Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This I Believe

Recently read the book of essays entiled, This I Believe,  The Personal Philosophies Of Remarkable Men And Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman and have been thinking about what I believe in.  Here is an unedited post-morning coffee stream of consciousness regarding what I believe in. Would love to have you share your beliefs with me as well.

I believe in Integrity and Truthfulness
Standing up for what is right and just, not what is popular sentiment
Action and taking a stand vs. camping out on Wall Street and protesting
That any two committed individuals have the right to be together regardless of their sexual orientation
I am opposed to death of any kind: abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, mercy killing, WAR
I believe in self-sufficiency and the community (neighborhood, church, support group, whatever) taking care of its own and the government NOT giving out handouts
I believe in the power of education, both formal and informal and its ability to transform a life
I believe that there is a heaven of sorts, not necessarily a place, but a state of mind
I believe that evil does exist and it walks the land in the guise of human nature
I have strong faith and love my Catholic religion while recognizing that other faith communities exist alongside- whether they are Christian or not.
I believe any individual who has led a good and faith-filled life will enter that state of mind called Heaven regardless of whether they are Catholic or Christian, Muslim or Hindu.
I believe in holding on to dreams and using them as guideposts for living.
I believe in the power to transform lives through actions and mighty endeavors.
I believe that you can have many loves in your life.
I believe that the power of friendship is more valuable than all the oil in the world.
I believe in believing in YOU.

 What do you believe in?

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011-2012

Monday, November 7, 2011


Frozen landscape

Dark, desolate

Sun absent in the sky 

Falling ash, ashen snow......

What would you do if there was an apocalypse and you were one of the few remaining on earth? How would your faith be tested? In the movie The Road based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same title by  Cormac McCarthy, a man and his son find themselves in this scenario. The man’s wife has taken her own life unable to go on under the extreme conditions that they have been living under and hoping to create more of a chance of survival for the remaining two.  The movie follows the pair on the road to reach the southern coast to find warmth and possible life. Along the way their values are tested profoundly and the boy must make a herculean choice.  

What struck me the most was looking at the breakdown of society and the construction of a new order in which people were no longer valued for their humanity. To witness the savagery that people turned to in their desperation in order to survive was shocking.  It became a crowd mentality, where people acquiesced in order not to be on the outside: the ones attacked and ultimately eaten. There was a renegade leadership running rampant that followed the mantra of survival of the fittest and if you were outside of one of these groups, you literally were running for your life.

One image that continues to haunt me is the scene involving a loaded gun: their only means of protection. In this scene the father shows his little boy how to put the pistol in his mouth and aim upwards toward his brain for a quick and painless death.  The loaded gun that the father and son kept ultimately contained only one bullet and would be the saving grace to prevent the boy from a horrific end at the hands of the cannibalistic survivors. The father knew at this point that he was dying and would not be there to protect his son in the future. Such a tragic, tragic image. But within that image, there exists unconditional love.

Another theme that ran throughout the film and touched my core was that of trust. The boy asks a stranger at one point, “Are you one of the good guys?”. In a lawless and desperate society the role of good guy can flip on a dime. We can only trust our instincts and make a decision based on the information that we have at hand.

I suppose the answer to how you would handle being in a similar situation would depend upon your faith and your views of life, death and after-life. I hope we never see an apocalypse in a million lifetimes from now, but if we did, I know what I would do. 

Do you?

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011-2012

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nirvana & Naming

Just found an errant page that belongs to my unpublished novel. As I read the lines that were written five years ago, I was struck by the power of the words. The voice is that of Gabrielle writing of her soul mate, Jon, in the pages of her personal journal.  They are young adults who met as teens through an online game. Here is a small excerpt from a larger piece:

"We have shared so much
It is truly an incredible experience to be completely known
Every raw nerve, every idiosyncrasy exposed
And through this naked unveiling,  we remain close
Not frightened away by our own realities....

