Archive for the ‘self help’ Category


If you have ever done any home renovations (large or small) you probably have experienced some form of the following.  As you are reading this, imagine how the same process can apply to your life/career “construction”.

You have a feeling that something needs to change.  Maybe you are unhappy with how something flows, or the way your space makes you feel, or some things just feel old and outdated.

  1. You then begin to imagine what you want.  Sometimes that takes a while.  You may have an idea of what feeling you want to have but cannot put into words or pictures yet
  2. So you mull it over, seek inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, or other people
  3. Now you are beginning to create your visionand so are ready to take action
  4. You start with deconstruction, decluttering or discarding what you no longer like/want
  5. As you begin shopping for materials, you may find that your vision is beyond your budget or you can’t find what you want
  6. Some of you may stop here – though if step 5 has already occurred, you may feel stuck/concerned.  Others may forge ahead anyway thinking you’ll figure it out as you go
  7. Next comes the redesign, construction, changes and additions
  8. Often, what you actually create does not exactly match your vision, but if you are able to capture the overall feeling you were trying to achieve, you are “complete” (for now anyway…. )

Your process may include additional steps, or maybe you tackle each step in a different order.

And, at any point in your process you may think “what was I thinking, this is overwhelming!”

I share this with you to introduce the idea that any transition is a process.

  • It will be exciting and overwhelming
  • It will be confusing and clear
  • It will be messy before it is beautiful

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When I was a teenager, I remember having a conversation with my brother that went something like this. “I am so envious of you, you love drums so much and have found your passion, you know exactly what you want to do/be.” He said to me “You are the lucky one, you can be or do anything, I only want to play drums, and if that does not happen, I would be lost”

That experience stuck with me, for you see, I was one of those that did not have my “one-thing”. I did (and still do) enjoy several different things, some of which I liked keeping as hobbies since my interest in them ebbs and flows. I enjoy change, growth, learning, testing and researching which often leads me to new areas to explore. I have embraced this life of plenty and never felt like I needed just one thing.

What became of my brothers passion? He did play drums professionally for many years before finding a new passion – technology/design – He loves having a strong passion and even that passion continues to evolve/deepen as he learns and grows.

What about you?
Do you wish you had a burning passion – one career or life interest that is all consuming? Where you are singly focused, clear, and driven toward it?

So many of my clients come to me wanting to find such a passion. Some feel that they never really had it (in their careers especially). When I ask how they are defining passion, they use words like, “my one thing”, “what lights me up”, “what fulfills me”. When they don’t have it, they feel like something major is missing from their lives, like they are “less-than” somehow. This often leads them to forever pining/searching for that one thing they will love absolutely – and not truly enjoying where they are or what they have.

What if you don’t have one passion?
You may have heard me talk about “sparks”, what I call those moments and experiences that bring you a jolt of joy, curiosity or interest.

What if, you were to start to pay more attention to your personal “sparks” and notice what you are doing, who you are with, what you are thinking that brings about these sparks? When you do that, you then get to choose more of those experiences deliberately! You may even find that they lead you to a new career or new personal pastime – one of your many!

If you want to learn more about this idea….

Video – Listen/watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk – she talks about the “flight of the hummingbird” and having a “curiosity driven life.” This talk was my inspiration for this months topic
Article – Your Career Calling
Book – Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher


This is one of the questions in my Journal of Possibilities and a very important one.  Aliveness is what you bring to any experience you have.

I thought I would take a moment to share some examples from my own life of what makes me feel most alive.

I feel most alive when my senses are heightened

This can include tasting and savoring every morsel of a delicious meal, taking in with my eyes a gorgeous garden or other natural scenic vista, enjoying the scent of fresh flowers, enjoying the feel of soft fabric on my skin, listening to the sounds of crickets and birds in my backyard and watching wildlife go about their daily routine.

I feel alive in my work when I am engaged with others.  When I am working with my clients one on one, delivering a seminar to a group of people eager to learn and having a deep conversation with likeminded colleagues.

I also feel most alive when I am playing.  Whether it’s laughing with my husband and friends, creating a painting or new space in my home, or traveling to a new place.

When do you feel most alive?

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Thought I would share some of what was discussed in my Inspired to Action: Making Commitments and Building Momentum seminar.

Do you have a vision for your career and life?
Your vision is the big picture of what you want for your life.  It sets the framework and foundation for the creation of your goals.  You vision can be a word, a statement, a narrative or a vision board.   Choose a method that resonates for you.
Not sure what your vision is?
One strategy to gaining some clarity of your vision is to begin with your goals.  What are they?  Why are they important to you?  What is the bigger picture of what you are wanting to achieve with this goal?
What goals are aligned with your vision?
Your specific, tangible goals are what make your vision a reality.  Ideally your goals will be things you truly want to accomplish rather then feel you “should” accomplish.

What will be your first steps?


Sometimes your first steps are easy to understand, sometimes they are not. When they are unclear, a strategy is to list all of the steps you believe you need to take action on to accomplish your goal and work backward from there.  Ask yourself what would have had to come before these tasks in order to get to these tasks.


What will be your Commitment Step?

This is the one step, one action that really gets you in motion.  Not on the fringe, but plunging in.  It’s the one step (large or small) that in your mind is your total commitment, your serious move.  

How will you maintain momentum?


