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Celebrating Self

DSCN0018Today I ran a workshop on Self Esteem that I had a great time creating.  I had even more fun facilitating it.  I was in my element from start to finish (minus the moments of self-doubt and avoidance and perfectionism – and back around).

So, taking from a lesson from the class,  I am celebrating my strengths using I AM statements to wrap up this experience:

I AM resourceful

I AM creative

I AM a planner

I AM able to ask for help

I AM surrounded by amazing friends

I AM good at research

I AM willing to do it “my way”

I AM motivated by making things the most fun I can

I AM able to set great intentions

I AM generous

I AM excellent at connecting.

Here is the feedback from the coordinator:

Thank again so much for coming and doing this session!!! Your gift for reaching people is an AWESOME sight to watch. God has given you a great ability to connect with people and this group of women lives has been enhanced as a result of having you cross their path.

I say a simple THANK YOU to that! (which is another lesson from today – accept compliments simply and graciously).  I would also like to acknowledge that this feedback speaks directly to my CORE VALUE – Authentic and Meaningful Connection

Final note – The words placed after the I AM statement are of utmost importance.  They are ‘facts’ to the brain…so make it GOOD!  Please, if you have read this post…do this for yourself.  It will do loads of good for YOU and those who you influence.  You’re doing the world a favor.

Speaking of favors, on my way to the event, someone bumped my fender.  I got out of the car, and released the woman from any obligation.  I then asked her to pay-it-forward.  She blessed me.  Today is officially a good day!


Meaningful Connection

IMG_2433 bwMeaningful connection is my drug of choice.

I cannot get enough of it.  I have been known to say that I am doubtful that I could tire of connecting authentically with people.

I would love to do an experiment to see how long I could go (with bathroom and food breaks) before I am tapped out.  As an extrovert that is not daunting; it is exhilarating.  For an introvert that would most likely sound like torture.  What I would love to do in that time is to meander in a nonlinear way through ideas, issues, solutions, dreams, desires, beliefs that serve and those that don’t and other undiscovered topics in between.  I call these types of talks…circling the wagon (or exploring the issue/opportunity from all angles).

The reason why I mention this is because today I got a “hit” of meaningful connection with a re-acquainted friend.  The purpose of the meeting was to dig deep on a meaningful topic.  My friend had read Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is and wanted to gain more perspective on it.  I LOVE to share what I know, what I think, what I believe, how I see things and then random stuff like animal totems and metaphors.  It is this beautiful exploration of the tapestry of our thoughts, feelings, and experience of our lives: that brings me into a state of ecstasy (still using the ‘drug’ metaphor here).  This drug, I will never say no to!


To Love What I Do

IMG_1998Do what you love, Love what you do.

That is one of the many suggestions I have in my Self Esteem workshop I am creating for a nonprofit.  I love that I am reminded of the concept on the 2nd day of the year.  I am so happy to put this idea front and center for 2014.

I really want to believe that I can create an ideal, multifaceted career that fits my values, desires and strengths.  I am believing that it is possible…in fact, I might even be so bold as to say the career is already in process and I all need to do is see it, ask for it, believe in it and receive it gracefully.

At this moment, the clarity I have are in the words and requisite feelings that I am activating for my career and ultimately my life.  The list is long…  I’ll stick with 14 to commemorate the year 2014.

Creativity, curiosity, variety, collaboration, innovation, strategy, learning, relevant, facilitation, possibility, current, integral, meaningful, expansive.

As always…this or better!

Hardknock Life

IMG_3712My very first musical I experienced was Annie. I looooooved it and I wore out the record I owned.

Tonight, I saw the local high school’s version of Annie.  The show proved to me that my connection to the play has withstood the test of time.  I can’t say that about other things I’ve loooooved in my past…like parting my hair in the middle and wearing ribbon adorned barrettes on each side (which is probably how I wore my hair to that adored play way back when).

I love that a simple version of a big production can still bring chills to me.   I have been brought to tears and chills on a more regular basis.  I am both getting old and sappy:  AND I know that I am connecting at a deeper level to passion, love and truth.  

When I do connect at that level, it is as if my soul gets a great massage.  I am left refreshed, content and peaceful.  It might be smart for doctors to order a good cry or chill inducing experience (the good-chill kind not the Freddy Kruger kind).

