New Glasses

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New Glasses – Fresh Perspective

When my daughter was about 2 ½ or 3 years old she found a pair of huge green framed glasses at a yard sale and fell in love with them. She would put them on, grab a J.R. Tolkien book and head off to find her favorite spot. I would often find her contently curled up with a blanket “reading” the book upside down! She would do this for hours.

(Mum disclaimer: I removed the lenses so the frames were empty as not to affect her vision.)

I’m sharing this with you because it reminds me how we feel about life depends on the lens we view our experiences through. At that time in her life, she was extremely happy to “read” upside down.

Ever wonder how two people can experience the same event yet walk away with two completely different versions of what occurred?

I’ve spent a lot of time understanding the beliefs, thoughts and habits that contribute to the lens I view life through. As a lifelong learner, I’ve embraced curiosity to discover what would happen if I shifted my perspective and thoughts about things.

Being curious is powerful. One of my favorite questions is, “What’s another way I could see this?” In other words, what if I were to put on the green framed glasses, what would I see differently through them?

By the way, being 50ish, I have several pairs of reading glasses in every room of my house. All different shapes and colors. I use them as a reminder that there is always more than one way to view what is happening in life. It’s all about perspective.

I also challenge myself to find the gold nugget of learning in every situation and conversation. What’s the take away I can bring with me as I continue my journey? Some call it the lesson, some call it the blessing…gold nugget resonates with me. As a precious metal, I can polish it by practicing what I learned right away or put it in my pocket for later, taking it out anytime I choose.

You might be reading this wondering…when would it be helpful to throw on a new pair of glasses?

Well, I do it when I feel fearful, anxious or frustrated about something. What I notice when I put fresh glasses on, is it opens up the window a tiny crack to what could be possible. The situation could be slightly different than how I’m currently seeing it, and my fear, anxiety or frustration begin to ease.

I am able to begin to reframe my thoughts in new ways shifting my perspective which helps me create a path forward or a least the next small step.

Many of my clients use this same process of “changing their glasses” or lens they view things through to shift how they feel about it.

Are your ready for glasses? If you’re curious, take a moment and identify a situation or conversation where you think it could be helpful to see it from a fresh perspective. Then imagine taking off the glasses you are currently viewing it through and put on a new pair.

Ask yourself, what’s another way I can look at this? What’s the opportunity for me e.g. lesson, blessing, learning? Test out all the different angles to see what’s different about the viewpoints. How does it change how you feel?

If you want to explore more about shifting your perspective by changing the glasses you’ve been wearing, click here to sign up for a discovery call with me today.

Be Present in Your Shoes

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There is power in Being fully present in the shoes you have on your feet at this moment in time.

BE fully present in the moment you are in. You never know who or what you will encounter that may shift your life dramatically. 

When I launched my business, I signed my first big client during a conversation in a Starbucks line in California and he was from Texas! Go figure! When I flew from Maine to CA for a meeting, I had no idea this would happen. I simply started a friendly conversation being curious about what brought this person to CA while in line.

I learned very early in my life to show up, BE and do my best no matter where I was or what I was doing. I grew up on a farm which meant I could be driving a tractor in the field, picking rocks out of the field so they wouldn’t harm the potatoes as they grew, shoveling dirt off the potato house floor or going to the bank with my Dad. No matter what, it was an essential job and it needed to be done. 

I had a choice each day:

  1. I could show up with an “I don’t give a #($*#(* attitude” and slog around until it was time to go back home or
  2. I could show up Being my best self, doing and giving my all

During this time of my life, I learned when I showed up with the energy of my first description, I felt sad, lonely, and discouraged and when I came to work bringing my “A” game, I felt on fire and I could do anything! I quickly decided I much prefer feeling like Super Woman!

Continuing to carry this lesson with me over the years, I have witnessed that Being my best self has presented me with countless and unexpected opportunities in life.

Today’s writing was inspired by a conversation I had with a young woman a couple of months ago. When I shook her hand and asked her, “What do you do?” she hung her head and replied, “Well, I’m just a bartender...right now.”  Her shoulders were drooped and her face appeared out of energy.

We continued to chat and she described to me how she feels at work and it sounded a lot like the “I don’t give a ($$%#)*$ attitude.” I asked her how she felt and her description was sad and discouraged. 

She shared with me she has a degree in marketing yet has no experience; therefore, no one will hire her. I invited her to imagine what she could do to market the drink special of the day to her current customers and her eyes began to twinkle. She came up with some fun ideas. Yes, they made me want to buy one!

Then I asked her, what do you think might happen if you showed up with this energy and one of your customers happens to be looking for a person to do some marketing for them? All of a sudden it clicked! She tapped into the possibilities in front of her every time she went to work.

She decided to give it a try. She put on her bartending shoes with a new zest and energy to show up Being and doing her best. Guess what? Within two weeks she was asked to do some marketing for the bar where she works! Her energy shifted and she was able to create what she was seeking.

She changed her perspective from, “I’m just a bartender” to “I’m marketing this delicious drink special today!” This change in perspective resulted in her being able to begin getting marketing experience and she’s loving it! Who knew...

I believe the opportunities in life are endless. It is my job to show up doing the best with what I currently have where I am and be open to what is possible. This has opened many unexpected doors for me to walk through which has always lead to the next exciting leg of my journey through life.

