Creative Commons License photo credit: Jason A. Samfield

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens." ~ Carl Gustav Jung

Life coaching.  What is it, anyway?  And what's the value in having a coach?

In the spring of 2010, I began working with life coach Laura Neff

Laura recently asked me some questions about our time together – questions that really touched upon my experience in having Laura as a coach, and in the real and tangible benefits of having a life coach.

You can read it here ~ The Jungle of Lance (a peek into the coaching journey)

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"The best way to predict your future is to create it." ~ Peter Drucker

On a recent trip, I attended a conference in California.  While the conference was amazing, what really added to that experience was really feeling a connection with the people in attendance.  Today I have one of these wonderful souls here at the Jungle, sharing a bit of her story.  Liz Nonnemacher is the founder and creative genius behind the very popular Wickedly Chic, a site dedicated to helping small business owners get the word out on their products and services.

Please read along, as Liz shares a more in depth look at who she is and what she has created.

1.  Tell us a little bit about who “you” are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
I’m Liz Nonnemacher and I have a full life. It might be a little bit too full at times but that’s okay. I have a husband, two daughters, two stepsons, two golden retrievers. We currently live in the Chicago suburbs and we are planning a move to sunny Florida this summer when my youngest daughter graduates from high school. Enough is enough with the long winters. This will be the 5th (and warmest state) that I have lived in.

Lance's Commentary:  Liz, what's the deal here???  You know…I'm your neighbor to the north…and here you go ditching me!!  (hmmm…as I look outside at a cool, rainy morning…) How about this?  Since you're going to Florida, I expect I'll now have a tour guide when I come down there! 

2.  I love the concept behind your site, Wickedly Chic, and how it creates a space for budding entrepreneurs to share their wares. How long have you had this, and what led to creating it?
I started Wickedly Chic on a whim in May of 2006 (which means that “she” is just about to turn 5). Creating Wickedly Chic was not really something intentional or something that I wrote down and worked up a plan for. You know how there are some people who have to read all of the “rules” or make lists or can’t make decisions without consulting their list of whatever? I’m not one of those. Somewhere on the web (maybe Twitter), I read a quote about successful people having a very small gap between idea and action. That’s me.

Basically, I have always loved small businesses, felt that they needed more attention, someone suggested that I start a website and it’s really gone from there. When I started Wickedly Chic, I could do two things online. Place orders and use email. That’s it. I had no idea about anything technical or how to create and what to do. But my oldest daughter was going off to college and I thought this would be a nice little hobby since I was a stay-at-home mom. Maybe I would even make a couple hundred dollars. Imagine that!

But I found that I enjoyed working on Wickedly Chic so much and it gained attention quickly that I went with it and have built it into a full-time endeavor with a team as of today.

Lance's Commentary: Happy 5 Year Birthday Wickedly Chic!!  And that's what is really so great about this thing we call the Internet – if someone has an idea, they can go out there and do it – and the web makes it that much more possible!  Liz, you are a gift for small business, giving them one more way to reach out and share their products – and that is awesome!!

3.  You arrive home, and there happens to be a genie in a bottle awaiting your arrival (stranger things have happened!!).  You are granted one wish.  What do you choose, and why?
Health and happiness for myself and my family…always. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s so basic but often we don’t give much thought to the things that really matter.

Lance's Commentary:  Our health and happiness, these are both things that are so easy to just take for granted, until one (or both) are taken from us.  I love this…

4.  Tell us one unexpected thing that has happened to you in the last year.
I seem to be creating a lot of my own “unexpected” lately. For example, meeting Lance. I wasn’t planning on going out to California for the event but at the last minute, I knew I needed to be there.  I just find myself doing more and being part of more endeavors that I never imagined I would be.

I’ve also found that Wickedly Chic has given “birth” so to speak to a number of new things that I didn’t know would happen during the past year. Wickedly Social was born within the last month as a most fabulous way for businesses to get the word out about their products and events…via me.