Take a cry and a chill and call me in the morning!




Noticing Flow

IMG_1263On a nearly daily basis I find the word the feels best to describe the feeling state of the day.  Today “flow” is the chosen word.

I spent many hours creating a coaching process.  What I like to call “creative flow”.  

Flow is one of my desired feeling states.  It is that activity that makes time pass without noticing and a sense of connection with something that is what I’m meant to do and be.  Perhaps linked to my purpose.

Other flow moments for me are writing, photographing, and connecting deeply with people.  Those are the things I find great pleasure in and in which I feel at my best.  

What is your flow?

Write Already

My extended mental back and forth on whether I should write or not, and how often, and for what purpose and for whom and back around again has gotten veeeeery tedious to me.   I feel like throwing up my hands and saying ENOUGH ALREADY!  But that doesn’t really solve the problem.  If I say WRITE ALREADY…well that makes some sense.

My job now is to allow…the words, the time, the flow and to be ok with the not knowing of the for whom, and for what reason and the for how long….that will come in due time (or not).

Curiosity, connection, creativity, learning, authenticity and fun are my biggest values at this point in my life.  My writing and photography are natural vehicles to explore and share these values in a highly meaningful way…to me!  If I believe that doing what I love is the conduit to having the life that I love….why the heck have I created a spin cycle around my writing.

My note to self today is…write already and the rest will take care of itself!

Your Body Knows

I’m really trying to trust my intuition more.  I have a an amazing intuition-navigation-device…and so do you.

In the Martha Beck coaching lingo, we call it the Body Compass.  It is a simple and powerful tool for navigating the big and small decisions in our lives. 

Speaking for myself, the more I’ve acquainted myself with my personal body compass the more I can tune into my body’s signals for the ‘hot and cold’ game of deciding what is a right next step for me.  At the moment my physical cues are full body chills (you know the kind that you get when you hear a really beautiful story).  I get those at very odd times and it usually when someone is telling me something that is their truth, or when I’ve accessed mine.  Additionally, if I’m considering something and my throat closes up, I know that is an invitation to look deeper at the situation to see why it isn’t right for me (and consider ditching it all together).

I often ask myself…what would it mean for me to ONLY operate from my intuition.  I’ve tried it a lot and then I forget and go back to my old ways of forcing things, looking outside myself for answers and just bumbling around not paying attention to the messages my body gives me. 

Ultimately, to be able to operate from intuition I can see that developing a consistent practice of connecting with the stillness within me through meditation and connection with nature will be useful.  I am learning more about these practices through Martha Beck’s new book Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, especially in the sections called Wordlessness and Oneness. 

I may be romanticizing what my life would be like with a purely intuitive approach, but I believe that IS how we connect with our authentic path; by connecting with that inner knowing.  As much as it sounds super-airy-fairy-loosy-goosy, for me it also paradoxically feels very practical and from the ‘here-and-now’.  Who knows best about what is right for your life than YOU. 

If you’re curious about the Body Compass tool, contact me and I can run a Tool Time Tuesday session on it!  Bring your friends along too! 

I also invite you to share your ideas about intuition here…I am deeply intrigued by this topic and would love to learn more!

A Question is Everything

I am a curious cat; I love to ask questions. 

I am a life coach;  I know how to ask questions. 

I am a searcher of meaning in my life; I get great joy in posing the big open-ended questions. 

I know the power of questions…..

However, just recently I can say that…I FINALLY GET IT!

I get that the POWER of the question is actually in the space between the ASK and the ANSWER.  What if, we approached everything from a questioning mind verses an answer finding mind?  What if all it takes is for us to ask questions and either wait in that moment for the answer to arrive OR to just let the question filter into the atmosphere to be answered in the right time and in the right place with the right people and the right information for YOU?

I have to say that I often take a consultative approach with my life and other people with whom I connect.  I look at the variables that are on the table and form a  big picture of what the possibilities might be – almost like a puzzle.  I feel I have an intuitive ability to see the possibilities…but what if….what if…all it really takes is the questions?  I wonder what that would look like?  Part of me gets an anxious feeling that my ‘puzzle-solving’ skills will be jeopardized….but what if my puzzle-solving is actually more of a default to “control” and “feel safe”?  What if all it takes is to ALLOW the answers to come? 