What would happen in your life if you were to embrace the shoes you are currently in?

I invite you to try Being fully present wherever you are in your life today. Shift your energy and bring your “A” game with you. Notice how different you feel and what happens around you.

If you would like to chat more about how to become more present in your life either at work or at home, click here to book a discovery session with me today.

Alignment

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As the snow blows in every direction outside my window, it reminds me of how disorienting it can feel when overwhelm strikes! 

One of the most powerful ways to decrease the feeling of overwhelm is to get clear about what matters most to you and what is yours to own.

Time is a non-renewable resource and learning to spend it doing things that actually matter to me has been a lifelong learning process.

At one point in my life, I remember feeling completely depleted of time and energy and my to-do list went on for miles! I was overwhelmed and exhausted. One day, I hit a brick wall at full speed and in that moment, I decided something needed to change and that something was me.

For those of you who know me, I’m a curious cat! So, I began to examine what I was doing every day and one of my first ah-ha moments was noticing how often my hand would fly up whenever someone asked for a volunteer.

Simply noticing this was interesting…I have always enjoyed helping. However, when I reached the point of being overtired, not sleeping, and not running, my enthusiasm was gone and I became extremely impatient with being “the helper!” Yet, my hand was still going up and my calendar was jammed.

I started to make note all of the areas in my life where I was helping. I also invested time to reflect and get crystal clear about my values, who I am and what’s most important to me. This was profoundly useful as it allowed me to shine a light on areas where I was giving time and energy to something noble yet not truly aligned with what matters to me.

This realization granted me permission to release those roles and opened space for me to give to places that were meaningful to me. Little by little I was able to shift where I was spending my “give back” time which created a renewed energy about being “the helper.” I began being more conscious about my decisions and it felt amazing.

I tried testing this new-found knowledge in my work. I did a brain dump of everything I was doing and I was quickly able to identify where I could delegate tasks to others who are really good at doing a particular skill which created space for me to do more of what I’m gifted at. Win-win!

I was also able to identify areas that weren’t mine to own or be responsible for. Letting go of these felt extremely freeing and it empowered those who really were responsible to step up and embrace their role. Again…win-win!

Being able to take stock in what happens every day and decide if it’s in alignment with what matters to me has been life-changing. I will confess, just like the tires on my car, I re-align about every three to four months to keep myself on track.

If you are in a place of overwhelm, I would like to invite you to pause for a few minutes to reflect on where you are spending your time…then try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am I spending time on things that are meaningful and matter to me?
  • How aligned is what I’m doing with my values?
  • Where am I taking responsibility for something that isn’t really mine to own?
  • What could I choose to do less of to allow me time to do more of the things that are aligned with who I am?
  • Who could do some of the things on my to-do list allowing me more time to do what I do best?

Let me know what ah-ah moments you experience during your reflection and what your curiosity reveals to you.

I’m curious, how long is your to-do list? Are you feeling like you’re heading toward the brick wall due to overwhelm? If you would like to talk about how to gain more clarity about what really matters to you, take the first step and click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me.

Are You Listening?

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Are you listening?

February is here and there’s a buzz in New England as the Patriots head off to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

As these teams prepare for the big day, I’m always curious about how they communicate with each other.

When Bill Belichick speaks, are the players preparing their response or rebuttal to him in their heads, watching a video on their phone or are they focused in, nodding as he speaks and listening for complete understanding? My guess Is it’s the latter.

The skill and art of listening when you are in conversation with another person is key to creating success within high functioning teams and families.

Stephen R. Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.” This is an area I choose to challenge myself to practice so I can be exceptional and not like most people. Would you like to be like most people or join me in the challenge to strive to be exceptional?

The first step in the challenge is to raise your awareness of how you are listening.  Here a few tips I find helpful when evaluating my skills.

Begin to notice, when someone is talking to you, are you…

  • Only catching the gist of the conversation or hearing what you want to hear?
  • Distracted by other thoughts or busy preparing your reply to the speaker?
  • Drifting away from the conversation and moving onto another focus?
  • Wanting to bring the focus of the conversation back to what is most important to you?
  • Judging them?

When you notice these, take a breath and guide your thoughts back to being present with the person speaking. This will help you begin to notice their body language and allow you to hear the tone in their voice which may help you discover an underlying issue that’s not really being said, often referred to as “reading between the lines”.

Here are 5 tips to help you become present and engage in meaningful conversation:

  1. Pause what you are doing and turn your attention and eyes to the speaker
  2. It may be helpful to bring yourself to the speaker’s level e.g. kneeling to talk to a child, sitting if the speaker sits
  3. Place your phone face down on the table
  4. Turn your computer monitor off and turn your chair towards the speaker
  5. Be curious and clarify with the person to gain understanding of the message they are conveying. Try to view it from their perspective.

I am committed to listening to others as I would like them to listen to me when I’m speaking. As you begin to notice how you listen and test out one of the tips, let me know what you discover. If you would like to talk more about engaging members of your team and/or family in conversation, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today to. 

Waiting to Start

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Are you waiting to start?
 
You were all excited about the plans you created for yourself and your business to kick off the year, yet you find yourself waiting to start.
 
When you’re in the creative and brainstorming process, the possibilities can feel endless, you’re ready to grab the opportunity and tackle each challenge to get a solution. Your adrenaline is pumping and you’re ready to jump all in.
 
