Noticing Our Thoughts: The Gateway to Joy

Our minds are is filled with 50,000 or more thoughts each day! What we do with each thought, when it arrives, is how we create the moments that determine what we experience in our lives.

How are you CHOOSING to live your days?

If you say you don’t have a choice - that you have to, must or should...or, you are relying on anything outside of yourself to choose (you are at the effect of what is outside of yourself) you are not being the creator of your life. In essence, you are coming from a state of victimhood.

Stepping out of victimhood and into presence and personal responsibility -  into being the creator of your days is essential to living in joy and truly possible!


Learning to be present provides the opportunity for you to choose what is the most nourishing for you...and what you want to believe.


Working on presence is noticing what is in your NOW state. Your breath. Your heartbeat. Your feelings. Your thoughts. Allow, then notice, accept, and breathe.

Being in the now moment makes you available to your full potential. Our mind wants to look ahead or dwell in the past. Our work is to train our mind to notice what is now. Our ego is driven in fear and scans to see what is wrong - what may be wrong - what is not enough. Scanning the past or the future - our ego keeps us hopping!


As we focus on the quiet sound of our breath and learn to become still - we gradually move to a state of appreciation for the ability to sense and see what is with us without effort.


The moment we notice the thoughts stuck in our mind that bring us stress (often the ones we unconsciously ruminate on), we awaken to the power of choosing to let go of that thought and choose another more aligned with what we want to create for ourselves.


The ego does not want to give up so easily on our stressful thinking because it wants to be in control, to defend and keep us safe (even if it actually limits us in the process). So how do we combat our ego - vested in and clinging to our limiting thoughts? We first ask - is this thought the absolute truth? Could it's opposite be true? With these questions alone, we allow curiosity to enter into our thought process. This then brings the expansion of choice and more curiosity. The body begins to relax and creative energy is welcomed.


Try it - when you feel anxious, stressed, angry or sad, breathe deeply 3 times. Notice your thought. Flip it immediately! Is this thought the absolute truth? What is the opposite of this limiting thought? Could this be just as true or truer?


Let me know what comes up for you as you practice this over the next month! I would love to hear what you are choosing to create in your mind.


What you think is what you create.

Exquisite Leader. Exquisite Life.




Note: The questions in this blog are found in The Work by Byron Katie.



Authentic Leadership: Letting the walls come down

What does it take to be authentically you...to let go of the roles you play for success and approval?

People say they want to be who they are - and be accepted as is. I so get this!

To BE. This is the ALL of being authentic. Do you know how to BE? Unattached to doing - just who you are? Do you accept YOU for just being your unique self the day you were born? Is that in your consciousness?

Finding my way back to me...my journey in life started with intense trauma and neglect. I learned ways to cope and survive.

At an early age, I learned to play many roles that provided approval, safety, and acceptance. For me, this meant hiding any sadness or fear. Playing the part to gain leadership status became my unconscious way to shine in the world.

Striving to be enough on the outside, I looked like a “successful” leader. The 2nd-grade student who would lead the class. The first chair violinist at the start of playing. The competitive athlete, winning track events. The competitive cyclist, 2nd in the nation in her first year, at age 42. And of course, a business leader in the corporate, non-profit, and entrepreneurial world, with accolades in local and national media.

What I’ve shared is not meant to brag. It is to highlight the relentless drive I had to keep going, to win and what it cost me. The cost: not knowing myself. The success that I built around me were walls to keep me safe - as if I were going to war each day.

You see - to take down these walls is to know me - to expose myself and come back inside. To love and accept the one in me who was so frightened, she devised a way to be safe in the world - unconsciously. This one found a way to have recognition and safety via being the best.

Whenever we don’t align ourselves with what we do, we lose energy and are not whole. The outcome is that we have constant tension inside of ourselves. This brings suffering and illness.

Returning to me means allowing and accepting me as I am - letting all the walls come down. My success is not who I am. To be an authentic leader is for me to drop the many roles that I have played to achieve success and come back home to me. To love self and then love others. To be kind and invite others to the wholeness that is already inside of self. To BE enough in this now moment, with no attachments to what others think or want, is the freedom to be me. This allowing also allows you to be you

Energy rises as we listen to ourselves and what brings us joy in our creating. Excellence combined with inner joy, expressed in our doing, brings us to our genius.

What is there for you to let go of? Where are you exhausting yourself to gain status, safety, or approval? What are the walls you have built to ignore you and live for others?

Will you allow the walls to come down, in order to be YOU - an authentic leader?

Transformation and the tools that will support you are available! I love to share what has brought me to this place of living with more joy, peace, and oneness. The possibilities live in awakening and choosing conscious you.

BE authentically YOU.

Exquisite Leader. Exquisite Life.


