Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Welcome 2010!!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous Holiday. It was a whirlwind holiday season for me - I actually flew out to California with my boyfriend and spent the Holidays out with his family. The sunshine and weather was glorious. I love my Maine winters, but I have to admit, that California sunshine is pretty addictive!

Now that I am back, I am doing what I imagine a lot of people are doing - reviewing 2009, and gearing up for 2010.

One coaches blog that I read and enjoy (Cheryl Richardson) suggested that we list out 25 accomplishments from 2009, and then list out 25 goals for 2010. I'm not sure if I can list that many here- but I can certainly share my top 10, and encourage you to try this exercise for yourself:

Accomplishments for 2009:

1) Left my overly stressful and demanding "corporate job"
2) Branded and Launched my business - Open Door Life Coaching
3) Held several successful workshops and seminars
4) gained wonderful and inspiring clients!
5) adopted my baby dog Lexi!
6) Traveled to California - twice!
7) got my braces off (and ate copious amounts of popcorn!)
8) met hundreds of inspiring and supportive business people at networking events
9) placed first place in 2 speech contests - at the club, area and district level at Toastmasters
10) completed a new website design that is ready to launch in 2010.

As you can see, many of my accomplishments for 2009 were business oriented... so, as I was looking forward at 2010, I pulled out a life wheel, and accessed my satisfaction levels in my life, I discovered I was less satisfied in areas of personal growth, health and wellness, and fun and recreation. So, that is where I am placing my focus for 2010. Like most Americans, personal finance and career are still a large focus, but it seems sometimes we focus so much on one or two areas of our life, that other areas get neglected. In reflection, while I am really satisfied with my body image, I do agree I could eat better and move more. I could be more conscious of my eating habits. (ever since I got my braces off, I have gone a little hog-wild on eating nuts, candy, and foods that were once "off limits... ha ha) After being in California for a week, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and walking every where, I realize that I could incorporate many more healthy measures in my life. So... without further adieu, here are my 2010 goals:

1) Eat balanced, wholesome, non-processed foods (treats and "fun foods" are eaten consciously)
2) Incorporate activity into my daily regime
3) spend at least an hour out doors every day
4) Go dancing at least twice a month
5) Go to the gym twice a week
6) Drink 8 glasses of water a day
7) Plan and execute new workshops and teleclasses (details to follow!)
8) Lets get 500 Facebook Fans!
9) continue to grow my coaching business into a thriving, successful practice!!
10) Begin writing my book (do I dare say draft quality by the end of 2010?)

Through the next several weeks, I am going to break down my goals and talk about my successes, challenges, and thoughts on each one. Sure, I am a coach - but I can say, I will need
support from you all to achieve my goals - so lets work together! I want to hear from you - so be sure to leave comments or email me privately - priscilla@opendoorlifecoaching.com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

or Hanukkah, or Winter Solstice, or Kwanzaa... what ever you celebrate, take the time to appreciate the true spirit and nature of the season.

This is a picture from the last Christmas I celebrated with my Destiny. It was right after a big ice storm. My girl had been very ill for quite sometime- she had been diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure in April, and she was living out her last days, being loved and cherished every moment I had her. It was a really stressful time for me. I was up with her every hour on the hour for weeks on end carrying her down my apartment stairs because she was so weak. I was administering sub-q fluids daily. She was on copious amounts of medication. She had stopped eating regular food, and what little nourishment I did get in her, I had to cook for her. I had spent all my extra money on her treatments, and I wasn't able to get my family and friends the presents I wished I could have gotten them. It just didn't feel like Christmas to me. I questioned my decision on even getting a tree, I mean, what was I thinking? Forty dollars on a tree when I can't even afford to get my family Christmas presents? But it was tradition... and I was talked into going. As I recall, my sister lent me the money.

Yet on the day we went to get the family Christmas trees... an annual tradition we have carried on for years and years, Destiny trotted down the icy road with my nephew, she pranced around as we cut down the tree. She even picked out the tree by leading me straight to the ice encrusted tree... it gleamed and sparkled in the sun like diamonds. It was breathtaking.

