Monday, July 1, 2013

The Journey

With temperatures soaring past 100 degrees for the past week it's been easier to stay indoors and wrap up projects such as writing, organizing, and thinking. It's the thinking that has been at the forefront of my days of late. Quieting the mind has been a challenge as I've been contemplating life, my personal journey and the road that waits ahead. Our community has lost several people this past week; a 12-year-old local boy drowned in our river, a 35-year-old motorcyclist was hit by a tourist with an RV trying to make a U-turn on the highway, and the passing of a friend from the Ridge. Life is temporary, uncertain, and precious. When it hits you that you may have only so many more 100 degree summers left, the heat becomes much more tolerable. Yet it has had me really wondering about my own life's purpose and in what direction I want to set my sails for the future. Life suddenly seems short.

I watched a video recently about a fellow who was living his life's passion and has created a successful KickStarter campaign to fund it. It's a video about the cicadas. (Watch below - film maker Samuel Orr - He's started a Kickstarter page to raise $20,000 for the project.)

As a young girl growing up in the Texas Panhandle, summer's always meant thunder storms, hot weather, and tornadoes and you could almost mark the calendar for the day the Cicadas came to town. They'd show up in groves, attaching themselves to the bark of the trees that lined my grandparent's property and were almost within reach of my bed at night. I'd listen to their melodical music as I'd try to fall asleep on those hot summer nights and today as I think about their journey, and my own, it seems appropriate to share their story...

They’ve been waiting, 17 years. But on a warm night in spring their journey begins. For a lifetime they’ve been underground, alone. But night after night they emerge together, as billions of cicadas gather into one of the greatest insect outbreaks on earth.

They cannot bite or stink and their only defense is to emerge in the millions. But above all, they climb, to seek a secure perch on which to transform. And so they begin the final few weeks of their 17-year lives.

For the first few days, the new adults rest and recover, waiting for their shells to harden. Soon after, the males begin calling the females. Their synchronized chorus is among the loudest sounds in nature. The mating frenzy 3 to four weeks, but after the first appears but not all survive long enough to find a mate. And billions do survive to find a mate. Soon after the females lay eggs and post hundreds on eggs in tree bark. Their purpose now fulfilled after a life span of 6 weeks. But up in the trees, hidden in the branches are billions of eggs about to hatch, each about the size of a grain of rice. They crawl to the edge of the branch and drop away. Insects force them to burrow underground, not to be seen again for another 17 years.

Life is really short for these insects; much shorter than my own decades of life, not to mention they are waiting underground for 17 years in the hopes that they might be one of a few who will fulfill their life's purpose to mate, reproduce, lay eggs and then die within a few short weeks. So what do I have to be concerned about? 

My shell has hardened, my song has begun, and I have a beautiful community around me, so I think I'll go outside and do some living now. Triple digits be damned! 

© Cynthia Stewart is an international speaker and the author of several books, which

include Dream Big! and Creating Wealth on The Web. Through many challenges that she has

faced, survived and overcome, Cynthia knows first-hand how to dream big and has dedicated her life to empower other’s to stand-up, step-out, and reach their dreams. She can be reached at or

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conversations with Gianna

Late night conversation with my granddaughter.

"MiMi, where is Grandpa?

     Honey, he died.

Where is he?

     I'm not sure but I think he's in a place called heaven.

That sounds right.

MiMi, where is heaven?

     Honey, I don't know for sure.

It must be really far."

(The wisdom of a three-year-old.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Boxes of Memories

As some of you know I’ve recently been inspired to clean out and get rid of things that no longer serve me and get them to people who can use these items. You know the likes – boxes of clothing a size too small that one-day will fit again, or coats for skiing when one no longer skis. These things are no longer of value to me, but for another person, it’s just the item they need. It’s been gratifying to let go of these things I’ve clung on to for so many years and to watch as they go to people who really need and appreciate them.