Creating Peace and Love

As I walk down one of the oldest, most beautiful streets in Paris, I ponder how it has now become the very center of Paris. Paris has greatly expanded from what used to be the city wall centuries ago and where the Jewish people were forced to live. I wonder about all the change that the people of this street have seen over the many years. You see, forcing the Jews to the city wall centuries ago has not brought lasting peace. Pushing them out of the city center was driven by people who felt threatened that they would not have enough. This is the fear state that we all create - each of us in our lives - when we don’t realize we are seeking our security from the outside.

Fear is our protector - our part of the brain (the amygdala) defending what it wants, in order to be safe. This is an automatic response expressed as our Ego, whenever we are triggered. Shuffling what is outside of ourselves to be happy, and safe is never the answer. Controlling the outside is a temporary fix to experiencing inner love and peace.

I believe that all people most want safety, connection, and love. Trying to change what we can’t really control is what keeps us from creating what we desire and brings inner suffering. We exhaust ourselves and end up with the result we don’t want! But the coolest thing is if we decide to be the change, instead of resisting what is, we create peace and joy. In fact, energy rises when we decide to be the creator of our life, regardless and in spite of people and situations. When we let go of being the controller of people and circumstances, change is then possible within. Awakening to being the creator of your our own precious life brings freedom, love, and contentment. Staying in our lane, while providing a space for others to do the same is abundant love for all.

We are the power to be the change that inspires others. We have the opportunity to cultivate self love each time we notice our fear statements (defensive reactivity) and choose a kinder thought. To shift out of this reactive state: stop, breathe and notice what you are believing. Accept yourself right where you are at. Then ask: Is this belief serving me?

The conflict that we see in the world also happens in our families, and boardrooms, because we are not owning the conflict we create inside ourselves. The only way to a different result is to look within.

The fight to be right, to have, and to control is based on ego. It is defensive, closed-minded, and disconnected. Love is the opposite. Love is welcoming, expansive, curious and connected. Love is the opposite of fear. Loving self is the means to loving others. Hatred outside comes from hatred within.

If we seek leadership that is built on trust and love - the place to start is by being radically responsible and looking at how we are the change. My joy is in sharing tools that have transformed the lives of countless leaders who are committed to this change! What does that commitment look like? Noticing our thoughts, breathing deeply, pausing and making conscious choices. This is transformational leadership.

Creating the life/work we most want is possible! All things are possible. We do have the power inside. Join me on this journey to being peace and love! 💜

Exquisite Leader. Exquisite Life


Present to Your Most Successful 2019

What will make your 2019 most successful?

Yes - as we plan for 2019, most people want to achieve something more, or different. And, most leaders believe that success is outside of themselves - at the effect of someone or something. Yet, we cannot control what is outside of ourselves. So, how will we ever have lasting success?

TAKE TIME TO WONDER. BE STILL.

What do you most want? Where does this desire go, when you go about your daily life/work?

I will share my return to presence practice here.  Maybe you will want to join me! Success, one moment at a time.

For me, my want is to continue to know myself more. To wake up more quickly, to know.  Locating where I am (present or not) then choosing ease and flow. From this place, I consciously create a relationship to myself and others with more joy and peace. My work unfolds through my relationships, as I lead leaders on their own discovery of authentic wholeness. Being conscious of choice and present to what is as a continual practice.

The center of success is accepting all the results, while staying curious, as to how this is for learning - in all ways. How have I created this result? Going deeper is accepting myself and this result without blame. Then noticing if am I truly willing to shift. Am I willing to get out of drama with myself and others? What emotions are present - fear, anger, sadness, joy or creative energy? Hmmmm. Breathing and taking in all that is here for me now.

Reflect: When I have unwanted results, am I willing to be the creator of my life/work, and not be at the effect of anyone or anything outside of myself? I am open to owning just my responsibility? What have I not been facing? How am I limiting myself?

Believing that what I think on brings my feelings and actions - I have the power to create my result. Listening to my body, emotions, and mind in the moment is my practice. The more quickly that I am aware of my being state, the more success I will have in creating the results that I most want.

Creating what brings me the most joy is integrity to self and then with others. Listening to my inner being and knowing when I am off kilter is the opportunity to get back to presence. Here and now - what is my whole yes? Staying in presence and returning to it more quickly when I wander is my path to 2019 success.

Choose HOW you want to build your success before you focus on the content. The only one you are always responsible for is yourself. How you are being with yourself is your power to being an exquisite leader.

Coming Home for Christmas!

The biggest gift you can give yourself, is the gift of loving and accepting yourself - just as you are.

For you to truly know that you are more than what you do, and not what someone thinks of you. The truth is that you become who you think you are. What are you telling yourself?

Coming back home to you means dropping all the externals that temporarily bring you joy, and appreciating yourself for who you are. You are like no other in the world, created to live with purpose that only you can uniquely fulfill - in all of history.

What you do is not who you are. Separating this is everything. Our ego does not believe this. Ego says do more, be better, go faster. And the world agrees with the ego. Our transformation is to notice the ego. Appreciate. And then choose to empower your full self, by creating a more loving thought that is in alignment to your whole being. Again, letting go of outside approval that the ego so desperately wants to cling to for security. Letting go of ego attachments and being in peace, in the now moment is the foundation to returning home.