One way is to create accountability with a support systemBe accountable to someone (ideally more than one person) to report your progress, someone who will support you in achieving these goals.  This could be a friend, partner, colleague, or life coach, those you feel are your motivators, people in your life you trust, who cheerlead you on.


If you would like help in creating your vision and goals and maintaining your commitment and momentum, contact me for a free consultation at 919-744-9722 or


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When we are kids, play is a regular part of our lives (and our vocabulary).  As we get older, and have more responsibility play seems to get put on the back burner, or disappears altogether.

During my childhood, one of my fondest memories is getting my new light blue “boys” ten speed bike for my 11th birthday.  I would ride that bike every day for hours – no agenda, no time constraints, no purpose other than feeling the wind in my hair and strength in my legs.  It was fun, it was play!

When do I play now?  Not often enough I realize.  Yes, I have fun and feel excitment in my work, with friends and my husband.  Though true play – the no agenda, exhilirating, giddy feeling of fun I had as an 11 year old is itching to come out more often. 

This summer I am going to do just that!

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“Knowing why you want what you want is fuel that keeps you inspired and on your path.”

This is one of the images and messages that appear in my new Journal of Possibility.  What does it mean to “know why”?

Most of my clients initially come to me seeking happiness, fulfillment and purpose.  I ask them to define what each of those things mean to them.  Some are able to do that immediatley, but for many it takes time and introspection to clarify not only what they truly want, but why they want it.

Why might you want something?  Happiness is not an answer, it is too elusive, too big.   You will want to dig deeper to discover what makes you feel the sense of happiness.  Then dig deeper still to why those things make you happy – until you hit on the powerful why, the one that will keep you inspired to stay on your path!


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In some of my seminars I have been asking the question:

Do you ask for help in your workplace and in your life?

Most of the audience, at every seminar, said no they do not ask for help.  When I asked what their biggest reason for not asking for help at work was they said something like “It will look like I don’t know what I am doing”.  The interesting thing is, when I asked the audience if they think that same thought about a colleague that asks for help, they said no! 

In their personal lives the message was similar, something like “I should be able to handle this on my own” or “I don’t want to bother anyone”.  Should we be able to handle everything on our own?  Is it really possible?

Sometimes others offer their help, and we turn them down for much the same reasons. 

What if you were to ask for or accept help? 

How could your life be changed for the better if you did?

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I just finished reading The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels.  This is a book filled with Linda’s personal stories and client experiences that covers thoughts, ideas and examples of what we all go through in our quest for better lives.   This is not just a book about organization, but one of reflection about life and how we are living it. 

Some of her passages that really “spoke” to me were Life Without Computers, The Mind Diet and Experiences Instead of Things.

Life Without Computers for me is as Linda shared – the balance between online and offline work.  I still use a good old-fashioned paper planner and most often write my blog entries and articles using paper and pen.  I have noticed that my creative energy flows more freely when I am away from my computer.  The activity of writing is also more pleasing and fun for me that way.  It makes me look forward to it rather than have it feel like a have-to.

In her passage The Mind Diet, Linda talks about the importance of doing what we have been thinking about.  She says “when we finally decide to act on what we’ve been pondering, it feels great and doesn’t seem so intimidating”  This mirrors the work I do with my coaching clients.  So often we have so many thoughts running through our minds about what we are wanting to do, especially when it involves some change in our life, that we become overwhelmed and stay stuck.  When we take one step, sometimes any step, toward our goals, it is incredibly freeing!

In Experiences Instead of Things Linda reflected on her daughters request one holiday season.  This touched my heart as it is a practice I have been engaged in for many years – during all holidays, birthdays and just any day.  Experiences are, for me, what I remember more than any tangible gift.  The experience of trying something new, spending time with someone special, seeing new places (or the same places from new eyes)… 

Linda’s book will get you thinking (something you all know I love)!

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My husband and I love plants.  We have an abundance of them in our home, some close to 30 years old (started by my mother).

Indoor plants get potbound, meaning they have outgrown the container they are living in and need more room to grow.   When transplanting, the norm is choosing one pot size larger, giving the plant just enough space to spread it’s roots and continue to thrive.

As humans, we all need that too.  When we begin to feel stifled (see 7 Clues You are Ready to Stretch) we droop and may feel thwarted – and we know it’s time to spread our wings a bit. 

Our equivalent of one pot size bigger?  Small steps outside our comfort zone to breathe, stretch and grow… 

How will you stretch this week?

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In my latest article “7 clues you are ready to stretch out of your comfort zone” I talk about how our comfort zone is a space or structure we build/create that surrounds us and is filled with all that is familiar.  Our safe place that help us feel grounded and secure in the world.  There are times in each of our lives when we outgrow our current comfort zone.  Here are the clues that let me know when I was at the edge of mine – ready to step through it.

I began questioning the impact I was having in my life and work.

After a tragedy in my family, I started to question my life and where it was going.  What difference was I making?  These questions helped me take a closer look at my work and at myself to see what worked, what didn’t, what was missing and where I was compromising too much of myself – especially how I was holding myself back.  Slowly the questions turned to answers.

I started paying attention to the pull I had been feeling to live in a different environment.

For years I felt the pull to another place, another lifestyle and environment.  Inside I had ideas of what it looked like and felt like.  The pull got stronger as the years went by until it was so strong I decided to take action to stretch.  My husband felt the pull too – and once that happened, the joint force pulled us through our fear.

What are your signs?

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