And then there are those things that you forget about, things that have incredible meaning and value, even if only to you. One of the things I found in a storage container last week was the top of a pair of men’s pajamas. They belonged to my late husband, Calvin. Although it’s been nearly 18 years since he passed away, I still remember buying him those pajamas and how he wore them those last two months until the day he died. Green and navy stripes with small red squares that look a bit like a Scottish tartan. Silky fabric.  Floods of memories…

Recently I came down with what I can only think is the flu as I was knocked down into bed for the past 48 hours. I pulled the top out of the drawer and wore it these past two days but it was only today I noticed it… the thing that knocked me down again, this time to my knees in tears. It was so small I might have missed it. A tiny pin attached to the lapel. I couldn’t see it clearly with out my glasses buy it didn’t matter. I knew immediately what it was and when it found it’s home on my husband’s pajamas, and why.

My husband was a good husband and father. His children adored him, all of them, but he had a special relationship with our youngest son, Tyler who was born seven years after our last child. Being older parents perhaps we were more prepared to enjoy him than when we were both working full time and trying to raise several children. Anyway, I digress… The pin.

Tyler had barely turned six-years-old when his dad was diagnose with terminal cancer. He watched, as we all did, his hero shrivel up and disappear. It was hard times for everyone. Dark days. But a light in everyday was when little Tyler came home from school. I could hear him as he ran up the stairs into his father’s bedroom every afternoon. “Hi Daddy”, he would say softly putting his tiny hand on his daddy’s shoulder. Cal would awaken from his near constant sleep and smile. “Do you need some fresh water Daddy?” he would ask. “Yes please,” Cal would respond.  And so it would go day after day.

One day Tyler ran up the stairs to his Daddy’s bedroom and he couldn’t wake him up, so instead he placed his new Boy Scout pin, Bear Cats, on the lapel of his daddy’s pj’s. “So he’ll know I was here,” he said with a smile.

Today, laying in this bed for the second day in a row I noticed this small pin on the pajamas I was wearing and a flood of memories washed over me—some heart wrenching, some sweet.

Life has a way of moving on when you aren’t watching. It’s astounding to me that in less than a month it will have been 18 years since Calvin died. That sweet boy Tyler now has a sweet son of his own.

I’m thankful for the memories, the good ones and the hard ones.  I’m thankful for a husband who gave me a beautiful family and a good life and in spite of all the stuff I’ve uselessly held on to for so many years, I’m thankful today I kept this silky pajama top and the pin my son placed on it 18 years ago.

© Cynthia Stewart is an international speaker and the author of many books, which
Include Dream Big! and Creating Wealth on The Web. Through many challenges that she has fought and won, Cynthia knows first-hand how to dream big and has dedicated her life to empower other’s to stand-up, step-out, and reach their dreams. She can be reached at

Thank you for your efforts. Please forward this newsletter in its entirety to all you know who could benefit and encourage them to sign up! Subscribe to, with "subscribe dream big" in the subject.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections of 2012

On this eve of the 2012-year and the beginning of a new year in 2013, you may find yourself meditating on your history, thoughtfully reflecting upon your past as I am doing today.  My reflections began early this morning as the sun rose over the tips of pines and I contemplated how I would design this day for myself. This past year has been one of the more challenging in a string of challenging years and I am preparing myself for a glorious new beginning for 2013!

If you are anything like me, you too may be evaluating your past year and contemplating the coming one. In this philosophical frame of mind, you may be able to discern patterns and gain a greater understanding about your path to this point. We do the best we can at any given moment, so looking back doesn’t mean to invite blame and regret. If we find that such feelings come up, we can apply loving forgiveness to ourselves and to any who we feel have hurt us. They were doing the best they could with the information they had. We can look instead with gratitude at the way our lives have unfolded and learn how to make the journey more consciously from this point forward.

By reflecting on your history today, you gain insight into the patterns of your life and in so doing, have the opportunity to shift and align yourself with the life you seek for the coming year and beyond. It may be useful throughout this process to continuously ask ourselves how we created each situation in our lives. On an energetic level, we are responsible for everything we bring into our experience. With this in mind, we may be able to change our concept of certain life-changing events from negative to positive. Perhaps something that seemed to randomly happen to us was a result of our longing for an opportunity for growth or a chance to prove our strength to ourselves. It may have been subconscious or from our higher spiritual level, but if we can take responsibility for these occurrences, we can release any negative hold they may have on us. Looking back today helps you create more consciously for your future. What do you think? What are your intensions for the coming new year?