Home is who you are regardless of where, who, or what is on the other side of you.

Give yourself the gift of inner alignment - mind, heart, gut and body. You know how this oneness feels! Come back to home. Sit with this one in peace and love.


Merry Christmas Beautiful Ones!


Enough

Enough

What I hear from most people, no matter their role in life or work, is that they are stressed, tired, and on the run. The common mantra: “I can’t get it all done and don’t have enough time!”

What is making us run? What are we really after? These days parents and children are tightly scheduled and committed with little down time. We are leading our young children to the idea that success is in doing more. More checking email, more social media, more homework, more sports, more volunteering, more testing…Yikes! What are we creating and modeling?

As we are more connected to the world, we are more disconnected from ourselves and those closest to us. For example, social-media is a fantastic tool for staying connected, however, it also supports the belief that more and faster is better. It also allows us to check out-disconnecting from ourselves and each other.  We don’t connect to our inner knowing and peace. We unconsciously follow what is outside of ourselves. We splinter from our whole being.

As an Executive Conscious Leadership Coach, I notice that the CEO’s and leaders I partner with move at a fast pace to win, achieve mega goals, and grow billion-dollar companies. Yet, internal success and enoughness eludes their daily experience, even while their external lives appear to have it all. Little inner knowing is being listened to. Fear motivates decisions and actions. Joy and peace continue to erode, as stress and blame take over, while guiding leadership. Brilliant minds are on overdrive much of the time. Rest is not an option most days.

What is this culture we are creating? We don’t allow time to breathe, be still and reflect. We are exhausted by the time we slow down each day. This is the reality, at work and home, for most.

Stop right now. Breathe. Take 3 slow, deep breaths. Notice if being still is uncomfortable or even possible. Breathe. Be present to your breath. Breathe. Come inward to self. Be still for 2 minutes.

Striving to Be Enough. If you are looking outside of yourself for success…for any comfort, recognition, and acceptance that you are enough, you will never have it. The more you compare yourself to those around you, the more you will find a way to see yourself as lacking. Our disconnect with self causes stress, illness...internal drama. This is what kills us slowly - emotionally, physically, and relationally. No one else can give you what you most want and need -inner peace and fulfillment.

What if you are enough? And, you decide what is enough. You decide on how you want to live. In this now moment, you do have enough. Your heart is beating, your lungs are filling with air, and you are reading these words. You lack nothing right now. Future thoughts of the unknown bring anxiety and strife. Focusing on the past keeps you stuck and leads to depression. Let it go. You have the power to choose being present in this moment. What you tell yourself is what you create. What you believe is evidenced by all of your results. Accepting what is and consciously choosing what you tell yourself in the moment is the foundation to empowering yourself to live the life you most want. Awaken to your unconscious beliefs that keep you on the run and small. Results do no lie.

You are enough. It is your choice to choose what you believe right now - and the next right now. Also, know that your being is not based on what you do. Your purpose is more than doing.

Abundance Thinking. Aligning with what is in your heart, mind and soul is the connection to purpose. This is the root of internal abundance. It’s a state which allows you to create your life/work from a belief of fullness and appreciation. It begets more possibility and joy. Knowing oneself and what truly fits - a whole body yes – is your energy in flow, and you create without struggle. You notice and choose that which feeds your soul. You co-create win-for-all solutions in the world, because you are not viewing yourself, or your life, from a place of lack. Your connection to self expands, as you stand for you. You are able to support others, as you first love yourself.

What do you believe in your heart? What do you give your thoughts to? Reminder: If you are not getting the results you most want, this is your wake-up call always! Be still and listen to what you already know inside of yourself. Honor and be kind to the one and only you! Shifting to creating what aligns with you, to then sharing with the world from the inside out, is transformation. This is getting to your genius!

Coaching leaders to choose conscious transformation that brings inner and outer alignment is my absolute passion. I’m here to support your awakening to your amazing self.


An Overachiever’s Overachiever

As an overachiever’s overachiever, I can run around meeting goals while pushing past those around me. Or, sometimes I even push those around me to keep going. At that point, I do not notice who is around me.  Wow! How might that feel?

As I have been learning to slow down and put people first, I realize more and more how people most importantly want to be noticed and heard. I do not have to solve their concerns. If I just take time to connect with the person near me–observe who they are and appreciate their uniqueness, they are encouraged. Hearing what they have to say is the largest part of lifting their heart. I do not have to fix anything -just be human with them and listen.

This practice goes so far in the workplace as well-and builds unity, loyalty, creativity and ultimate results. Slow down with me today -observe, appreciate and hear those around you. This is the foundation of building an engaging environment and so worthy of achievement.

Choosing a Successful Leader

In choosing a leader, I look at those who have been hugely successful in overcoming their own adversity. What is common? They all kept going. Their mindset was to focus on their strengths and calling at the moment in time.  And when I want to succeed in a particular way, I look to those who have already achieved what I want. I find that leader, or mentor and ask them to coach me. Asking myself what I want and going after it has been key to my moving forward. Being open to all that I can learn and striving to grow each day bolsters my commitment.