Then you start putting a plan together, your white board is full and you’ve got paper all over the walls of your office with the layout of the plan. You’ve gather data, talked with “experts” and before you know it you’ve come to a screeching halt.
 
The planning has sent you into overwhelm and now it seems like an insurmountable endeavor!
 
Over the years, I to have experienced this many a time and I’ve also witnessed it happening with my clients.
 
What I’ve discovered is there’s a common mind trap that often occurs. Thinking the plan must be completed and perfect before you will be ready to start!
 
Imagine if Edison needed the plan to be complete before he started working on the light bulb. The world might still be in darkness. Richard Branson reminds us, “Successful people start before they feel ready.”
 
The advantage of just starting is you begin the process of learning. Each step provides new insight to help inform the next step and the next step. Imagine you have your end goal in mind, you draft out a few milestones you believe will help get you there. Then you create the first one or two small steps to begin your journey to the first milestone. What would that feel like?
 
For most people this approach feels much more empowering and less daunting. One of the reasons my clients belabor the planning process is the fear of failing. Failure is always a possibility; however, it also helps sharpen our skills so the next attempt will be a bit better.
 
Michael Jordan missed the game winning shot 26 times! He says, “I failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
 
Remember, perfect doesn’t always equal success. You can waste a ton of energy striving for perfection. Most times one misstep in the plan doesn’t mean it is a complete bust! When I take a misstep, I pause for a moment and discover what the misstep is teaching me, apply the learning and carry on.
 
What are you waiting to create in your life or business? If planning and perfection has you in overwhelm and stuck, what might you do differently to get you started toward your goal today?
 
If you would like to talk more about moving forward in your life and business click here to set up a discovery session with me today to. 

Know Your 3 W's and Write Them Down

It’s now January 10, 2018, and all of our New Year’s resolutions have been cast. The question remains…how many of these decisions will take shape to create lasting change in our lives?

The University of Scranton has gathered a few statistics on this topic and one of them is, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions.” 

The key word in this statement is explicitly. Over the years, based on my experience and the experiences of my clients, when clarity and details are added to the desired change, it helps remove confusion and doubt when the path to change shows signs of being a challenge.

I’m all for eliminating confusion and doubt. How about you? Let’s start by understanding “the why” beneath your desired change. Knowing this is essential and will help keep you on the path when the going gets tough. Take a minute to recall your resolution…now ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why do you want this change to happen?
  • How will your life be different?
  • Why is that important to you?

These questions will help you develop a deeper meaning and connection to the change you have set out to create. This will prove to be extremely valuable when the path to change begins to get bumpy and rough. Your why can serve as an anchor to help you avoid distraction and remain focused. 

Adding details to the resolution will help you determine what the next steps will be. One of the most helpful details I’ve found is deciding upon a date for when this change will occur. Yes, pick a date and commit to it. I get it feels scary and uncertain. This is when all of the “what if…” questions and excuses arise.  

I knew for a long time I wanted to launch my own coaching practice and I was very clear on my why, however I would find every excuse in the book to not commit to a date! Here’s a couple of my favorites, “It’s not the right time, the kids are in college” or “What if I don’t have enough clients?” So I would continue to plan some more without a drop-dead date and this choice resulted in waiting, waiting and more waiting!

It wasn’t until my Dad passed away that I truly realized time is non-renewable and if I wanted to make this change in my life I needed to pick a flipping date to make it happen! I picked the date, created a timeline filled with deliberate meaningful action steps and this choice resulted in me successfully launching my practice on that date.  

That date was just over 4 years ago and I continue to add a date to every resolution, goal and intention that I set.  Once I’ve committed to the date, I write it down. There is power in the written word as it demonstrates a new level of commitment to making the change.

Okay, review time…you say you want to create a change, maybe you want a new job or you want to become healthier or you want to grow your business to the next level, whatever the change is, now:

  • Describe what the change is you desire
  • Identify why the change is important to you
  • Decide the date when you want the change to have occurred and feel what it will be like once it has happened
  • Write your what, why and when down in black and white to demonstrate your commitment to change

You are now on your way! Maybe you’ve tried making a change in the past and it hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped. I absolutely love supporting people who are ready to make changes in their life and live full out.  If you are interested in learning more about what having support through the changes you want to make, click here to set up a discovery session with me today to. 

Winter Hidden Treasures

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Winter has arrived here in Maine. About a week ago, I awoke to a fresh blanket of pristine white fluffy snow and couldn’t wait to go on a walk with my husband and our dog, Winston.

As we walked, we saw tracks from deer, fox and a mouse in the snow. They were amazingly clear and fun to follow and notice the path they had chosen through the woods and across the golf course.

Keep in mind, we walked the same terrain the day before and observed nothing on the ground only beautiful birds in the sky. We didn’t see any prints in the dirt or the grass, now clearly a deer, a fox and a mouse did not move in overnight. They were there the day before we simply were not able to see signs of them as we were focused on watching the birds.

I came home and spent time being curious about how often I’ve overlooked what is around me because I’m focused on something else.

I know when I get so zoned in on my goals and planning for the future, it is easy to forget to BE present with all of the magic currently happening around me. When I bring my focus back to the moment, it allows me to soak in all of the tiny details and see things I didn’t notice currently happening before me. Ah yes, it provides me with a fresh perspective.