Whatever they are, I hope you allow yourself to bask in the glorious new beginning of 2013 and perhaps most of all, remember to Dream BIG! 


 © Cynthia “CiCi” Stewart is an international speaker and the author of non-fiction books, which include Dream Big! and Creating Wealth on The Web. Through many challenges that she has fought and won, Cynthia knows first-hand how to dream big and has dedicated her life to empower other’s to stand-up, step-out, and reach their dreams. She can be reached at

PLEASE REFER THIS BLOG Thank you for your efforts. Please forward this newsletter in its entirety to all you know who could benefit and encourage them to sign up! Subscribe to this blog here:, with "subscribe dream big" in the subject.

May good fortune smile on you today!

“Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Peace vs. Perfection

We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important. The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.
In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life's inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Steps To Succeed In Your Business

Every year thousands of men and women across America start a home based business, hoping to make money for new car, a vacation, or some new clothes. They sell a little merchandise to a few relatives and close friends. Then they are through. They quit before they give themselves a
chance to learn the basics of success in business. "I am simply not a born business-person!", they often say.

No one is born a businessperson; any more than one is born a doctor or born a lawyer. To be successful in any profession you must learn not only the basic techniques, but also how to apply those techniques. Success on the Internet makes use of all the abilities one is born with, plus all those acquired through education and experience.

If you are looking for a career opportunity or "extra income" to help with the family budget, Internet marketing offers you dream-fulfilling possibilities. However, you must give yourself time to learn the techniques of Internet marketing. Ask yourself. "How long does a doctor study, to become a doctor? A lawyer to become a lawyer?"

There is an old adage, which says "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

The rewards of owning your own home-based business are many:

1. You can be your own boss.
2. You can set your own hours.
3. You can own your own businesses with little or no investment.
4. You can pay yourself more than any boss would ever pay you.
5. You can give yourself regular raises as your business grows.

It is only fair to tell you that there are failures, too. There are people who will not work for themselves. When working for a boss, they rise early, are well groomed, and get to the office on time. However, when they are their own boss, they are still in a bathrobe, drinking one more cups of coffee at 11:00 A.M.

If you can be your own boss and discipline yourself to do what has to be done when it has to be done, Internet marketing offers a most unusual earning opportunity.


Here are ten steps that will assure your success:

BE A GOAL SETTER. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save for college education for your children? A new car? A new home? A better life? You can have whatever you want, but you must want it enough to do the things that have to be done to get it. Whatever your goal, write it down and set a target date for reaching it. Divide the time period into blocks of achievement that are reachable. Work consistently toward accomplishing each day, each week, each month what you set out to do. Goal setting is a must in every area of life. Little is ever accomplished without definite goals.

2. BE ORGANIZED. Each evening list all the things you want to get done the following day. That gives you an organized approach to each day. As each task is finished, mark it off your list. It is amazing how much gets done when one works with a "things-to- do" list. Today a friend of mine, Steve, told me that one of the things he does with his "to do" list is to tackle the toughest things first in the morning. "By facing, and doing the most difficult tasks on my list first, I not only take care of them early when I am fresh, but by getting them off my list I free myself up emotionally. Putting them off until the last on the list wears on me for the entire day," says Steve.

Also, have a notebook, hand held palm device or contact software listing appointments, potential clients, repeat clients, and referrals, and keep it up to date at all times. You will be adding to it constantly.

3. BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Enthusiasm is the high-octane "fuel" that salespeople run on. Enthusiasm generates its own energy. Energy and good health are synonymous with busy, happy people, people who are achieving.

4. RECOGNIZE THAT THE MAGIC WORD IN BUSINESS IS "ASK." In Internet marketing you don't have to wait for business to come to you. You create your own business by asking for it. Ask for business, and then you will close sales. Ask for referrals, and then you always have a full list of potential clients. Be quietly, yet firmly aggressive.

