The Other Far Worse F Word

To my joy and delight, my article, ‘The Other Far Worse F Word” was published in Elephant Journal, an online publication with over 14 million monthly views. The content on Elephant Journal is dedicated to living a mindful, authentic life. I’m a huge fan of the content so when I took a bold chance and submitted my work, I was thrilled when they said yes!

As of today (May 13, 2015), the article has had over 16,000 views and was moved to the front page of the site within 3 hours of being posted. I’m humbled by the response for my article.

The original article can be found at: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/the-other-far-worse-f-word/ but a short cut is below!

Apathy

The Other Far Worse F Word

To the chagrin of my mother, I like (no, love) the f-word.

I realize that it isn’t Namaste appropriate and I probably make my third eye angry when I blurt it out loud, but at times there really is no better word to fill in the blank, to express an emotion, or to tell someone where to go. I do my best to not drop the infamous f-bomb in social settings where I am required to wear a name tag, but I can’t promise that I do not think it or secretly direct it at some idiot on a regular basis.

With no filter between my brain and my mouth, the f-word and I have created many memories together. When I recently turned 40, I decided I was old enough to no longer apologize for dropping my favorite adjective and noun at the drop of the hat. With what my heart endured in the last decade, embracing the f-word without abandon seems like a free gift with purchase.

There is another f-word that I believe does more damage than the f’er I have constantly on the tip of my tongue. The word that excites me as much as a wet noodle is “fine.” Even when it rolls out of my mouth, I start to gag. Have you noticed that nothing good ever comes from the word fine?

How do I look in this dress? You look fine.

Are you mad at me? No, I’m fine.

How are you? I’m fine, thanks.

Ironically, the definition of “fine” can vary between “high quality” (adjective) or “pleasing manner, very well” (adverb). If fine is the mistress of positive, how did it become the word that yields a response as exciting as chips with no guacamole? Fine is now the filler word we use when we don’t really have anything else to say. When our emotions are dragging on the floor, it’s all we can muster.

I hate fine; I hate everything the modern generation has allowed it to become. I strongly dislike when I feel fine because that means I am content. At the ripe old age of 40-ish, content is like making the B-team instead of being selected as an all-star. Content and her cousin, fine, are the bridesmaids—never the bride.

Being fine equates to getting sucked into the Alanis Morisette song, Ironic; “It’s like a black fly in your chardonnay.” It’s still fine to drink, but you lose interest because Jeff Goldblum took a diver in your glass. (Will the younger generation understand the movie reference I made there?)

So in an attempt to turn my frown upside down, I’m campaigning to rid the world of fine. If you are living in a life that you didn’t design, going to a job every day that doesn’t fill your soul and/or in a relationship that feels like you are wearing a heavy coat full of burden, you are a fully paid up member of the Fine Club. In case you need a smack in the f’ing face, you are bordering between the neighborhoods of content and just getting by. Believe me, I was the mayor of this town for a long time! I realize I can’t point my finger at you without pointing three back at me.

In spite of every great intention, when I rounded into my 30’s, I found myself in a very high profile job in corporate America; I regretted it on the third day yet I stayed five years. I landed in a relationship that started as a casual friendship yet became emotional abusive; it lasted two years and 11 months longer than it ever should have. And I found myself existing in a world that went from colorful to dark gray because the architect of my life apparently took a hiatus. It should come as no surprise that I look back at my 30’s and can’t help but think, “f*ck off!”

It’s easy to point fingers at my ability to choose the wrong job, the painfully wrong man or the wrong life; being the victim allows for so many excuses. The honest reason my life fell off the rails is because I let it. I didn’t allow the inner voice that spoke loudly, on the third day at my fancy corporate job, to completely derail the American dream of having a consistent paycheck every two weeks.

Regrettably, I closed my ears when my intuition raised its hand and started campaigning for the end of my relationship the first time he used the c-word. As my life imploded, exhausted from being in a place of crisis of management versus thriving, I shut down completely. The only answer I could muster up when asked how I was doing was always the infamous “fine.” Life was winning against an opponent that was no longer in the game.

They say time heals all wounds, and as much as I believe that, I have come to learn that giving yourself permission to live the life you want really is the best remedy. When you start to view your life through a selfish lens, you can no longer live with the rose-colored glasses of fine.

I realize that the use of the word selfish may shock some but it’s really the crux of the solution. I’m not giving you permission to be selfish so you can have the biggest piece of cake (in your 40’s, your metabolism slows to molasses so, believe me, leave the cake alone!) Instead, selfish is meant to be a rallying cry so that you put yourself first. There is a reason the airlines tell us to put our oxygen mask on first before we help others. When we do not allow our heart to explore the vocation our life intended, we experience turbulence. And this turbulence doesn’t come with complimentary peanuts.

The next time you utter the word fine, I implore you to do a gut check. If fine starts to pepper your daily language, it’s time to call in the architect of your own life and start to make plans for a major overhaul. Scary, sure; doable, absolutely! Please don’t ever get to a position where your job, relationship or view on life is just “fine.” Take it from someone who lived far too long in that space; life is winning when you get to that point.

