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Synergy Business Connections Team - Conejo Valley Chamber Mixpo Event - 2018

Synergy Business Connections | Passionate People with Personality

My mother was a Southern lady from Virginia who taught me how a lady should act and the value of who I am.  She modeled integrity, faithfulness and love, and I learned so much from her.

10 Things I learned from my mother

  1. Always be on time or a little early – arriving late shows disrespect for others’ time
  2. Sing when you’re sad – it’s hard to be focused on your problems when you’re singing
  3. Make up your bed every morning – it sets a good habit of putting everything where it belongs before your whole world is out of order
  4. Give money when the offering plate is passed and share with anyone in need – generosity is the antidote to greed
  5. Wake up early for quiet time – once the day starts, it’s hard to carve out the most important part of the day
  6. It’s nicer to smell a rose than a garbage pile – fill you mind and thoughts with good rather than bad
  7. Don’t “sit on your manners” – always say please and thank you and let others go through the door first
  8. Wear lipstick when you go to the grocery store – it’s not hard to look your best…always
  9. Know the story of Great Grandma’s hutch – your family and past generations are who you are and connect you to history
  10. Love God with all your heart and show that love to everyone else

These are great standards to live by, and I see my mother clearly when I read them. But they also inspire me to think what I want to pass along to my children.  So here goes…

10 Things I hope my children learn from me

  1. Laugh at yourself – you are not perfect and that’s OK (everyone else already knows that about you)
  2. Eat breakfast together – family time is sweet and more precious than we realize
  3. Treat others with respect and kindness – this includes your spouse
  4. Always share with others less fortunate – even when we feel poor, we are 99% richer than the rest of the world
  5. Happiness is a choice – let go of hate and anger because they are more poisonous to you than to their target
  6. Put things away after you use them – it’s easier to keep chaos away before it overwhelms you
  7. Wake up early to be quiet and give space to hear God speaking – it is worth silencing our “mind chatter”
  8. Control is an illusion – we are not as in control of life as we think so trust God with each day and the future
  9. Look for the good in people – we are all made in the image of God and it is special to get a glimpse of his face in others
  10. Love God with all your heart and show that love to everyone else

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

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  • 5 May 2018
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When I got my first computer in 1987, I was told it could simplify and speed up the mundane activities of my life – I would have more time to dream and paint and commune with nature.  Today, the reality is that I don’t have more free time – my schedule is usually consumed by that technology.   With emails, work deadlines, Facebook, Instagram et al. I am tempted to react and respond to the world without getting outside and moving.

This Sunday, April 22nd, is Earth Day, a day set apart in 1970 to honor the earth and the concept of peace.  I’ve been thinking about my personal peace and the consequences of sitting with the computer against the benefits of being in nature and interacting with art. At first, the relationship between nature and art appears nice but not necessarily close; in reality, they are very similar.  Studies show that spending time outside in nature can change people from being depressed, angry, fearful, stressed or anxious to a more calm and balanced feeling, lowering blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.  When we concentrate on a flower, a bee or a breath-taking sunset, we can’t focus as much on pain allowing instead for increased creativity and connections with other people.

But what about art?  By “viewing” art our physical bodies can be improved in lower cortisol stress levels just as they are with nature.  But “doing” art is even more beneficial as it also increases brain activity.  Studies show that in older adults, participation in art builds connections in the brain which help prevent memory loss.  Concentrating on anything artistic can clear your mind of negative thoughts, helping you to focus on the moment, relaxing the body and brain.  Many times, a painter will say to me that they can’t believe how relaxing painting is and their concentration and focus shuts out other concerns.  But if your art doesn’t compare to Van Gogh, the good news is that Harvard Medical School found it doesn’t matter what your artwork looks like, it’s the process not the product that matters!

Earth Day is a terrific reminder of the need to get away from the computer and take a hike, paint a picture, stroll along the beach or go to a museum.  My vote is to invite some friends over and have a painting party…Blank Canvas knows just how to inject some creativity into your event.

Footnotes:

  1. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 834360, 7 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/834360
  2. The benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition, Gregory N.Bratman, Gretchen C.Daily, Benjamin J.Levy, James J.Gross, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.005
  3. Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings, Ruth Ann Atchley, David L. Strayer, and Paul Atchley , Jan de Fockert, Editor, PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e51474.
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  • 18 April 2018
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Art is a risky hobby.  There it is. It’s true.

