Cheryl's Blog

Week 31 – A lesson in achieving success from an unlikely teacher.


For those of you who are local to the Newburyport, MA area, I wanted to let you know that Michael will be doing a fundraiser for the Actor’s StudioIt’s called “Intuitive Readings with Michael” and all proceeds will go to support this wonderful organization that provides theatrical programs for adults and kids.  Tickets are limited to 50 people and you can get them here

I’m live on the radio on Monday (7/28) at 5pm ET/2pm PT and I’ll be taking your calls at (866) 254-1579.  You can listen at

Have a great week!



p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.


I wrote the following blog ten years ago and when I read it this morning, I laughed at the memory (I remember this squirrel well!).

I also realized it was a message I needed to hear today.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get close to completing a project or achieving a goal, and run out of steam just before the finish line. It might be that I lose energy or interest, or because I start to question my decision.

I’m dealing with this right now.  As I get ready to publish my next book – an intimate journal about life as a creative woman, I’m watching myself drag my feet on the final edits.  Old, familiar voices are challenging me to give up the project by saying things like…

Who do you think you are? (The classic question that’s always first in line smiley2#x1F600;)

A journal is a foolish idea – no one does that anymore.

You’re crazy to share that much detail.

Trust me, you’ll regret this.  Do something else instead. 

No one wants to read about your life.

Sneaky little voices.

So, when I read this story about the squirrel (and watched the video posted below), I found a second wind.

I hope you do, too!

A lesson in achieving success

from an unlikely teacher.

Outside my office window I have two bird feeders that attract all kinds of birds. One is designed for small birds like yellow finches and wrens, and the other is for larger birds like cardinals and blue jays.

The feeders also attract squirrels.

In the past, before I discovered squirrel-proof cages, I had an interesting time trying to keep them from cleaning us out of birdseed.

The first time I saw a squirrel climb the pole to the feeder and eat to its heart’s content, I knocked on the window to scare him away, only to find him back two minutes later having a feast. Then, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant solution. I greased the bird feeder pole with olive oil and the next time a squirrel tried to climb the pole, I smiled as he gently slid to the ground.  After three or four attempts, he scampered away, but of course, came back with a vengeance and quickly figured out how to climb the pole!

Squirrels are very persistent little creatures. They do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. When I finally discovered squirrel-proof cages, I was sure this new device would do the trick.  And it did for a couple of weeks.

Time and again I’d watch the squirrel climb up to the feeder, try every which way to get at the food, and when he couldn’t succeed, run off to a new yard.

Then, one morning, as I sat in my office watching the birds, a squirrel ran to the pole, climbed to the top of the protected feeder, hung upside down above it, and gingerly shook the feeder until birdseed fell to the ground. Once he served himself enough food, he ran back down the pole and sat below the feeder to enjoy his meal. That’s when I decided that if he was that persistent (and clever), he deserved the darn food!

There are times in life when we set our sights on something that’s deeply important to our soul. Yet, when we hit a roadblock (like the sneaky, little voices), we make a premature decision to give up rather than stick with the plan.

That day, while watching the clever, little squirrel, I learned an important lesson – if I knew that a goal was right, I needed to hang in there.


Since writing that blog long ago, I know that one of the most effective ways to stay persistent is to reach out to others for support.  When I’ve known in my heart that I’m making the right choice (like finishing this journal, for example) and I get stuck or scared, I know it’s time to find someone who can hold the space for my fearful thoughts to be released.

We humans need each other.

So, today I’m using a little “squirrel magic” to get back to editing.

What will you use it for?

This Week’s Video

Okay, this is what persistence looks like – be sure to watch this video all the way to the end!  You can find it here.

Life Makeover For The Year 2014 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please

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