August 22, 2017

Just keep showing up.

Just keep showing up and I don't mean in your new shoes with your hair curled.

Showing up is hard sometimes.  We all show up to life, the party, to work and to others in so many creative ways.

I know, because right at this moment I pushed aside my fears and uncertainty to dig deep so I can share my thoughts and show up here at TheBoomerVine.  Knowing the value of being honest and being real was what gave me the courage to sit back down to write here.  

I want to show up for those that need me.  I feel compelled to share my thoughts and fears and uncertainty that I face everyday as I go about being a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur and financial contributor to the family, thinking that I am not alone as we age through this process.  It's been a long time since I sat to write here but there has been so much going on in my mind, my life, my work and in my family.  All the energy that I had was spent elsewhere, not writing here.  

I've missed it.  

The big question is "Who is it that we are showing up for anyway?"

Sometimes I can't show up here because I just don't have the energy.  As an entrepreneur I am often deep in thought or processing an opportunity that somehow appears before me.  Rarely is it such a big idea that it wants to pull all of my energy towards it but recently I let it.  Any energy that is left is then shared with what is right in front of me - my priorities.   

My priorities are for my self and my family.  My incredible family whom without their love and support, I wouldn't have the courage to continue on this journey of self-discovery during this shift in midlife. They encourage me to speak from the heart because they know it is raw, yet authentic and that the messages are to be shared with others on this same journey who are not as confident and also looking to live a meaningful life with more purpose.  It is no secret that some of those in society today are running on the hamster wheel filled with so much guilt they can't even articulate it. They have no time to stop and reflect but perhaps they know what the outcome would be if they did.  Not always pretty.  Maybe they are showing up for someone other than themselves.

I give credit to the ones who have the courage to step out of situations that hold them back (going against the scripts); be it a job, taking a break from university, or from a relationship that forces them to show up for someone other than themselves.  Years and years of this routine can be devastating to our health and others around us unless you have found that balance and living a life you helped design.

I was asked the other day "where do you lose your power" which digs right down to the core uncovering situations that hold you back from being the authentic you and perhaps living a more fulfilled life.  

This has nothing to do with feeling any regret for my past but this is all about showing up during the rest of my life with the openness and adaptability to accept opportunity and continue the design of a more purposeful, playful life. I am openly taking this journey because I strategically want my own children/family and others around me to gain new insight on what is really important.  It is my hope they too will be courageous enough and feel supported to design a life and make choices that reflect more about their happiness and not following the scripts that are placed on us.  

My message goes out to those who have identified the need to make a change (a tiny step or a gigantic jump) and are looking for a friend or a cheerleader. 

June 22, 2016

It's not about me. It's about you.

I'm often asked for my opinion.  I know it's because I am honest and sincere with my answers.  I show up differently.  I take risks.  I work hard to design my life and live the best I can. I care. 

I take time to review the situation by often throwing myself in to experience it so I can empathize with the buyer or individual at hand.  My thinking is unique and my view is out of the box.  I don't hold back and know honesty is integrity and integrity and courage help us grow.  

Relationships are the real currency in life.  I'm not perfect at them, but I think I get how people think. I am forward thinking, empathetic, and focus on helping make others feel valued.  I also like the word authentic.

It's not about me.  It's about you. 
Moving you or your business forward. 

That's all it is. 

Denise teaches entrepreneurs and companies how to authentically
and creatively CONNECT with their customer,
ACTIVATE the relationship and DELIVER results to drive
participation and REVENUE while increasing the customer experience. 

You can find her here

February 22, 2016

A day without Darcy

I knew it was the right decision to bring a puppy into the Kelly household again after the loss of our sweet and well loved Mel.  Mel was with us for 11 years but we lost her to cancer, having only 11 days with her once the vet gave us the news.  Mel's spirit still quietly roams around the house. She still takes up a big place in my heart.  I remember her laying in the sun on the back deck, sleeping at the back door or completely taking over my bed all day looking out our big front window to the street.  She brought calm into my life.....

Then we met Darcy.....

Darcy joined our family in October at 8 weeks. She was another Labradoodle, and came to us from a wonderful family (where we met her Mom and her Dad) at WindyRiverPets in Mission, BC.  A first generation Labradoodle, she is a gem.  Her personality is blossoming - we now communicate through our eyes - and I swear I understand what she is saying.  You only know this if you have a dog, but thankfully there is a massive tribe of other crazy dog owners in this world.  They get it....

There isn't a day yet that I can say has been as calm as those enjoyed with Mel, but today feels empty and for the first time, I decide I don't want calm.  As someone who loves activity, calmness sometimes makes me feel old - maybe bored. Today, Darcy is being spade and at the vet.  I dropped her off early this morning and now wait for the call to retrieve her sleepy body who will surely need some family love.

