• Starting with Why

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.
~ Simon Zinek


I’ve been away from home for most of the month of January.   I left on January 8th, drove down to Pleasant Hill, to await the arrival of my eighth grand-child!

Elle Adeline Barnum was born the morning of January 9th.  She is a beautiful baby girl, with dark hair and blue eyes...just like her sister, Greyson.  A couple of days after her birth, I drove to San Diego to spend a few days with my daughter and her family.  Then, I was off to Sedona, Arizona, to attend my Master Facilitator Training! 

The training was filled with excellent presentations, stimulating conversations, and an opportunity to spend time in one of my favorite places.  After a week in Sedona, I drove back to San Diego for a couple more days, then back up i5, to my son's for a week to help my daughter-in-law with new baby and toddler.  I got to play with Greyson, cook some meals, and spent lots of time holding Elle. There is nothing in the world that touches my heart more deeply than cuddling with a sleeping baby. 

I returned home on February 1st, after a stop at Trader Joe's and HomeGoods, in Petaluma - Whew!! 

I was tired, but thankful for my time with family and friends.  I was also ready to get back to my new business and begin incorporating all the new material that I had learned.

Once I began going back through my notes, plus re-reading all of the presentations offered during the training, one presentation, in particular, sent me on a quest to understand more deeply why I wanted to be a facilitator of women's retreats, in the first place.

Start with Why, a book by author and marketing consultant, Simon Sinek, was presented as a means of getting a clearer understanding of our "purpose, cause, or belief," regarding our business goals and direction.  Plus, making sure that our business goals matched our personal beliefs about ourselves and what we wanted for the women who attended our retreats.  He states, “It all starts with clarity. You have to know WHY you do WHAT you do!” 

I knew why I wanted to become a facilitator of Women's Retreat, and I felt that I had incorporated those beliefs throughout my website:  

  • I believe that every woman desires to understand her own journey in life; once children are raised, once the career has ended, or once she finds herself divorced/widowed after many years of marriage.
  • I believe that women want to be seen, heard, and respected, no matter what their age.  
  • I believe that women, as they age, grow in wisdom, creativity, and acceptance. The world needs those gifts.
  • I believe that women, of a certain age, need to embrace the changes that are occurring in their bodies while discovering who they are in their soul and spirit.

The list seemed complete, but, when presented with the question of why, which needed to come from my deepest belief and purpose, I realized I left out the most important point of all...a joyful heart!  


I believe that women want to discover

or rediscover their joyful heart! 


The still small voice inside each of us that believes life is good and worthwhile. The place deep inside that gives us hope when things seem hopeless.  Having a heart filled with gratitude and joy for the many blessings in each of our lives.

I have a joyful heart!  It is not always present, but I know it is there.  It is deep in my soul and spirit and gives me hope when I feel lost.  Gives me a reason when I’m unsure.  And, my joyful heart sees the possibilities in my life and others.  I believe that all women want to be in touch with their joyful-self. 

I also learned through this process, that we often need others to remind us of who we are and what they see.  As I struggled to discovery my why, It took some of the ladies at the training, who have gotten to know me over the years, to say to me, "You are joyful, you are about hearts, you have a joyful heart - that is who you are."   

My Why: 

Awakening a joyful heart in all women!! 


Although Start With Why, is written from the business perspective, I have begun using some of the principles in other aspects of my life.  By using his technique of the Golden Circle, I have discovered the why- the heart or core of the reason, that I do what I do.

The Golden Circle, as described by Sinek, is a method we can use to bring about a clear understanding of why we do what we do. The Golden Circle represents 3 circles, one within the other.  The largest circle represents what we do.  The middle circle represents how we do it, and the inner circle, or the core, represents why we do what we do. 

Sinek says that “What and how we do what we do, is easy to identify.”  But, Why is harder to identify.  Why is the purpose, cause, or belief that we hold, in order for the “what and how” to happen successfully.  

I began testing the Golden Circle with something close to my heart – babysitting my grandchildren.  Since I love my children and grandchildren, I want to available whenever I can. So, my what and how are quite easy to identify. And, you would assume that my love for them was my why, which, of course, is a part of it.  But there is another part to my why.  I believe strongly that grandparents are extremely important in the development of their grandchildren.  Grandchildren need the influence of loving, kind, and guiding grandparents.  In turn, Grandparents benefit greatly from seeing the world through the eyes of their grandchildren!  That is my belief.  That is my WHY!

Next, I began looking at my weight.  This is not a subject that I enjoy, but it is important for me to understand why I struggle with so much with it.  The what is easy – I am over-weight!  The how is easy – I eat too much.  But the why, is not so easy to identify.  My excuses are: I love food; I feel stressed, sad, angry; or, I'm older and it is harder to lose weight  I have others, but in the end, they are just my way of skirting the real reason. 

The truth is I struggle with my weight because I struggle with shame and how I view myself.  Those are hard words to acknowledge, but necessary if I'm being honest with myself. 

I doubt that the Golden Circle was designed with the idea of looking at the negative aspects of our lives, but it can and does prove to be useful in seeing what is real!   

I believe that there are many areas in our lives that the Golden Circle may be used.  Whether it is clarity regarding your daily choices in life, the friends that you associate with, or what your future holds...


understanding your why, is necessary for becoming authentic and successful.


Many years ago, my former husband's Great Aunt Bernice, who lived to be 107 years old, was asked the question, "What do you attribute your long life to?"  She said, "I drink a small glass of sherry every night before bed.  And, every morning, when I wake up, I have a reason to put my feet on the floor!  I may be getting my hair done, or I may be going to the church to help tie quilts.  But, I always have a reason."  

For me, Aunt Bernice demonstrated the Golden Circle.  She knew what she had to do and how she was going to do.  She also knew why.  She valued life and wanted to live it to the fullest.  There is a lesson there for all of us.

There is much more to the book, Start With Why, and it is definitely worth reading.  Whether you are starting a new business adventure, or wanting to understand your purpose in certain areas of your life, you may find it quite valuable.

For me, the question: "What is your purpose, cause, or belief," is changing the way I look at so many areas of my life.  Why is becoming the first thing I ask myself and the answers are becoming more and more authentic.


A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with Love
~Mother Teresa

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