As soon as you start to paint or draw or sculpt or sing, someone is going to make a comment on what they think of it.  If it’s a positive compliment, you feel justified as a person; if it’s negative, they have just put a dagger through your soul.  It’s hard to be creative and be objective and secure because if you do art with openness and feeling, it is a mirror to who you are.

For me, art can be just a painting that I think is pretty.  But if I really am honest with my feelings and paint something that reflects my inner conviction or growth, that painting can be like exposing my innermost thoughts, feelings or motivations to the world.  It feels dangerous and risky; I am vulnerable.   So what should I do?  Not paint? Not try art? Ignore any creativity?

No!  Not trying anything creative is like shutting the door on a universe of excitement and discovery. We all have feelings and emotions we’re not even aware of and occasionally, art can be that window that opens your real self to you.

Art can be a great time of fun.  But sometimes it can surprise you with YOU.

Art is a risky thing.  Go for it!

Go to www.paintblankcanvas.com and dare to meet yourself in art.

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  • 21 March 2018
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I love color.

I love putting colors next to each other to see whether I get a feeling of peace and harmony or a rush of excitement.  (I know that sounds silly but there it is.)  Turquoise with blue or turquoise with rusty orange – each pairing will play with your head in a different way.

Every year Pantone Color Institute chooses a color of the year.  Ultra Violet 18-3838 is the darling of 2018.  Purple and violet are made by mixing the stability of blue and the energy of red, and whereas purple is closer to red, violet is closer to blue.  Neither are very common in nature but when they are they can be used as a focal point or a calming background.  Purple and violet are most often associated with royalty, wisdom, mystery and spirituality.  According to surveys, 75% of pre-adolescent children prefer purple over other colors; adults either love it or hate it.  The bluer tones in violet have a calming, peaceful affect, putting me in a thoughtful frame of mind.   It’s the color of California mountains at sunset, warm and dusty grapes, hydrangeas and lavender, sapphires and amethysts.  When I give purple paint to people who have never painted before, many of them will paint the backgrounds and mention how calming painting is…I agree but I think the color has something to do with the feelings.

This year be a little daring and experiment with violet, whether at paint night or wearing a new shirt.  See if you feel royal and wise or thoughtful and mysterious.  Introduce this year’s color to your friends by booking a mobile paint party with Blank Canvas.  The painting I’ve attached is one I did last year to bring a little calm into my schedule.  I call it Peace (notice the violets and blues).

Happy coloring!

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  • 5 March 2018
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Welcome to February…Heart month. Valentines, red roses, sentimental cards. But face it, in real everyday life, we still deal with deadlines, traffic, incessant noise and expectations that we’re “not enough”. Stress. And stress literally hurts your heart. Harvard Women’s Health Watch (2013) said that there’s a “real connection between stress and heart disease” which can trigger inflammation, a known cause of heart disease.

There are several ways to lower stress: exercise, a positive attitude, and engagement in creative activities. The American Journal of Public Health (2010, Feb. p. 254-263) found overwhelming evidence that visual arts greatly reduced stress and improved mood in patients with chronic diseases. For a long time, art as therapy has been used to enable a person’s thoughts and feelings to be expressed in a safe way when words aren’t enough. Art uses the right brain where emotions live; it provides a distraction from usual thoughts helping a person to concentrate on details and making it possible to feel a sense of mediation. Doing art can help decrease anxiety, stress and depression while increasing self-awareness and self-esteem. Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

So enjoy a healthy February Heart Month with a little art. Contact Blank Canvas to schedule a painting party with your friends so you can experience the freedom and fun creativity can provide. Happy February!

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  • 1 February 2018
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We were all born to be creative; learning to walk and communicate with others, experimenting and interacting with our environment is essentially being creative.  Art is the arrangement and rearrangement of our environment.  Music, painting, dance, sculpture, decorating, and gardening are all examples of art and creativity.  But what makes us shy away from this exploration?

