Thursday, April 4

I Don't Feel Like It

Somewhere over the course of today my words got lost.  I’m not sure where they are hiding or how I’ll find them.  All I know is that today I plan to stick to my commitment that as a writer I will write 1000 words a day.  And the words are gone.

Naturally, with my words having run away the last thing I want to do is write 1000 of them but this is a good lesson in life.  For the most part we don’t get to do just what we’d like.  Even the noblest dreams involve moments, hours, days, and weeks where we just don’t feel like it.  We don’t want to log another mile when preparing for a marathon.  We don’t want to pack a suitcase before a big trip.  We don’t want to stay up writing the final paper.  But we DO want to cross the finish line.  We DO want to check Australia off our bucket list.  We DO want to finish our degree.

 For every wonderful aspiration, there are hundreds of “I don’t feel like it” moments.  One of the best lessons in life is to learn how to push through the “I don’t feel like it” and to just get going.

Monday, March 18

The Power of One

Happy Monday!  

A few weeks back I finally finished my accounting course and launched into a new course on leadership.
Ahhh . . . it feels so good, like slipping into comfy pajamas.  Every day I study new theories, case studies and examples of leaders who have made a difference.  Every day for the last few weeks I've had the same epiphany:

Leadership happens one person at a time.

Naturally, I have taken that idea and built it into something more coach-y, more individual, more loving.  That is that we love and make a difference one person at a time.
It's compelling to want to run an organization, to want to manage a team, to want to see your family at the dinner table, perfectly dressed, perfectly polite and obedient.

It's exciting to think about leading a movement and making a difference in the world, but the truth is that all these great outcomes start with one person.
It is the single smile that makes someone's day.  
It is the bravery to defend the person being gossiped about when everyone else wants to laugh.
It's taking a split second to think about what the person you are interacting with needs most from you instead of planning out what you are going to say next or what you need from them.

Everyone is someone's baby . . . even the surliest, most unlovable person has a mother.  Everyone deserves to be treated like the extraordinary person that they are (even if everything extraordinary about them is buried underneath a difficult exterior).

I'm probably supposed to be learning how to raise up an army and lead thousands, but more than anything my studies make me want to be present and loving to the individuals I meet. 

That's my leadership goal.

Wednesday, March 6

Bask in the Moment

Years ago I attended a wedding that made me say "I want that for my own wedding."  I wasn't enamored by  the decor or color scheme (or any other styled element to the wedding for that matter).  
Sitting at dinner, I looked up to see the bride enraptured in the moment.  Her eyes twinkled  while laughing with her guests. She wasn't worried about the napkins being the right color.  She wasn't anxious to move onto the honeymoon.  She wasn't lost in her newly wedded-coupledom.  At each table and throughout each moment of the day she appeared to be fully and 100% present.  Until I saw how unique her experience was, it never occurred to me how many other brides I had witnessed who were happy, but distracted.

As I coach my clients, regardless of whether they are getting married or not, I coach to being present in the moment, every moment.  Remaining present is hard work (at least it is for me) but it creates those kinds of days that go down in our mental history.  Great days!  Memorable days!

Practice staying present today by choosing something to be a reminder.  You might choose that every time you stand up you are present.  Every time you see the sky, you are present.  Or, like I do, on the hour, each hour notice where you are, how you feel, what it smells like, breathe deeply and say a quick gratitude prayer.

Remaining present can change your life and of all the days to remember, enjoy, and bask in:  Don't you want that to be your wedding day? Or maybe even just today?

P.S.  I'm linking this post up to the lovely blog:  Something Charming and the Wedding Wednesday series.  Check it out for more wedding related posts and lovelies.
Something Charming

Monday, March 4

Overcoming Procrastination: By small and simple things

Years ago I was living in an apartment complex where my mailbox was in an inconvenient place.  As I arranged for more and more bills to come via email, my need for my mailbox shrank and shrank until one day I just stopped going.  Some time later exciting about a letter I was expecting, I journeyed out to my mailbox to find a note from the post office explaining that they had taken my mail hostage (my words not theirs) and I'd have to go and pick it up if I ever wanted to see it again (again my words not theirs).  At family dinner I griped about the wicked postal system.  How could they do that to me?  My brother-in-law said simply "we need to get you a dog."  I had no idea at the time what my dog had to do with my mail, but now it makes perfect sense.

It's easy to procrastinate something we don't want to do.  It is very easy not to want to do something . . . anything really.  It's easy not to want to wash my make up off before going to sleep.  It's easy not to want to complete all my writing projects by my own self-imposed due dates.  It's easy to put off until tomorrow preparing to run a 5k.   Anything both large and small can be procrastinated and much like my mail, something that seems so small, when procrastinated long enough, can result in a bigger headache.

#1  Create Routines

So, what does a dog have to do with it?  Harry forced me to create routines and to keep my routines.  I cannot procrastinate walking Harry with much success.  Either he'll sit on my chest and lick my face until we go (in the morning) or he'll take matters into his own hands and go on my carpet (in the evening).  Come rain or sun or blizzard-like snow, Harry must be walked.  In doing so, he proved to me that I can do something, even when I am not in the mood.  Carving out a set routine is the easiest, simplest way to overcome procrastination.  Stop thinking about it and make it into something that you just do.  This will take some initial inertia, but in time the heinous task will become second nature.