Next, I narrow what I am good at, what result I want, and what I need to do to get better, stronger, faster, more successful, etc.,  I keep my eyes and ears open. I watch for how a potential coach leads their life, how they interact with others and how they have responded to daily adversity.

I believe that we are all humans first and how we lead our life is how we lead others. Yes, we have differences among genders, cultures, experiences, desires, skills, education, and the list goes on. But to look beyond this is what has made the difference to me. Noticing the unique being, as is,  I hope to learn something from everyone. This attitude opens me up to the whole world– which is very exciting!

My approach to success in business and life is modeled well via my cycling and racing. I sought out the best racers and coaches that I could find–and I rode and trained with them. I showed up as just me.  Yes-it was a bit intimidating at  first, but I committed to riding with them  3-4 times a week. And as I did this, I grew and became stronger by pushing myself in all areas. Getting rid of fear, as I kept stepping forward and into the unknown.

Note: I did not notice that I was the only woman training with maybe 20-30 men,  I did not think to myself — how am I different? For we are all different!  I became a nationally ranked top racer my first year of racing against woman half my age –because of my mindset during my training. And in the business world, I look at the human before me–not their title,  and see them as valuable.

And when I get off track,  I remind myself that I am called to be the best me–just me and hone in on what I can continue to learn. I remember my purpose and goals and check to see if my activity, focus, work, thoughts, and relationships align. Asking myself what enlivens me, also brings more affirmation and direction towards my purpose. Not comparing myself  to another, but looking at my inner strengths and goals,  I practice my skills each day. And practice and more practice I do-even when I am tired, and I do not feel like it. I have chosen to be committed to myself first each day. My integrity to myself is what drives me to keep going. This is how I became a great racer –and leader of my family and business.

The alignment of oneself has to be first in all areas. If there is not an alignment, fear, unrest, depression and wavering take over. The key to success in life and business is just this. So let’s encourage others by being just who we are – and clearing a space for the other to do the same. Loving and respecting each other as humans first and foremost. Leading yourself well is successful leadership. Be you and change the world!

Engaging Teams For A Win-Win

Team engagement–A win for all! As I have experienced racing as a competitive cyclist on a successful race team, I realized that my team tactics work well when applied in the business world also!

Being a part of a diverse race team, our director coached us on specific skills, drills, and how to work closely together. We each had certain talents in certain areas–hill climbing, road racing, criterium racing, and sprinting- to mention a few. We each knew who was best at a certain skill by observing and practicing over and over again.

And learning from our teammate was not a threat, but valued and cherished. They became our go to person.  For we knew each other so well, that it became an automatic focus in the midst of  an all out out, put it all down effort race. We also knew who was not as gifted in specific areas. This was not a judgment -but and area to grow in, learn from and encourage another. A clear reminder of  which talents to focus and how to move forward individually and as a team overall. In fact, we all worked hard on all of the skills, in order to improve–physically and mentally.

For me, not being the best hill climber, I travelled every spring to California to challenge, strengthen and grow my climbing muscles. I pushed myself on extreme altitudes day in and day out. I was tired and sore-but I knew that I would be able to transfer these growing tools to the summer races– with much  better outcomes.  This may show up in a race, in order to relieve my teammate, who is a stronger climber overall to take a break. I pulled for them, leaving more power and energy to get them to the finish line ahead of others and obtaining a win.

Each day-every morning, I woke early 6 days a week following my coaches plan that we created together. I was tired many days as I woke at 4:40 am, but I knew that doing the work at hand would pay off in the long run. I just has to put it all out there each day. Looking at the day at hand and what I had to do, instead of the end results, brought me to reach race day wins! My first year racing, at age 42, I was ranked 2nd out of 998 women nationally.

As for my passion in criterium racing, I just loved the feeling of wondering who will be at the start line-who can I meet for the first time?  How fast will they be and what are they good at? at the start line,  I welcomed new people, and greeted each racer as a friend. I knew that we all were anxious, but a smile and hello seemed to help others–as it did me. For we are all unique  people first. But when the bell went off, I knew it was time to push through the fear, breathing and focusing on the task right in front of me. As my heart felt as though it would burst, and my legs screamed at me, with no looking at the laps to go–I just focused on the very moment at hand. I kept pushing as hard as I could- with a natural smile. For this was my love.

When I had crazy thoughts of –“Why are you doing this? You are in pain. You are tired! Do you really like doing this, really”?  I quickly told myself -keep your head in the game! You have trained yourself for this. You are ready! Your coach said you are strong! Get going and put it down! And you really do love this! I had to decide where my focus my thoughts immediately and constantly. If I did not, I would fall off the lead pack. This has become my true source of power: What to dwell on and how quickly I can change my thinking to align with what I want.