I thank you, Darcy, for bringing such great joy into the house again.  I love that we get out hiking together for hours on end exploring the trails together, and that you are my partner in my quest to age well and ensure a healthy active lifestyle.  I love that the kids also look forward to coming home because you greet them with that massive swinging puppy tail. You've introduced me to many other dog owners who are a  special breed themselves.  I don't mind that the house is baby proofed and we have to keep the counters free of food.  We hide our socks and put our shoes in the cupboard.  Sorry about the baby gate we have between the kitchen and our family room, but for now Darcy, it's maybe short term but sometimes the others need a little bit of calm....

Many of our friends are now thinking of retirement or deciding what their next 50 years looks like as they downsize and live with the empty nest.  While we also wonder what our future looks like, for us, we have  a lot of life left to live and the energy and love you receive from a dog adds so much to the journey.  Funny I know a couple others in the same boat as us who lost family pets and are doing it all over again.  Thankfully we aren't alone, and it helps that our adult children are so helpful.

Funny, Darcy, now at 6 months, like Mel loves laying in the sun on the back deck, sleeping at the back door and completely takes over our bed as she rearranges the duvet and pillows into one pile that she sleeps on (and deposits her sand from the day).  Sometimes I think Mel is just guiding you along as you too settle into our family.

I love you both and I absolutely believe every family should reap the rewards of owning a dog.

You can learn more about Darcy on my social media channels
@TheBoomerVine on Twitter
@TheBoomerVine on Instagram
and check the hashtag #WhatILearnedFromDarcy

October 31, 2015

People ask me all the time why I don't have a website .....

I know, I know, I know.

So, here's the thing.  As a smart and strategic self employed entrepreneur who has taken on risk over the last 15 years, and dabbled into a number of strategic projects with others, I fully admit I need one.  The problem is, do I need just one and how do I crossover my offerings/interests into one fantastic site?

I am aware of the value of a great website and brand.  I have a number of domains that I have reserved for various new business ideas I have on the go and some which may just become an expense.  I even picked up domains for my own kids, in their name, because I believe it will be all about branding as these millennials try to stand out from the crowd.  

Am I the only entrepreneur who has a number of projects on the go, working with a variety of different clients (some pro bono and others paying) in a number of different lines of work that combines their passions?

I have been told that I do represent my brand well, so at the very least, that's a relief! I represent myself and my core values authentically when I meet people or prospective clients.  I show up as who I am and not pretending to be someone else. I have over 15 years working for strong award winning brands like Nurse Next Door, Kids & Company, Kumon Canada and CEFA (Core Education Fine Arts) to name only a few.  

Thus the twitter profile photo that keeps changing..... for me, it is a true reflection of me and who I really am.    

My twitter profile picture might have some shock value, but hey, the reality is that I have a passion for hockey and at 45 I started a female hockey team (I play D) and it is all part of my story.  In this other photo of me on the ice with my girlfriend, it too shows that I enjoy life outside of work which I feel is valuable to a corporate culture. 

Meet my LinkedIn and business profile photo.  Yes, this is me showing up as the professional that I am.  You can see the other (more serious) side and read more about me here.  It's about relationships and building trust. I love collaborating with companies and clients.  Each client themselves show up to me in a variety of ways too.  Some like to meet in the office setting formally while others like to meet over a beer at lunch.  You see, I do respect differences and I am thrilled to continue to collaborate with (and meet more) interesting people, doing remarkable things as I continue this journey. 

So, yes, I do need a website where I can pull it all together to tell my story about how I can help connect to the customer,  activate the relationship and deliver results across a variety of target groups.

Stay tuned.  I commit to making this happen by 2016.  My various mentors tell me it's time.


Follow me on Twitter 

October 03, 2015

Looking for a cheerleader?

Describe your business:

I am a high energy CONNECTOR and ACTIVATOR (also a fun feisty Boomer aka Zoomer) who combines integrity, leadership and resourcefulness with proven achievement in Franchising, Marketing, Operations, Strategic Partnerships and Social Media to drive measurable results. A BIG thinker and visionary with the ability to build out an idea successfully! First you need to figure out your WHY and determine your core values to ensure alignment at all levels.

Over 15 years working with a variety of strong brands including Nurse Next Door, Kumon Canada, Kids & Company, CEFA and Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Looking for a cheerleader, I can help!

 I wear #4 on my female hockey team called the Stanley Cupcakes
Started road biking at 50 and rode the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Love the outdoors and my meetings are at Starbucks or on the trails

Passionate to empower women to design and live their best life

Contagious enthusiasm for connecting and empowering others

What business tools do you need?