Lance's Commentary:  I wasn't planning to go out to California, either!  It was a last minute decision – and I'm so glad I did!!  What a great conference!  And what's the deal with this picture you sent me (note – Liz is not in this photo…she was sitting back enjoying the *ahem* "entertaintment")???  What was I thinking, anyway, "trying" to dance??  (ummm….thanks Liz, for passing this on).  By the way, I've kind of committed to going back again next year (it was sooo much fun!), so I'll expect to see you there!

That's a great point though – about listening to the voice inside (and knowing what's needed for you).  It's all too easy to let this voice sit on the back burner – and look what we miss when we do.

Social media is really becoming an important strategy for reaching out and connecting with others – so very awesome that you're helping people reach an even greater audience!

5.  If you had to pick one thing as your greatest achievement, what would it be (and why)?
Oh, the kids. I have two daughters (22 and 17) and while they drive me crazy on occasion (as I am sure that I do to them also), they are really wonderful and caring girls. I have a plaque in my house that says “It’s Nice to Be Important But It’s More Important to Be Nice.” The girls seem to have followed that.

Lance's Commentary:  Our kids most definitely provide that two-way "crazy" (I know!!).  And yet, behind all of that, what a gift…life that we've nurtured in this world. 

6.  A fun day for you – tell me what that might consist of.
Well, I love to travel and I’m quite happy when I am doing so. But in ordinary life, it’s probably as simple as just meandering around with no plan at all and checking out places that I have never been. On second thought, I like having no plan at all when I travel. I’m also perfectly content laying in bed all day with a book.

Lance's Commentary:  Those days of just wandering, they really can be some of the most meaningful – getting off the beaten path, and just being in the moment (whatever that brings).

7.  Deep-down, Liz, what makes you, “you”?
Off of the top of my head, I feel that the biggest thing that defines me is that I truly believe in serving others when I can. It doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of myself but I will help someone in need without thinking about it or thinking if there is anything in it for me.

I’m also very quirky, a bit “off” and a lot of fun. And I love to read. It gives me a lot of knowledge and I am always surprising myself and others by how much I know.

Lance's Commentary:  Liz, I could realllly use some help with…. (ha!!).  When we serve others, it shows we really care.  That's something that shines through so brightly with you!  Mix that with quirky fun…and life is pretty darn grand!!

Closing Thoughts:  Liz, thank you for being here and for sharing "you".  As I learn more about your journey, I'm drawn into what is possible when we just go out there and do it!  You have, and you've created something very special in the process.  

And next time we meet up (January, yes??) I'm buying lunch for you…not only will it be great to catch up, I'll also find out what kind of crazy pictures you're stashing away that I don't know about!  Liz, this has been so much fun having you here, and I look forward to knowing you even better.

You can keep up with Liz, and Wickedly Chic by following her on Twitter and Facebook

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Who is this?

Do you recognize her?

And what's she doing here?

It's Kelly!  And she has blue hair!!  (and I think she might know a bunny that is blue, too!) 

Today…she is asking me a whole bunch of questions…enough to be a book!!  Okay – it's a short book, because even if I emptied my whole brain, it would still be short book!!  Wait…I think I may just have done this…completely emptied my brain!  Wow, Kelly…you are GOOD!!!

It's even better, though – I get the very cool opportunity to talk pies in the sky!  (okay – not for the whole interview…) (wow…my mouth is watering just thinking of this right now!)

See – she IS good!! 

And…I'm famous now, too!!  See, Kelly is the sweet daughter of the very wonderful, super awesome Jannie Funster!


I probably reveal WAY too much about me.  Perhaps some of it is even scary (oh…parts are definitely scary!).

Check it out…if you dare!

And if you don't know the very cool Jannie Funster, you MUST check her out – she's a guitar playing, song singing, happy, lovely soul!!  (and her daughter Kelly is all sorts of awesome, too!!!)

~ Comments Closed ~

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul” ~ William Hazlitt

Today I would like to introduce Eliza Fayle.  I "met" Eliza early on when I first stared this site, when we were both out there beginning this exploration into our own voice.  A journey, it has been.  And today I see Eliza really touching upon what matters deeply to her.  She is currently putting her amazing writing talents into the creation and sharing of an online magazine, Silver & Grace.

