Sparker – Announce with Inspiration

A great Creative Sparker from Humble Beginnings by Melanie Keveles
How DID they start? Big success can come from amazingly humble
beginnings. May their evolution to success inspire you to start your
special dream

Announce with Inspiration
By Melanie Keveles

When Cara O’Callaghan, Santa Barbara, CA, founded www.preggersnproud.com, she wanted to announce her approaching motherhood.

By the time she saw actress Kate Hudson wearing one of her new designer maternity T-shirts, she knew she had arrived.

"Back then there were no maternity slogan T-shirts," recalled
O’Callaghan, who started her company in July 2003 while three months
pregnant with her son Zaeden, now 2.

"I was playing with the idea of announcing it in a fashionable way," she explained.

Starting with an investment of just $4,000, a "dinosaur e-commerce
site" with a simple PayPal account and four prototypes created by her
graphic designer husband, O’Callaghan set out to exploit a niche in the
new mommy market. Today her site offers t-shirts for mommy, daddy and

What do you have to announce to the world and how can that announcement inspire your business?

Sparkers – Humble Beginnings© 2007 Melanie Keveles for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers, all rights reserved.

Friday Spark – Reframe the View

Frameperson This weeks Sparker is from Reframe the View by Christie Latona
Using the power of metaphor to reframe what’s limiting you and to discover what’s possible.

New Beginnings

School is back in session and with it comes a host of crisp metaphors. It is about new beginnings (a favorite new outfit, a box of new crayons, a new backpack, a new teacher, and sometimes a new school). In our school system, the kids are encouraged to set intentions about the quality of work they intend to do. In our home, the structures get modified and re-implemented in the hopes of making getting out the door in the morning and getting homework done at night less stressful and more productive.

Somehow these new beginnings and setting of intentions are much more positive than my experience of the New Year’s Resolution. Perhaps it is because we EXPECT the crayons to break, the backpack to get torn. We EXPECT to have to constantly evolve the systems we put in place to make routines more manageable.

Look at those places in your life that need a new beginning, a fresh start. Ask yourself:

• What are my crayons and my backpack? What new supplies do I need? (No guilt over your current ones being no longer useful. We understand that supplies become worn out from use.)

• What subjects am I taking? Choose things you love and/or have a strength in. No more than 4 please!

• What intentions do I have around my performance in these subjects? Straight “A”s is an outcome. The intention behind that is about effort, commitment and doing your homework.

• What systems do I need to put in place to support those intentions? For example, in our house we have a family homework center that has all the supplies for doing homework (which we all do together). Before bed we make sure backpacks are packed and clothes are laid out to make the morning go more smoothly.

Expect to have to modify the systems and to replenish the supplies. Most everything that gets used a lot needs replacing or refreshing.

Read more creative Sparkers by Christie at www.coachingtoys.com/reframetheview.html

Sparkers – Reframe the View © 2006 Christie Latona for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers, all rights reserved.

We would love to hear your comments and experience with this Sparker.

Friday Spark – Practicing Oneness

This week’s Creative Spark is from Practicing Oneness, Gentle encouragement and inspiration for choosing love instead of fear and connection instead of separation . . .  by Ann Strong

Calm Your Cynic

Our inner cynical voice will not help us create our ideal life, and yet, we often let it run the show.  You know the voice – the one that says, “it will never work, you tried before and couldn’t do it, you aren’t good enough, you don’t know how, you’ll just get hurt.”  And then asks, “who do you think you are, why bother, when would you ever find the time?”  The cynic stops us before we ever take our first step.

Next time you hear the cynic, try something new.  Give it a voice.  Allow it to run its course and write down all of its comments.  Get it out of you and onto the paper.  Write until the voice is finally silent. 

Then review your notes and begin a new list – one that declares all the self-limiting concepts you want to dump.  You may want to release fear, skepticism, anger, apathy, worry, indifference and/or hopelessness.  Imagine yourself putting these concepts in a mental dumpster or actually tear up the list and throw it away. 

Then make a third list – one that delegates to the highest part of yourself (whatever you believe that to be – God, Spirit, Higher Power, Source, All That Is) whatever you’d like to happen.  For example, if you’re working on getting more clients, you might delegate something like:  getting an abundance of clients easily and effortlessly, releasing whatever stands in the way of getting new clients, having fun getting new clients.

Allow your inner cynic to help you create whatever you desire.  By using the critical voice as a signal to become more present and consciously choose what you’d like, you have created a most unlikely ally!

Sparkers – Practicing Oneness © 2007 Ann Strong for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers & the Coaching Toys Blog, all rights reserved. 

Read more about Practicing Oneness by Ann Strong

The Friday Spark – Sink into your senses

Musical_notes_1_sm This weeks Sparker is one of the Musical Musings by Linda Dessau
Drawing on the power of music to transform, heal, enlighten and soothe

Sink into your senses            

"For the maestro, music was sensory, spiritual nourishment" – Michael Gelb, "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci"       

The beauty of music is that it crosses boundaries in its capacity to nourish.