As for my team, we discussed at the beginning of the day- how we were feeling (mentally and physically) and what role we felt most able to fulfill that day. We decided together, who we wanted to support getting on the podium, and how to make that happen. We observed other teams, and discussed possible tactics that they might employ and who to watch for. As we became experts in listening to what others were saying and how they felt, we knew how to go after a win as a team.

Big application: as a team, we kept in touch with each other all during the race. We looked for each other, we asked how they were feeling, and if they could hold to the original morning plan that we had already made. We made adjustments together and communicated, as we raced as fast as we could! The goal was to get a team member on the podium -a team win! Some days, I was the one on the podium, other days, I helped my teammate get there! We strived to be in sync with each other at all times. And we had joy! We said that the moment we are not enjoying this, it is time to leave. Life is for joy. Joy at work needs to be present for collaboration, creativity, productivity and a win to show up. Hard work with a sense of being, and purpose drives the mind to keep going and focus. The win will come!

Note: We could not change the other racers, or our own teammate. But we could do our best to be our best and help the other to be theirs. This is what made us a true team that was respected, followed and revered by others. And our director was always there, timing us, calling out where we were and growing us. He never yelled, as he was a calm man, who consistently was there for us. We had fun but worked hard. We kept striving to grow and connect-with ourself and our team. We celebrated successes, we had parties just because, and we cared for one another. In fact, racing teams became like family to me–even my biggest competitors. For I tried to love everyone as they as a valued creation. And I think they all sensed that. The value of putting people first is priceless.

As I now coach Leaders, CEOs, and Teams in the business world, I share these “tactics” with them. Sharing love, joy, understanding, collaboration, gratitude, communication, and putting forth your best each day brings the results for the team as well as the individual. We are really in this together –so let’s do this!

Growing From The Unexpected

As I am really faced with being still, I wonder what I can learn. Since I broke my foot this past weekend, I am unable to walk, ride my bike, or even stand for any length of time. And for an athlete who never enjoys being inactive, I am exploring my unforeseen path. A path that I would never have chosen.

Again–CHOICES-what are they now for the next eight weeks?At times, I am trying to pull my mind back from racing into despair. Quieting my mind, even when I was very active was not a part of my natural routine. I have had to continue learning to sit still and just be. And now with this body having to rest, I wonder how I can really be in the moment more than ever. Just because my body is forced to be inactive, does not mean that my brain will follow. What is needed though is Rest-oration–Body, mind and soul!

Also, I think of the companies and leaders that I coach. How they too are facing unknown results, consequences –and may even be feeling out of control. My coaching work is focused on how to be 100% responsible for oneself at all times. No blaming, shaming or trying to change another person–No blaming of self either. Instead, a wondering of how to grow and learn even during unwanted results is what drives leaders, teams and companies to greatness!

Deciding that my running around has been caboshed for a good reason, I still struggle to make sense of this. For me to be conscious, I have been learning to take one idea, task, and want at a time. I can practice breathing, being more present and feeling my thoughts all the way through to completion, as I wonder what harmony is for me. With my overachiever ways and successes along the way, I just have learned to keep going–to keep pushing through. Growth is sometimes painful and uncomfortable–In fact, I think that in order to stretch, there will usually be discomfort.

Continued lessons for me: these last few years, I am noticing that for a sustainable life of joy, connection, peace and lasting success, I too need to quiet my thoughts. Then being really diligent on where I choose to dwell makes all things flow from there. Relationships, businesses, environments are all affected by who I choose to be, and who you choose to be. It is very basic and true. Getting back to the basics…what does this look like for you? What “fractures” are you enduring in work and life –and what can you learn from this?

Loving this time and sharing what I continue to learn with my family, friends, and clients brings me happiness and a greater sense of purpose. As I put myself first, I am again reminded of how valuable each persons is –and that I can only give, after I fill up on the inside. How are you filling up and pouring into your teams?

How can you slow yourself down today and wonder? Who are you called to be right now–and how to shut off the noise around you?–What is most important in your thoughts?

We know that creating engaging, sustainable, conscious companies is the answer to luring in the next generation of leaders who want to make a difference. Today–will you remember with me to lead yourself first and practice engaging all of you –body, mind and soul? Slowing down to listen to yourself –can you hear who you are and how you are called to be 100% responsible to you alone?  Making this your foundation, you will call in your genius and shine wherever you are. And leaders who lead this way will draw others who align with changing the world–one person at at time.

Habits to observe: looking inside or outside for the answers? Reacting or creating? Honoring doing or being? With this noticing, you have unlimited choices and opportunities to shift, learn and grow. This is all very good!

con⋅scious [kon-shuhs]
adjective

1. aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
2. living with your eyes open

How to Win in Business - Invest in Your People First!

If you are really willing to make a change in your business–one of stainable success in all areas-you must put your people first. There is no other way. Invest in each individual and your returns will be astronomical. Working with people and how to collaborate, communicate, be 100% responsible– and how to make changes from the inside out is my specialty.