As I bring 2017 to a close, I’m committed to slowing down to BE more present each day, to be open to discovering the hidden treasures I’ve been missing while focusing on something else. Taking a moment to engage in meaningful conversation with someone I see every day, yet may have never really talked with him or her before.

I’d like to invite you to join me in this slow down to discovery countdown of 2017. If you are interested, here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What did you see that you’ve not seen before during your commute to work?
  • Who were you able to talk with at your work that you’ve not taken the opportunity to talk with in the past?
  • What did you learn about your friends and family that you’ve never noticed before?

Enjoy the process and the gift a fresh perspective may provide! I wish each of you a wonderful Holiday Season filled with love and joy!

If you would like to connect to talk about your discovery and how to continue to build your muscle of being present each day, click here to set up a complimentary call with me today.

Integrity

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As one of the coaches on the Forbes Council, I was asked to share my thoughts about what is an important trait a business could instill in a new salesperson.

My answer was published and I’m happy to share it with you here. “Promise what you know you can deliver and deliver more than you promised! This creates a salesperson who is remembered for going above and beyond. If you know you can't deliver what the client needs, tell them the truth.”

For me, this answer felt authentic and came from my heart, as this is how I practice living my life with my spouse, my kids and my clients.

As I read the responses from the other coaches in the article, I spent time thinking about how important each one of the traits is to any relationship, personal or professional.

I’m sharing the title for each of the 13 answers so you can take a moment and reflect on what role these traits may be playing in your relationships:

  • Quality over quantity
  • Integrity
  • Providing value
  • A consultative mindset
  • Active listening
  • Knowing their boundaries
  • Trust not thrust
  • Authenticity
  • Empathy
  • Customers are assets, not resources
  • Importance of relationship
  • Curiosity
  • Focusing on the experience

These traits could serve as a quick checklist of what may be missing in a relationship when it is feeling a bit rocky.

If you would like to read more, click here for their full answers and article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/11/27/important-traits-any-business-should-instill-in-a-new-salesperson/#3e94e9a02f56

I find life is all about relationships. When I’m working with my clients, it is always about the relationship and being truly present with each other when in conversation.

Creating space to listen and recognize we are more alike than we are different no matter where we are from or what we do.

In a hectic work environment, creating the space without distraction can be a challenge. One tiny tip that has helped many of my clients is simply turning off their computer monitor when someone comes to talk with them. It allows both people to be more present and has changed the quality of the interaction for them.

If you would like to talk more about strategies to improve the relationships in your life or with your team at work, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Indecision

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Indecision…what is it costing you?

Have you ever felt like you were teetering on the fence about what to do? Weighing the pros and the cons until you’ve completely exhausted yourself.

The decision can range from…

  • what to wear for the day to
  • will you have an open honest conversation with your spouse or boss to
  • will you leave your job or
  • will you choose to close your business to take on a new adventure?

It doesn’t matter what the decision is the struggle may feel the same.

I recently had a conversation with an amazing woman who is currently working in a corporate position yet her passion is to open her own online business. She has been waiting for the right time to make her move and hiding her passion to the point that she’s about to explode. It was clear her indecision was costing her joy and time, which she will never be able to get back. So, I asked her, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you just started putting yourself out there?

It was like a relief valve was tripped and the floodgates flew open; she was able to breathe. She had never been able to think about it in that way before.

All of sudden her expression shifted from fear and worry to excitement and possibility. She left the conversation with a plan for what her next steps would be. Forward movement! Yeah!

I get it. There have been several times in my life and in my business where I too was paralyzed by indecision.

Here are a few tips that have helped many of my clients and myself move beyond being stuck into inspired action.

Be curious with yourself. If you decided to …

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen?
  • What’s the best thing that could happen?
  • Which answer would you rather focus on and spend time creating?

Take a few minutes to notice… how you may be judging yourself or where you may be holding back for fear of what someone else might say or think. (Others judging you.)

Judgment…right and wrong…many of the decisions we struggle with have no true right and wrong answer.  I would encourage you to challenge yourself a bit on your perception and thinking. This is a very convenient place to create excuses for not moving forward with what you most desire, however, only you can decide what’s within your realm of acceptance.

What is your indecision costing you? What pending decision has been soaking up your precious energy? Imagine what it would feel like to make the decision and be able to move forward into inspired action.

Test out the questions above and pay attention to how you feel when you answer them. Let me know what you learn from doing this.

If you would like to talk more about being able to make decisions with an increased level of confidence and more quickly, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today. 

Choices

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Fall in New England is spectacular! The trees are covered in a vibrant array of colors and as I pause to admire the beauty, I’m always amazed at the incredible world we live in. The power of the waves, the strength of the howling winds and the quietness of a falling leaf are only a few examples of beauty for today. 

As many of you know, I draw a lot of my energy from nature and when I deprive myself of being outside, I notice a drop in my vibration and my ability to stay connected to what is possible for myself, my business and the world as a whole.

Over the years, I’ve learned how important it is for me to consciously choose to engage in nature each and every day in some way. I actively make a choice to get up out of my chair and walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, reach my hands up to the sky, grab a glass of water and then return to my work.

This choice makes me happy!

As I work with my clients be it a large organization helping them discover how to create more joy in their work environment or an individual business owner navigating big life and business changes, one of the staples to the work is to help them remember they have choices.