I can't go anywhere without my iPhone/iPad and my music. Both help me to stay connected to my world of family, friends and clients. Music gives me energy and keeps me dancing and my mind firing....

Fav Books:
Strength Finders
Million Dollar Consulting
Fire Starter Sessions

What advice would you give to other business owners?

Buy Danielle LaPorte's Truthbomb Deck!

She is a firecracker and her daily inspirations are awesome reminders to crack open each day. They inspire as we courageously dig deep to run our own business or follow through on starting a new one.

Connect with me on twitter @TheBoomerVine
You can read more about me here Denise Kelly on LinkedIn

September 30, 2015

Don’t tolerate what steals your energy!

Ali Davies has been writing about her philosophy of “Design Your Life. Redefine Your Work” and it is a great resource for those of us who are in the depths of creating work that is based on our value and choosing to participate on teams that share such.

“You definitely want to create lasting change to live and work on your own terms based on your values, your own definition of success and what is most important to you.” Ali Davies

Years ago, a mentor friend of mine helped me grasp the tools needed to handle confrontational situations in a more controlled manner with less emotion.  You need to pull yourself out of the situation and take time to gather your thoughts and courage to dive back in. 

Maybe others too know the feeling when someone in power tries to control you by manipulating the conversation and the situation.  In my house early on, it was the strong father role (whom BTW was amazing) but he grew up an only child, so he parented “his way or the highway”.   No physical punishment but mostly emotional control, which I didn’t know existed and would affect my relationships, until early adulthood. 

I was recently in a situation that was manifesting over time and I saw was becoming a trend.  I knew that my balance was off and that my core values were being challenged.  That is a big red flag for me to regroup and evaluate things.  Similar situations have happened before which I believe were presented as learning opportunities, which I have turned around. 

Ali speaks about tolerating what doesn’t serve you.  In this case putting up with and tolerating gets in the way of how you really want to show up.  It drains your energy and wastes your time. 

I dove in full force with confidence, initiating the conversation and presented the facts and how the situation was evolving.  I kept my calm and after much heated discussion we were back on a positive productive track.  Thankfully there was a sense of openness and maturity with the other party whom I do respect, so that we were able to find clarity and move on.

This is how my passion shows up.  I can’t let things ride.  It is liberating to take control and move through situations like this and I hope everyone has the courage to do similar.

Check out Ali Davies and her online program Clear the Decks for Success

September 15, 2015

Hate to say it, but the title “Beer By The Pier” caught my attention!

Living in a community that I love, I often feel that I am selfishly isolated in my own little world.  I am raising a family, trying to be a good wife, supporting my aging Mom and taking care of myself as I move into my next 50.  Like many we are also trying to earn a living to support our lifestyle in a very challenging/expensive and quickly changing world.  We pick our friends who share similar values and in my house, we make time to laugh, keeping us connected and reducing the stress in our lives.   We donate to those who knock on our door and support various charities to fight cancer.

We hear local stories about those fighting with homelessness and suffering with mental illness and addiction and other real life changing problems.  It is splashed over social media and in our local community paper.  We see pictures of grand events such as black tie fundraising galas and other high ticket events,  where people have donated $1,000 + to attend.  It all leaves me feeling hollow and frustrated that I never could find a way to offer to help support those families in need in my own community.  I sometimes honestly felt that only the rich were making a difference in the lives of those suffering.

Then up popped an invitation to 1st Annual Beer by the Pier event in September via email.  In support of Family Services of the North Shore, tickets were reasonable and the venue caught my eye!  Beer tasting-Adam Woodall Band-Smoke & Bones BBQ at a trendy, hip venue at the restored Pipe Shop at historic Shipbuilders’ Square.  Our tickets were donations themselves.

Talk about tapping into a new demographic, Family Services you have succeeded!

Thank you for opening up my eyes to the opportunities available to help support those by raising funds in an enjoyable way.  I was thrilled to see so many others from my community whom crossed our similar demographic and together we reunited for a great cause. 

Family Services of the North Shore, in my opinion your event was a success.  You drew in my demographics of boomers who are searching for ways to support the families and those suffering in our own community.  After all, some of those are our friends and neighbours who might be suffering in silence.

Sign us up for next year.

As a result of the event, I myself am meeting up with the North Shore Neighbourhood House one of your affiliates, to see how I can give back here in my treasured community of North Vancouver.

August 30, 2015

Lessons learned from Mel our Labradoodle

It just happened to be National Dog Day and my FB feed was full of pictures of dogs with their owners, which I am not sure made my grief any easier.  It definitely did bring joy to see that other families had made the most precious investment in having a pet.  For us this week, we reflect on what Mel taught us and the joy she brought to our family at all stages of her great happy labradoodle life. 