Oh how I cherish this moment of sweetness I captured through my camera lens... and I often wonder what she was whispering in Santa's ear? What was on her Christmas list? What were her last wishes? Had she accomplished all she had set out to do in her life?

If this was your last Christmas, what would you ask Santa to bring you? Surely the list would include things like more time with loved ones, more romps in the snow, more time to snuggle and watch the glimmering Christmas Tree.... more time to say I love you.

You might wish for more time to complete tasks undone, but I have a feeling most chores would be easily laid to rest, your work here would be complete, and you would be allowed to focus all your heart and soul on what really matters - the ones you love.

I remember decorating that Christmas tree. I remember Destiny watching as we hung each ornament. As we hung the ornaments on the tree, I noticed how beautiful each one was - I told Mike stories of where I got each ornament, or who gave it to me, or what year and significance each one had... it seemed each one had a story of someone I loved. I remember being overwhelmed and grateful to have that wonderful day with Destiny and my family. For that one day I had my girl back. She even ate a big bowl of chicken and rice that night. Hallelujah! I have a feeling I know what she asked Santa for that day.

The Holidays can be a stressful, overwhelming, busy, bustling and crazy time of year.... but take a moment - perhaps right now - to just be still. Watch your babies sleep in their beds. Take in the sights and smells of the season. Hold hands with your sweet heart. Say I love you to the people in your life who need to hear it. Practice a random act of kindness. Give thanks to your Maker for all the blessings in your life.

And imagine what your life would be like if you did that every day.

Have yourself - a merry - little - Christmas.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting Unstuck

Its funny... and a little ironic. Here I am - a Life Coach. I help people move forward and achieve their goals. Sometimes when clients come to me, they are so stuck in their own head, they are experiencing what I like to call "analysis paralysis". Through series of guided questions, visualizations and breaking down inner and outer blocks - my clients pull out of their ruts and become unstoppable.

So why is it that I - The Life Coach... made a goal for myself to blog every week, have not posted for two months?

Because I got stuck.

What do I write? What do I say? What do people need to hear? What value will people get from reading my blog? I got so caught up with analyzing what I was going to write, that when I sat down at my keyboard, my mind was as blank as my screen. My mind would spin, and I would get absolutely no where.

But I love to write. I love to blog. I love to point out all the quirks of every day living and have fun with them. So why has this been a block for me?

So I called upon my Inner Coach... and asked myself - You love to write, you love to blog, you love to express yourself creatively - what has been getting in your way of updating your blog for your readers once a week?

Well - the excuses started popping up... No time, No ideas, Nothing new to say.... but when I broke down each "excuse" I found that they really didn't hold up.

It always comes back to the Gremlin... the little voice in our heads that says "you are not good enough."

When I sat and thought about why I wasn't updating my blog, it wasn't that I didn't have anything to say. I always have something to say... (and people who know me are nodding their heads)... The truth of the matter was, I was afraid that what I had to say wasn't going to touch my readers the way I hope it will. I want to be inspiring, helpful, and useful. I want to help shift people's energy and maybe put a smile on their face in the process.

The next question I asked myself was.... are you inspiring, helpful, useful by not updating your blog?

No. I guess I'm not. Not at all. Not even a chance.

So there are really two truths to this dilemma. I could write my blog entry, and no one finds it interesting or inspiring... or I could not write my blog entry, and inspire and interest no one.

Both statements could be true ... but which statement gets me closer to MY goal? Taking the risk and writing anyway. Ah ha.

So, that is what I am doing this morning - just writing, observing, and pulling from personal experience... and finally I am unstuck - free from the rut, and now in action. The results from my taking action are still yet to be seen, but geez it feels good to be unstuck! Its kind of like when you go off the road in the winter and are stuck in a snow bank. You can spin-spin-spin your tires and get absolutely no where, or you can get out of the car, put on some chains, throw down some sand and rock your way out. Once you are free and moving, you realize that spinning your tires got you absolutely no where except deeper and deeper in the ruts.