In the beginning of the work, there’s always resistance accompanied with a long list of reasons why they can’t possibly do anything different than what they are currently doing. It can be scary to choose to do something different or to think about something in a new way.

However, once they are able to make the tiniest shift and choose a new perspective or a new response to a challenge – the freedom bell goes off and they want to keep testing and learning new ways to create the experience they desire for their day.

Yesterday, as I hung up the phone with one of my clients, I gave a big fist pump in the air and shouted YES!

He shared with me that he now realizes he has the ability to choose to be happy regardless of what is happening around him. He no longer believes it to be out of his reach or control. YES!

I’ve supported this person though big life changes and helping him to see what is possible for himself. He is now faced with amazing opportunities and choices of what the next leg of his journey will be. This is incredibly exciting for him to realize AND it all began with one small choice to do something different.

This same shift is possible for all of us. I invite you to take a moment and reflect on your life…where would you like a different result than what you are currently experiencing?

How willing and ready are you to make a new choice to shift the experience to be more of what you desire it to be? If you’re ready, what tiny action or new perspective will you try out today to get you closer to your desired outcome?

If you would like to talk more about how to create a new experience for yourself or your business, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.  

Focus

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Have you ever sat at your desk frantically working yet not getting anything finished?

You feel like a jumping bean hopping from one e-mail to the next then a thought comes flying into your head that reminds you to work on your schedule so you dive into planning your schedule for the next week or so and as you do that you remember you need to schedule a physical for your daughter so you go online to book the appointment only to see an ad that catches your eye on the sidebar about the latest tragic news event and you feel compelled to remain current on what’s happening so you click on the link to begin diving into the devastation…

I could go on and on, however, my guess is you get the picture and it feels all too familiar. The stimulation our brain receives in the run of a day can be extremely distracting.

In the past, I carried the badge of honor as an incredible multitasker with immense pride only to now realize just how silly that was! I kept pushing the envelope only to reach the point of not being able to focus for an extended period of time. 

I began researching to learn new strategies to calm my mind and bring myself back to a place of being able to focus and enjoy the task at hand and see it to completion. Wow - what a fabulous feeling!

When I began my research, I thought I would learn high-tech, complicated strategies because it couldn’t be simple or everyone would be doing it. Much to my surprise none of the solutions were complex!

Today, I’m sharing with you the top five strategies that have helped bring me back into creative focus allowing my productivity to soar:

  1. Close out of my e-mail and shut off my phone for 30-minute increments to focus on a large piece of work. Yes, I know it sounds undoable, being out of touch, what if someone needs me, what if ________.
  2. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea during my 30-minute focus session.
  3. Prepare my mind before entering the session by breathing deeply into my stomach and releasing all of the thoughts rattling around in my head. Letting them know I’ll come back to them. I do this while I walk to my desk with my yummy warm beverage of choice.
  4. Here’s a wild card – sometimes I put music on depending on my mood.
  5. If I get creatively stuck during my session, I have two strategies I use:
    1. I get up, stretch and take a brisk 3-second walk around the office.
    2. Crank up the music and dance to move my body and blow out the cobwebs that have slowed the flow of my thoughts.

here are many other evidence-based ways to help you return to focus and be more productive, however, those are my favorites.

How different would you feel if you were able to have more focus in your day?

What strategy might you want to begin with today? Perhaps you have another one that resonates with you a bit more? What is it? When would you like to begin using it? Let me know what you decide.

Remember if you choose not to do anything different than what you are currently doing, the results you are getting will remain the same. So, if you would like to have a different result, what will you do different today to make the shift happen?

Keep in mind, making a decision to shut off e-mail and the phone felt scary and all of the ‘what if’ scenarios ran rampant in my mind. However, I decided to test it out for 30 days to see if it helped. Developing any habit takes practice and repetition. Now, after over a couple of years of practice, the more I do it, the more amazing results it brings.

Let me know what you decide to do to help bring focus back into your day.

If you would like to chat more about focus and what gets in your way, click here to set up a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Focus on What You WANT vs What You Don't Want

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Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

I ran into an old friend the other day. I was thrilled to see her and was very excited to catch up. When I asked her what was happening in her life, she began sharing with a declaration of busyness (exclaimed by a sigh) and followed with a brief one or two-sentence description about what she had done which was accompanied with a half-smile.

The next segment of the conversation quickly took a deep dive into what she had wanted to do only to be followed by all or the reasons why she hadn’t been able to do them. This turned into focusing on what she didn’t want within her role as a leader at work and as a mom at home. The negative blaming energy was palpable!

Okay you get the picture…by this point as the listener; I was exhausted and searching for the exit. However I paused and asked her, “What do you want your role as a leader to be and how would you like to show up for your kids?”

These two questions shifted the whole tone of the conversation. She sat silent for a few minutes and for those of you who know me, you know I’m completely comfortable with holding the sacred space of silence for people to process and discover their thoughts.

Eventually, she replied, “I’ve never taken time to truly think about what I want either of these areas of my life to be. I’ve always assumed they needed to be what they’ve been in the past.”

This was a huge ah-ha moment for her! She asked me if I could hang out with her for a while. We spent the next few hours digging in and I got to see her full joyous beautiful smile as she began visualizing what could be possible for her as a leader and a mom!

She left with two small action steps to start her journey to living her life based on what’s important to her by focusing on what she wants not what she doesn’t want.

