Subject: Tip Four: Create A Support System
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Welcome Notes
2. Tip Four: Create a Support System
3. Coaching: Design Your Own Community
5. Reading for the Journey
6. Humor: Signs You Live in the Year 2001
1. Welcome Notes
Good morning from San Diego, California where I am still
on vacation, spending a few days with my dear friend
Becky. We are laughing and talking and going to the
movies, giggling over past memories, howling over the
funny changes in our aging bodies, and just being together
in the way only best friends can. It is a sweet and simple
pleasure for which I am very grateful.
I sat down at my laptop computer Monday night to write
this week’s article on Support Systems. I wrote the first two
paragraphs and got stuck. I returned to it several times
yesterday and again this morning, and the words for the
rest of the article remain hidden. It is a relatively minor case
of writer’s block, and still a block. And a very effective one
I have several choices: I could simply not publish this week; I
could continue to fight the block, convinced that I can barrel
my way through and ignoring the rise in my blood
pressure; or I could surrender to the fact that for today, the
words are not there. I have chosen the latter and have given
you those first two paragraphs and an article I wrote on
community in a previous CTJ.
Enjoy them. And join me in my fervent prayer that the
blocks dissolve before next week!
If you missed the CTJ which gave the Top Ten Tips for
Having the Life You REALLY Want which is the
foundation for this issue and the next five, you can find
it on my website at
For a formatted, color, hard copy version of the Top Ten
Tips e-mail your snail mail address (where you get your
regular mail) to mailto:TopTenTips@tothesummit.com.
Please note that I’m out of my office until September 4,
and I’ll mail your copy then.
2. Create A Support System
How are you supported in living the life you REALLY want?
Who are your cheer leaders as you take one step at a time in
the direction of your dreams? Who proofs your papers as
you finish that degree? Who teaches you the skills you
need? Who walks with you when you don’t want to and
you know it’s what will move you toward your dream?
Who will say,” Go for it!,” no matter what “it” is, when they
feel the passion in your heart?
We all need people in our lives to be our cheerleaders, our
teachers, our mentors, our Friends, our supporters. In a
society that seems to be more and more isolating and less
and less supportive, we need to buck the trend and create a
community for ourselves, a support system that will give us
what we need to continue to put one foot in front of the
other in the direction of our dreams.
The Power of Community
Yesterday I had 6 occasions during the day to connect with
people who make my heart smile. People who love me
just as I am. People who are members of my community.
When I went to bed last night, I reveled in the joy and
love that had filled me the whole day, and I fell asleep
thinking about the importance of being with people who
make us feel whole and loved; the very positive
consequences of spending time with the people who are
part of our community.
Webster defines community as
1. All persons living in a particular area
2. A group having religion or interests in common
3. Joint sharing
The notion of developing and having one’s own personal
community (vs. a geographic, religious, socioeconomic,
family or political one) is becoming more and more
common as the concept of an extended family disappears
in our culture.
People with similar interests, ways of relating and
communication styles come together, stay together and
eventually bond together, sometimes much more closely
than in a traditional family.
There are different levels of community:
These are the people we call to clean our teeth or
wash the carpet or refer business to. We know them, and
there is definitely a relationship. It is usually more
professional than personal. And sometimes members of
our network become part of our Personal Community.
2. Personal Community
These are the people we seek out for enjoyment,
for intellectual and spiritual development, for
entertainment. They are your friends, with a small ‘f’.
Sometimes our relationship with them is around a very
specific activity. I have several members of my Personal
Community who are climbing buddies. That is the core of
our relationship. You may have a tennis buddy or Book
Club buddies or hiking buddies or a church friend who are
part of your Personal Community. And sometimes
members of our Personal Community grow into our
Circle of 10.
3. Circle of Ten
These are the people who know us inside and out,
warts and all. Who are committed to us for the long run.
Who will be there in a minute if trouble hits. They are
your Friends. It’s important to get the distinction between
the friends who are part of your Personal Community and
the Friends who make up your Circle of 10. That capital F
is a symbol of a very deep connection. It is vital for each of
us to have between 8 and 12 people who are totally on our
team. They are connected with us spiritually, emotionally,
intellectually, and we know we can count on them. They
are the ones who are always there. We may not talk with
them or see them daily, and they are always there. This is
not a static group. It evolves as we do. These people are
Our family is a distinct group which flows through
all three of the others. Most of us have family members
who fall in to each of the other 3 groups. Sometimes all of
our family members belong in the network category. The
very fortunate of us have the majority of their family in
their Personal Community and some in the Circle of 10.
My sister and my niece are each members of my
Circle of 10. We share a close, honest, loving, honoring
bond that energizes me in wonderful ways.
Without a community, we face the world alone, and it
feels overwhelming. Without a community we tend to
harden our hearts and barrel head on through life
without taking the time to breathe in the beauty of it. Our
community decorates our life and gives it richness and
Too many people have developed a strong network and
have little or no Personal Community and no Circle of 10.
