to hold onto my “no-children” life was not going to work. Living as if children were not going to change my life only heightened my frustration level because that life did not exist any longer. Dee life was going to be totally different post children otherwise, both lifestyles suffered greatly.

Do you see what I am getting at here?

A married man must reconstruct his single lifestyle because single-man and married-man do not mix very well AT ALL. In fact, the two will rip each other apart.

A young person stepping into adulthood requires a completely new approach. Depending on his/her parents to rescue him/her from his adult decisions doesn’t work.

A vibrant, healthy person whose life is drastically changed by trauma must relearn to function in life with the disabilities that resulted. There are some truly inspiring examples of people who have overcome the limitations of disabilities.

Life after loss, spiritual conversions, offering forgiveness…all of these are epochal moments/events and the before and after are diametrically opposed. Once the decision is made or the event occurs, trying to go back to the old way of thinking or doing things limits the potential for happiness and success.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 22″No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” ~Mark

This explains a wise approach to epochal decisions. Unless you want to destroy both the new and the old, new wine must be placed into new wine skins (or bottles) and life has to be renovated to accommodate those epochal moments.

When we do renovate, we decrease our level of frustration.

So, are you trying to live your old life after an epochal moment?

Do you want less frustration?

Can you make necessary changes in your life?

Is it time for “old things to pass away and all things become new”?

It takes time but I believe you and I can make the renovations in our lives that will produce a better way of living.


Tyler Perry’s Thoughts For The Day

(Photo credit: Wishbox)

I am a big Tyler Perry fan. Today on Tyler’s Facebook page he posted the following. I found it very inspiring and thought that my readers would to. I hope you enjoy and are encouraged to not “stay too long”!


I haven’t written in a while so this is a little long, but it’s so worth your time to read.

I was in Wyoming recently and I was taking in the beauty of the place. I mean, I love it. As I was looking up at the mountains I saw an eagle flying above me. I had to stop and take in its majestic beauty. I had never seen a real life eagle. All I had heard about an eagle was in church when the pastor said that the eagle pushes its young out of the nest to teach it to fly. It really did move me watching this bird that had no doubt been pushed out of the nest and had learned to do what I was watching it do.

I got back to the cabin that evening and I started doing some research on eagles. I was so excited to read the story of how it learned to fly. Well, to my surprise, eagles pushing their young out of the nest is a myth. I was shocked. I know that I heard a preacher say that in church… now I ain’t gonna say that that pastor lied but I will say he didn’t do the research… LOL. So I did it on my own. I did find some interesting facts that got me thinking about life… mine and yours. It’s funny how God can speak through everything. Here’s what I found.

Eagles build the biggest nest of all birds. It’s huge, comfortable and deep. One of the most interesting things that I found was the way that the eagle gets its young chicks to fly out of the nest. For many weeks it brings food to the nest. The little eagles have no worries, they have all they need to survive. But when the adult eagle deems that it’s time for the young eagles to fly, things get uncomfortable.

Now the young eagle doesn’t know that it’s time to fly, but the wisdom and the bird’s eye view of the mother knows that it’s time for the chicks to leave the nest. So you know what she does? She doesn’t bring food to the babies anymore, and this is what I found fascinating. Many times she will fly around the nest with the food in her beak so that the young eagles will be tempted or so hungry that they are forced to fly out of the nest and take it out of her beak. Stay with me I’m going somewhere here.

As I thought about this, I thought about my life and how many times I was in a very comfortable space. I had all I needed. There was no need for me to go any further because I was comortable. I wanted to stay there forever. You have to be careful when you get comfortable and stay too long. It’s easy to stop dreaming when your belly is full. You won’t feel the need to fly at all.

The truth is, as long as I was there in that really comfortable space, I wasn’t fulfilling my own destiny or my purpose. I wasn’t flying, I was content. Remember this, your greatest prayers are not usually answered in comfort. Think about it. I can really get deep into this with stories from my past but you’re probably tired of reading already… LOL… so I’ll try and wrap it up.

It took an uncomfortable situation or being hungry to make me get out and fly. Many times in life things are going well, but then everything that was so great changes and we wonder why. We wonder what happened. We are caught off guard. I am of the opinion that in those times God, who knows when it’s time for us to leave the nest, is allowing it to become uncomfortable so that we can move on to our next mission in life. Our next hope, our next dream, our next level.