Feeling stuck or inactive in your life? Stop spinning your tires -lets get out the chains and the sand. I'd love to hear from you... lets reveal the true statements in your life, and get you moving towards your goals.

~Coach Priscilla

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lessons I learned from my Destiny

Last year at this time, I was care-taking for my elderly dog Destiny. I write about her and think about her often, because she was a wise soul that knew alot about life... not just life - but living Consciously. Conscious Living is a concept that I put to practice in my own life... but its something that doesn't come as naturally to me, as it did to Destiny. My dogs are my teachers - I learned from Destiny, just as I now learn from my new pup Lexi - Life is Good.

Destiny was diagnosed with CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) in the Spring of 2008. Our last summer together was a summer filled with creating memories. In between her sub-q fluid treatments, vet visits, and countless medications she had to take - we enjoyed life. We lived a golden moment - life slowed down. It was a chance for me to really acknowledge the friendship we had, to celebrate the love we were given, and to thank the Universe for every special day.

If Destiny taught me nothing else... its to take one precious day at a time... and live that day as if it were your last.

I am currently reading "Marley & Me" Life and Love with the worlds worst dog... by John Grogan. If any of you chose to read it - prepare yourself by having a box of tissues nearby... especially towards the end of the book.

As Marley got older, he still exhibited his puppy like behaviors, and never lost his quirky spirit... but he got older.. romps in the fields, racing up stairs, and being well - dog-like ... got far and few between. In the book Marley had good days, he had bad days... he had good moments, and bad moments. The older he got, the more precious the good moments got, and his owner, John noticed himself becoming more aware and conscious about his own observances of Marleys aging... and how each moment of his own mid-life was worth noting as precious and fleeting.

And I can relate to every word as I watched my Girl transform from a baby puppy, to bratty adolescent, to calmer adult, to set-in-her-ways senior, and finally one day unlatched her leash her for good .. and the wisdom she taught me is beyond what I could have learned without her. Her determination and will is something I wish to emulate in my own life. The following are life lessons that she has taught me.

  • Bound out the door every day! There are adventures and discoveries to be made right in your own back yard!
  • Smile at strangers first, question their intentions later - everyone you meet has the potential to be your friend.
  • Mud puddles are meant to be stomped through - you can always take a bath later.
  • play hard, nap often.
  • Eat with gusto and delight!
  • Its not how you play the game, its how much noise you make playing it!
  • Be proud of small accomplishments. Today its a flight of stairs, tomorrow it might be a steep mountain, the next it could be a amiable path.
  • No pain, no sore hips, no aching bones should keep you from a good game of stick.
  • Determination and tenacity will get you across rough waters.
  • Get down and dirty! Nothing is more pleasurable than getting wet, muddy, and rolling in the grass...
  • When someone offers you a drink of cool water, it is a gift of love and adoration
  • Even if your eyes get cloudy - they are the windows to your soul... speak through them.
  • Sometimes your only purpose in life is to be there... and to be a friend.
  • Be excited when you see your loved ones!
  • Notice and delight in everything nature has to offer - its the key to ecstasy
  • There is no place like home
  • Its ok to get assistance from others
  • Keep a vast and wide variety of friends...

What moments can you fetch today?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You are Beautiful!

One of the most common questions I get asked by my clients is "how do I get more energy?"

Obviously, there is no one answer... in fact, the answer can be different for everyone, and by asking series of questions, my clients find their own balance in their lives, therefore creating their own energy.

But there is one universal "trick" that seems to work in most cases - if you are feeling drained and void of energy, a quick "pick me up" is to pick someone else up. In other words - do something kind for someone else, and instantaneously, you can reap the rewards of a zap of energy.