As I drove home I reflected back to a time in my life where I too could only focus on what I didn’t want. I was overwhelmed and wasn’t able to step in to my power of choice and focus my thoughts on what I wanted in my life.

It wasn’t until I made the decision to stop living by default and start living based on what was important to me that was I able to reignite my mojo and own my power of choice to create the life I most desired. I’m incredibly grateful for the skills I learned during that process.

I’m curious as you reflect on your role, as a leader at work or a home, are you operating on autopilot? When was the last time you took time to determine what you want your roles to be in your life?

Here’s a little experiment for you if you want, the next time you hear yourself saying, I don’t want…pause and ask, “Okay, what do I want?” Then start focusing from that perspective. Let me know what changes and what you learn from this experiment.

If you would like to talk more about shifting your roles in your life to be more aligned with what’s important to you, click here to setup a discovery call with me today.
 

Taking Time for the Things That Matter Most to You

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Last week I was able to be fully present in nature with my family and experience all of its exquisite beauty. It felt absolutely amazing!

Stretching out in the kayak while drifting into a tiny cove where a huge osprey was perched high above on a branch protecting his nest and watching a bald eagle soar gracefully through the sky as the sun glistened off the water was one of my favorite moments.

These experiences brought me a deep sense of connection to nature and the universe.  When I’m connected in this way, I have complete clarity about why I do what I do and what’s important in my life.

I wanted to package each of those moments and bring them back with me when I returned to the day-to-day world. So, I let the images imprint in my mind and soak into my bones for a few extra minutes.

Now I’m back in the saddle of running a thriving business and doing all of the tasks it takes to maintain and grow my practice as well as holding sacred space for my clients as they do their work to reach their desires in their life and business.

(…I may be in the saddle, however, I haven’t broken out my cowboy boots yet – still sporting sandals for a few more weeks.)

It’s easy to get sucked in and hunker down and “get busy” again. Then the next thing I know I’m starting to sacrifice the very things that bring me joy. Like being in nature running along the river with my dog - YIKES! Has this ever happened to you?

Now when that happens, I pause, close my eyes and recall the osprey and the eagle moments allowing myself to reconnect to my values and what’s really important to me. In the few seconds I take to do this, I’m able to re-connect with my mojo and bust out of the saddle and go for the run I was too busy for yesterday!

Each day I consciously choose to live my life and run my business based on my values and what is important to me. This choice provides me a way to reflect and be curious about the items on my to do list and the stuff that creates the busy buzz around me. Are they aligned with my values and what’s important to me or did I add them in based on an external pressure?

What about you? Are you choosing how you live your life and run your business based on your values and what’s important to you? Let me know your thoughts.

If you would like to chat more about aligning your life with what’s important to you, click here to set up a discovery call with me today. 

Culture of Safety

Are we learning from each other or are we repeating the same mistakes over again and again?

We’re presented with ample opportunities to learn from each other every day yet many times we choose to view ourselves as being exempt from the experience of another person or company or we classify ourselves as special or different than them. Therefore, the lesson must not apply.

I remember my Mum saying to me, “I wish you could learn this lesson through my experience because it would save you a lot of time and frustration.” Guess what my first thought was? I’m different. Your story and lesson doesn’t apply to me!

Now at her age, I laugh out loud several times a day as I realize how similar our experiences really are! Sound familiar?

I find this to be true in business as well. Over the years working with clients, I’ve noticed how similar their blind spots are. One of the biggest blind spots is being able to cultivate a culture where people feel safe to speak up when bad behavior is occurring.

Recently the coaches in the Forbes Coaches Council were asked to reflect on: “What Uber's Company Culture Crisis Taught Us About Leadership And Management?” I’m thrilled to say my response was selected and published and here’s what I said,

“Creating a culture of safety in the workplace is essential to being able to grow while adapting to change. Establishing a reliable and effective reporting system for employees to use when they experience or witness unjust behavior will help foster a sense of safety to speak up when the bad behavior is occurring. Sweeping it under the rug in hopes it will vanish will eventually ruin the floor.” - Kris McCrea Scrutchfield, McCrea Coaching

What’s the culture like in your business or organization or home? Take a moment to reflect on your answer.

Are people able to speak up and be heard or are the same mistakes happening that sent Uber into a culture crisis?

If you would like to read the thoughts from a few other Forbes coaches, click here to read the full article.

Let me know what resonates for you as you read them.

If you would like to share more about the culture where you are and talk about ways to begin to create a culture of safety where people’s voices are heard, click here and sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today.  

Email Gobble

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Email…is it gobbling your time?

“You’ve Got Mail!” How many of you remember hearing Elwood Edwards voice and being thrilled to click and read what was inside?

Now in 2017, there are many days we dread opening our email to see the lengthy list of messages from various people.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had several clients ask for support to help them ease the sense of overwhelm they feel regarding email. I can hear the anxiety in their voice as they asked for help.

How about you? What are you feeling about your inbox?

I thought I would share a few tips I’ve used to help me take back ownership of my time and release the death grip of email.

