New Beginnings: What will You Do Differently This Year?

New Beginnings: What will You Do Differently This Year?

The beginning of a new year is a great time to think about what you will do differently in the coming year. I love the image of a butterfly as it makes me realize I CAN reinvent myself in some ways, and the start of a new year is an optimal time to do this. 2017 is a particularly special year, as according to numerology, it is the first year of a 9-year cycle. This means that what do you in 2017 sets the path for the following 8 years. I am excited and rejuvenated thinking about what I am going to do differently this year! What will support me to awaken each day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart?

Here’s what I plan to do differently this year (in my life and in my work).

  • More “being” – open to possibilities, and to listening to the messages I receive
  • More “receiving” – self-nurturing; taking time for myself doing things I enjoy
  • More adventure – sleeping on a sailboat and taking a trip to Europe or Asia with my Sweetie
  • More time in nature
  • More cycling
  • More video
  • More speaking “gigs”
  • New/Updated website
  • More leverage in my business
  • More writing – perhaps start my memoir?

What would you like to do differently this year?

Take a few moments to ground yourself and get present. Write down the question above, and the responses that come to you. Try to stay in your body and write from your “heart” instead of your head. When you finish writing, go through each statement, say it aloud, and notice how your body responds to it. I suggest only including things that excite you, and will support you to awaken each day with a smile on your face, and a song in your heart.

I’d love to hear what exciting plans you have for 2017! Feel free to share them and your comments below. I appreciate you sharing the post with others.

 

You Can Become an Entrepreneur at Any Age!

You Can Become an Entrepreneur at Any Age!

I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit for almost as long as I can remember. I recall catching minnows and selling them to local fisherman at about age 8, making bracelets out of seashells and selling them at the roadside with a girlfriend at about the same age. Having a greeting card and small gifts business from age 9 to 14. Perhaps you relate. However, once I graduated from university I got into the mindset that I had to have a “real” job and work for someone else in order to have security and benefits. When our kids were growing up, my husband was an international consulting engineer who travelled about 6 months of the year, so even though I yearned to be an international consultant I felt I needed to have a “real” job with benefits, and be the stable one in the family. Throughout my career I held a number of well-paying positions that were stimulating and allowed me much independence.

When I attended a course on Project Management in a Government Environment my life began to change. The course instructor was a partner in a management consulting company. He spotted my facilitation skills and before long we met and he offered me to be a contractor with his consulting group. About 6 months following the course, I left my “secure” and well-paying government position to become a contractor/independent consultant on a handshake. I worked with the consulting group for about 6 months learning a lot of processes and gaining experience designing and facilitating everything from town hall meetings, to national consultation processes, to strategic plans, to multi-stakeholder partnership-building activities. After 6 months, the partner who had brought me in had a philosophical split with the other two, and invited me to join him in his new company. I thought about it, and decided I didn’t want to “take sides” so then I began working in my own process/management consulting business. Before long my business took off and within two years I was thoroughly enjoying working for myself and was making 6 figures. I haven’t look back since having launched two successful management consulting businesses and a life and business coaching company.

Recently I was connected with an amazing woman, Pat Duckworth, through the Evolutionary Business Council/Institute of which I am a member. She invited me to be part of a book she was writing on “midlife women entrepreneurs”. It was an extremely positive experience, and I’m happy to announce that today Pat is launching Hot Women Rock, a book that chronicles the journeys and wisdom of Pat herself and 21 other midlife women entrepreneurs including myself. You may obtain your complimentary copy on launch day October 4 at https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Women-Rock-discover-entrepreneurial-ebook/dp/B01JEV9T6Q

I’d love to hear from you about your entrepreneurial journey and lessons, and welcome your comments below. Please share with others who you think might find this of interest.

Is a Mini-Sabbatical for You?

Is a Mini-Sabbatical for You?

At a recent retreat, one of the commitments I made was to gift myself a mini-sabbatical. This meant taking Mondays and Fridays off through July and August to do what I wished, and to free myself from work-related activities. As an entrepreneur, I often don’t take large blocks of time off during the summer as it’s when I typically design new programs, write or make website changes. So a mini-sabbatical sounded like a good idea.

Last Monday, the first day of my mini-sabbatical, was easy as we had moved the day before and had not retired till close to 3 am, so it was easy to sleep in and to not work. The first Friday was more challenging. I was “pulled” to check my email and to start writing down the design for my new group coaching program. That said, I found a nearby yoga studio online and tried out my first yoga class there. Amazingly I connected with a woman after class who has a similar background to mine, and who may become a new friend.

The first question I’ve started to ask myself on awakening is What will I do to nurture myself today? To me nurturing involves: doing yoga, meditating, going for walks in nature, being by, in, or on water, connecting with family and friends in person and virtually, and cooking a special meal for my Sweetie and myself. What do you do to nurture yourself? My mantra for 2016 is I am open to possibility, and I repeat it once or twice daily. I also am increasingly listening to and trusting in the messages my body sends me. Here’s a process my clients and I have found useful in making decisions – http://creativelivingcommunity.com/how-do-you-make-decisions/.