Take a few minutes and get to know Eliza more deeply, and see what has brought her to where she is today on her journey.

1. Tell us a little bit about who "you" are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
I’ll start with my age because there are women who are uncomfortable disclosing their age, and I sure ain’t one of them. 47. And looking forward to 48, 49, 50 … you get the idea.

Mother of three twenty-somethings and step-mom to a 12 year old. Caregiver to two cats, three Koi fish and one rat.

Partner to an incredible man whom I have been with for three of the most gloriously fun and creative years of my life thus far.

Civil servant project manager by day (but let’s not waste any time on that), founder and editor of an online magazine for women, intuitive counselor, jewelry designer, writer, and amateur photographer. And that’s on a slow day.

Special life experiences? Absolutely everything I have ever experienced, because they all add up to whom I am today.

Lance's Commentary:  I'm 41 (see…now you've got me sharing MY age here!!).   This weekend, as I was playing football in the backyard with my kids (and slipping in the snow as they raced past me!!)…well, grace was not a word I was using to describe myself!!!

2. We go way back (in Internet terms, anyway!) to when you were the Urban Panther.  Describe how you have evolved from those days, to where you are now.
Ha, we do go way back, eh? I started Urban Panther because I was emailing fun life anecdotes to my family and friends. My brother, Alex Fayle, the Someday Syndrome guru, suggested I might like blogging as a way to share my stories with a broader audience.

Holy crumpets! Alex neglected to mention how addictive blogging can be, how time consuming it is, and the HUGE learning curve associated with it. We like to spread the joy in our family. *chuckle*

After a year of cutting my teeth on the Urban Panther, I realized I wanted to focus in on the challenges and joys associated with this second half of women’s lives known as perimenopause and menopause … or, as I fondly call it the Crone Stage. So, I said good-bye to the Urban Panther and launched Silver & Grace. … as a blog … which leads us to your next question …

Lance's Commentary:  Ahh, yes…the addictive nature of this blogosphere!!  I'm thinking I should sign up for a bloggers support group, except I don't know when I can fit it in!!  As for menopause (and those other big words you've used!)…I'll *ahem* gladly take a pass on all of that (I know…I'm a slacker…).  And…honestly…I really loved that name "Urban Panther"!! 

3. And that brings me to your latest endeavor – the Silver & Grace online magazine.  What has creating this meant to you? 
Silver & Grace Online Magazine for Women. Sigh. My baby. This is the synthesis of all my skills:

  • Project manager
  • Editor
  • Collaborator
  • Promoter
  • Community Builder

By converting Silver & Grace from a blog to an online magazine I get to showcase other incredible writers and promote their products and services. I also get to provide the Silver & Grace community with a variety of experiences, perspectives, and expertise that I cannot possibly do as a lone blogger.

The Crone Stage of a woman’s life is an exciting time. We’ve pretty much been there, done that, and now it is our time to shine. We learn to truly take care of ourselves, instead of others. And then a magical thing happens. We are able to then turn back around and take care of others. But, it’s different this time. This time we do not lose ourselves in the giving, and our biggest gift is wisdom.
Silver & Grace is my gift of wisdom.

Lance's Commentary:  Okay, you're making this "Crone Stage" sound pretty sweet!!  Maybe I really should sign up for menopause (for men, do they call it womenopause???).  As you can tell…I'm pretty clueless (hey, that could be the next movie I star in: "Clueless in Wisconsin").

4. Tell us something that might seem a bit crazy, that you have done in your life – and what that has meant to who you are today.

Hmmm … might be best to ask my family and friends what crazy things I have done. I am sure they can come up with more than one example of “Are you crazy????”
Let’s go with this one …

Marrying very young, three children before age 24, divorced by age 28, immediately into another relationship for fourteen years that was extremely toxic, then finally living on my own for the very first time in my life at age 42. Casually dated for a year, then decided I had enough of that scene.

All of this craziness caused me to sit down one day and write a detailed wish of list of exactly the values and qualities I wanted in a man. I told myself that I was no longer going to simply ‘settle’. I was happy to be single for the rest of my life. Any man who wanted to share my life had to have every quality on my list.