After not realizing this for many years and resisting changes and going through hell, I’m glad to say that I have become so sensitive to when it’s time to move that I will move without having to have the turmoil. I’m telling you I was so stubborn that the house had to burn down for me to move. Now I know better. I’m aware of when it starts to happen, like things happen that don’t make any sense. People you have been friends with or in business with or otherwise for years just seem to go crazy and you don’t know why. What I’ve learned in those moments is that it is a time to fly. Business changes, jobs go away, friends break your heart, marriages end, relationships end, and most times all these things are signs that it’s time to take flight to your next level.

Nobody likes change, I get it, but don’t be angry or bitter when things change. Don’t be mad with people, especially when you know you did right by them and you did all you could do for the friendship or relationship. I’m sorry to tell you this my friend, but this moment was not about them it was all about you. I’m telling you if God has allowed you to become so uncomfortable in your situation, whatever it is, then its time for you to move! Don’t be afraid, just fly!

Last thing and then I’m done . there is one part of the eagle story that I haven’t told you yet, and this is my favorite part. If those baby eagles get out of the nest and they are trying to fly and it’s not going well, then that same mother bird that provided for them while they were in the nest, that same eagle will fly under the baby eagle to keep it from falling, to keep it on course, and give it a sense of security. God’s got you, don’t be afraid! He won’t let you fall!

Now here’s the question: what situation in your life has become so uncomfortable that you feel like you’re being starved for what you need? Maybe its God’s way of telling you it’s time to fly! It’s time to fly for your own dreams and your own hopes and goals. Fly for true love and real hope. This is your moment to fly, in 2014. Make this the year that you leave the nest without fear.

there is no change unless someone like you cares

my grand babies are staying at my house for a few days while their momma is at school and stepdad is working. it’s the school holidays for them and well, let me just say it’s joy for my heart.

today, we colored, painted, went for a walk to the park and sat on the beach in the sunshine. i am always amazed at how content children are just knowing an adult is focused on them a least for a few minutes at a time.

when we were exhausted, we headed home for a few moments of rest. the kids wanted to watch a movie called the Lorax. it’s a Dr Suess creation.

have you seen it? I hadn’t.

greed drove an entrepreneur to deplete the forest of trees for the sake of profit. this changed the world for future generations. years passed with no trees and the benefits they offer; beauty, wildlife and oxygen.

at the end of the movie, the entrepreneur provides a young boy a seed so he can plant a tree and make a change for his community.

cute story.

at the end of the movie, the quote above was listed.

i began to think about all the potential changes facing the world today and the many reasons, both good and bad, presented for why they should be made.

both sides of the argument feel strongly that their proposed change has merit, purpose and meaning. and, they fear the opposite argument for change.

some changes will occur for all the wrong reasons and have a great impact for generations to come.

but rather than fear…care. care enough to seek out what contribution you can make…because there is one. whining, becoming the victim or allowing a bad attitude to set up residence in your heart are not the answer.

maybe you can’t change the entire world.

yet, the change you can effect will make an impact.

start by guarding your heart.

gathering hatred, resentment, bitterness, offences and judgement is like collecting garbage. as we know, the longer we hang on to it, the more it stinks!

carrying around the hurt is like carrying around a bag of stinking, rotting trash! and it stinks. just ask a trusted friend, everyone gets a good whif…you can’t hide it.

it won’t produce the success you are longing for.

no matter how difficult your circumstances, that of your community or country, you can do something. anything is better than wallowing in a pile of rubbish.

i have read heartbreaking stories of women in third world countries who continue to strive to do all they can with far less resources than many of you and i flippantly dispose of with very little thought.

even our worst day is a day many people in the world are praying to have the opportunity to have.

accept the challenge. just look for the impact you can make. care deeply. grab opportunities- even small ones.


unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to change. it’s not.

one thing you can do is to encourage those around you who are having a difficult time. share your resources and encourage and support each other. build community and make it through the hard times together.

help each other keep the stinky trash where it belongs…in the can and not in your heart!


aspire to inspiration

20130917-175033.jpgyou are the inspiration someone in your world needs…

and you may ever know what it is…

your flare, joy, hope, strength and maybe even your weakness…

will speak deep within their heart…

and make all the difference to their world!

aspire to inspire.