So far on my mini-sabbatical I’ve noticed I feel more relaxed, more creative, more energized, lighter, and I’m finding that new like-minded people and opportunities are coming my way.

What would a mini-sabbatical look and feel like for you? Perhaps you’ve tried one before? I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Feel free to share this with a friend, colleague or family member.

Balanced and Mindful Leadership: What Do You Think?

Balanced and Mindful Leadership: What Do You Think?

I believe it’s time for a new type of leader, and a new type of organizational culture; one that focuses on people, understanding, and collaboration; instead of money, results, and competition. … This is the first in a series of blog posts on balanced and mindful leadership.

In my coaching with business and professional women from around the world, greater and greater numbers, and younger and younger women are coming to me exhausted, “juggling so many balls”, feeling that there is no longer any fun in their lives; they are all about work with little or no time for themselves, or to spend with people they love. Some of them have health concerns. They are looking for tools and support to help them find peace amongst the chaos of daily life and work.

Well-educated professional women are leaving their senior positions or turning down career advancements when they have children, as there is not enough time to do it all. Those who try to do it all, often become ill[1] or end up in separation and divorce.

The old paradigm of working harder to get ahead is no longer working. In fact, productivity starts to decline after a certain number of hours of consistent work. It’s time for a new paradigm and new type of leader: a balanced and mindful one.

What are the attributes of a balanced and mindful leader?

  • Lives life in alignment with their core values
  • Runs an organization or operates within an organization in alignment with the organizational values
  • Knows their BIG WHY (life purpose)
  • Understands the importance of Work/Life Balance and models that for others
  • Rewards teams rather than individuals for their performance
  • Models and rewards inter and intra-organizational collaboration
  • Recognizes the need for space to encourage creativity and innovation
  • Uses their body as well as their minds to make decisions; e.g. Leadership is an art as well as a science.
  • Inspires and supports others to be the best they can be
  • Is emotionally intelligent and aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  • Surrounds self with folks with complementary skill-sets to shore up their weaknesses and complement their strengths, rather than people like themselves.
  • Encourages brainstorming and questioning of the status quo.
  • Allows their managers and staff to make mistakes, share and learn from them; encourages a culture of innovation – e.g. Engineers without Borders Annual Failure report – http://reports.ewb.ca/

Do you agree with the need for a new type of leader? What are your thoughts? I welcome your comments below. Feel free to share the post with others who you think might like to join in the discussion.

[1] http://creativelivingcommunity.com/how-to-know-if-youre-burning-out-what-to-do-about-it/

 

Is Your Presence Enough?

Is Your Presence Enough?

YourPresence

While recently visiting a friend who was recovering from surgery, she said something to me that really made me sit up and take notice. After opening the card and gift I brought her she said, “Your presence is enough.” When I reflect on my life and my driven nature, I realize that I’ve lived much of my life as if my presence is NOT enough; from a place of feeling like I need to perform and achieve in order to be loved and to BE enough. Do you relate?

I invite you take a few moments to reflect on your life. Have you been living it as if “Your presence is enough?” Think about what your life would look and feel like if you truly believed that your presence was enough? … You might feel free, confident, unconditionally loved, in the flow, like you didn’t have to constantly strive and give 110% when 100% was sufficient. I encourage you to “try on” the vision and feeling of living like “Your presence is enough” and notice any differences. Is life easier and more fun?

I welcome your comments below. Feel free to share this post with others.

What is Creative Living?

What is Creative Living?

PeaceandBook-2with womanCreative Living is the conscious cultivation of improved health, happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace in your life.

Based on my own journey and work with clients around the world, I have distilled 7 keys to what I call Creative Living. By integrating the 7 keys and their associated proven practices and powerful strategies into your life, you will learn to thrive in life and in business/work. In other words, you will learn to dance with life.

The 7 keys are:

  • Listen to and trust in your body’s wisdom
  • Tap into and express your creative side
  • Consciously create right and left brain/body balance
  • Live life in alignment with your core values
  • Believe that you are here to make a difference
  • Learn from and embrace life transitions
  • Find inner peace, and build peace in your family, friends, community, workplace… the world.

A chapter is devoted to each one of the 7 keys in my book Learning to Dance with Life: A Guide for High Achieving Women.

The value of growing your practice of the seven keys is supported by evidence from neuroscience, the arts, and Eastern psychology. I’ve learned from personal experience and from working with clients that integrating the seven keys to Creative Living into your life will support you as you learn to dance with life.

Are you interested in learning to dance with life or are you currently dancing with life? I’d love to hear your comments. Feel free to post them below and to share this with others.

 

 

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