#2 Just for a Bit

Have you ever played that game with yourself where you challenge yourself to go running for just ten minutes and if, after 10 minutes you want to turn around, you can?  If you haven't, you should.  I do this with just about everything in my life that I don't feel like doing from my dishes to my MBA homework.  Most frequently my homework.  Ideally I study every day for two hours.  Most days I don't want to.  But I've started playing a game with myself:  just do 10 minutes and then I can quit.  Typically I will knock out a chunk of my work faster than I would at the last minute.  And, if I do quit after 10 min (and sometimes I do) I find that I still feel a sense of accomplishment.  The little bite I take out of my homework each day, is just that much less I have to do the next.  Doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all.

#3 Time Block

Another lesson I've learned in school (this time around) is to carve out a set period of time for my work.  Stop waiting for the perfect moment!  Perfect moments rarely ever come.  On Tuesday at 7 pm until 9 pm  I will sit down and do my work.  Whatever isn't finished on Tuesday spills over onto Wednesday and then Thursday.  These set hours allow me to focus on completely on my task and prevent me from both waiting for the moment when I am just ready and excited to do my accounting homework (never gonna happen) and multitasking through my project.  

The truth is that overcoming procrastination is a process of small, seemingly tiny decisions that we make over and over again.  It won't feel like you are tackling anything huge at first, but one day, you'll turn around and realize you've accomplished much, much more and with so much less resistance than you'd previously thought possible. 

What are some ways that you've tackled procrastination?

Wednesday, January 30

Luminous Brides

Over the last six years of coaching many of my clients have been brides.  Some were engaged when we started working together. Some became engaged over the course of our work.  Either way, I discovered an extra thrill with each opportunity to apply coaching techniques, questions and problem-solving to the problems inherent in planning a wedding and joining two lives together.

It isn't that the work is all that different.  There is a heightened intensity to everything when you are engaged. Problems that would normally be insignificant seem to carry the weight of the world.  Many women are planning a first class event, building their careers, preparing a new home and a new life while juggling in-laws to be and the shifting in their own relationships.  It can be terribly overwhelming.

Having a personal coach can help.  Coaching helps put problems in their proper perspective (i.e.- spending time with Mr. Fiance trumps fighting over which cake flavor will be on the top tier).  Coaching gives a bride a truly neutral outlet to vent frustrations and to create action plans. Coaching helps drown out all the competing voices trying to "help" with the planning. Most importantly, coaching helps a bride create and carve out the most significant and meaningful life possible.

I will be dedicating more posts to my lovely brides.  But know that lessons for brides are equally applicable to new or expecting mothers, entrepreneurs, dating ladies and grandmas alike.

Stay tuned!

All images are sourced on my "wedded bliss" pinterest board

Monday, January 28

The Three TV Shows I Don't Want to Live Without


Happy Monday!

My weekend took a strange twist, when I fell surprisingly ill starting Saturday night.  I knew something was wrong when on Saturday afternoon melancholy settled over me.  Grateful that I was up and exercising, running errands, and cleaning by 5am on Saturday I was able to relax that afternoon without feeling the least bit guilty.

I pulled out the last six months of my magazines (InStyle, Real Simple,etc.), my coziest blanket, and curled in a ball on my couch.  Thanks to Hulu Plus and Netflix I was able to catch up on the entire season of great TV.

My top three shows this year are:

1. Scandal- This show has it all:  intrigue, sexy relationships, smart dialogue, and a fascinating insider look at politics.  Kerry Washington as the professional "fixer" Olivia Pope is gorgeous.  Her style is impeccable.  Her apartment is perfect.  Last night I was aching for beamed ceilings, crown moldings, a hot president lover, and a stylish working wardrobe.

2. The Mindy Project- My sister told me over Christmas that I needed to watch this show.  I firmly explained that I don't have time for TV anymore.  When it popped up on Hulu, I thought "why not?" and turned it on.  I'm so glad I did.  This show is laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Mindy is even funnier than she was on "The Office".  She is a charming, neurotic doctor working with other equally charming neurotics.

3. New Girl-  Zoey Dechanel is darling.  She always has been and I was hooked on her show starting last season, but hadn't found time to catch up on this season yet. By the end of this season (thus far), I was doubled over on my couch, tears streaming down my face.

It's true that television can be a massive time suck and as I am very, very busy, I just don't have the hours in the day to sit and watch it.  But I don't regret these three, not for a single second.  And catching up on shows all in a row is fantastic!  Fewer commercials (none if you use Netflix) and a complete immersion into other, interesting worlds.

It was just what the doctor ordered for the last 24 hours!

What TV has you inspired and captivated?

Monday, January 21

Defining Moments

It's wonderful to make a decision and to find the entire world cheering you on in the process. 
 It's wonderful to work and live in an environment of unconditional love and support.  Is it reality?  Not for many (if any).  The truth is that all of us, at some point in life will have to make some hard and unpopular decisions.  I love to hear all sides and all opinions while I sort out my decisions. Somehow in all of the feedback I start to find my own decision.  Sometimes I know my own decision when I want to punch the person giving me a different opinion.  Sometimes I know my own decision when I'm talking it out with a best friend.  Sometimes after mulling a decision over a moment of clarity will come suddenly and unexpectedly.

However it comes, it's vital that I listen and act.  We all must listen and act no matter what others think.  We aren't living for anyone else.  No historical figure (that ever made a difference) made everyone happy.  There are tough choices to make in our lives and in our contribution to the world.  Today we're celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., a man who had the courage to boldly stand against hundreds of years of discrimination. Talk about going against the grain!

Whatever you are doing and contemplating.  Don't forget that the most important opinion is yours and that someday, that criticized decision might be the defining moment of your life.

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