When I lead children in painting a picture, the younger ones have no hesitation in shoveling the paint on the canvas and take delight in mixing all the colors together.  By the age of seven, students begin to ask, “Is this right?  Am I doing a good job?  Show me how to do it.”  I believe they have accepted and are living the fear that they might fail.  And as a person becomes an adult, he or she is still hampered by the thought of failing.  Many have bought into the lie that art is a reflection of their self-worth and are afraid to risk looking stupid or inadequate.  But once a person can push through that to paint or dance or sing, he or she will feel the freedom and excitement of creativity.  A creative person will try new things-experiment in finding new ways around problems-be surprised by what emerges.  Life can get exciting.

We can survive in a world without art and only being surrounded by the essentials for existence.  But art goes past our basic needs: it brings joy and this alone elevates it into the fundamental category of Life.  Art creates an atmosphere of joyful living.  The art we surround ourselves with-painting, sculpture, music, videos- impacts our outlook, mood, motivation and energy levels.  Art can be found and explored everywhere and is an essential element to life.  Art gives color to life.  Go out and create!

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  • 9 January 2018
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You’ll need seven acrylic paint colors: yellow, green, orange, white, blue, purple, black

 

 

 

  1. With a horizontal canvas and small brush paint one large tree trunk on the right side and two tree trunks on the left side. Add three skinnier trees on left and two on right.
  2. Find the center point on left side of canvas and paint the horizon line about three finger widths above it. Sketch in mountains above horizon, varying heights from one inch to almost three inches.  For sky, paint white and add blue to blend.  Let dry.
  3. Paint mountains blue mixed with purple and a little white.
  4. Below horizon in a four-inch band, paint white near the mountains and add yellow, gradually just painting yellow and then yellow with a little orange.
  5. Start adding green to blend with lower edge of yellow and then paint green all the way down to the bottom of the canvas.
  6. When sky is dry, add white clouds through center of sky.
  7. When ground is dry, paint over yellow section with dabbing brush strokes with yellow, then white and then a little yellow mixed with orange near the green area to look like trees in the distance. Then dab yellow/orange in green in to look like trees/bushes. 
  8. Paint trees with blue/purple/white to make light bluish tree trunks. Add darker blue/purple/white on lower third of trunks in horizontal strokes to look like bark.  Add darker color on left side of trees for shadows and with black/white/blue add birch lines. 
  9. With small brush add a few dark gray saplings.
  10. Outline parts of trees with dark bluish gray and a few areas of white on right side of some of the trees.
  11. Paint a rock with black at lower left side of canvas in front of smaller trees and behind large tree. Add darker gray/blue to top of rock for highlights.
  12. Paint edges of canvas and sign your name.

 

See how fun and easy painting is?  Just take a step by step approach and add layers as you go.  You’ll be surprised how good your painting is!

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  • 6 September 2017
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GravestonesSeveral years ago I decided what I wanted on my grave stone:

“She laughed a lot and looked for the fingerprint of God in everything.”

When I was young I remember getting prickles on my palms as I walked down our driveway past the pink flowering peach trees, or curling up beside my collie, Skye and feeling her warm fur, or pretending to be a horse galloping through the fields.  In college I loved walking under the falling yellow and red maple leaves and feeling the chilly air.

But there are also times when I don’t experience the awe and I just move through the days.  Schedules, duties and To-Do lists have a way of making little joys get fuzzy.  When I’m too full of myself, I become the focus of my attention and life becomes dull.

I can’t believe this is what God wants for me.  Brennan Manning in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, says that God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.  I want that with all my heart; I want to recognize Him in a smile as much as in a rainbow! I want to be amazed by little things: to come to tears at a word of kindness, to catch my breath at a rose bud, to feel the surprise of a painting that turns out more than I expected.  I want to experience God’s presence every day in a hundred ways.

Well I’m not dead yet but I’ve been thinking about adding a little something to the epitaph.  How about this?

“She laughed a lot, looked for the fingerprint of God in everything, and was amazed with everything He touched!”

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  • 29 November 2016
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There are three types of beach walkers: those who walk looking down, those who walk towards the horizon and those who walk talking on the cell phone.

When I’m on vacation in Maui I enjoy walking on the beach and watching the people.  Those who stroll, searching the sand and rocks are alert for treasure.  On one walk, I stopped a lady and asked what she was looking for.  “Beach glass”, she said smiling, and opened her fist to show eight pieces of smooth, colored glass bits.  Treasure.  She turned, moved a piece of broken coral with her toe, bent down and picked up another gem.

