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Posts Tagged ‘life coaching’

This month, my article focused on understanding what we want out of life and why we want it, so I thought I would share one of mine….

Several years ago I knew an important want in my life was to start painting again.  I wanted art, painting, creativity to once again become an integral part of my life.  How did that look?  At first my thoughts were to take classes, buy supplies, have a subject to paint, have a space in my home to paint with all materials at the ready

I knew what I wanted to create and the actions to make it happen.  The anchor to get me moving – was why.

For me the why is value of beauty, capturing nature, colors.  It is the need for expression of emotion and creativity.  It serves as a stress reliever for when in the flow I am calmer, more present, in another space entirely.

Do I paint every day?  No I don’t, but I have everything at the ready when inspiration or need for expression surfaces.

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Starting my business was a key turning point in my own  journey from comfort to possibility.

Being employed by a university was my comfort zone and it served me well for many years.  But I found myself being curious about what else was out there – in a new place, a new career.  Starting my own business was not something I had ever thought about before.  It was way out of my comfort zone to not have a steady predictable income but my curiosity soon turned to excitement once I learned more about what possibilities existed for me. 

Was there fear?  Absolutely!  So I started learning just enough to start, but not too much to get me overwhelmed.  I stayed focused on one (or three) steps at a time, not looking at the next 100.  As I completed steps, I added some new ones, all the while keeping the journey exciting, challenging, but manageable. 

This tactic kept me focused and on track whenever I questioned “what am I doing”!?  And believe me there were plenty of those moments especially that first year.

The beauty of my business journey is that it is ongoing.  Yes I am always looking a few steps ahead but very much enjoying the day to day as well as the process as it unfolds.

Where are you on your journey?

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I just finished reading The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels.  This is a book filled with Linda’s personal stories and client experiences that covers thoughts, ideas and examples of what we all go through in our quest for better lives.   This is not just a book about organization, but one of reflection about life and how we are living it. 

Some of her passages that really “spoke” to me were Life Without Computers, The Mind Diet and Experiences Instead of Things.

Life Without Computers for me is as Linda shared – the balance between online and offline work.  I still use a good old-fashioned paper planner and most often write my blog entries and articles using paper and pen.  I have noticed that my creative energy flows more freely when I am away from my computer.  The activity of writing is also more pleasing and fun for me that way.  It makes me look forward to it rather than have it feel like a have-to.

In her passage The Mind Diet, Linda talks about the importance of doing what we have been thinking about.  She says “when we finally decide to act on what we’ve been pondering, it feels great and doesn’t seem so intimidating”  This mirrors the work I do with my coaching clients.  So often we have so many thoughts running through our minds about what we are wanting to do, especially when it involves some change in our life, that we become overwhelmed and stay stuck.  When we take one step, sometimes any step, toward our goals, it is incredibly freeing!

In Experiences Instead of Things Linda reflected on her daughters request one holiday season.  This touched my heart as it is a practice I have been engaged in for many years – during all holidays, birthdays and just any day.  Experiences are, for me, what I remember more than any tangible gift.  The experience of trying something new, spending time with someone special, seeing new places (or the same places from new eyes)… 

Linda’s book will get you thinking (something you all know I love)!

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In the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey – he starts out as a “No Man”, saying no to every request, opportunity and offer from his boss, his clients (he is a loan officer so it’s easy to say no) and his friends.  

I was suprised by how much I saw myself in this character.  Though I don’t always say no I find myself wanting to, especially when I overschedule my days….

As the title implies, Jim Carrey soon becomes a Yes Man, this time saying yes to every opportunity and question that comes his way, nomatter who or where it comes from…and he truly begins experiencing his life like never before.

When we say Yes to opportunity, expecially opportunity that looks, sounds or feels very different than our norm, it opens up a part of ourselves and brings an aliveness to our existence. 

Can we truly say yes to everything, nomatter what it is?  That’s not the idea.  The idea is to consider saying Yes to what initially may seem uncomfortable or different, especially if it may bring us closer to our vision for what we want in life.  What we are saying is Yes to life!

What would you like to say Yes to?

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My clients come to me with goals they would like to achieve.  Goals like, choosing a career that is more fulfilling, building a business or creating better life balance.

When we dive into what these goals mean to them a bigger picture of what they truly want for their lives – underneath all of the specific things they want to add, delete or change – begins to emerge.  We see with greater clarity that what they really want may be inner peace, a simpler lifestyle, or joy in the present moment….

This new clarity often brings about shifts.  Shifts in their perspective about their goals, shifts in their commitment toward them or shifts in the goals thmselves.  Building a business may really be about sharing a passion – which adds a new energy to this pursuit.  A goal of a new career may transform into newfound perspective and passion for their current work.  The quest for better balance may shift to saying no and letting go instead of becomming better at juggling what is there.

To find your bigger picture, take a look at your own goals and wants and dive deeper, asking yourself: 

  • Why are they important to you? 
  • What is beneath the surface? 
  • What are you truly reaching for?

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This month’s article is on experiencing more joy in life.  I thought this was a fitting topic for summer – a time when many of us take a break from our day-to-day lives for vacation.

I did just that myself spending last week in the Outer Banks of NC.  We certainly had our share of joy – from watching the sunset on top of a dune from Jockey’s Ridge, seeing the sunrise from the beach just steps from our hotel, and browsing galleries and shops on the waterfront at Manteo. 

Sunset from Jockey's Ridge

Sunset from Jockey's Ridge

Aside from the “doing” the joy truly came from just “being”.  Yes, I brought my paints and books but found that this time, I spent more time just sitting and seeing what was in front of me.  That was true joy – fully experiencing where we were.

My intention is to have joyous moments every day, not just while on vacation.  Breaks from my regular routine where I just sit and take in where I am and what is right in front of me.

Now it’s your turn, I would love to hear what brings you joy in your life.

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In my work with clients, and my workbook, these 5 steps come up all the time.  The steps are not always linear, but they all are necessary as you reach for possibilities and tap into your potential.  Here I will share each and how it has shown up in my own growth:

1 – Gain Awareness

Awareness comes up over and over again as I move through the growth of my business.  It means paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, allowing me to make slight shifts along the way.  Awareness keeps my life in balance.

2 – Clarify Your Direction

When we made our move to NC from NY, we had to know what we were looking for to help us decide where we wanted to move.  We clarified our needs and wants; and what we wanted our new community to feel like, look like and be like.  We sure found it!

3 – Get Unstuck

Whenever I feel stuck in my business, I immediately call upon one of my mastermind partners.  They are always ready with new ideas, new strategies and new challenges.  Often I choose one idea that makes me feel slightly (or more than slightly) uncomfortable so I know I am truly growing by choosing it.

4 – Get Started

To start painting again after an almost 20 year hiatus, I attended a one day class that had me painting for several hours.  This one day got me started, and over the “someday I’ll pick it back up again” thought.

5 – Make a Commitment

This is the greater challenge I have experienced with my painting, commiting to a regular practice.  What helps me?  I converted my spare bedroom into a “studio” with space to paint and I create projects to get me painting.

Take a look at your own life and your own growth and see where/how these steps have shown up.  I would love for you to share your experiences!

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