I read an article somewhere, and forgive me for not quoting the resource, where someone had the idea of performing a social experiment to boost women's self-image and self-worth. The idea was to leave anonymous notes in women's rooms, lockers, fitting rooms... any where that someone may need a boost of self confidence - and the note had one simple message "You are beautiful"

When I read the article - I loved the idea - and I have a stack of fun, heart-shaped stick-it notes, and I started the experiment for myself. I tend to frequent a few bars because my boyfriend is a karaoke DJ - so every time I went into a ladies room, I stuck my random note to the mirror, or if the bathroom was occupied, to the back of the bathroom stall door:

What I didn't realize when I started this experiment, was how good it would make me feel. I would watch girls come out of the ladies rooms smiling. If I had to frequent the bathroom again, I would watch the girls responses as I reapplied my lip gloss or washed my hands. Most smiled at the note, some tipped their heads to the side and shrugged their shoulders... and one girl actually took the note down and said "I needed this today..." and I whispered to her - "just pay it forward" ... and she said she would.

Really - I am not becoming a ladies room stalker... but geesh - what fun I've had with this experiment! The joy and energy it brought me last week was more than I expected. So much so, I thought it would be fun to let my secret out and share it with you, so that maybe you could try it too..... Let me know how it works - I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feeling Groovy

Yesterday was just "one of those days"....

I woke up late, couldn't find anything to wear, rushed around like a lunatic - jumped in my truck and sped off to the office.

Its a route I drive every single day.... and I was bee-bopping along, minding my own business ... when suddenly I realized I had a police officer on my tail with his blue lights flashing like disco inferno.

Once I was safely pulled over, I rolled down my window, and a very stern police officer approached and asked me "do you know why I pulled you over?"

Now, what really flashed through my mind was the scene from "Liar, Liar" when Jim Carey blurts out all the wrong-doings and misgivings of his driving with the final exclamation of "and I was speeding!!!"

What I realized is I didn't really know where I was on the road... I drive this route so many times that often I get to the office without even remembering the drive at all. I was driving mindlessly - letting my mind race to when I arrived at the office and all the things I had to get done. My head was virtually checking off a mile-long to-do list... and I hadn't exactly been paying attention to my driving at all... but I presumed I was speeding... and I was... and while the officer wrote my ticket, I felt very remorseful. This is the very thing I coach people on every day, and here I am - caught red-handed in mindless behavior.

This time was a monetary misfortune... but how many other opportunities have I missed because I live my life at times, as a means to an end... an end that often times, never comes? How many sunsets have I missed because I was too busy to look out a window? How many smiles did I walk past because I was looking down at the side walk, rather into the faces of passersby on the street? How many times have I been so preoccupied that I lost the opportunity to receive a gift from the Universe?

So I have been revisiting the teachings of Ekhart Tolle - the author of "The Power of Now". Perhaps you have heard of him, after his big debut on the "worlds largest classroom" world wide webinar with Oprah. Despite his low monotoned voice, his teachings are amazing and have truly transformed my way of thinking... but with anything else, sometimes you need to be brought back to basics.

One excerpt from his teachings "The Power of Now" is especially relevant to my experience yesterday:

In your everyday life, you can practice this (mindfulness) by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present.

Or when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap, and so on.

Or when you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence.

There is once certain criterion by which you can measure your success in this practice: the degree of peace you feel within.

Teachings and self-help guides are wonderful, but if you don't put them into every day practice - what good are they?

Often, when I find a practice I really want to implement, I find a song that reminds me of the teaching.. I program it into my iPod, and play it when I need a reminder... sometimes I even program songs to play for me right when I wake up as a reminder of how I want to live my day...

So, if this tidbit of advice is useful to you, and you would like to be reminded of my discovery and lesson of mindful awareness - I invite you to listen to this song - Feelin' Groovy

Enjoy your day - every single moment!

Coach Priscilla

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Setting Boundaries

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I hear it all the time. Over and over. From my friends, from my family, and from my clients.

"How do I just say NO?"

"How do I get my ex-wife to stop calling me?"

"How do I get my mother to stop meddling in my life?"

Ugh! Relationships! They are tough - aren't they? But when I think about the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, it makes me realize - the ball is in my court. I may not be able to control them and how they act towards me, but I can control my reactions towards them.