My current coaching at a logistics technology company made lasting changes within 6 months…

“I was skeptical when my work group began working with Debra, as we had a long history of not working well together and poor attention from our senior management. Deb won me over. She not only gave us ways for our team to work together better, but enlisted company leaders to pay more attention to what we need to succeed. I learned valuable techniques for creating a more positive and effective working environment — tools I’ve also used in my personal life!” Holly F.

When a person feels valued and heard–you gain a loyal team player who will give their best for you and your clients. It is the ultimate win-win for all. So invest in the BEING that is before you–then their doing will be more than just a goal. Reverse the process–being then doing. You will see an engaged person come alive. This is the answer to attraction and retention–and the bottom line. It is that simple.

There is greatness in all of us–let it come forward. Create a space for this and you will be amazed at the culture that will unfold. A culture where people want to come to work-with joy and purpose. Who would not want this? One person at a time–be the culture.

Choose your investment–time and money—put it in your people first. Get rid of a fear and blame driven culture by inviting creativity, curiosity, candor, and the whole person.

Connect with me, if you are ready for this growth in your business.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic

As I coach business teams, I tend to see people looking outside themselves, focused on the other…But really in fact, we tend to do this in life as well.  Our view somehow turns to what the other person is or is not doing. What they “should”do or say. Then we get annoyed, upset and distracted from being who we are created to be.

What if for just this day and every moment, we practice looking more deeply at our own self? How to be fully and uniquely who we are -no matter where we are. And, how not be dictated by the people around us, but to be centered on personal growth-living fully right now.

A better day comes about, when I focus on my purpose for this day at hand and what is truly my responsibility. I am not tied to anyone else. Showing up more fully, as who I am takes mindfulness and practice. This is enough to focus on. I found that the freedom to let others choose to be who they are brings a peace and focus on myself. Looking to the other with “shoulds” being placed on them is a waste of my time and energy! Focusing on being my best self today–my biggest responsibility.

Joy - 'Tis the Season

Do You Have It? Joy.

Revel and delight are synonyms to rejoicing. We don’t often hear of people taking delight each day. What would it look like for you to really have a deep happiness inside each day? If your answer depends on anything outside of yourself, you will hold a fleeting, inner spark that is snuffed by the world.

Can someone or something really give you sustainable joy? Where does it come from?

For I have come to realize that joy is a choice. Life, it is the playground for learning, always.That alone causes my heart to jump! The opportunities to create and recreate my life have been endless. What can I learn, and how can I grow to be my most awesome self? What really gladdens my heart is living a life of purpose.

And, joy is really a matter of perspective. What color are your lenses? Coolness: There is always the option to exchange for a different pair. You alone decide. Own your view.

And when the cold winds bluster about, it is then that I choose to notice the beauty in pain, loss, and the unexpected. My vantage point, each moment is my sole responsibility.

Shouting for joy, I am blessed to create life with those in my life: my children, friends, and clients. I am thankful for all the glorious beauty. My story and belief is that we are made for joy. What is your story? If your current one is not working for you, make 2017 your new chapter.

LOVE AND JOY TO YOU EACH DAY!’

Just Be Your Great Self!

Focusing on the core of your greatness brings peace, joy and success in all areas of life. Really notice who you are and seek to follow what you already know to be true inside of you. Looking outward confuses us and leads to distractions. No one can be fully you and do what you can as you do–seek this and rise above mediocrity. Live your WHY–wherever you are. DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR TALENTS AT EVERY TURN

“If you spend most of your life trying to be good at everything, you eliminate your chances of being great at anything. Unless your goal is to be mediocre at a lot of things, starting with what you are naturally good at is a matter of efficiency. Focusing on strengths is in many ways a basic time-allocation issue. Every hour you invest in an area where you have natural talent has a multiplying effect, whereas each hour you spend trying to remedy a weakness is like working against a gravitational force. Yet many people spend years or even decades working on weaknesses in hopes that doing so will make them well-rounded.

Do everything you can to avoid falling into this trap. While well-roundedness may be helpful for acquiring the basic tools in any trade—such as reading, writing, and arithmetic—it loses value as you get closer to finding a career. At that point, what’s more important and relevant is what sets you apart. If you want to be great at something in your lifetime, double down on your talents at every turn.”
—Tom Rath from Are You Fully Charged?

Leaders Being 120% Responsible Shift

“If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” ~William Edwards Deming

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” ~ Naguib Mahfouz

Stress for many leaders comes from thinking that they need to know it all. They must have the solutions, before an issue or concern arises. The what ifs, if then, or maybes…That is what a leader does–right? Being one step ahead, managing it all and trying to keep all things under control. Wow…no wonder most of us leaders are running about in twenty directions at once, with little sleep, headaches, stomach upset, broken relationships and angst. And what about pursuing joy, peace, clarity, and a one step at a time–in the flow thinking?  Yeah right! How does that happen? As an overachiever, “This is not an option!”–so we say to ourselves. If balls drop, all goes to you know where.