Other people pass me with their eyes on the horizon.  They’re looking for fish jumping, turtle heads peaking up or dolphins.  Treasure.

But the walkers I don’t understand are those with cell phones to their ears who step over the waves and walk around the children playing in the sand.  They are far away and oblivious.  For them, there is no breeze, cool water, special shell or even hot sand.  There is only the distraction of somewhere else.

One of the things I’m trying to cultivate as an artist is awareness of everything around me.  Too often I focus on my destination and am blind to details: beauty, light, excitement, joy and discovery. I want to experience life as a treasure: bird calls, a kind word, the juxtaposition of lime green against purple, vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce.  Art does that for me…it makes me slow down, focus, create. Putting paint on canvas, being surprised by my creation, touching beauty.  I want to walk through each day with purpose, being aware of the colored bits of life.  Treasure.

What kind of walker are you? What do you see and what excites you today?  Have you experienced art in a way that gives you rest or helps you connect with another?  Treasure!

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  • 19 October 2016
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We have a three car garage and can’t fit in one car.  The freezer, lawn mower, furniture that needs to be sold, power washer and woodworking area have expanded to crowd out any hope of parking my car.  It’s full.

When my aunt died and the family needed to sell her house, we went into her garage and discovered one narrow path from door to freezer with boxes stacked everywhere else from floor to ceiling.  It was full.

Sometimes one of my art students stops attending classes because their days are filled with school, dance, soccer, baseball, karate or swimming lessons.  Their schedules are full.

Several years ago when a person was alone and talking out loud, they were considered crazy.  Now they are merely talking on their cell and when they hang up, Pandora is their companion.  Their ears are full.

I’m not saying any of these things are bad, it’s just that our lives are full to overflowing with items we don’t need; noise that keeps us from thinking; our identities are defined by how busy we are.  We have so many responsibilities, so many things, so many opportunities and so many activities we don’t have room for knowing ourselves or knowing God.  How do we make room to reflect or make space to even think?

The first step is to really want to make room, to see the need to create quiet space.  The second step is to delete something in order to make room for retreat, reflection and restoration.  The third is to be intentional and take time to look for beauty and kindness.  Because our lives are so full of calendars and belongings, we have to let go of something to reserve space for anything new.  Peace doesn’t push its way in and renewal won’t be squeezed into a time slot.  Cutting back on TV, or shopping, or sleep to create time for quiet reflection might be one solution.  Slowing down to observe life’s details can bring a sense of calmness and peace. Studying a painting or creating art can re-align priorities.

I suppose the question needs to be answered, “Do I want to know my purpose, do I long for fulfillment and can I live without inner peace?”  What am I willing to let go to make room?  Tell me how you de-clutter and center down…I really want to know.

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  • 3 October 2016
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05/10/2018 - Spark - Ignite Your Business


Spark brings together business professionals in a friendly, no-pressure setting. Each meeting features a guest speaker, open discussions and a format that promotes getting to know one another on a personal level. Group leader, Joe Joyce, believes that if "you build a relationship, business will naturally follow."

Join Spark for this May 10 membership drive event with guest speaker, Jon Light of Light Gabler, who will be discussing "Sex Harassment in the Workplace".  Bagels, muffins and coffee will be served.

Jon Light has over 30 years of employment law experience and has been named multiple times as one of Southern California’s “SuperLawyers” by Los Angeles Magazine. Jon and his LightGabler team consult with and represent over 1500 companies throughout California regarding their employment law needs. LightGabler is focused on keeping your business working, growing and prospering.


Please register at the link above to reserve your seat! 

*First meeting is FREE to attend. Non-Chamber members are also welcome to attend and observe one complimentary SPARK meeting.  For more information, please contact group leader, Joe Joyce at (805) 338-2223.


 
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5/5/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
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The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

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5/12/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
91031

The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

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5/19/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
91031

The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

Read more
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5/26/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
91031

The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

Read more
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6/2/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
91031

The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

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6/7/2018 9:45 AM
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Synergy Business Connections Networking Group Meeting - First Thursday

Join us for the first meeting of the month. Please try to arrive by 9:45am for a prompt start at 10:00am.