With self-initiated permission to design the life you want to live, I promise there is a whole lot of “f*ck yeah” ahead!

~

Author: Nicole Matthews

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Flickr
About Nicole Matthews

Nicole Matthews is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and champion for living your best life. As a global event, travel and lifestyle concierge, she helps clients to enjoy the playground of life. Her new book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live is available on Amazon. Nicole craves humor and storytelling, as much as the perfect accessory to accentuate an outfit. Deep down, she believes her days performing, at the age of 9, as a showgirl in Las Vegas, have prepared her for when Dancing With the Stars calls.

Meet the Author: Permission by Nicole R. Matthews | Arbiter News

I am delighted to have been profiled by Arbiter News in their Meet the Author section. My favorite question, outside of the chance to talk about  my book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live was when they asked who I would invite to a dinner party. Who would you invite if you could only have 5 guests (alive or dead and real or make believe?)

Meet the Author: Permission by Nicole R. Matthews | Arbiter News.

 

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Playground Chatter featuring Rita Moore, Director of Sales & Marketing at La Valencia Hotel

Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our new blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!

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Your Name:   Rita Moore

Your nickname?   Dang, don’t have one – although I have been “affectionately” called many things from my team – mostly including a reference to my Lucy Ricardo moments or the multiple times I may have tripped, spilled or goofed.

What is your grown up job? Director of Sales & Marketing for La Valencia Hotel.

How can we find you?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ritahorganmoore

Twitter: @ritamooreLaV

Instagram: ritamoorelav

Pinterest: Rita Moore http://www.pinterest.com/ritamoo/

For the La Valencia 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaValenciaHotel

Twitter: @lavalenciahotel

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lavalenciahotel

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lavalenciahotel/

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Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most?  I grew up in Wilmington, DE, no one year but just the summers which seemed always long and lazy. I lived next to a park and tennis courts and we bounced around the courts all day long, feeling so grown up and part of the crowd – my best friend and I, with our respective crushes on Bjorn Borg [me] and Jimmy Connors [ my girlfriend].

 Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? Kick ball ally

Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? Always the brown bag – envied the lunch buyers!

What would be your ideal recess today?  I swing between me on a chaise lounge with a book or a blend of activities that challenge [ like a hard hike, spin class, bootcamp ] but still has moments in between motions to bond with friends. This happens all the time, steep wind-sucking climbs and then breathtaking beauty to share, killer spin but a song comes on we all get to sing, giggles on our mats as we grunt between ab crunches.

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Does your company encourage recess for their employees?  Absolutely, hospitality is built around a happy welcome – personal happiness in our staff carries through and touches our guests, definitely one of our human truths of connecting through shared stories.

If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in?  Laughter yoga – getting all differing staff to open their arms, stretch, break down any resistance to being silly and do a little laughter yoga.

What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today?  Rule #1, if you don’t try to do something you will always sit on the sideline and watch. You aren’t always invited to play, so you need to self invite and get in the game.

When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies.  I have often said that I need longer days – more time to work, more time to play, more time to laze…….the waking part of the 24 hour day just zips by me. My current loves are being at the beach with my yellow lab Elvis Costello, pure joy and totally in the moment. My week is always revolving around how I can fit a Bikram yoga class in or connect with my spin gals whom I adore. I am an ex pastry chef so any chance I get to bake for friends and family = joy. I have had a great time doing some hikes such as part of the Appalachian Trail with my sister, and rim to rim day hike of the Grand Canyon – as well as the great San Diego trails with friends. I really need to plan events that I can challenge myself and train for, I love the anticipation as much as the event. When “at rest”, the true love for me is the hobby of quiet time, being with my husband and sweet dog, and a book – that is the most wonderful feeling.

1457735_10200483333200310_2084366740_nWhat is one area of your life where you need more recess?  Travel 🙂 life is so full, I wish that I could stop and have a month to travel to faraway places……just need more time!

What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there?  Hard to explain, my most expansive goal is to harness creative talents, ideas & thoughts and use that energy to leave a mark of who I am, my own personal legacies – with work success, or with a friend that I can be more open to, a team that I can mentor. Each day I write a sentence at the top of my to do list – “set my intentions”. This grounds me, my list needs to be the tasks of work I have promised to complete, connections I need to make, projects that are due or just inspire – but at the start of every day I need to set my intention to dive in with a fearless heart, no matter what the list. A few years ago when I needed to prepare for a professional challenge, instead of spending hours memorizing data I tripped across a TED talk with Shawn Achor on the Happiness Advantage. I immediately connected, bought the book and dove into what I knew all along – the power of positive thought /psychology. It dialed back my core knee jerk mantra of work harder work more hours to reach my goal, and pointed me in the direction of connect more, be more grateful, spend more time on social connections – it redirected my path and altered my course. Now my goal has flipped to being more present in practicing the Happiness Advantage, and what I find? It brings me more success……even when I don’t finish the list, I just get up the next day and do it again.