Sometimes we react in a series of classical conditioning scenarios
that we are unable to prevent from playing out
But no matter, we always find our way back to each other

Back to that feeling of being totally and utterly connected
To each other in body and soul

You take me to the highest heights
You make my heart soar
Over and over again
I am with you every time
Every single time
Calling out your name
Before I take that final leap off the mountain
You answer, "Gabrielle, I'm coming"
And you are right behind me; along side of me
Landing in a heap of blissful exhaustion at the bottom of that mighty mountain

Two blind people assisted by heightened other senses
Making sense of the world they have created
Living to love; loving to live........"

 Afterwards I picked up my copy of This I Believe, The Personal Philosophies Of Remarkable Men And Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman and read an entry by writer and activist Eve Ensler entitled "The Power and Mystery of Naming Things".  This quote really struck me:

"Naming things, breaking through taboos and denial is the most dangerous, terrifying, and crucial work. This has to happen in spite of political climates or coercions, in spite of careers being won or lost, in spite of the fear of being criticized, outcast, or disliked. I believe freedom begins with naming things. Humanity is preserved by it."

Not sure why both of these pieces struck me enough to place them together here in Kaleidoscope, but I'm going with the suggestion of my muse and perhaps later I will find a connection......

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011-2012

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Life Is What You Make Of It

Dreamer, Believer, Passionate, Extrovert, Unconventional, Eclectic, Empathetic, Analytical, Gifted, Intelligent 
When I think about who I am deep inside, these are the words that come to mind. They are words that many people have used to describe me. I love people- I love knowing their stories and I love connecting with their souls. If I can touch just one person in my day, then I label it a success.  My greatest joy is to see someone achieve and to help them reach their goals.

I feel that I have led a highly successful life: wonderful career with Procter & Gamble, many community leadership positions, international travel,  published work including a book on social media and the launching of my own company, C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC. Despite all of the professional accomplishments, my greatest achievement is raising two wonderful children who are both amazingly intelligent and gifted and who will go on to change the world. 

Tomorrow marks my 24th wedding anniversary, and in today's world, that is probably a huge accomplishment as well. To me it seems like yesterday.  A friend on Facebook commented to my status update about the anniversary with a question:

"You and Glenn are both wonderful people. We've been blessed to have met you both. You are a great couple. I'm sure you have some words of wisdom in how to make it last for 24 years. Any you care to share? Or is it like hiring employees - try to pick the right one the first time?" 

I took some time to reflect on this question.  I think the biggest piece of advice would be to really know who you are marrying; in other words, spend some time deeply getting to know what their core values are and if they align with yours.  The person should truly be your best friend and communication should flow freely and often between you. I think you need to be partners and equals in the relationship sharing everything from duties to dollars, while still maintaining your own identity.  There will be tough times and changes along the way, but it is how you handle these circumstances that make all of the difference.

So 24 years have flown by and it truly feels like just yesterday that we were dancing at our wedding. And if I close my eyes and press the knob on my jewelry box, I can hear our song play and see us beautifully executing the dance steps we learned at Arthur Murray. Two Procter managers with MBAs and a dream.....

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011-2012

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

East of Eden, South of Despair

Have been reading your blog lately
You claim to speak from the universal voice,
but it seems to me that you are battling personal demons
in your words
All this talk of rain and burning embers and
Sounds like you are dealing with loss
Loss of love
Loss of the guidance that never was
Loss of the dream
So drummer boy, keep writing
Keep waiting, but
never stop dreaming
because the truth shall set you free....

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Snow Globes

Snow globes, like life, capture moments
Caught within the windows of time
Our minds remember the reels of yesterday,
But in the absence of fresher moments
We extend our understanding to be commensurate
With the present
Unfortunately, reality plays a cruel hand
And often what we experience in the present has
No resemblance to what was held in the past.

