As a coach, I help you let go of the past and focus on the present so you can build an incredible future.
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During the holiday season, let us remember that the greatest gifts of all are friends and family. During the bustle of shopping, preparing, and entertaining, let us remember to share love with those who mean the most to us. And with the poet Kelly Roper, let us remember the true meaning of those Christmas presents we place beneath the tree.
“My Christmas Gift to You:”
My gift to you this Christmas
Comes tied with a pretty bow.
It's not important what's inside the box,
I just love you and wanted you to know.
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and joyful holiday season!
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Appreciation—a concept so important to our culture that it has its own holiday. Thanksgiving is a time when we share our gratitude and appreciation. But what does it really mean? We glibly say thanks to one another around the dinner table. We tell our children to remember to say thank you. Is that really showing appreciation? Just what is appreciation?
Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Like a good compliment, appreciation is not considered meaningful unless it is heartful and describes what a person has done well. Expressions of appreciation warm our hearts and give us incentive to continue. It is not only good to be grateful, it is beneficial to express our gratitude in meaningful ways. If a good compliment can sustain us for two months, just think how far meaningful expressions of gratitude can take us!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. If you care to share experiences of being lifted up by another’s gratitude, I would love to hear how they helped you and gave you strength. Perhaps sharing will inspire us all to expand our own expressions of gratitude.
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Recent events have led me to more fully embrace the importance of staying in the present. Living in the moment means no longer worrying about what happened in the past and not fearing what will happen in the future. Therefore, this month, I would like to share the following poem by Vanessa Hughes.
Living in the Now by Vanessa Hughes
What’s gone has made you what you are
So don’t fear what’s ahead
Put trust in what will be, will be
And choose to live instead
Don’t live in the now worrying
What may or may not be
Take this moment in your time
And live it totally
There’s no time like the present
Breathe deep and feel alive
Living in the here and now
Will help you rise and thrive
Now is all there ever is
It’s the only time that’s real
Let the future take its course
And leave the past to heal
Living in the now is more difficult than it sounds. Please share any tips you have for “Living in the Now." I'd love to hear from you!
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The fall season is just around the corner, when leaves change color, and a little nip is in the air. Seasons mark our lives, bringing new opportunities and closing others. In beautiful poetry, Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of two such seasons: a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones together. What season are you in?
Is it a time to mourn or a time to dance? Is it a time to throw stones or a time to gather stones together? Is it time to change and prepare for a new period in your life? Have you become an empty nester? Do you have time now to explore your needs and heart’s desires? Does your life feel stale? Is it time to explore a new hobby or career? Thinking of change can be daunting. How do you take the first step?
If you want to create a New Dance for your life but are finding it difficult to step out of your comfort zone, I can help you create the steps to take you where you want to go. Just click the text below.
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It’s eerie how our lives echo Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” During the height of the pandemic, many revealed in the time they were able to spend with family and the opportunity to work from home. Others, meanwhile, felt confined and anxious for things to return to normal. As a result, a general malaise settled on them, as if they were suspended in time and frozen in place. Would it be possible to move forward again?
As we slowly exit the pandemic, the media bombards us with stories about “the Great Resignation,” inflation, even a possible recession. Workspaces look different. Is it safe to return to the office? Some like working remotely, but employers may want staff to commute. Remote and hybrid work schedules are options. Is it time to try a different path? Do I stay in my job or leave? Would it be possible to expand my role and use new skills in my current job? If I leave, would other employers want my experience and skills? Is it time to start that business I have always dreamed about? Facing these decisions can be paralyzing. It takes courage and vulnerability to make changes.
If you are feeling frozen in place and vulnerable, I can help you work through that vulnerability, find clarity and focus, and then move courageously into a life of your choosing. Just click the text below. As Lao Tsu understood: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
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Over the last few months, I have had a period of physical struggles. I heard myself saying “I’m fine” when I obviously wasn’t. It reminded me of the following reflection I wrote in 2020. Fortunately, I have a coach who supported me and helped me to recognize, AGAIN, that it's okay to not be fine and to share that feeling with others.
You And I Are Feeling Fine…. Are We?
Is it possible that we don’t want to admit this is a really painful and hard experience?
During a recent conversation, I heard: “I’m not really doing okay, but everybody else says they’re fine.” I took a deep breath and realized I had said that exact thing to him earlier in the conversation. Truthfully, I wasn’t doing fine either. After I admitted that, we had an authentic conversation around our challenges. Why is it so hard for us to say, “I’m not doing well,” during this pandemic? Many of us are in pain. Many more are lonely and scared. Even more of us are depressed. Why is it so hard to be honest with each other?