Its all about setting boundaries. Its the ultimate act of self-love when you recognize your own limits - what you can and cannot tolerate, and honor yourself by setting limits and sticking to them. Learning to set boundaries is learning to be a good friend to yourself. Don't you teach your children what good and bad is, and when someone makes them feel bad, its not acceptable? Then why do you tolerate bad behavior for yourself?

Now, I am not saying to turn a cold shoulder on the world, or stop answering the phone - that is not realistic. But there are ways to deal with difficult people, and keep your sanity.

The first step is to realize that nobody makes you do anything, but you. In other words - when you think "UGH! He makes me so angry!!".... No, he doesn't. YOU make YOU angry. YOU chose to get angry. He may know how to push your buttons, but you still choose your own feelings - no one can choose anger for you. Once you realize that YOU CHOOSE every emotion and reaction you have, then it becomes easier to choose acceptance or forgiveness over frustration.

Setting boundaries is an expression of self-love and care. It should be as important as good food, exercise and sleep. If you are letting someone infringe on your time and step on your values, its no wonder you are stressed, tired and frustrated!

Yet we continue to let people tap our precious resources - our time and energy! Why?

Because we don't want to cause conflict. Its uncomfortable to say no. We like to please people, or we may not want to admit to ourselves that we simply can not "do it all." Unfortunately, we ultimately disappoint ourselves by burning the candle at both ends, or sacrificing personal time and energy for someone else. Sound familiar?

So how do you say no?

  • Just say NO. We all heard it from the Reagan's in the 80's and it still applies today. A firm "Sorry, I can't do this right now" is sufficient enough to get you out of most situations.
  • Take FIVE - If someone is especially persistent say "I will have to get back to you." Let them know you will get back to them (and give them a time frame) and then you can decline with an email or a quick phone call letting the person know your schedule is just too full.
  • Deal, or no deal - If you would like to do what they are asking, but do not have the time or resources to do it on their terms, try the "I would love the opportunity, but can we ... " You never know, your suggestion may be something the person hadn't thought of and it works for everyone.
Remember - YOU choose what's acceptable in your life. You choose your limits.

I had a client try this technique for the first time several weeks ago. She works in a very busy office that is very demanding. She is now finding herself not only doing her own job, but also the job of someone she will be training. The demands that were being placed on her were overwhelming, and she was coming home each night to sheer exhaustion and frustration.

The following week, she called me and when I asked her how she was making progress on setting boundaries, she said "You won't believe it - I just said "I would love to assist on this, but because I am training a new person, its just not going to work in my schedule" and the person said "Ok - I totally understand" They worked out a new compromise, they started a dialogue about the work that had been loaded on her, and she is finding her co-workers and managers to be more cooperative. "I can't believe how easy it was to just say NO."

Another tool I use with clients is the "Absolute YES" list. Spend some time creating a list of situations where its OK for someone to infringe on your time. In the case of my client who had an ex-wife who called on a whim about every little thing, my client wrote on his list things such as "my son", "money", "child-care arrangements"... his list was about 6 items long, and if his ex called about something not on his "YES" list, he asked her if he could contact HER back when he had time to discuss the situation. Now the ball was in his court. He kept his promise and called her back at the exact time he told her - he was in control of the situation. Because he had cleared the time and space to deal with her, he found he didn't get as frustrated, his energy stayed up, and was able to have a decent conversation with her. He set boundaries for himself, and was better able to deal with frustrating situations, creating a more cohesive environment for their son.

Is there a situation or person that is demanding of your time or energy? There are solutions, and I can help. Feel free to call me or email me about the situation, I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Open Doors

I subscribed to the Daily OM at least a couple years ago, and I get their newsletter daily. I've always enjoyed the content, and it adds a boost to my day. Admittedly, I don' t always read it the day it comes in, and sometimes end up reading a weeks worth while drinking my coffee on a weekend.

This post stood out to me, I hope you enjoy it..

July 9, 2009
Walking Through
When Doors Open

When a door opens, walk through it. Trust that the door has opened for a reason and you have been guided to it. Sometimes we have a tendency to over analyze or agonize over the decision, but it is quicker to simply go through the door and discover what’s there as that’s the only way to know. Even if it doesn’t seem right at first, opening this door may lead to another door that will take us where we need to go.

