Drive. Align. Shift. Spirit Driving Institute Blog by Leila Johnson

21Oct/11Off

One-Year Anniversary of Driving to Success

I'm excited to say that today marks one year since Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel was published! It's been a wonderful year. While I'm not making any best seller lists, I'm happy with the community I've created and the feedback I've received from those who have read the book. :)

Have you read Driving to Success? Do you know someone else who would like it? Well, you can still buy it online. It's almost time to think about presents for the holiday season and New Year's Resolutions. Driving to Success would give you (or your friends and family) a great jump start on both!

As a thank you, if you buy the book from my Web site, use coupon code 2011DTS to get 20% off. Hurry because this coupon expires on October 31, 2011.

Thanks to everyone for their support over this past year!

5Nov/10Off

A Dedication

To my grandmother,
who inspired me spiritually;

This is part of the dedication from my book, Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. Today would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. She was a big part of my life since she lived with us from a little bit after I was born until I was 16.

Also, she had a strong influence on me spiritually. Here's a short passage from my book to give you a window into her Personality:

...I grew up attending African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church services. My grandmother was devout and a regular church-goer. She also taught me a lot about the Bible and how to lead my life in a spiritual way. Even though she was was dedicated to the AME church, I can remember her opening the door for Jehovah's Witnesses and purchasing their kid's books for me. They were colorful, fun, and quite accessible for a young child. Her simple act taught me to be open and accepting of all spiritual beliefs.

It would have been wonderful to have her live to see this day when her "little baby" published a book. I know that she continues to watch over me.

I just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge my grandmother. It's also a great time to give yourself a chance to reflect on those who have had a positive influence on your life.

Love & Light,

Leila Johnson

27Oct/10Off

Putting the Puzzle of Your Life Together

I watched Jane Fonda on Oprah and enjoyed what she had to say about her childhood, growing up, and becoming whole. It sounds cliche, but so much of how you look at your life now depends on your childhood. Those that are most successful decide not to be put in shackles if they had a less than wonderful childhood or, as Jane Fonda put it, had parents who didn't "show up".

Jane Fonda mentioned doing a life review so that you can put the "puzzle of your life together". It's a symbolic activity that will help you to put everything in its place and figure out why you are who you are. In other words, it's a way to get a complete picture of your Personality.

Fonda went a step further and interviewed those who were key players in her younger years. Keep in mind that this isn't about pointing fingers to place blame. And it's not about trying to find all the things that you want to change about yourself. It's an activity to help you feel whole and content with who you are so that you can move forward to more success.

I chose to use my book as my life review (at least of the first ~30 years). It was a cathartic way of putting the puzzle of my life together. I talk about my successes and struggles as a person, in school, on the job, in my business, with family, and with friends. It hasn't been a perfect life and, honestly, it shouldn't be. Also, it hasn't been easy, and it shouldn't be. Every part of it has shaped my Personality and helped me to become the success that I am today.

And a final thought on success. You'll hear me use that word a lot on my blog and, of course, in my book. When I speak of success, I want you to know that it doesn't come from a place of arrogance and it isn't all about money and advancement. It is more so about a feeling of contentment. The definition of success will be different for everyone.

Have you completed a life review? How did it feel? How has it helped you to define who you are now?

24Oct/10Off

Now What Do I Do?

Is this a phrase you find yourself asking after you've just achieved a goal? I mean, you've worked hard and let your Spirit drive in order to get there. So, once you've achieved your goal, you might be asking, "Now what?"

It's funny when you're a goal-oriented person because you often feel like you always have to be working toward a goal. You might not take the time to reflect on your success and give yourself a pat on the back to appreciate your progress.

I experienced something similar last week. Not only was publishing my book one of my goals, it's been on my bucket list for 10 years! I have to admit that I had a few moments of feeling like I had accomplished one of the biggest goals of my life. I found myself asking, "How can I top this?" and "What should I focus on next?" Yes, my Personality was driving.

Instead of focusing on shifting Gears and getting to the next goal, I recommend sitting in Neutral for awhile so that you can do the following:

  • Appreciate the successes you had along the way. This is especially true with the goals that we classify as biggies. We get so focused on checking something off of our list, that we might not appreciate all of the smaller successes it took to get here. One of my smaller successes was putting together a publishing and marketing team in a few months even though I had never done anything like that before.
  • Reflect on the struggles you had during the journey. Don't forget to pay attention to the struggles you had because you can learn the most from them. When did a seemingly insurmountable obstacle get in your way? How did that obstacle take you in a different direction to get you where the Universe wanted you to be? When publishing both my e-book and paperback, I had some last-minute changes come up that caused us to come uncomfortably close to the deadlines I had set. After taking some time to make those changes, I noticed that there were some other critical areas of the book that I wanted to alter as well.
  • Consider what this goal means for your life. If you have a bucket list, you will have some fun goals (one of mine is getting another tattoo) and others will be more meaningful. Either way, consider what achieving this goal means for your life. How has it changed you as a person? What will you do differently in your life now that you have checked off this goal?
  • Show gratitude. You could show gratitude by meditating or praying about it. Thank those in your life who helped you (and even those who didn't). Remember that the naysayers also can push you forward without your realizing it. I even thank my naysayers in my book and recognize how their words pushed me in a certain direction.