The Conference Room at the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, 600 Hampshire Road, Suite #200, Westlake Village, CA 91361

Join Us / Register

Location: Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce

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6/9/2018 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
91031

The Burt Williamson Show: New Radio Program on Money Matters

Introducing The Burt Williamson Show

The new show will cover important matters that affect the financial lives of business owners, baby boomers, and their families. Oh, it’s presented in plain English, too.

Hear ways you can become a better steward of your finances and have less financial stress, so you can focus on the other things that are really important in your life.

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The full service hair salon BLO is for sale in Newbury Park in a busy retail center. This property has great potential! It’s an upscale hair salon located in a high traffic area that’s right off the 101 freeway. This sale is a turnkey deal that will include established clientele as well as stylists ready to transition right into your new business.

Also includes:

  • Modern décor with all fixtures custom built
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  • A reception desk
  • 6-7 hair stations, 1 makeup station, a color processing area with two seats, 2 shampoo bowls, and a dispensary with a full washer and dryer
  • The inventory is included in the asking price

This is a great opportunity for buyers. The property is 900 sf and has a private office that can be used as additional storage. The salon includes a retail display, a camera system throughout the premises for security, lots of free parking and more. This space is conveniently located in a newly renovated shopping center with no major competition in the immediate area! This is a truly great buying opportunity in Newbury Park. Click here for more details on the property!

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10 Things I learned from my mother

My mother was a Southern lady from Virginia who taught me how a lady should act and the value of who I am.  She modeled integrity, faithfulness and love, and I learned so much from her.

10 Things I learned from my mother

  1. Always be on time or a little early – arriving late shows disrespect for others’ time
  2. Sing when you’re sad – it’s hard to be focused on your problems when you’re singing
  3. Make up your bed every morning – it sets a good habit of putting everything where it belongs before your whole world is out of order
  4. Give money when the offering plate is passed and share with anyone in need – generosity is the antidote to greed
  5. Wake up early for quiet time – once the day starts, it’s hard to carve out the most important part of the day
  6. It’s nicer to smell a rose than a garbage pile – fill you mind and thoughts with good rather than bad
  7. Don’t “sit on your manners” – always say please and thank you and let others go through the door first
  8. Wear lipstick when you go to the grocery store – it’s not hard to look your best…always
  9. Know the story of Great Grandma’s hutch – your family and past generations are who you are and connect you to history
  10. Love God with all your heart and show that love to everyone else

These are great standards to live by, and I see my mother clearly when I read them. But they also inspire me to think what I want to pass along to my children.  So here goes…

10 Things I hope my children learn from me

  1. Laugh at yourself – you are not perfect and that’s OK (everyone else already knows that about you)
  2. Eat breakfast together – family time is sweet and more precious than we realize
  3. Treat others with respect and kindness – this includes your spouse
  4. Always share with others less fortunate – even when we feel poor, we are 99% richer than the rest of the world
  5. Happiness is a choice – let go of hate and anger because they are more poisonous to you than to their target
  6. Put things away after you use them – it’s easier to keep chaos away before it overwhelms you
  7. Wake up early to be quiet and give space to hear God speaking – it is worth silencing our “mind chatter”
  8. Control is an illusion – we are not as in control of life as we think so trust God with each day and the future
  9. Look for the good in people – we are all made in the image of God and it is special to get a glimpse of his face in others
  10. Love God with all your heart and show that love to everyone else

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

How to Create / Update your Team Member Profile

Are you a member of Synergy Business Connections but don't have your company information on the website? Are you not a member yet, but are thinking of joining and want to know how you and your business will be featured? Learn how easy it is to get your profile on the site...

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  • 15 September 2016
  • Number of views: 1114

Synergy Business Connections

Please read more about the rules and guidelines for our group.  

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  • 7 April 2015
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Some messages from our group...

What makes the Conejo Valley special, unique or interesting?

I like to call Thousand Oaks "the biggest little town in the country." Even though its size is well over 100,000 residents, it still has a small town feel. You are liable to see someone you know every time you go out. I also like the fact that it has protected itself from the blight that has ruined so many other communities in Southern California by restricting things such as billboards, building structure and height, paid parking lots, and corner strip malls. 

— Cary Ginell - VC On Stage