Each day I read articles and watch television segments on the wonderful things people are doing, how we are really connecting while sheltering in place. Some describe how they are connecting by calling someone each day, which of course is a nice thing to do. I also reached out to people I haven’t talked to in a long time. While these people were happy to know that I had thought of them, the conversation never left the surface. When I tried to talk about the pain of this pandemic experience, it often made them uncomfortable.
I recently read an article on toxic positivity. Natalie Dattilo, a clinical psychologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says too much positivity is toxic. Well intentioned comments like “It will be fine” or “It could be worse” can be damaging as they stigmatize acknowledging the depth of our pain and struggles.
I am usually a positive person. In fact, positivity is one of my top ten strengths according to Gallup’s Strength Finder assessment. But I have found it increasingly difficult to keep my spirits up in a landscape where honest discussions of pain are almost nonexistent. Finding and maintaining emotional health during this pandemic will require us to find ways to move beyond superficiality and stock responses of “I’m fine” when we are clearly not. God knows we are not fine. Maybe it’s okay if others do too.
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Recently, I have been thinking about and cherishing those who are dear to me. Those special people who are always there. This poem reflects what I believe to be true and ends with one of life’s ultimate truths.
You Can't Be Everyone's Cup of Tea
There will always be someone in this life who just doesn’t like you, no matter how hard you try to please them.
There will always be something that you say, or do, which causes offence or division. Whether you meant to or not.
There will always be someone who finds fault in you, your life or your words.
You may never find out why.
Please don’t waste your precious time trying to.
You can not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Then there will be those who like you on impact. A little fizz of energy that passes between you. Silently, unseen, bonding.
Those people will not only like you but they will like you fiercely. They are your people. Whatever spare time you have, spend it on them.
You can not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can be someone’s first sip of a cold drink on a sunny day…
Or a warming hot chocolate when you come in from the rain…
Or the pop of a long awaited champagne cork…
Or a stiff shot of tequila when things go awry…
Find your people, love them hard.
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Reflecting on Mother’s Day, I am struck by the wisdom and advice of the mother-figures in our lives. Some of it is truly wise and important, some hysterically funny, some head-scratchingly odd. Although my mother is no longer with me, I’d like to share some of the things she shared with me in the hopes you’ll find the same joy and wisdom I’ve been blessed with . . . as well as what she might have added.
To honor the mother-figures in your life, I’d love to hear the wise and/or humorous sayings from those who acted as mothers for you.
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“You can’t change who you are, but you can change what you have in your head, you can refresh what you’re thinking about, you can put some fresh air in your brain.”
I’ve been mulling over themes I’ve heard during this global pandemic—themes of inexorable inertia and the inability to differentiate time, events, and place. It’s so easy to feel stuck. If only our minds were computers, we could hit the refresh icon and watch new material magically appear. Maybe then everything wouldn’t seems so stale.
But since we’re not computers, what do we do? I searched the internet for inspiration. Nada! Then I did what I knew would really help. I reached out to my coach and trusted colleagues for support and found the support and guidance to move forward. Even without a refresh button, the human brain has an amazing ability to expand and grow when we seek new ways to nourish it.
Is it time for you to give your brain that breath of fresh air? Is there something you have been wanting to do but have put on the back burner during these last two years? If the answer is yes, I’m here to help you find the nourishment you need. Sometimes a little fresh air is all you need.
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The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel, you must break the shell.
When the pandemic struck, we moved to protect ourselves. Health and government authorities encouraged us to shelter in place, wears masks, and stay socially distanced. Our lives became shuttered. We dug deep and hunkered down or we erected walls to protect ourselves from the external and emotional pain we were experiencing. Our bunkers and our walls became a protective shell.
The phenomenon of shell building is nothing new. We’ve all created protective shells at one time or another in our lives. But the pandemic has spurred so many questions, reflections, and insights on our lives and values that it’s time to question the wisdom of continuing to protect our shells. Many will understandably choose to stay in the relative safety of their shells. Others will pretend that they have no shell at all and act as if they are returning to a pre-pandemic world. Only a few will embrace the wisdom of Meister Eckhart and embrace the courage to break their protective shells and live into new patterns and new directions.
As always, the choice is ours. But if you are ready to crack open your shell and explore new ways of living, I am ready to walk that journey with you.