Doors open when the time is right for us to enter a new space, metaphorically speaking, and we can have faith that walking through is the right thing to do. Sometimes we linger in the threshold because we are afraid of leaving our old life for a life we know nothing about. We may have voices inside of our heads that try to hold us back or people in our lives saying discouraging things. These voices, internal and external, are known as threshold spirits, and they express all the fears and doubts that arise at the beginning of a new life. Nevertheless, none of these voices can hold us back, and they will fall silent as soon as we cross the threshold.

There are many doors that open in the course of our lives, leading us into new relationships, jobs, friendships, and creative inspirations. Our lives up to this point are the result of all the doors we have walked through, and our continued growth depends on our willingness to keep moving into new spaces. Every time we walk through an open door, we create a sense memory that encourages us to move into the new fearlessly. When we enter the new space, we almost always feel a thrill and a new feeling of confidence, in ourselves and in the universe. We have stepped across the threshold into a new life.


This amazed me because I felt like someone was living in my head when I named my life coaching business, and decided on the purpose of it - to help people go through doors.

I got thinking about the doors I have gone through - and there have been many. I also thought about the doors that were mysteriously opened for me, at what seemed like the most opportune time, as if Destiny were there guiding me. (and for those who knew my dog Destiny - you know that is not just a metaphor)

One time in particular was when my husband announced after 17 years we were through... and he was dating someone else. My heart was shattered. I was frightened. I never had lived on my own before.... but amazingly - just one month before, I had started schooling at iPec and was being trained as a life coach. At first, the voices in my head taunted me - "how can I coach people to live their ideal lives, when mine is falling apart?"... I learned through my coaching curriculum that this was my Gremlin talking, and I learned to talk back to my Gremlin.

"Cecilia," I said, (I named my Gremlin Cecilia) "How do you know that I will fail? What if people who are looking for a life coach are going through what I went through? What if they need strength, compassion and understanding... like I do?" And Cecilia eventually lost her argument with me, and her power. I gathered up my courage, and I left the marriage - I walked away without remorse. I found a quiant little apartment, and my dog and I moved out the very next day.

Trust that the door has opened for a reason and you have been guided to it

Come to find out walking through that door (or rather OUT that door) was the best life decision I ever made. I am happier and more fulfilled as a result... and so is my ex-husband. We both started new lives - lives that we could not have created together, no matter how hard we tried, because believe me, in the seventeen years we were together - we tried. I never realized, until that door was thrust open like that, that I was in need of a new space to grow. I had become a houseplant that had out grown its pot and was root-bound. Now, living on my own has broadened my horizons and given me the space I need to stretch myself and flourish. I trusted the Universe to guide me... and as usual, the Universe knew exactly what I needed.

Doors open when the time is right for us to enter a new space

Another door that flew wide open for me this past year was the door to my ultimate freedom. To many, people view losing their job as a terrible loss - I saw it as an opportunity and as a gift. I had started up my coaching practice and was dabbling in it part time. I knew it was my purpose and passion to coach people - I was called to it, but I was afraid to let go of my corporate job. It was comfortable. It provided steady income and benefits. I knew how to do it, and I did it well. I was most definitely afraid to leave my old life to do something new. But in January, the Universe opened another door for me, and the company cut back dozens of positions - mine included. But because of the doors in my past that I had walked through and discovered new joys on the other side, I walked through this one with confidence that the Universe provides, and I will be great. Now I have all the time I ever wanted to dedicate to my coaching practice full time, I have gained wonderful clients, friends and connections as a result - and I am still flourishing in my new space. Once again, I had grown root-bound, and I needed more space to grow and be abundant.

So that is why I named my coaching practice "Open Door Life Coaching"... because everyone has doors that are opened - sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes because you are guided to them, sometimes because you were searching for them. But they are there all the same. And walking through them can be scary, and once you are on the other side, it can be overwhelming.