Once I got my Spirit back in the driver's seat, I realized that it wasn't about topping what I had done. Publishing my book is a big accomplishment and is only the beginning of even better things. I spent most of the weekend in Neutral so that I would have the clarity I needed to move forward when it feels right.

21Oct/10Off

Driving to Success has arrived!

The paperback has dropped, as they say in the music industry. You can now order Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. I'm so excited that this day has arrived. I chose this day because falls during Fall Car Care Month and it is my 10-year dreadlock anniversary, which happens to be the same number of years that I've been working on the book. Coincidence?

On a serious note, Driving to Success isn't just about me. There's a lot of practical advice for those in high school, college, thirtysomethings, fortysomethings, fiftysomethings, and beyond. I hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about yourself and how you can have real success in your life by purchasing the book.

In the coming weeks, I'll include updates as the book becomes available in more places (online and off). Also, I'll let you know how you can help us with this process.

Thanks again for coming along on this journey. I hope you will continue and I wish you much success!

4Oct/10Off

Driving to Success Book Launch Celebration on October 21st

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rio Rancho, New Mexico (October 4, 2010) - Leila Johnson, co-owner of Data-Scribe® and founder of Spirit Driving Institute, has written a book called Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. The paperback version will be released on October 21st, 2010 to coincide with National Car Care Month.  At 6:30p MDT, Leila will be interviewed by Dr. Monique Hunt during the Paperback Book Launch Celebration Webinar. Participants will be able to answer questions on Leila's "Vehicle Check-up" to see where they are in their professional and spiritual paths.

Driving to Success uses a driving theme to explain how entrepreneurs and professionals can be successful by taking different paths in their professional lives.  It is a guidebook for those redefining the answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?". Johnson notes, "After taking many paths in my professional life, I thought it was time to share my journey and provide some practical spiritual and professional advice."

Each person is their own vehicle. Leila discusses how your professional path can take a different turn depending on whether your Personality or Spirit is driving. For those who can’t wait until October 21st, you will be thrilled to know that the book is currently available as an e-book.

For more details on Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel and the paperback book launch celebration, visit http://www.spiritdriving.com.

ABOUT Leila Johnson: Leila Johnson's book, Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel, is a guidebook for entrepreneurs and professionals redefining the answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?". Since 2003, Leila has co-owned and managed their full-service, award-winning Web and communications firm, VelaMira, Inc. dba Data-Scribe® with her husband. As part of her journey on the road of life, Leila has earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and in the Metaphysical Sciences. Prior to starting her business, Leila worked as a call center coach, curriculum developer, and trainer in the financial and insurance industries. Leila's site is http://www.spiritdriving.com.

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1Oct/10Off

Countdown to paperback book launch!

It's just 20 days away! I can't believe it. After 10 years of writing, rewriting, revising, second-guessing, and "noodling", Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel will be a physical, tangible book that I can hold in my hands. It's almost surreal. I can't wait to share it with you.

Don't forget to sign up for the book launch Webinar during the evening of October 21st. It's free and you could win a copy of the book!

I'll continue to post updates on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks to everyone for coming along on the journey!

8Sep/10Off

What’s Wrong with Burning the Koran?

NOTE: This isn't a "polished" blog post because I wrote it late at night after seeing this story. Please pardon the ramblings, but I think you'll get my point. :)

If you haven't heard yet, check out this Nightline story about a small Christian church congregation in Florida whose pastor plans to have an International Burn a Koran Day on 9/11. I was moved to tears after seeing this.

I tend to remain neutral in my discussions about religion because I don't want to alienate anyone. This story really made me want to say something. I've been lucky, I guess you could say, to have been a part of mainstream religion most of my life. By mainstream, I, of course, mean Christian.  I haven't faced the public persecution that others have, largely because I have kept my beliefs private. There were times in my life when I wasn't so mainstream. I participated in Wiccan practices. It wasn't something that I shared with too many people because their first response was, "You're a witch?!". This tends to conjure up Halloween-ish images of cauldrons and wands. Now, my beliefs are a combination of several things with Christian, Eastern, and pagan influences, although I wouldn't classify myself as a part of any particular religion.