What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear).  The best way for me right now, is to continue to balance hours of work vs. work hours…………….finish work and treat my personal commitments as very important appointments. We live by our meeting schedules some days, I schedule my life happiness appointments – workout and yoga class schedules, dates with my loves , my friends…………you need to commit not to break appointments with yourself. We started the playground chat talking about the concept of time, how it disappears – to capture it with playtime, get it on the schedule as unbreakable. It’s fun!

Permission – Wow Reviews!

thc_bookcover_finalWhen I wrote my first book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming support and positive reviews. To write a book is a very personal journey, and although I wrote very quickly (over 200 pages in 6 weeks), I found the process resonated with me long after. I’m very proud of the fact Permission seems to be striking a cord with readers and audiences as I share my story.

Here is just a sampling of some of the reviews I’ve received:

One may think that Permission is meant mainly to inspire and encourage young women to take command of their lives. Well, I am a male twice Nicole’s age and I am inspired and encouraged by this book, too. I recommend it from three perspectives. First, the storyline is so fascinating and Nicole’s writing style almost puts one in her skin as one feels the intense joy and pain of her personal and business lives. Second, important points are well articulated: like authentic intentions, followed by aggressive pursuing, risk, and trying are what brings good fortune, along with sound social advice, such as dropping basement dweller “friends’. Nicole’s ultimate success proves that her advice works. Third, the ‘how to do it’ portions are helpful.The theme, Permission, is all pervasive as we confront authority, ego, self-concept and will. I found the book persuasive and a good read.
-Rick Kaylor January 10, 2015

 

Nicole made me laugh and cry (at the same time) … she has a delightful way of telling stories that I could completely relate to. So many women (and men) will enjoy this book and probably feel exactly the same way. Nicole’s life has such inspiration and aspiration, I loved reading all about her experiences and successes. The fact that she has a great network of friends and family and a real “go getter” attitude has made me look at my life and give myself Permission to seek the life I want to live. Thank you for such a great read, I will tell everyone I know to read this book! – Kelly

 

Permission! is an engaging and inspiring read. Nicole Matthews’ voice is at once both strong and vulnerable, and offers those of us who feel like we have to do it all the guidance to lean on others to help us accomplish our goals. The raw, personal stories Nicole uses to illustrate her ideas for achieving success connect the reader in a way that makes this book hard to put down. -Christene

Check out the rest of the reviews on Amazon.

Thank you for all of the Permission support and love!

PS – Need a little more Permission inspiration – check out my Permission board on Pinterest!

TSE 2015 – Where All The Event Planners Go!

If you were looking for anyone in the event industry last week, more than likely they were in Anaheim, California at TSE 2015 – The Special Event Conference and Trade Show; the largest industry conference for event planners, vendors and suppliers. I was very fortunate to have been selected to speak all three days. TSE is an annual tradition for the event industry. We attend for education, networking and inspiration. The trade show floor is a visual cornucopia of the latest and greatest decor, furniture and must-have products we can implement in our events. It’s also a great chance for us to network with friends old and new.

This year was particularly special because in addition to speaking all 3 days, I was also able to offer my new book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live at the Conference Bookstore. What a thrill to be asked to do a book signing during the conference, along side my dear friend, Marley Majcher – The Party Goddess!

My presentations included:

Introducing Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating The Life You Want to Live!

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Thanks to the creative genius, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York, I’m proud to show you the cover for my forthcoming book, Permission – Stop Competing and Start Creating the Life You Want to Live. The book will be published before the end of 2014.

Would you like to spread the Permission message? I’m busy booking speaking engagements so let’s chat!

About the Book…

Forget “leaning in” or “leaning out” to get ahead both personally and professionally, Nicole Matthews, Founder and Lifestyle Architect of The Henley Company, champions the power of “leaning on” others to help you to create the life you want to live by being own architect. This witty, humorous and self-deprecating tale of a 40-something that has had more fascinating life experiences than dates, will have you realizing that giving yourself permission is step number one to start living your best life! As the designer of the highly successful, Sex and the City, movie launch party events, and as a leader in the special events community, Matthews is at the top of her game, but not without having to overcome challenges and mend emotionally, financially and personally.

The personal journey of Nicole R. Matthews, a social media loving, generation x’er, who cherishes unique experiences, stamps in her passports and trying to make sense of the opposite sex, is humorously chronicled in Permission – Stop Competing & Start Creating The Life You Want To Live.

Through her stories, Matthews shares the heartbreak she endured that was so deep it rivaled Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall, a depression so profound she spent the night in the ER with the other crazies, and a self-esteem demon that liked to rear its head in the most inopportune moments – like on a date with a man-person! But yet, in spite of the setbacks and the “stuff” she faced, she still has found the courage to give herself permission to get out of broken relationships, start a successful business, and create the opportunities to honor her most precious authentic intentions.

For Matthews, Permission-Stop Competing & Start Creating The Life You Want To Live is a catalyst for launching The Permission Mission, a community of individuals who commit to designing the life they want to live, and to create opportunities that add unique experiences to the fabric of their lives. As part of The Permission Mission, Matthews will start Concierge Circles, a social club focused on creating a community of women who “lean on” each other for support, encourage each other to become architects of their own lives, manage their busy schedules and seek personal enrichment.