Because of my personal and professional experiences, I am ready to be your guide. If you are wondering where the open doors are, I can help you find them. If you are standing on the threshold afraid of whats on the other side, or unable to let go of what you are familiar with, I can take your hand and help you through. Don't live another day root-bound, choked out, and under nourished. I want everyone to experience what I have experienced - a richer, fuller life that is spacious, abundant and beautiful - on the other side of the door. Give yourself the space to grow.

Live Your Dreams, Inside - OUT

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Walking the Talk

One of the Oaths I take as a Life Coach is to "Walk the Talk"... sometimes I struggle with it, but hey, I am not coaching Jesus here. I am coaching real people with real issues... therefore, "walking the talk" to me means "keeping it real".

It has rained for 26 days out of 30 in the month of June. And even though most people are trying to keep a sense of humor about it - its effecting everyone. Kids are bored, tourists are at bay, and energy is low because we are deficient on vitamin D.

Its hard to "walk the talk" when its gloomy and depressing outside. Its hard to be upbeat and energetic and continue to move forward in goals. Therapists are reporting a spike in new clients, and I have to admit, interest to my website, facebook account and inquiries are up for me as well. I met with Rick Snow from Maine Indoor Karting and he is reporting having a banner year due to all the rain - so there is GOOD happening as a result of the summer wash outs - we just have to look for it!

We've heard all the famous quotes - "Every cloud has a silver lining", or one of my favorites "to have a rainbow, you have to put up with a little rain" ~ Dolly Pardon

Does it help to repeat cliche quotes when you are truly suffering and having a hard time dealing in tough situations? Sometimes - yes, it does. Why sometimes? Well, its my true belief that unless there is action connected to a saying... it doesn't carry much power.

So lets take the "Every cloud has a silver lining" phrase. We've been seeing alot of clouds lately. Where is the silver lining? What good has the rain created? I just gave Rick Snow as an example - his sales are up as a result of nasty weather. What else? Maybe you've been reading more than ever. Maybe you've discovered beauty in the rain drops, or that running in the rain is exhilarating. If you are like most Mainers, you are saving money on your water bill because you don't have to water your lawn, and think about the money you are saving on sunscreen!

Now - I am not saying to skip around and pretend that everything is fantastic. Remember - part of my own "Walking the Talk" is "Keeping it Real". I have some real issues about this rain. I have parents who are farmers who are watching their crops mold in the fields. I have friends in the lawn care business who are struggling to "make hay while the sun shines".... hello? the sun hasn't shined in a month! I have small annoyances like the chore of taking my laundry to laundromat because I do not have a clothes dryer and rely on the summer sun to dry my clothes. There are very real reasons to be down about the rain.... but positive affirmations are about two things - choice, and action.

You can choose to walk around glum about the weather. You can get angry. You can decide you've had enough and get out of town for a while. You have choices about what you can do. How do you want to represent yourself? What kind of person do you want to be as a result of hard times? Do you want to the the gloomy nay-sayer - or do you want to be the person who is still encouraging, creative, and enlightening.

I'm not saying this is easy. If you are in a business that depends on good weather to bring in the money - your pain and frustration is understandable. But what kind of business person do you want to be remembered as during stormy times - the one who folds and throws in the cards? Or the one who works with the hand your dealt and makes the best out of a poor situation?

Its your choice. Walk the talk. Keep it Real.... and doing a sun dance might not hurt either.

Live Your Dreams, Inside - OUT!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why Do I Need A Life Coach?

There's no one way to answer that question, but I get asked it all the time...

I believe I am asked the question quite frequently because Coaching, as a profession is still relatively new. Life Coaching as a profession didn't become popular or well known until the late 1990's, although it has its roots in the 1970's when W. Timothy Gallwey suggested a paradigm shift in sports coaching. He had noticed that players self-corrected when he coached with open questions, instead of catching errors and offering suggestions. In fact, when a player listened to a suggestion and tried, performance diminished. When a player relaxed and held a picture and feeling of the end result, and allowed the body to create that result, the player improved.