Music crosses the boundaries between the senses. When listening to music we use more than just our sense of hearing. Inside the mind we’re often creating images and colours, reliving memories and scenes from past experiences or sometimes simply picturing the artist, instrument, music video or concert stage that we associate with the piece.            

Music crosses the boundaries of the brain. When listening to music both the right- and left-brain are working, engaged and attentive. The left-brain is analyzing and trying to make sense of this language it’s hearing, while the right-brain is receiving the aesthetic qualities of the music and creating emotional responses.

Music crosses cultural boundaries. When listening to music it doesn’t matter what language it’s in, we can hear and understand the deeper meaning and the soul of the performer coming through.            

Music crosses the boundaries of health and ability. In my work as a music therapist I see this every day. When I meet my clients in the music, the veil of disability is completely lifted, and I’m blessed with a connection to a whole and healthy spirit. And as I sing and give myself musically, my whole and healthy spirit shines on through. And in that giving, I receive and I am nourished.

Music nourishes us in body, mind, soul, spirit and love. All of the elements of our being are fed and blessed.            

So for 5-15 minutes today, tune out the rest of the world and tune in to one of your favourite recordings. Sink into your senses, your extraordinary cognitive processes, your ability to transcend spoken language and your whole, beautiful spirit. Read more Sparkers by Linda Dessau at www.coachingtoys.com/musicalmusings.html

Sparkers – Musical Musings © 2006 Linda Dessau for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers, all rights reserved.

We would love to hear your comments and experience with this Sparker. Did you experiment with it yourself? Did you share it with a client?

Friday’s Spark – Filling the Well

Sparkerfilling This week’s creative spark is from Filling The Well, Spirited Nourishment for Creative Trailblazers, Simple Ways to Sprinkle a Little Soul Into Your Daily Life by Suzanne Vadnais Monson

Your Wild and Precious Life

Imagine you are walking through a quiet woodland. It is easy to move around. A high canopy of majestic trees dot the landscape and you can see clearly in all directions. Well groomed trails lead you through the forest. You stroll along the path feeling calm and at peace, listening to the songs of birds and enjoying the earthy aromas of the deep woods. The sound of moving water draws you toward a small stream.

Follow the stream until you find a place that invites you to stop and rest. Take a sip of the fresh, bubbling spring water and look closely into the moss and ferns lining the bank. Something catches your eye. Moving into the stream you enjoy the fresh sensation of moving water splashing on your legs. Crossing to the bank beyond, you discover an exquisite garden. Entering the garden you find a lovely patch of earth holding a project you are currently working on. Imagine the project has reached full completion and now rests before you in its best possible state. Notice the details; see its perfection, realizing in an instant what you need to do to move forward with your plan for this undertaking.

Enjoy the feelings of contentment that fill you as you bask in the glow of this project brought to completion. Feel the delicious sensation of pride building in your body. Fully absorb the reason this project has appeared in your life right now. Visualize this energy having the power to dissolve any blocks, applying it to any area of your life currently in need of transformation. Imagine you have the magic ingredients needed to create the perfect business, develop the next big trend, write a best-selling adventure story or… Fill in the blank with one of your wildest dream ideas and play with it in this happy setting.

Open your eyes when you are ready to return. Wear the glow you’re feeling now for the rest of the day. This is your one wild and precious life. Come back any time you need a fresh shot of inspiration

We would love to here from you – What project did you apply this meditation to? What did you get from it?

Sparkers – Filling The Well © 2007 Suzanne Vadnais Monson for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers, all rights reserved.

Sparkers by Suzanne

Friday’s Spark – Better Ideas

A Humble Beginnings Sparker by Melanie Keveles

How DID they start? Big success can come from amazingly humble beginnings. May their evolution to success inspire you to start your special dream … now!

Better Ideas

In 1967, Skip Yowell’s cousin Murray had an idea for a better backpack. It would be built around a lightweight, adjustable aluminum frame. Cousin Murray formed a company. The woman he was dating at the time just happened to be a wiz on the sewing machine. Murray promised that if she would marry him, he’d name the company after her. "She did, and he did," Yowell writes in his book, The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder & Other Mountains" and JanSport was born."

The JanSport team was just "three hippies…no business plan…even less money…All we had was Murray’s innovative design, Jan’s skill, my creative instincts and a shared affinity for Dylan music and beer."

Yet, the JanSport pack was an improvement over the standard backpacks of their day, and the entrepreneurial trio had providence on their side. Nature and outdoor adventure were popular. Their first big break came with an order of 300 backpacks.

Today the brand is truly recognizable and the company’s signature product – a little pack is now worn by students in every part of the world.

What better ideas do you have that your friends will band with you to realize?

Sparkers – Humble Beginnings © 2006 Melanie Keveles for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers & the Coaching Toys Blog, all rights reserved. 

Read more Humble Beginnings Sparkers by Melanie