what’s a girl to do? busy-ness

my week has taken a major turn. not at all what i had planned in my idealistic world of dreams. what’s a girl to do?

don’t panic. (see i really do say this a lot)


prioritise (I can spell…in New Zealand words with “-ize” are spelled “-ise”; and for those who have warned me about my spelling, i’ll add, words ending in “-or” are spelled “-our”. i’m not in Kansas anymore, ToTo).

normally, i would head for a few quiet moments on the beach and blog…but no time this week.

there are some big changes happening, plus my mad scientist husband has sprung a big project for work on me (oyster farm style). needless to say, there will be no pretty dresses or high heels in the plan for this week. more like head to toe seaweed, mud and ocean muck. i wonder if ocean muck has any surprisingly miraculous benefits for preventing ageing or wrinkles? a girl can hope.

while i will be up to my elbows in mud, i will have to postpone my planned post schedule…but i will attempt to post some encouraging or inspiring morsels as i can.

i believe everything happens for a reason so this is no different…there will be days…weeks…months…years…like this. you know what i mean, days like this seem to be forever long and feel like they go on and on. that’s alright…the best way to deal with it is head down, big girl undies on and go THROUGH it.

will that work for a plan? 😉

i do have a silver lining. yes, i do. my daughter found Fritos in a local store. why is that my silver lining? because New Zealand does not have many of the everyday ordinary American foods we are used to. just the other day i was daydreaming about Frito Pie (i must have needed some childhood comfort food). i thought, “well, that won’t be happening til i’m home for a visit”.

to my delight (and my daughter’s as well) we will be doing an American Frito Pie feast as soon as my week settles down. yes, a silver lining! simple pleasures can make all the difference in the world (& yes, i realise it’s a guilty pleasure and i will use it! 😎)

i certainly hope you have a fabulous week.

hope to see you soon.



Queenstown, secret spot

Queenstown, NZ…my secret spot

today is one of those days when my life seems to be swirling. I woke with a plan (because as I’ve said, I like to have a plan) and it didn’t take long before that plan was challenged. adaption. no, I didn’t say adoption. I had to adapt my plan. is change a much of a challenge for you as it is for me? i love a little well planned spontaneity (i told you i can be a bit OCD). changing the entire plan before my morning coffee cup is half empty presents me with a challenge. breathe. not enough. ok, again,  breeeee-athe. yip (NZ slang for yes), i’m in…let’s flow with it. then comes the bomb. the change includes a trade delegate meeting with some of the city’s big players. now, the challenges bombard me. i know i am not alone in this one. what am i going to wear, can i keep intelligent conversation going, you know, the things i talked about yesterday. i am not the life of the party. i love to host the party. make sure everyone is having a good time. i might even be happy to do “housework-the dishes” or provide all my hospitality skills to provide an enjoyable experience for guests but the actual party side is a whole different story. do i sound neurotic? i’m not. i am a woman who feels the pressures of expectation.

IMG_1005give me a nice quiet spot with a beautiful view and my introvert nature is in comfort zone heaven.

comfort zone heaven is not my destiny today since Queenstown is 2 hours away. i grab my half cup of coffee and walk across the street to the beach. i love that i can do that. i live near the beach. as i walk, i begin to think how much my heart loves the beach. it feels like a gift to live near the beach today. i’m grateful. not as pretty as the site above…for this morning, it will do. as i sit down, i clear my mind. de-clutter. out with the old plan, let’s look at a new one. i sort out my thoughts. first, a little prayer, “God, help me draw on the talents i possess  that are not natural to me. help me remember the training i have received…networking, presentation, marketing, communication.” i’m not hyper-ventilating now. i’m enjoying the beauty of the view and the richness of this half cold cup of coffee. life is good. creativity is starting to flow. confidence is rising. that didn’t take long. not as long as it would have a few years ago. i must be growing. i must be trusting. trusting that challenges push me to develop more of the skills i admire. this meeting will advance the next stage of our business. there’s the reason i will do this. the value of the challenge. business. however, a clear picture of how this will also advance the next stage in my personal journey is also apparent. new plan in hand, new blog topic conceived…i get up, walk back across the street…begin.

as women, expectations are thrown at us left and right. plans get interrupted. changed required. take a deep breath, ask for help, and adapt. live the journey and face the challenges…good things are ahead.