You had so much promise
Truly a mover and a shaker off to live a larger life
Than the rest of us
Something happened along the way
That I am not privy to
Something flawed and tragic and life-changing
Because you are no longer the same person
Yes, there are shadows of your former self,
Slivers actually, that poke through this “new” persona
But they slide across your countenance in a pattern
That leaves me confused and wondering if you are in
Full command of your faculties
Do you truly know who you are?

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Unveiling the Secret Life

Today is the day that I embark on a personal journey. I feel a sense of trepidation as I picture the window of my anonymity being rolled down further than the child safety seat of my comfort zone normally allows. At this stage in the journey, why hold back? More than 1/2 my life has already been written.....
Join me on my journey to the Secret Life of an American Female Entrepreneur:

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Journey With Me

Getting ready to embark upon a journey with mixed emotions. An inner voice is telling me that the time is right to share some wisdom (perhaps due to my impending birthday??) and the vehicle to do this is via Vlog (video blog) on Vimeo or YouTube. Being the uber brand evangelist that I am, I will create a new channel for this softer, personal side of me; a separate slice from my C3 life.

Yes, I still compartmentalize and that is the irony that runs through my life: Social Media Professional who operates at the nth level of privacy. I suppose the bigger issue will be whether anyone even "tunes in".....

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Heart & Soul

"We could have had it all
You had my heart and soul……"

Love these heart-felt lyrics by Adele.

Makes me wonder what the story is behind her words. When I reflect upon them it makes me think back to my life, especially as I enter the second half of the journey. I have written many, many times about my belief in destiny and the idea that things/events/people happen for a reason. Yes, I believe in free will extending a hand and altering the plan that has been pre-designed, but the path has been carved out long ago.

I believe that I exist today as a sum of my experiences, my joys, my disappointments and the many loves and friendships that have touched my life. Would I ever say to the one who would have been, “We could have had it all...”  Nope. Because that path would have led to a person who is other than me today. If there is one thing that I do perhaps suffer from, it is too much self esteem. I love who I am, how I’ve lived and the choices that I have made. There is nothing that was within my control that I would have changed.   

Now about that situation that was out of my hands……

“But you played it,
You played it,
You played it,
You played it to the beat…”.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Roads Diverged.....

You "get" me
Very few people do
Complex thought processes coupled with a
Dichotomous outlook
Result in a conundrum that few understand
Glad our friendship has endured decades 
And come full circle

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunset in Key West

And so the dance begins
You quench my thirst and I enlighten your lost possibilities
A bit of antique art glass and a pair of Steve Maddens
Purple haze of Karma reconfirms our destiny
You purely slay me with your humor
and touch my core with your concern
Not going to lose you again....

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Solstice Encounter

Came upon a piece of me that has been buried
That’s why it feels like a story, like a slice of someone else’s life
I know the pain is there because I can only read so much
Of the long ago journal before having to close the well-worn cover
It’s a story that is buried so deep
That it feels like I’m reading a novel or a bio of another’s life
Young, intense, competitive love
Forming each of us into adulthood
Soul click
Heart break-  no…..

Living a fa├žade for the masses
Led to an end to us as you left for self-discovery
Escaping the conservative confines of our city
Searching for a progressive place that would allow you
To explore the stirrings in your own soul
A chance to answer the question that had been pulling at you
Like demons in the night

Buried pain, picking up the shattered pieces
Wondering if I could go on without you
Intelligent, Motivated, Driven,
Intensely Competitive, Sophisticated, Narcissistic-
You were my male twin and even our hearts beat in sync
Later, as with all deep heart-wrenching pain,
I went on with my life
Using yours as the yard stick
by which all future relationships were measured

Years rolled by and became decades
I found you once again within the pages of
A college photo album
Pictures curling as the adhesive aged
Hand-in-hand together at Coney’s Moonlight Gardens,
Nominated for Homecoming King & Queen
An irony like no other….

Searched for you online only to be met with resounding silence
You were nowhere to be found
And I feared that you no longer walked the earth
How unbelievable when the universe shifted recently and a
Tear in the cosmos allowed me to find you again
So many years have passed, yet it feels like yesterday
Only different…..