I can remember having a conversation with someone about the whole "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" thing. You know, when it's November or December and you go to the mall and an associate says "Happy Holidays" because they don't want to offend anyone that might not celebrate Christmas. Or, you get someone saying "Merry Christmas" because they assume everyone celebrates it. The person I was speaking with had the nerve to say that they were tired of hearing "Happy Holidays" and complained that it's time for Christians to have more rights.

Are you serious? If any religion has had all of the "rights", it has been Christianity. That tends to be the default religion and some Christians assume that everyone else has the same beliefs. This brings me back to the Burn a Koran day. It is pretty ballsy for a pastor to arrange something like this when I'm sure he would take issue if people from another religion started burning the Bible. He feels that he has the right to do this because he is part of the "right" religion (as in 'correct', not 'right wing'). After hearing this story, I found myself saying, "What the heck is wrong with some Christians?"

This reminds me of 9/11 when many people were fearful of anyone with Islamic heritage. There are so many times that we judge an entire race, religion, or other type of group based on the behavior of a minority from that group. I understand that 9/11 was a scary experience even for those that didn't know anyone who perished during the tragedy. However, it doesn't make sense to hate an entire group of people because of it. As an African-American, I have dealt with this on a much smaller scale. Yes, it's 2010, but I'm still cautious about the way I behave in stores for fear of someone thinking I'm trying to steal something. And again, we go back to the pastor in Florida. How many Christians would want others to think that they believe the same thing this pastor believes?

My husband and I love Persian food. I remember the week after 9/11, we noticed that a few of our favorite Persian restaurants in Denver had significantly fewer patrons than prior to that day. We decided to show a small gesture of support by dining out at some of those restaurants. I don't remember being scared or thinking that anything bad would happen. We're not heroes, by any means, but it was important for us to do that.

So, the title of this blog post, "What's wrong with burning the Koran?" is a philosophical one. I don't think anyone has the right to destroy someone else's holy book. As an author, I think about people that have burned others' non-holy books because they didn't believe what they said. I do think that we need to look deeper and discover what would drive us to participate in something like this. What are we afraid of? What are we trying to stop from happening? Or, what are we hoping to accomplish?

Although it sounds corny and is overused, I keep going back to Rodney King's statement of "...can we all get along?".

Your thoughts?

7Jul/10Off

Back in the Driver’s Seat

I'm back from a nice, long 10-day vacation with family in Denver. It was somewhat of a working vacation, but not as much as in past years. For those of you that have read my book, you'll know about Success Drivers and how important they are to establishing goals (also known as Rest Stops). My Success Drivers happen to be Money and Time. I've managed to take my own advice with my profession and found ways to have more time while making some money.

Also, since we "roadtripped it", I had a lot of wonderful insights related to Spirit Driving. I'll be sharing those in upcoming posts.

Lastly, since I am planning for my paperback book launch of Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel on October 21st, I will be sharing excerpts from the book as video blogs. I'll read a passage and provide more details on what it means to you and how you can use it to improve your professional life. The videos will be posted here and on my Spirit Driving YouTube channel (pretty sparse now, but that will change). The first video will be posted by Monday Friday whenever I can get to it. I'm having too much fun with other things in life and business!

Onward & Upward and Love & Light!

Leila

15Jun/10Off

Tuesday Tweet to Win Driving to Success

Want to win a free copy of the e-book edition of Driving to Success? Today, June 15, 2010, you have a chance to win by participating in the Tuesday Tweet to Win event. Here's what you have to do to qualify:

  1. Follow me on Twitter: @spiritdriving
  2. Retweet the following: RT I want to win the @spiritdriving e-book Driving to Success http://ht.ly/1Yzhy #drivingtosuccess
  3. Reply to me via Twitter with your answer to this question: What celebrity or other influential person best exemplifies the Spirit Driving concept? Make sure your tweet includes @spiritdriving and #drivingtosuccess.

Aren't sure what the Spirit Driving concept is? Here's a quick hit list:

  • You're authentic to who you are instead of living someone else's dream.
  • You keep an eye on your GPS and enjoy the journey on the road of your professional life.
  • You understand that Money is just one of your possible Success Drivers.
  • You believe that you have a Destination (Mission) to reach through your professional life.
  • You regularly Turn on Your Signals to recognize your role in the Universe.
  • You shift Gears, when appropriate, based on the Signs you receive from the Universe.
  • You aren't afraid of making occasional U-Turns.

I'll select the best or most unique response as the winner after 5p MDT today.

Good luck!

Leila