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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The search for fulfillment is constant and repetitive...

...like life - it's only over when it's over.

Every New Year's Eve, my husband (and business partner) and I reflect on what the year has brought us professionally and personally.

By taking stock of where I have been, I can make any course corrections. I ask myself a few questions...

Did I have fun at work and home?
Did I leave the world a little better through my choices and contributions?
Did I harm anyone that I love?
Do I still feel energized by and connected to my work?
Was I either profitable or moving toward profitability?
Have I been a good role model to my children?
Am I giving my husband what he needs, and am I receiving what I need in my marriage?
Am I willing to change what I don't like about myself and my life?

By spending time with myself, by finding my quiet, I can listen to these answers from within. This conversation is always the first step for me to keep my life on track.


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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Paying Attention to My Quiet

The first step in following my dreams...was to become aware of them. During different times in my life my dreams have focused on different interests and aspects of my life utilizing my tools in different ways.

I still remember my college graduation.

I am the oldest of 5 children, therefore the first to graduate from college. I turned to my father after the ceremony and said,

"I am not qualified to do anything. I am not a teacher, an accountant, a librarian or a doctor...I'm not anything...what does a marketing major do?" At 17 years old I chose to be a business major, specifically marketing/management, because my father told me not to go into education (he was a teacher) and numbers did not interest me so accounting and finance were out.

I never really thought...what will I do when I graduate?

Hearing his 21 year-old daughter announce that she was qualified for nothing, well to say the least my father was shocked and annoyed. My college education was no small financial sacrifice for my family or myself (can you say student loans?) and I had never really thought about what I would do after graduation...I just thought of getting through classes and having some fun. (and if I'm honest...there was more emphasis on fun)

My Dad wondered--"How could she be trained for nothing?" Later in life, my career relied heavily on the lessons I learned at Siena College while pursuing my business degree.

My aspirations were limited to my experience in life. My parents were teachers so I did not have much exposure to the business world. I knew that I wanted to live in the city (New York, that is) and be independent and successful. I did not give much thought to what my job might be.

At this point...I needed to listen to my quiet,

that little voice that whispers (and sometimes shouts) to us... when we pay attention.

That voice helps give us a direction to explore. It gives us clues at what will make us happy and fulfilled in our life.

We all listen to our quiet in different ways.

My quiet speaks to me at the beach.

I grew up on the water...when I am in times of conflict or adversity...the water brings my life back into focus. My quiet is most inspirational when I am near the water. Today, I begin each day with a meditative walk to 4 beaches in my neighborhood, reflecting on a different aspect of my life at each beach.

I have a client that hears his quiet
when he is working on his car...
another when he is rowing his boat...
still another when she is holding her sleeping child.

When is your best time to listen to your quiet?

This week...
pay attention to what your quiet is telling you!


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Monday, February 06, 2006

Who is Michelle Yozzo Drake?

The first thing that I ask a new client when I work with them is ...
"tell me who you are"...inevitably they tell me "what" they do.

"I am a teacher, nurse, engineer, business owner, athlete..."

But that does not answer the question

Who Are You?!

So, I am going to heed my own direction in opening this blog to you...

Who is Michelle Y. Drake?

For me to answer that question, I need to start at my beginning...

Michelle Terese Yozzo is who I was born. As we all know, developmentally we are formed as children. In getting to know Michelle Y. Drake, you need to know a bit about Michelle T. Yozzo.

So, who was Michelle Terese Yozzo?

I was the oldest of 5 children (4 girls and a boy)
I was an obedient and responsible daughter
I was an animated little chatterbox
I was a rule follower with a curious nature
I was open to my spirituality at a young age
I was a comfortable and loyal friend
I was a hopeful and forgiving child
I was an insecure but talkative teenager

This leads me to who is Michelle Yozzo Drake...

I am a product of the influence of my family and friends, my life experiences, my faith and my role in the world.

I am an energetic, uplifting and articulate speaker
I am a spiritual and creative creature
I am an intense, hardworking and analytical business woman
I am a survivor
I am a loving daughter
I am a traditional and fiercely loyal wife
I am a compassionate, engaged and proud mother of teenage boys
I am an understanding and appreciative employer
I am a sensitive friend
I am a thoughtful sibling
I am a brave soul who is willing to share who I am with the world!

How about you?

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

"My" blog is really for YOU!

The purpose of my blog is to give you the ability to embrace what inspires you in life and the tools to put those desires into action. I want to help a society who is sleepwalking through life!

Wake Up! And Pay Attention to the voice inside that speaks to us all!

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be interviewing a variety of people who are listening to that voice and letting it translate into how they live their lives.

Follow me as I share parts of those interviews (full-length versions will be available in my upcoming book) mixed with my 2 cents. My posts will also include tips lists and exercises that will help you get closer to following your "little voice" and living the life you were born to live!

So for now, don't be afraid when hearing "little voices:" they could be calling you to great things!
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