  1. Select times of the day to work on email. For me, it’s early morning, mid-day check in and end of day clean up. Depending on what you do, you may choose to have more or less check-in times and the time of day you choose may vary. The point is not to be involved in email all day. By closing email, it allows you to be present and focus on the main part of your work.
  2. Set a time limit for how long to engage in the activity of email, 15, 30, 60 minutes for each check-in session. You will find the time that works best and it will decrease over time as you “clean” out your current inbox.
  3. Use the timer on your phone to help honor the time limit and when it rings off, wrap up the email you’re working on and close out until the next check-in time.
  4. Keep your inbox a working space containing items in need of a reply.
  5. If you can read and reply to an email in a couple of minutes, do it now and be done with it.
  6. If an email requires more time to respond, flag it and add it to your to-do-list and calendar. This allows you to decide when to reply by. 
  7. Emails you want to save for reference, send them to your archive.
  8. Unsubscribe to distribution lists that you joined and no longer access for information. Have no fear…you can always sign up again if you find you need the information they are sharing.
  9. For the lists you want to continue to receive, create “rules” that will send them directly into a folder. This will allow you the opportunity to read at your leisure.

If you are on team, have a conversation about creative ways to decrease the number of emails sent to each other. For example, instead of sending multiple emails to the same person during the day, is there a way to create one email with several questions in it?

Ask yourself, is email the most effective way to communicate my question or my response? If not, use another mode of communication – phone, face-to-face either in person or virtually or during a regular meeting.

I hope this will help you find more ease in managing your inbox. Let me know how it goes and if you’d like to chat about other ways to find more space in your life for joy, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today.

Love and Light

Coming back from the beauty of vacation and being off the gird for seven days has been an exceptionally challenging transition this week given the news we heard as we arrived home. Learning about what had been happening in Charlottesville, NC was frightening and appalling.

My thoughts will be brief this week. Barack Obama’s quote from Nelson Mandela says it all, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love … For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I’m committed to keep moving forward in love.

I will continue to challenge myself to speak out when people are being treated unjust or being suppressed. I will stop and lend them a hand.

I will continue to work with business and organizational leaders as they strive to create a safe and just work culture where all employees have the opportunity to thrive.

I will continue to help raise awareness of the subtle ways unjust behaviors show up within each of us, including me and create new ways of thinking and begin to shift the behavior.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King

I will continue to keep strengthening my muscle and push for positive change one small step at a time.

Will you join me? What will you do today to move yourself closer to love for one another?

If each person takes one small courageous step each day, we will change the world and shift it closer to love and light where hate will be extinguished.

If you want to talk about how to create movement toward love and light in your life click here and sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me. 

Re-Ignite Your Mojo

I’m thrilled to be starting vacation on Saturday! Taking a week to completely unplug and, go off the grid with my family to recharge my batteries and re-ignite my mojo.

What the heck is mojo you ask? It has African roots and it brings inspiration. I define Mojo as the internal light that each of us are born with. It's the nectar that attracts the bee. It's the innate quality that makes you, YOU! When your light is shining you are successful and full of energy!

Deborah Mulhern, clinical psychologist of Bethesda, MD, says, “Neuroscience is showing us that we require down time in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration. It is only when we are safe from external stresses that our bodies can relax enough to activate restoration.” As I read this I began identifying what I would define as an external stressor.

Here’s my list of stressors I will be leaving behind for a week of R & R:

  • My e-mail

  • My lengthy to-do list

  • The internet

  • TV & radio

  • The news

As I help set up camp on the rocky point with an absolutely breath taking ocean view, I’ll embrace nature with all it’s beauty as well as the hazards of poison ivy. A while later, while listening to a few favorite tunes, I’ll cook dinner over the fire, ahhh heaven on earth!

I find taking dedicated time off is vital to maintaining my positive perspective on life. Francine Lederer, another clinical psychologist from LA says, "The impact that taking a vacation has on one's mental health is profound."

As the ocean wind blows across our campsite it takes with it all of the worries and stale thoughts from my mind, which are replaced with fresh ideas as the sun crests over the horizon and rises high in the summer sky.

There will be plenty of time for a hike or a kayak ride and a long rest in the hammock reading one of my favorite books. Right now, you could catch me soaking in the words of Marc Lesser. His new book Know Yourself, Forget Yourself is amazing.

Marc is a revolutionary leader who helped form the culture at Google and many other wildly successful companies.  I continue to grow and learn from him and others everyday on how to best lead myself first then lead others in transforming their culture to a place where people can thrive.

One of his lessons is learning to take quiet time and that’s what I’m signing up for the next 10 days! When I return, I’ll be more productive and have a stronger zip in my step to be able to serve my clients better.

There are more and more studies coming out demonstrating the benefits of unplugging from work and as an entrepreneur it is tough, however necessary to the growth of my business.

The benefits to employers when employees take time completely away from work are staggering! Increased health and wellness, increased productivity, happier overall! The ROI (return on investment) is there…so what are you waiting for? Block your calendar and go sign up for time off now!

What stressors will you leave behind?

Where will you go to unplug and get quiet for a while?

What will you do?

I almost forgot to mention one of my most favorite things to do…play games on the picnic table with my family!

Let me know what you decide. Have a blast while living a life you truly love!

If you’d like to chat more about how to recharge your batteries, click here to set up a complimentary discovery call with me today and we can chat when I return. In the meantime, enjoy!

Freedom

Freedom as defined by Oxford dictionary, “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." Best known as independence!

As a US citizen, this week has been an exciting reminder of how important freedom is to all of us, yet it has also revealed to me areas in life where we give that sacred power away.