So many questions AND so much time…..I love every minute of it. 

The best question I’ve heard recently from is…..

How can it get EVEN BETTER than this?

The Truth about Nothing

I am facilitating a 10 week class covering the 10 elements in the Joy Diet by Martha Beck.  The book is a tiny little wisp of a book but good golly it packs a punch.  I would highly recommend this book.  Even just reading it can be valuable (which I did 2 years ago)…but to actually follow the process, that is kind of like valuable on steroids. 

I’ve enjoyed connecting weekly with my six fellow Joy Dieters.  It is sort of like Weight Watchers and when we ‘weigh in’ we each have our story of how we skipped doing the work on a few days (or barely did it at all).  On our last call I’m imagining our perfectionist ‘alter egos’ (mine is called Princess Perfectionist) were having a proverbial tea party over our judgments of ourselves and our thoughts of ‘throwing in the towel’ because we weren’t doing it “right”. 

Side Note:  The word “right” will forever have air quotes attached to it in my book because “right” is no longer my target.  “Good enough”, “give it a go”, “test and try”, and “fail fast”…those are new supportive concepts in my repertoire.  

Back to the Joy Diet; the first chapter is called Nothing and the intention is to do NOTHING for up to 20 minutes.  Martha Beck is gentle about this idea to assuage any perfectionists from stopping at the first chapter.  She is gentle but she is very clear that is supremely important for the Joy Diet process.  The task is simply to attempt to make the space to do Nothing and when possible do it in the vain of ‘meditating’ to clear thoughts and judgments and just ‘be’ for 20 minutes.  I’m slowly working my way into this habit (which carries through the 10 chapters). 

We have also covered the next two chapters Truth and Desire…these topics brought up  interesting insights, unexpected feelings and “unfinished” business to explore in terms of my thoughts and beliefs.  Thanks to my Joy Diet crew, I have been able to talk things through and be coached.  It is amazingly valuable to be able to witness and be witnessed in this Joy Diet journey. 

Even though Princess Perfectionist has been keeping me company through this process, I am deciding that my Wabi Sabi approach is a way more enlightened way to ‘show up’.  Our next chapter is Creativity….I can feel the giddy school-girl in me getting excited.  Giving myself permission to explore creativity is like being let out of class for an extra long recess…we’ll see if my expectations are met.  I hope to write about it here (one of my creative playgrounds!).

My intention this week is to be perfectly imperfect (aka Wabi Sabi) about my Joy Diet process.  There…that feels so much better than what Princess Perfectionist has been saying in my ear these past few weeks;  I need to refill her ‘chill pill’ prescription!

Nature calls

Lately, I’ve been called to nature.  I went camping last weekend, and this weekend, went on a nature hike with my son.  In the recent past I have avoided nature a bit.  I’ve in fact stashed myself away in my office “working” and “connecting” (both are ‘air quotes’ because both aren’t 100% true).  Now that I’ve started to reconnect with nature, and working it into my creative endeavors (photographing and leading sessions) I feel so much more authentically motivated to be mindful of myself, my surroundings and my interactions with people AND nature.  I am noticing more.  I am watching more.  I feel like I am reintegrating with the life I find so worth living.  Here are my observations from the most recent nature ventures:

  • The smell of roses is absolutely my favorite smell
  • The sound of the earth under my feet in the woods sounds like my childhood.
  • The shadow of a flying heron is both impressive and haunting.
  • The whoosh of an Eagle to catch a fish is a stunning sight.
  • The sound of coyotes in the early morning is a curious call.
  • Hummingbirds buzzing by my head make me feel connected.
  • Butterflies flitting by me, remind me that there is abundance in this life.
  • A green bug perching on my arm hair brings creative stories to my mind.
  • The sight of a cloudless sky brings a huge expansive feeling in my chest.
  • The rush of the rapids from snow melts is powerful beyond measure.
  • The taste of strawberries picked from the ground is way better than candy.
  • New flowers blooming every day make me think of hidden secrets waiting to be revealed.

I could go on and on.  I am so happy to be out and noticing with all of my senses, the amazing and awe-inspiring nature that abounds….I am reminded again and again, that if I step out, I am never-ever disappointed…I just have to remember to step out.