5. EXPECT NO'S. Realize that no's are not personal. In business, as perhaps nowhere else, the law of averages work. Every no gets you closer to a yes. Keep track of your ratio. It will help improve your techniques. Are you getting ten no's to one yes? Is your ratio five to one? Remember, the yes's are your income. Also remember that "no" does not necessarily mean "no." Often a "no" is simply a stall for more time to think. It may be a request for more information about your product or your service. What your client is actually buying is assurance. Assure her/him by your helpful attitude and your complete honesty, that you want what is best for her/him. She/he will most likely respect you and do business with you.

6. SCHEDULE TIME WISELY. A schedule is the road map by which good businesses travel. It takes the frustration out of the day. It assures that the necessary things get done and get done on time. Plan your work then work your plan.

7. BE POSITIVE IN YOUR ATTITUDE. Success in business, as in all areas of life is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. All of us must work at developing habits of constructive thinking. Be proud to be in your own business. Small businesses make the wheels of our economy turn.

8. HAVE AN OFFICE AREA. Internet marketers work from their own homes, but it is essential to have a place where you can work in a organized and efficient manner. An office plus a strict working schedule gives you dignity. Both are absolutely essential for efficient operation and accurate record keeping, so important to the success of any business.

I work out of my home and have two children. Certain “rules” are established and often repeatedly taught. One is that if Mommy is on the phone there can be NO interruptions unless there is blood or fire involved—and sometimes it even works! My girlfriend has a red baseball hat. She puts it on when she is ready to start her workday. Her children know that if mommy has on the red hat, she’s not home so to speak. She is at work. You determine what works for you and your family… then stick with it!

9. BE INVOLVED. Both in online communities and offline in your local community. Know what's going on and what's current in your field. Be a part of what's going on and network with other's in your field.

10. LEARN TO HANDLE MONEY INTELLIGENTLY. A regular nine-to-five job usually means a paycheck at the end of the second week. In your own business you will handle money constantly. Internet marketing is instant income and constant income. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to become an efficient money manager.

Deposit every penny collected from clients into a checking account set up especially for its business. Since bank statements show an exact record of all monies collected, and business expenses can be verified by canceled checks, record keeping becomes simple and accurate. Everything except a few "petty cash" transactions can be directly taken from bank statements.

Money saved regularly and put at interest, soon develops a second income in addition to earned income. A long-term goal, which is realistic, is to be able to live in retirement off the interest earned on savings.

Would financial security mean a lot to you? If so, ask yourself these questions:

* Am I honest?
* Do I really like people?
* Am I willing to learn?
* Am I willing to work?
* Am I capable of being my own boss?

If your answers are yes, find a good product and a good company, one that you like, one that fills the need of a lot of people, and go to work for yourself! You can turn dreams into reality.


© Cynthia Stewart is an international speaker and the author of many books, which include Dream Big! and Creating Wealth on The Web. Through many challenges that she has fought and won, Cynthia knows first-hand how to dream big and has dedicated her life to empower other’s to stand-up, step-out, and reach their dreams. She can be reached at

Thank you for your efforts. Let’s begin today to help a 10,000 more! Please forward this newsletter in its entirety to all you know who could benefit and encourage them to sign up! Subscribe to, with "subscribe dream big" in the subject.

May good fortune smile on you today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Know Only a Little

Rain is falling in thick sheets, plummeting the roof and sliding down windows. It’s been raining for 48 hours without stopping. The streets in town are overflowing and even here, outside of town on my perch the water is gushing out of drain pipes and washing away red earth.

In my quiet afternoon I began a sorting and sifting of files on my computer and ran across something I’d written three years ago. I thought I’d post it here.

March 2008
I’ve been searching my heart in a sincere attempt to get clear on what is real for me, what I want, and considering re-writing my own personal bucket list. Maybe it's because I woke at 3 am and couldn't get back to sleep, or maybe it is because spring is coming, or because the red-tail hawks will be up in an hour, or because tangerines are on sale at Safeway. Whatever the reason, I'm feeling sentimental and warm.