Over the last few days, I’ve been curious with myself wondering, “Where am I feeling resistance or being hindered in my thinking, speaking or actions?”

Just like a lighting bolt, the answer came flashing into my mind, which was eye opening for me!

I continued with my curiosity, (Yes, sometimes I think my name is George and I’m wearing a suit of brown fur with a grin running across my entire face!) I wondered what was creating the resistance and holding me back in this particular area?

My answer was the fear of not producing a perfect outcome! Yikes, this discovery stopped me dead in my tracks! After all I work with clients every day supporting them to grow the confidence to just start their journey and leave the notion of perfection behind.

Funny thing, I realized somewhere along the way I created a formula to get the perfect outcome for this project. My formula felt complicated so I kept postponing the start. Waiting for the “right” time!  

Based on what I learned, I’ve decided to redefine perfect to mean, “thinking, speaking and acting to the very best of my ability today and as I learn and grow this will change over time.” I’ve broken down the formula into small bites so I can start today!

Doing this reframe has sparked another level of untapped energy and potential for what is yet to come in my life and business. Ahhhh, a new higher level of freedom! Independence!

Now, back to you…where are you not being as free in your life as you would like to be and what is holding you back?

 

Let me know what you discover. If you’d like to talk about creating more freedom in your life, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today.

Experiential Learning

Develop confidence in your life and business through experiential learning.

Growing up on a farm, experiential training was how I learned to do things. I didn’t attend a class or listen to a lecture. I got my hands, and most of the time my entire body, dirty to learn how to do what needed to be done.

I was constantly observing what was happening around me and my dad would try to take time to explain what do to, however, there would be times when that wasn’t possible. So, I would make a decision to try the plan I thought would work best to resolve the challenge. Well, sometimes it was perfect and other times I needed to adjust it a bit and yes, there were times I needed to start completely over. The next steps were based on what I learned.

As humans, we have five senses to gather oodles of information and deliver it to our unique powerhouse processor stored between our ears. Learning to use our senses through experience can be a transformative way to build confidence in our ability to create a solution and learn a new craft or skill.

The college path I choose was in healthcare. After sitting through the lecture, using my ears to learn how to do a procedure, I would then go into the clinical setting to observe and do, which is where the other four senses kicked into gear. The motto at the time was, “see one, do one, teach one.” Once again, hands on learning through experience.

I continue to use this model of learning in all aspects of my life as a business owner, Mum, and wife. I teach and support my clients through experiential learning as they test out their new ideas, processes and ways of being in the world.

The clients I work with experience ah-ha moments and transformation when they are dipping their toes in the water and trying out new ways of thinking and doing.

Many times we wait until we think we have the “perfect” idea to start. This reminds me of an Arthur Ashe quote, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

What idea or change have you been waiting to try either in your business or life?

As you may know, I was invited to join the Forbes Coaches Council, and as a member, I was recently chosen to contribute to an article: Why Experiential Learning Should Be Part of Employee Training. The information in the article may provide you the confidence to move forward and integrate experiential learning within your business and/or life.

Here’s my thought contribution from the article:

Why Experiential Learning Should Be Part of Employee Training

Tip #1: It Moves Us Beyond Theory

Experiential learning provides an opportunity for continuous learning and improvement. Learning by doing provides the learner with instant feedback and the ability to reflect on what to keep doing, what to tweak and repeat, or what to change altogether. It's a great way to test competency to know if additional support would be helpful to create success for the learner. It moves us beyond theory.” 
– Kris McCrea Scrutchfield, PCC, www.McCreaCoaching.com

Please check out the other highly valuable tips shared in the article by 9 other coaches in the Forbes Council.

I trust this will help you navigate next steps to take. If you would like to chat more about how to move into the testing phase of your idea or change you’d like to make, click here to set up a free discovery session with me today.  

Returning to Basics

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a common thread in many workplaces and in personal relationships. It’s the absence of using please and thank you with each other.

Imagine how you would feel today if someone took the time to say thank you for something you did and/or they included please when asking you to do something. These three simple words create a positive impact for both the giver and receiver of the message. They demonstrate appreciation and gratitude.

In today’s fast paced-world it’s important to take time to say thank you in a sincere way and not abbreviate the recognition we give to others to just “thanks”.

I think back to when I learned to write my first thank you note and I was taught to identify what I was thanking the giver of the gift for and why it will be helpful to me e.g. “Dear Gram, thank you for the beautiful mittens. They’ll help keep my hands warm when I’m outside playing with my friends.”

This writing lesson plays an important role in the workplace and in our relationships. As humans, we like to be recognized and noticed for the extra things we do and it has a greater impact if the recognition feels sincere and has meaning to it. Try including what and why when you are saying thank you to someone today.

I once worked with a physician who would write on the white board in the morning, “Please and thank you for everything you do all day today.” This small gesture produced warm smiles from our entire team throughout the day.

Watch the reaction you receive from your kids when you thank them for what they did today. Remember to be specific, “Thank you for doing the dishes, it means a lot to me.”

Taking time to notice the good and recognizing it will shift your energy. Share a friendly thank you wave to someone when they make room for you to pull out into traffic.

I love to see the smile that occurs when I say thank you to someone and recognize him or her and what he or she is doing. Let me know what you notice as you increase the frequency of using please and thank you. 

If you would like to chat about how you can make appreciation and gratitude a bigger part of your life, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery call with me today