Two weeks later, in waltzed Marc. He met every quality plus the bonus items.

Who am I today because of this? Happy, content, loved.

Lance's Commentary:  "Happy, content, loved".  Now if that's a place that crazy leads to, that is all sorts of awesome!  May your moments with Marc continue to be filled with all of this…from the crazy to the loved…

5. Tell us one unexpected thing that has happened to you, from going down this path of starting Silver and Grace?
Back up in Question One I mention I am a civil servant. A project manager with the Federal Government, actually. And I loathe it. That’s right … looooooaaaaathe it. I am not designed for bureaucracy and a sea of grey Dilbert Cubes.

By managing the Silver & Grace online magazine, I have come to realize many things, and one of them is that I have valuable skill sets that I can, and should be using, to work for myself. But what?

As our wonderful Barbara, of Blogging Without a Blog, points out, you need thousands of visits per day to make advertising money through blogging. Okay, given enough time, Silver & Grace will get there. I have complete confidence in that, but we are talking years and those Dilbert Cube walls are closing in on me.

Designing jewelry? Yes, I steadily sell my necklaces and rings, but that just brings in enough money to reinvest in supplies. That is really a self-sustaining hobby.

But what I have discovered through all my interactions in my 9-to-5 job and through the online community is that women of all ages come to me for advice. It’s that wisdom thing coming through, plus an intuitive ability I have had all my life.

I have finally found my calling in the form of Intuitive counseling, and I will be launching this business over the next several months in the form of email intuitive readings, email courses, and in-person workshops.

I know with every fibre of my being that this is what my life has been leading me to. Everything up to this point has been ‘a journey to my true peak’.

Lance's Commentary:  Ahhhh….the wisdom that comes from our life and the experiences we have had.  And it's a journey for all of us…this life we are living. 

6. Deep-down, Eliza, what makes you, "you"? 
I was in an innovative workshop a number of years back with all my IT colleagues and our Business clients. We were about to embark on a five year intensive multi-million dollar project together, so we were doing an all-day team bonding event.

One of the exercises was to pick a value from a list of words and associate that value to someone in the room. One of co-workers stood up and said “I pick the word ‘grace’ and I associate it with Elizabeth.”
I actually burst into tears. This is what I believe makes me “me”. Grace.

… and a wicked sense of humour.

Lance's Commentary:  Grace.  That is a deeply meaningful word, and one that I believe touches on your soul, Eliza.   Mix that with your wonderfully wicked sense of humor, and that's a great combination of care for our world mixed with a whole lot of fun. 

Closing Thoughts:  Eliza, what you are creating…this space that comes from your heart and reaches out….that is a gift.  As you continue on this journey, may you also continue to even more fully embrace this beauty, this beauty of YOU that shines out from your soul.   

Peace, love, and all things good…

The Pathways To Our Heart

by Lance Ekum

The pathways through our life…there are many.  Choices. What will it be?  Today.  What are you choosing?  Do you feel that joy in your heart? “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” ~ Mother Teresa I’d like to introduce a very special friend today.  Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord!  I’ve known Megan […]

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Hills of Africa – A Journey Into You

by Lance Ekum

“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~ T. S. Eliot Exploration.  What does that word bring up for you?  Today I’m sitting down to talk with someone who has lived very much a […]

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Life, Reflection, and Cancer

by Lance Ekum

"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are." ~ Rachel Naomi Remen Today, I would like to introduce Gail Konop Baker.   Gail and I crossed paths recently.  In that crossing, […]

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What Does It Start With?

by Lance Ekum

“I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to have lunch and get to know another Milwaukee blogger, Nate St. Pierre.  What Nate has created, though, is much more than a blog.  He has really created […]

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Unsilence The Violence

by Lance Ekum

“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen Today I have a very special guest here (she’s from Wisconsin – we could be neighbors…), discussing a […]

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Lead the Life You Desire

by Lance Ekum

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." ~ Emily Dickinson Today I have Laura Neff here, from More in You Life Leadership Coaching.  Laura is a caring and compassionate friend, and the more I get to know her, the more this just shines through so brightly!  She is an amazing […]

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