What an unexpected gift and blessing from the universe….remember, after all these years, we have plenty of time! Love ya, Michelle.”    ~Todd

And yes, Todd. Time is the one thing we do have……

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

So This Is My Life- No Regrets

Erin Schreyer, President of Sagestone Partners asked me to write a bio highlighting my career, current position and volunteer work for a panel I will be participating in soon. Thought I would house it here in case there are Friends that don't know my story. For the record, I consider my greatest achievements to be the care, nurturing and education of my two children. I walked away from an incredible career building world-class household brands with Procter & Gamble in order to focus on my own home-grown brands, and I'm happy to say I don't regret a single minute of my decision. The kids are doing well and my path led me to C3- which I absolutely am passionate about!

So here you go:

Career History for Strengths & Sisterhood Panel


Michelle Beckham-Corbin, Owner & Principal of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC, a social media marketing strategy firm.

Michelle began her career as a Sales Representative in the Health & Personal Care Division of Procter & Gamble after graduating from Xavier University and rose through various Customer Business Development & Marketing management positions during her 15 year career with P&G. Along the way, she acquired an MBA in Management. Michelle later left P&G to devote more time to her two young children and to offer her organizational & training talents to family- based non-profit, Beech Acres Parenting Center, as a Contract Facilitator & Trainer for several long-running programs.

After several years, she returned to the business world working for a local marketing firm and became fascinated by the early world of Social Media. As she built up her knowledge base of digital media, she was sought after by many companies for her expertise. Her husband encouraged her to hang her own shingle and C3 was officially born in early 2009. Today she works with corporate clients, non-profits and start-ups consulting, coaching, training and speaking on all things social media.

Outside of running her company, and keeping tabs on her two high school children’s activities, Michelle is an active volunteer in the community. She is a former Girl Scout Leader, PTO Board Secretary, Parish Council Member and Lector for her Church. Michelle is a Board Trustee for the non-profit group Authentic Leadership Cincinnati and is on the Board of the IHM Job Search Ministry Group where she shares her knowledge of Web 2.0 job search strategies and social media promotion with those in transition. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the digital networking group, New Media Cincinnati and is the host of AC-TV talk show, Trustee Talk, on Warner Cable. Michelle is a frequent speaker, lecturer and trainer. Additionally, she is a published writer, co-author of Social Media book, Age of Conversation 3 (Channel V Books, New York, 2010), frequent commenter and Blogger.

She brings great energy and passion as well as a keen ability to deeply connect with people in order to create business building social media opportunities for her clients.

~So there you have it. Not the Bio that my clients usually see. This is the back story......

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Driving My Passion With Virtual Grenades

I'd catch a grenade for love
Throw my hand on a blade for love
I'd jump in front of a train for love
You know I'd do anything for love
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you....

Bruno Mars sings these heartfelt lyrics in his fast rhythm song, Grenade. I love the beat; it has a pulsing tempo that just begs to pull your body into movement. However, if you listen closely, the lyrics will break your heart. When I take in his words, they makes me wonder about the things in my life that I would ascribe these same intense sentiments.

What are the passions that drive me to succeed and for which I would lay down everything. For me the number one answer would be relationships. I value the connections that I have with people. I am a deep, analytical soul and when I meet someone, I want to know everything about them.

Secondly I am passionate about self-actualization. I aspire to be the best possible version of me that can exist at this time and in this space. I love to make a difference in people's lives that will help them achieve their goals.

Lastly, I am passionate about leaving a legacy. I want to leave this earth having created pieces of myself that are left to lodge and grow and influence future generations. I don't want to disappear into the ether, but to have some tangible proof that I walked this earth and left it in a better state of being somehow.

So what do my ramblings have to do with unrequited love as it is described in Bruno's song. Well not much, but words and lyrics inspire me and cause me to reach deeper into my own psyche for parallel meanings.

What things in your life would you take a virtual grenade for?

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2011