But really, what are you responsible for? Looking closely at the choices we make all day long is critical. Being 120% responsible is damaging to you and all your relationships. We think–“Oh, if I do more, that is going to help. That is what a strong leader does–and I must step in and fix this.” And what about the 20% you took away from the other–the team player who is not given the opportunity to shine, because you took their place away to do so? You are trying to be a hero to all. But how this really shows up– you are the know it all, and don’t trust easily. You are controlling and above others. And you wonder why people don’t step up with their own ideas and actions–why they don’t fully engage and put in their 100%!

The first step–stop. Breathe. Listen to yourself. What are YOU called to? Then ask powerful questions of your teams, your partner, your children, your friends, and listen. People do have the answers already inside of them. As a leader, you may just need to help pull it out of them–and the best way to find ownership is to ask not tell. In the asking, the responder comes up with an “Oh yeah…” A wonder that is invited and shared between people sparks the ultimate connection that leads to results far greater than you could have ever produced on your own. And you build a relationship that fosters trust and collaboration. Who does not want this in their work and life?

So it is simple. Do less. Breathe more. Take on only what you are called to.  Ask more questions than you do declaring statements. Practice making this shift today and notice your results and the results of the people in your work and life. I bet you will find yourself smiling more and feeling less anxious.

Summary: The one thing sited over and over again when speaking on leadership is the need to ask questions then listen. As Tony Robbins says; “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, & as a result, they get better answers.”  The best way to learn how to ask better questions is to keep practicing. Go for it! Do less and ask more.

Leaders Multiply Significant Success

Again- I was blown away yesterday, as I stepped inside a company that packages books for children. I was there to meet the founder and CEO.  And, even before we met—I sensed that something was really different about this place! I could feel joy, love, and an overall happiness from the receptionist to the box packer. The atmosphere was thick with intention.

As the CEO and I spoke, he explained that his intention is for all children in the Chicagoland to have 12 new books each year—especially in underfunded areas, where 300 children share one book. His hope is that children from pre-first grade through sixth learn to love reading-since this sets a lifelong foundation to dream, create and build without limitations. This is an opportunity of a life time for so many.

Yet, my gut knew there was still much more than giving books to millions of children. This CEO believes that his success is nothing without significance. BINGO! This is what was resonating with me in a big way (no words needed)—flowing from him and all of the dedicated people on his team. Yes—I adore the transformational meaning of his work—and even more how he has created a culture of working from the inside out. His WHY comes first. His purpose rules what he does.

Key: I became curious about what he was building, because his WHY is the center of his life —he is building a contagious workplace —people volunteer from all walks of life and the company is spreading nationwide! I could not help but to be so on board about what he is doing, because I am one who fully believes in living a life on purpose wherever I go—and even though I adore children and want to support them—this leader, who is crystal clear on his purpose drew me to want all in.

To be fully you-growing and living a life on purpose first, then achieving success by what you do best, is the life lived significantly. For life -who you are cannot be separated by what you do. When we set aside purpose -Our WHY- to the almighty doing- life becomes less meaningful. And striving to be other than ourself is living outside of integrity. We are made for more than just doing!

Leaders and companies who understand this, create engaging, sustainable companies. And companies who understand their cause and purpose really change the world because of who they are—then what they do. People with the same cause are drawn to be part of creating an awesome work place. Customers want to be a part of a company who do more than just sell things. Even better, customers speak on behalf of purposed companies —creating multiplying, loyal followers.

Another big thought—who wants to be convinced of anything anyway? No one wants to be persuaded or told what to do… And inspired leaders and companies do not behave this way. They are just really clear on who they are and what they are called to do. The goal is not the result —it is about the collaborative, on purpose journey day to day -shining brightly —displaying an everlasting flame of many stars.

Leaders who are intentional about being their best, also create a place for their teams to be their best—the opposite of trying to change, motivate or manipulate.  A leader who changes the world —knows they can only change themselves. They are not motivated to produce the best on the outside, rather they are intentional about growing inside each day and wondering what they can learn. This type of leader is motivated from the inside out. Seeking external change or end goals brings frustration and fear—as no one is in control of the external—yet most live trying to manipulate the outside.

What changes when one looks from the inside? One starts to notice their 100% responsibility. They take ownership of what they have created. They know who they are and what they want.

Bottom line—be in charge of your best, significant life, and hold a place for others to do the same. Look to who you are being —and then what you bring to the table. Is this table one of abundance? Picture who you want to invite to your table and envision enjoying them, as you taste all that life has to offer—celebrating the gift of each other—pursuing your collaborative WHY.

Live to Your Fullest

Live fully and die with nothing left. Choose your life’s passion -most at your vocation. Not to waste your gifts and talents but live your life purpose with awareness and intention. You know what that is. Be still and listen to yourself. Ignoring that voice will not work ~but brings frustration, sadness, aimlessness. Living on purpose yields peace, joy, creativity and direction. Go back to where you remember having this alignment and connect with what that was for you. Take a step today to honor that unique you and your calling. You only have this moment-No fretting about tomorrow.

