Jessie is 9.5 years old now. She’s the most gentle, soulful and sweet dog you could ever want to meet. I love her so much I can’t even express it properly. The irony is that I spent the first 7 years (!!) of her life with us without fully appreciating her awesomeness!
We adopted Jessie from a rescue agency when she was not quite a year old. She was incredibly shy and completely mute. Totally submissive to all other dogs and humans. She cringed when people raised their voices. She didn’t know how to climb stairs. Wide-plank floors made her stop in her tracks, not wanting to walk on them. Clearly, she had been somehow traumatized or abused. Plus, she had fleas. :(
The whole idea of getting a dog was mine at the time. Our son was only 4 and seemed scared of dogs, and my dad was lonely at home waiting for us to come home from work and school every day. Plus, I grew up with two very special dogs and cherish my memories of...
Today I’m literally vibrating with the to-do list antsies. So much to dive into and check off! Big tasks, little tasks! Boring tasks, fun tasks! And yet this list is a potential (huge) source of overwhelm.
So what does a coach who specializes in helping people overcome overwhelm do when she’s dancing with overwhelm herself? Two things.
A new journal. Lovely!
Full of promise. Self-coaching and reflection magnet. Trusty companion. Overwhelm-overcomer. Clarity Catalyst. Mind-map container.
My last journal was about this size too. Not so huge that it won’t fit in my purse and not so tiny that I get a cramp in my hand from trying to write in it. It took me 18 months to use up every last page! Sometimes, I wrote every day. Other times, once a week for a bit. It saw me through times of both incredible growth and momentum AND times of deep stuckness and confusion.
Sounds silly, but my journal was there for me! Always helping me combat my mouthy inner critic. At my side when I couldn’t figure out where to start because I was brimming with so many ideas - and potential distractions! Providing a safe space to break down the pros and cons of various decisions. To mindmap new business and program ideas. To dream big!
Yesterday I had a networking coffee with an acquaintance who was recently restructured out of her organization. She didn’t see it coming, and is feeling a bit lost and uncertain.
I asked her what she wanted next for her career and what her ideal role would look like. She is a graphic designer and has significant experience in Marketing project management. She started talking about how she’d love a role in Marketing strategy and client relationship management. Almost as soon as she put this out there, she quickly dismissed her own idea! She said it wasn’t realistic because she didn’t have the actual experience and job title history to successfully target roles in this area.
As she started to describe advertised roles similar to the ones she’d held before and was thinking of applying to, her energy clearly dropped. She was talking like someone on death row. Zero enthusiasm. An air of resignation and...
I’ve been musing today about kindness and gratitude and how we often miss what is right in front of us. The first couple hours of my work day today were really...irritating. I don’t know if there's a full moon or what, but it felt like I was attracting all sorts of annoying people and tasks! You know those days.
I went for a brisk walk in the sunny cold with my husband. The air and exercise - and a wee bit of venting - helped me start to rebound from this funk. But I wasn’t all the way out of my crappy mood.
I grabbed my journal and started to write out some self-coaching questions. Specifically: What’s bugging me? What’s really bugging me? (there’s always stuff below the obvious) What do I want? What do I need? What am I grateful for?
And there it was. The SWITCH that literally moved me out of grumpy and into joyful. Here’s what I realized I am grateful for…
Today I woke up tired. That kind of head-in-a-cotton-ball, enveloping, bone-weary tired that sometimes strikes out of nowhere.
All I wanted to do was go back to bed and huddle under the covers for another hour. And yet my to-do list was screaming at me from my office down the hall. “Oh no you don’t! No rest for you, wicked one! This is ridiculous - just because you had a major event yesterday doesn’t mean you get to take it easy all of a sudden. Suck it up!”
I felt the familiar rise of guilt, impatience and frustration as I realized my body and foggy head had other plans and were just not responding the way I needed them to. My legs and back ached as I dragged myself down the stairs to the coffee pot.
And there she was. Jessie. Our sweet, furry, floppy-eared rescue dog. Looking at me expectantly with bright brown eyes. And suddenly I was immune to the screams from my office and the...
I love bubble wrap. It’s no secret. And I appear to have passed this love onto my son. He actually joked about loving the bubble wrap more than the gift wrapped in it!
What is it about bubble wrap that is so satisfying? I think it’s because it gives us a moment to just BE, to allow the messy tangle of thoughts we carry in our heads slide onto the sidelines for a joyful moment or two. It’s a gateway to being PRESENT and truly IN THE MOMENT.
So, what does all this have to do with a secret for your best year ever? Well, I’ve been reflecting on what made 2018 a great year for me personally. It was my first full year in business for myself and it was filled with myriad accomplishments, a few disappointments, a lot of learning and oodles of personal growth. I invested non-stop in my personal development, achieved new designations and certifications, met and built relationships with many...
I roasted some parsnips fries for lunch today. OMG – they are incredible in my humble taste buds’ opinion. I LOVE them. Sweet, earthy, caramelized, scrumptious. And as I ate the first couple fries, I had a sudden flashback to the early 90’s.
I was a new homeowner, living with my ex in a cute little bungalow we had renovated from top to bottom. And one day, an elderly neighbour from across the street rang the doorbell. He introduced himself and explained that he had a huge garden – and too much produce for him and his wife to consume by themselves. He proudly handed me a plastic bag full of dirty, root-like looking things. “What are they?” I asked. I honestly had no idea. “Parsnips.” he replied.
Hmmm. I thanked him profusely as my puzzled brain tried to work out why anyone would think it was a good idea to eat what he...
Remember the time when you had a MASSIVE “A-ha!” moment and it felt like it slapped you right across the forehead? Or maybe it pinched your arm really hard?
One of my more recent a-ha moments - when I finally became aware of something really important – has been a game changer for me in terms of my productivity.
Back in the fall, my husband and I headed out for a walk after dinner with our dog Jessie. We had both had a really busy day and needed to decompress, slow down. We were each talking about how our days had gone, and what we’d manage to get done, or not get done. I was feeling particularly frustrated because I hadn’t been as productive as I had hoped. Brain fog had chased me all day, and I never really found my groove.
Rob asked me, “what do you think was getting in your way?” Great question. Hmmm. We walked in silence for a minute while I...
Goals. Such a short word and yet it carries so much baggage for people. There are September/new school year/new season goals. There are New Year’s goals. Performance goals at work. Hockey goals. Fitness goals. Aspirational goals.
Goals allow us to get things done. Setting goals means we are less likely to drift along, settling further and further down into our cushy comfort zone, being or becoming “stuck.” Yet without breaking down these goals into clear steps and a realistic plan that stretches our concept of possibility, goals are purely aspirational and will never be attained.
This morning I had a lovely 8am coffee meeting with a dear friend and former colleague. It was a great way to start the day, and I was humming with energy on my way home, feeling highly motivated to get things done today, yet feeling a bit scattered with all the ideas in my head. As I came into my home office, I found...