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The KUEL Connections Game: Making Joy For Myself And My People

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Earlier this week, Kay Newton, our Connections Expert, shared a game with us. She took a word — in her case, CONNECTIONS — and identified an individual for each letter.

It was a way for her to pause and be grateful for the people in her life. Some of them current friends, some old, some have not been present lately.

I was so taken with the exercise that I chose to make this week’s Jack’s Smack my version of the game.

“my word? GRATITUDE”

My word?

Here’s What Happened:

G: Grace, ok really Catherine Grace, but I’m taking liberties.

I met Catherine over Instagram two-plus years ago. We developed a mutually respectful relationship through that platform and phone calls. Catherine is a big-time IG Influencer and entrepreneur. I feel lucky to call her my friend and collaborator. We support one another fully and are working on something new and exciting for the not-so-distant future! So stay tuned.

R: Ronda, who occasionally mentors me and provides a solid sounding board for my business ideas and visions.

She doesn’t live near me any longer so now we connect via phone. Sadly not often, due to crazy life pressures and a three-hour time difference. But, I know I can reach out to her anytime, if I need her, and she will make time.

A: Amy, who I have never met but with whom I felt an instant connection.

Within five minutes on a Zoom call, we knew we had to collaborate. I feel so fortunate to have her as a Kuel Life Member and Expert. And, I got to be on her podcast (airing next week) — Fearlessly Facing Fifty — which was SOOOO fun.

T: Tina, who gifted me much-needed and valuable advice on automating and streamlining parts of Kuel Life.

She is a highly paid coach and mentor. Knowing I am a self-funded startup, she graciously passed on some key insights, which I still use today. I will be forever grateful to her. Hope to meet her in person someday.

I: Illa is a Kuel Life Member who doesn’t quite meet the “age” of most of us in the Kuel Life Community.

Yet she believes in the mission of the community — to redefine midlife for the modern woman and put her “money where her mouth is.” It’s women like Illa that make Kuel Life possible for all of US!

T: Todd, who was a friend (kinda) in high school.

I grew up with Todd and we were friendly, but by no means tight. Now, as adults, we’ve become friends over Facebook. The best surprise of all? Todd has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since starting Kuel Life. He has gone out of his way to introduce me to women and promotes the platform whenever possible. What a gift.

U: Ubele — ok, once again I’ve taken some liberties because U is a tough one.

Ubele is the last name of someone I grew up with, having known her since elementary school. While we were never super close, she gifts me memories of Pine Crest (our alma mater) regularly on Facebook. She is responsible for digging up one of the best pictures from my childhood and sending it to me: my parents, drinks in hand, tipsy smiles a mile wide, sitting on the deck of her parent’s boat in the Ft. Lauderdale Christmas Boat Parade. The parade is an annual favorite among south Floridians. My parents look so happy and I am grateful to have that photo thanks to her.

D: Donald is on my personal board of directors.

Donald and I have been in one another’s life for over 12 years. I first met him when I began my martial arts training; he was my Master Instructor. Our relationship has morphed and flourished throughout the years and I am fortunate to call him a close, life-long friend. He lives in Mexico now so our visits are few and infrequent but whenever we are together it’s as if no time has passed.

E: Erin, who runs Beyond Broadway Studios.

Originally, she offered classes for kids in the art of performance and my son started with her at the youthful age of 7. He stayed in her program through middle school and even did a guest performance with her troupe at 15. He gleaned so much from his time in her classes. Being on stage, regularly, helped his self-esteem and confidence. I love that he is comfortable standing up in front of large crowds. Personally, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity she gave me to return to the stage, to sing and dance, at the ripe old age of 50. It was a blast and something I take with me everywhere and everyday.

an amazing exercise in JOY MAKING”

A Game Everybody Wins:

I have to report that going through this process, although taking longer than I had anticipated (blame it on the G and the U), was an amazing exercise in JOY MAKING. And, when my nine people read my thoughts on the “WHY” I am grateful for them, I hope they take away a bit of joy as well.

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