If you need help getting back to the purpose in your heart and mind, please let me know.

Blessings.

Noticing: The Game Changer

Noticing–the big game changer. Noticing is actually life changing! Taking in what I really look at, think about and then choose to dwell on has brought me joy, success and deep love. It has also brought me pain, fear and confusion. The great thing about this noticing is that I have to power to choose what I notice, and then what I want to do with that.

I am committed to joy in my life. As I know all to well that life can be taken away in seconds time, I notice more what I really want my life to be about.  And for me, it is looking at the greatness in myself and others. We all have a unique and beautiful inner being–even if we do not behave that way at times-It is true.

My other desire is to see success for others…for them to notice where and how they spend most of their day each day–and then to consider if that is the path they want to pursue.  For many of the people I know and coach, work is a big part of their life…filled with stress and unhappiness. I am wanting for others to have joy at work– For businesses to have more joy than fear as a motivator– And for business teams to spur one another on to greatness-even when work and life become uncertain and difficult. I believe this is possible-for I have seen a few companies choose this as a culture.

The impact of noticing the other person who is near us much of our day –taking in their goodness, not their faults, etc.. lifts their spirit, as well as our own. This again is a choice and with practice changes you, your work and your success. Business culture is made one person at a time.

Notice how you are showing up today at work, with your family and friends. Notice what you are saying to yourself and what you tend to focus on. If you don’t like it and want more for yourself -change it. It get’s easier the more you are aware of your noticing. This is the awesomeness of our brain. It really can grow and change as we exercise it! This I also know well–as I celebrate overcoming a severe brain injury that almost took my life two years ago. We can do anything–just notice!

Rid Fear?

SOAKING YOUR MIND BEANS

“When a thought comes, you say hello, and then you say good-bye right away. When other thoughts come, just say hello and say good-bye again. Don’t fight. Don’t say, ‘Oh, I’m so bad, I think of so many things!’ You don’t need to think like that. You just say hi and bye, relax and let go. You bring your mind to the present moment and rest in awareness of your body. It’s like soaking mung beans in water. You don’t need to force the water to enter the mung bean. You let the mung bean be in the water, and slowly, slowly, it goes in. Gradually the mung bean gets saturated, swollen and tender. The same is true for you. Letting go, the tension will be released slowly, slowly, slowly. And you will become more relaxed and more peaceful. The training is to just keep bringing your mind back to the present moment with your body.” —Thich Nhat Hanh from Fear

Get rid of the fear. Feel it and let it go. It is what keeps us from fulfilling our most important commitments in life and work. It keeps our want from becoming a result. It is how many companies motivate their teams–and then revenues are low, clients are lost, and human capital is not engaged or sustainable. It is really the crux of it. Fear not. Breathe. Look at what is good. Go after joy. Laugh. Let’s bring life to our daily work!

Snuff the Burnout!

A new day begins and most of us have fallen into a routine that has become a habit. We bounce out of bed, and race after a repetitive doing –And much of the time, we have gone unconscious. We continue on auto pilot- following what we have known and what we have become accustomed to. Sadly, most of us are waking up tired, stressed and disconnected. For most, we have misplaced our calling and replaced it with a busy routine –unaware, we continue carrying on as we always have.

But what if we learn to stop. Just to stop and be still for a few moments -right now. Notice. Think. Listen. Breathe. Smile. Who are you? Who are you called to be?

You are created like no other. I believe that you live and breathe right now for a purpose far greater than earning some paper. And, I think you believe this in your heart too.

What do you love? What fills you up? When do you feel most alive? Why not be still with those thoughts now and each morning? Breathe. Dream. Fill yourself up intrinsically. You know yourself best. You know what you want and who you want to be. Bring yourself to the world, this moment, being conscious –aware of just how unique you are. Believe that no one else can be you for a reason–for many awesome reasons. You are great!

I share this, because most of the executives I coach are exhausted and running on empty. They are burnt out. Some even tell me that they do not want to live the rest of their life like this–but they are uncertain of what to change.  Most people, for that matter suffer in a similar place. Fortunately, it is all about choices and the power we each have in deciding.

As I write, I am practicing this myself— taking this moment right now-to be me–to notice me and my thoughts.  I am committed to going after my purpose and calling. One that only I can fulfill.  My deep desire is for everyone to do the same. I am excited to give much of my life to help others find their work-life calling. This is my joy!  To coach others on becoming truly aware and how to be responsible to themselves first, sets forth a state and culture of conscious, transformational leadership.  Each of us has this opportunity! Growing in consciousness leads us to our full self and potential. We grow and strengthen our mind, when we create a new path with each decision.

To be 100% responsible for our work and life is actually freeing. Freedom comes with loving oneself and honoring our purpose. Moving away from blaming ourselves or others when mistakes show up, and choosing to give grace, curiosity, and creativity turns us towards endless learning and infinite possibilities.

Go after your joy today. Fill up on your greatness! Be conscious of who you are and choose to align your work with your unique calling. Snuff the burnout.