Our Circle of 10 is what grows us, inside. It supports us,
challenges us, laughs with us, holds us when we are sad
and loves us unconditionally. Being with the people who
are members of our Circle of 10 fills us up energetically;
gives us strength and courage to create the life we dream of.
You do not have to live your life feeling alone. Create a
strong community, and you have a whole team with you
as you journey into the life your REALLY want.
3. Coaching: Design Your Own Community
Creating a network is the easiest step. Make a list of the
100 professionals and acquaintances who provide the
expertise you want in your life. Break the list into
categories which might include:
Business — running a business, managing a career,
finding work that you enjoy all come easier when you
have experts and models to guide and inspire you.
Money and Legal — The only thing in the way of your
financial independence is great advice and the willingness
to apply it.
Personal and Health — Our bodies, minds and spirits
can benefit from these experts.
Personal Services — These are the services that make
our lives easier.
Maintenance — We all need “odd job” people from
time to time. Having a list in advance takes the effort out
of the process.
The first step in designing a stronger Personal
Community is to upgrade who you currently associate
with. Eliminate the people in your life who drain your
energy rather than feed it. This is best done with the
support of a Coach or close friend who can assist you in
taking an honest look at your relationships. In order to
attract people who respect, honor, energize and love you,
it is necessary to create space for them. It’s time to let go of
those relationships that make you sigh rather than smile.
The next step is to design what your community looks
and feels like. A Personal Community is often comprised
of several sub-Communities. We can be a member of both
a Book Club and a softball team. What is the focus of a
community of which you wish to be a part? What’s the
purpose of it. How will it add to your life?
Who gets to play in your community? Write down the
type of people you want to play with. What are the
qualities someone must have to be a part of your
community? Who is already a member of your
Now you know what you want your community to look
like and feel like. Go out and create it. Have lunch with
the woman on your tennis team you’ve always wanted to
know better. Call up that friend of a friend who has always
intrigued you and invite them to go for a walk. Reach out.
Stretch yourself. Communities are created by invitation.
Whose community would you like to be a part of? Seek
them out, get to know them, invite them into your
Your Circle of 10 will evolve naturally out of your
Personal Community. This will not happen overnight,
and it’s likely that you already have people in your life
who are part of your Circle of 10. Who are they? How can
you let them know how important they are in your life.
Take the action to design the community of your choice.
Life becomes easier, more enjoyable, more successful and
much more loving. You will be energized and whole.
Create the community of your own design and enrich the
quality of your life.
A Friend is someone who knows the song in your heart
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the
She is a friend of my mind… The pieces I am, she gather
them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
Everyone needs recognition for his accomplishments, but
few people make the need known quite as clearly as the
little boy who said to his father: “Let’s play darts. I’ll throw
and you say, ‘Wonderful!'”
The Best of Bits & Pieces
5. Reading for the Journey
To the Summit: A Woman’s Journey into the Mountains
to Find Her Soul by Margo Chisholm
This is the story of my journey toward my own impossible
dreams. I had some very big dreams, and some equally big
doubts and fears. My story is a clear example of the
miracles that happen when we take that first step, and
then the next, and then the next, in the direction of our
dreams. We ordinary people can do extraordinary things,
and it all happens one step at a time.
This book is out of print, and I have a few copies available
for sale for $23 including shipping and handling. E-mail
mailto:ToTheSummit@tothesummit.com for ordering
To The Summit is also available in German and
Norwegian for the same price.
6. Humor: Signs You Live in the Year 2001
This laughable goodies come to me from my niece Meg.
SIGNS YOU LIVE IN 2001……..
1. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family
3. You call your son’s beeper to let him know it’s time to eat.
He emails you back from his bedroom, “What’s for
4. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site.
5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South
Africa, but you haven’t spoken with your next door
neighbor yet this year.
6. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup
to see if it contains Echinacea.
7. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of
your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell
phone to see if anyone is home.
9. Every commercial on television has a web-site address at
the bottom of the screen.
10. You buy a computer and 6 months later it is out of date
and now sells for half the price you paid.
11. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you
didn’t have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is cause for
panic and turning around to go get it.
12. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a
purchase would be a hassle and
13. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food
bags out of the back seat of your car.
14. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that
they do not have e-mail addresses.
15. You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
16. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
17. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it
18. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in
19. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.
20. You get up in morning and go online before getting your
21. You wake up at 2am to go to the bathroom and check
your E-mail on your way back to bed.
22. You’re reading this.
23. Even worse; you’re going to forward it to someone.
Hiring a Life Coach is a great way be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at
https://www.tothesummit.com for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to
Give yourself the gift of a support system this week.
If you received this copy of Celebrating the Journey from
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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
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Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, by Margo
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