So - Why do YOU need a life coach?

Let's face it - we are all playing a game - the game of Life. And we have all heard the old saying - "Its not how you win or lose, its how you play the game". How are you playing your game? Are you even in the game? Are you in the dug-out, or are you in center-field? Are you playing effectively? Are you playing a game you enjoy?

Coaches help people go from functional to optimum. From "mediocre" to great. Coaches help the players get the most out of the game, and yes - we help you win! We want you to knock it out of the park!

I'm already playing a game I enjoy - and I am playing it well - I'm already a winner... why do I need a coach?

All the "greats" have coaches - Michael Jordan has a coach. Oprah has a coach. Tyra Banks, and yes, even Barack Obama has a coach. They recognize the fact that in order to continually achieve greatness - to stretch further and further, they need to be continually challenged. Even Tony Robbins has a life coach! And, yes, as a matter of fact - I have a life coach too.

Most of my clients have one common issue - they are tired of spinning their wheels. They give so much energy to everyone else, (their jobs, their families, their friends) that they are often left with nothing for themselves. Sound familiar?

So, instead of asking "Why do I need a life coach?"... perhaps the shorter answer would be "who doesn't need a life coach?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Considering a life coach?

Considering a life coach? Great!! You are one of the elite! You are amongst those cutting edge people who are realizing that coaching is the wave of the future. People are realizing that it just makes good sense to have the assistance of someone who is non-judgmental, a good listener, and capable of thinking "outside of the box," to help them make their lives more manageable and enjoyable.

When shopping for a life coach, you need to take several things into consideration. Coaching is an investment, so be sure to do your homework and choose carefully. Your coach should be reliable, supportive, open-minded, professional, personable, knowledgeable, action-oriented, and they should always keep to your agenda. Choosing a certified coach ensures that the person has been fully trained on all the skills and tools of effective coaching.

So amongst all the coaches out there - how do you choose?

  • Assess your goals - There are many coaches out there, and they all have different niches. Do you need work/life balance? Do you need a spiritual coach? Do you need a coach that specializes in a specific life situation such as bipolar or divorce? Utilize my life wheel to get a good picture on exactly what you would like to work on, then choose a coach that specializes in that niche, or is trained in balance coaching.
  • Call the coach. They should always offer a free (complimentary) session to go over your goals, explain their coaching programs, and make sure if they are a right fit for you.
  • Do your homework. The client-coach relationship is a partnership - be sure you interview the coach to make sure that s/he will be able to support you in all your goals. Be sure in each meeting, the coach concentrates on your agenda, and is willing to understand where you are today, and what you are willing to do to get to where you want to be tomorrow.
What a coach is NOT -

A Coach is not a consultant - Consultants have an agenda, and are often experts in certain fields. They offer advise and give answers to the client. Coaches on the other hand have no agenda except to help the client get what they want, and use the coaching process to discover what that is. A good coach believes their clients hold all the answers to any situation they face.

A Coach is not a therapist - A therapist's typical functions are to help clients fix problems, heal emotional wounds from the past, and sometimes manage mental illness. Coaches do not work with mental illness nor work on healing a clients past. In summary, the therapist usually helps the client heal by figuring out "why", while the coach helps the client move forward by focusing on "how."

A Coach is not a best friend - Honey - lets face it. When we need to be lifted up, there is nothing like lunch, a martini, and shoe shopping with our best friends... but how much of the conversation is ALL about YOU? A professional coach is trained to focus on you, your goals, and your agenda. A coach will not tell you what to do, or how I've been there, done that, and girl.... dump that zero and get yourself a hero! But, we might ask you where you got your cute shoes.

A Coach is not a mentor - Its great to have a role model who has "been there and done that" and will "show us the ropes", but a coach does not need to use his/her personal experiences as a model of success for the client. We believe that you are the best at what you do, and we want to hear what you have for ideas on how to reach your goals.

So when considering a coach, weigh out all the options, choose carefully, and most important, congratulate yourself for taking the first step to creating the life you deserve!

Live Your Dreams Inside - OUT!