I realize I know only a little, and even that is subject to change. I'm convinced that the Buddha is right when he says that suffering comes from desire and aversion. Running for something, having to have it – and running away from something in an oh-my-god-don't-let-that-happen-to-me way. Of course both are natural occurrences in our minds, so they aren't evil or bad, per se. Nor can we eliminate them entirely. Even if my desire is to have no desires - isn't that a desire as well? The key, in my humble opinion, is not to get attached to either. Of course I want x thing in my life, and of course I would rather not have xy thing! But to think that my well-being is dependent on having or not having them in my life will bring all kinds of continual dis-ease.

Ok, that's my set-up – and here are the things I want in my life.

Ready? Set. Go!

I want an open heart--open to exploring all of those things that I've spent so long either (rather) mindlessly accepting or prejudicially rejecting or oblivious to, to begin with. Open to the truth that I feel I've kept at bay by being so damn sure of myself about "the way things are,” because as things turned out, they weren’t! I want my heart to be open to people, to everyone. To those closest to me – the easiest – but also to those whom I find unsavory for some reason. An open heart leads to…

Peace. To really get it, deep down, that there is pain and there is pleasure and that my center, my core is not affected by whitecaps on the surface of the sea. Both the calm and the storms are inevitable and they will pass, and then they will come again, and pass, ad infinitum – ad morte. Deep, lasting, abiding peace that is unshaken, but not untouched by, what life brings. Which leads to…

Happiness. Joy de vivre! To laugh, to love, to play, to dance, to live! I want to revel in the sunshine of a spring morning, to drink in the profound mystery of a life seen through the eyes of a child, everyday… to smile 'til my face hurts, to laugh until I lay on the ground holding my stomach while tears roll down my cheeks. I want to be the life of my own party! And all of these lead to…

Love. I want to be a lover. I want my children to know the depths that I love them, that I love them not in some maudlin way, but that I'm there for them at every turn in the road to support them... To know that they are loved deeply, intensely, fully – and that this will never change. Ever. I want my friends to know they can count on me. I want my lover to know that he is cherished, treasured, supported, and honored… and seen with twinkling eyes that see only him – and no other.

I want a home on a little land in the foothills and maybe another in Milan, or a flat in the city, or an island in the middle of nowhere. A place all the kids and grandkids will come home to on holidays—laughing and telling stories on the porch while the children climb trees, a fat cat sunning on a summer afternoon, a warm kitchen with inviting smells where the coffee is on and friends stop in for a visit (and maybe a bit of gossip) on a summer Sunday morning. I want the swing set in the yard to have been built by my own hands, waiting for when the grandkids come to play in the sun.

I want to travel and experience new places, people, and things. I want a life that fulfills, enriches, and helps. I want enough money to be comfortable, and not so much that I get too comfortable! I want to write another book, maybe ten… and a movie or two. I want to be so healthy I glow 'til I'm 90 – maybe 95! And I want to make love to my sweetheart, until the moment I die.

I want to feel the sunrise, to experience the rain, to hear the river, to know the earth. I want to learn, to read, to listen, to know, to never complete my education. I want a good book on the porch at sunset, warm breezes and bird-songs and red-tail hawk’s cry as my companions; but not my only ones.

I want a companion, a life partner. To have that special and enigmatic bond that unites two people in a relationship that fulfills, strengthens, thrills. I want to adore, and to be adored. I want to know him and to be known by him. I want my heart to skip a beat when I see him enter a room. I want to bring him coffee in bed, to make love 'til we sweat, to hold each other 'til we sleep, and to wake up knowing it isn't a dream. I want to experience life with him and to never stop growing individually, and together. I want to dance in the kitchen and lay in bed at night, skin-to-skin, watching a lightening storm together. I want to be able to count on him and him to be able to count on me, to know the depth of his stability, his loyalty, his love… and to rest in that.

Some of these are a part of my life now. Others I'm moving towards, and still others seem a distant dream. And now I've opened myself in a way that challenges my fear of being vulnerable. So I should add…I want to be vulnerable without fear. That one may take awhile!
And finally…I want to know more about the people in my life, my community. I'd like to know about their dreams, desires, fantasies, goals, more about the things that are important to them. I’d like to know what keeps them awake at night and what wakes them in the morning. I’d like to know what they think of when they don’t have to think and what secrets they don’t want to tell. I want to experience them, fully.

That is, if they don’t mind.

© Cynthia Stewart