I fully admit I am more a dog person.  It’s the ability to take them out walking rain or shine.  She kept me moving and I commit to keeping that healthy habit up. I followed Mel up Mosquito Creek many times but when she started following me, I knew something was wrong. 

Mel hated the rain.  She pranced around under the overhang, which covered the back of our house only to jet out to pee and gun it back for protection.  It’s pouring today here in Vancouver as I write this but I doubt it’s raining in doggie heaven.  (Which BTW is busy this week as a couple other friends’ dogs headed there too).

We all grieve differently but I had no idea the impact that having a family dog would have on our family and the hurt we are all feeling.  Such a loyal companion.  Such a big presence in our house.  I saw her develop bonds with both our kids (and their friends) during their various stages and truly she became someone who would listen unconditionally and only smile back with those deep “whites of the eye” we teased her about.  She always made an attempt to sleep in each of our rooms during the night and my motherly instinct knew by the claws on the hardwood floor where I could find her. 

Thank you Mel for bringing such joy over the 11 years we shared with you.  We saw big potential in you, the cheapest dog of the litter with the bad droopy eye we had to get fixed.  When BK said we were going to Abbotsford “just to look” we had no idea we would bring you home so unprepared.  We were definitely not trained dog owners but we tried our best.  Anne Jackson told us we were doing it all wrong.  Maybe we fed you the wrong food from Costco or maybe it was the scraps I gave you the odd time under the table or the pigs ears early on.  I think maybe it was a combination of all the socks, the Kleenex, the kitchen cloths or maybe the hair elastics you ate over the years!

Teresa our neighbour will miss you.  You had a way of bringing sunshine to her life when we would visit or you would sit on her driveway gazing into her big front window anticipating her door to open. I know the cookies were stale but you always accepted them politely.  I think you gave her a reason to live as she started deteriorating herself.  We shared a tear together yesterday when I told her.

You definitely got me through heartaches and I thank you for that.  We don’t know what to do with your stinky “baby girl" stuffed toy and sadly my home office just isn’t the same. 

PS. Grammy misses you too.  She wrote a poem for you and posted it in our Family Facebook Page.

July 24, 2015

Activate your Core Values - determine your Purpose in Life

I am liking this journey through midlife! It feels more and more like I am listening to my heart and following my real passions but holy shit does it take courage. It takes confidence and lots of positive self-talk and support from loved ones and mentors. 

I believe to be happy and to find that balance in life; we need to understand what makes us tick. What do we need to be at our best? What turns you on and fills your soul so that you have buckets of confidence to swim upstream against the current?  

I have done a lot of soul searching over the years as I design my next 50. I am pretty confident I know what makes me tick, turns me on and keeps my heart full.  I know where I want to go and how I need to get there.  I have been told I am a sparkler, my openness to greatness is admirable and my inspiration of others is contagious.  (Oh and compliments go far so give them out freely and accept them back with grace).

A girlfriend shared a mantra that speaks loudly to the importance of taking control of your own life. 

"Gather all the facts-know where you are-know where you want to be-plan how to get there"  K. Little

Must say Danielle LaPorte and her daily truthbombs that pop into my inbox keep me on track and reinforces the tribe is out there. I also hold very close to my heart the supportive encouragement from my family, friends and mentors (many of which are female entrepreneurs). 

Sometimes we feel off track, not quite right and drained and so need to re-evaluate our Needs and Wants.  Needs are those things that you require to be your best. They can swing from emotional, social to physical. When these are missing, we can feel unfocused and unbalanced.  I know first hand if I am not feeding my soul and meeting my needs then my actions become mundane, sometimes killing the inner bubbling that feels like butterflies ...  

I worked with friends at UnleashDreams years ago to determine my purpose and my core values, which guide my choices on this journey called life.  I often turn to them for support, reminders of my needs. I became a Dream Maker myself so that I could also influence others. TheBoomerVine another place, I hope can inspire other boomers by sharing my authentic stories.  I really want to make a difference in the lives of others and inspire them to be more. 

I am being vulnerable here to share openly so that you can see what makes me tick!  

My Priceless
I have a contagious enthusiasm for connecting and leading teammates to a common goal while respecting differences.

My Purpose
To share my spirit and energy with others so that it creates smiles and activates a sense of playfulness, wonder and learning.

My Core Values
Foster the Spirit - energize and unite
Generate Kindness - give unconditionally
Continuous Improvement - welcome change 
Optimism - positivity reigns
Resiliency - never give up 

Are you doing what fills your heart or are you merely following the crowd?

Let me know if you want to jump out of the pond into the ocean and create a life by design. I want to be remembered for how I made you feel and maybe inspire you to be more. Everything else is gravy.