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Start 2018 Connected

Happy New Year!

While I’m often torn about letting the calendar dictate how and when to start things – there are so many other factors! – it’s hard to deny there is something appealing about this time of year when it comes to fresh starts.

Never mind the societal, traditional New Year’s resolutions, we have the return of light after the winter solstice, in the Northern hemisphere, and closing of a week of festivities that feels like a fresh restart of our daily lives.

Add a bright full moon on the first day of this year and it’s a recipe to close off 2017, let go of what is no longer needed or helpful and step into 2018 with only what we want to bring.

And, I don’t know about you but, this year, the change from 2017 to 2018 feels like one helluva a good moment to re-evaluate and set up the next 12 months for positive growth and clear priorities.

I’m setting up for a new year with renewed practice and focus, and I’m inviting everyone along for the first 12 weeks. We’ll look at 6 major areas of life to identify and create space, set goals and define priorities. If you’d like to join the ride, you can connect in the Facebook group to get clear on these areas with live sessions, exercises and conversations. Or keep it high level and take your own journey with prompts in Instagram.

However you begin this new calendar year, all the best. May you stay connected to your best .

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Take Advantage of Mindful Moments

My new article 4 Ways to Have Easy Mindful Moments That Benefit You and Your Clients is available on The Coaching Tools blog and, while it’s written for coaches, the content is equally valuable and usable for everyone.

How can you make the most of increasing your awareness and presence? A little mindfulness and create better balance and relationships in work and life when you:

  1. make more informed decisions
  2. better adapt to situations
  3. better communicate your needs

Here is the full article!

We’ve all heard about mindfulness. It’s hard to escape the idea these days! Being “mindful” has pervaded every aspect of our lives from spiritual growth to eating, business and the boardroom. But, what does mindfulness really mean for you, as a coach, and what can it really do for your clients?

Here are 4 ways that mindfulness can benefit you and those you coach:

For the Coach:

  1. Mind you – Before a coaching session, check in with yourself. 
    What are you noticing about your current state? Take a moment to breathe deeply, and let go of any extra thoughts or worries that aren’t relevant to your upcoming coaching session. Mentally set your worries and concerns aside – or write them down to manage later. Take stock of your focus and your attention – and intention – to work with your upcoming client. Shake off any physical tension and stress. Sometimes it just takes a few jumping jacks to reset everything!
  2. Mind your space. Take a moment and look – really look – at your coaching space.
    Even if you coach by phone and your client will never see your space, having an environment that supports you will support your client throughout your conversation. Step back and look for any distractions like unfiled documents or clutter. Do you have the things you’l need close at hand? Being present, focused and taking a mindful look at your coaching space beforehand allows you to keep a more mindful, active presence for your client during the session.

For your Client:

  1. Mind your client.
    You know active listening is a key component to a great coaching session! Keeping mindful of your presence during a session is a catch-22 situation. You want to be aware of your presence, but you don’t want to be paying attention to your own presence at the cost of your coaching. It takes practice to recognize how present you are – and it’s well worth the effort. Try checking in silently with how present you are with your client before you ask a question or at natural breaks in the conversation: what are you noticing? Regardless of your answer – never judge yourself. This is your chance to take stock and reset as needed. Maybe you need to shift to a more comfortable position in your chair to limit the distraction of a sore leg, or write a note to yourself about a thought that surfaced for you. And save any significant evaluations of your internal or external distractions for after the session!
  2. Support your client’s mindfulness.
    The more your client recognises and understands the impact of their actions on themselves and others, the better equipped they are to make their best choices. Consider opportune moments to incorporate questions for your client to check in, in a mindful way, on their insights, answers and thought process during coaching. To be more mindful, some clients will resonate with the idea of intuition, the feel of a room, or the colour of a conversation. Others will find it easier to assess changes in their heart rate, tension in the jaw or shoulders, or to notice whether they’re seated with an open or closed posture. You will come to know your clients and how they best connect with mindful concepts.

Keep it simple, be more mindful with these 3 steps:

Regardless of where you inject a little more mindfulness in your coaching, it’s the same three steps:

  1. Pause
  2. Identify
  3. Acknowledge

And the optional fourth step:

  1. Adjust? Everything may be exactly as it should be. Or perhaps a tweak or overhaul is needed. And it may not be the time, place or situation to adjust – which is why this fourth step is a question.

And now, with mindfulness, you and your client can go forward more aware and present to the whole coaching session – and questions at hand.

Contributing author: Jenn Danielson brings science and spreadsheets together with incense and energy to help people create balanced growth. With a background in science, standards and project management along with solution-focused coaching, Reiki and mindful practice, she supports people creating their next best career steps, within the bigger picture of their lives. Connect the dots and walk the balance of career, health, life, family & fun. Visit Jenn’s website here and follow her on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

100 Things I Connect With – Part 2: Around Me

ouat…..

I posted the first in a four part series of things I connect with.

Well, you  can connect to pretty much anything, I wager. Should you? Probably not. Although some will argue that there is a time and place for everything. I say, the more you experience thoughtful connections, the more you recognise what connection feels like in different situations, and the more you learn how to connect – and let go – consciously. What you choose to connect with – and the strength of that connection – impacts everything else in your life on some scale.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share some of who and what I connect with: In Me; Around Me; In Others; In Inter-connection.

It’s been a while since then. Let’s do part 2. What I connect with, around me:

  1. the air pressure
  2. the smell of rain or snow
  3. scents and odours
  4. the presence of light
  5. the fall of shadow
  6. the movement of trees
  7. softness or hardness of the ground underfoot
  8. silence
  9. rise and fall of conversations
  10. music
  11. song
  12. colour tone
  13. colour intensity
  14. energy in the space
  15. flow in a space (height, direction)
  16. wind or breeze
  17. sound, flow and energy in moving water
  18. warmth or coolness
  19. how things are aligned or organised
  20. form and function of objects
  21. art
  22. architecture
  23. whimsy
  24. growth/regeneration
  25. story

Without judgement, what do you notice around you right now? What steps out and makes itself known? What do you have to think about and search for?

What is it like to just feel into it for a moment?

Stay connected 🙂 Part 3 will be sooner rather than later!

 

 

Happy new year – welcome to 2017

Wow.

2017. That’s so weird to type. My fingers just won’t go that way.

And yet. They will. I have to think about it. Maybe make a correction. But they will. Because that’s what I want them to do. It’s what’s “right” to do.

I keep coming back to the idea that we learned in November’s Connect to Your Body workshop: that your body will do what you ask of it – it wants to! – so be conscious of what and how you direct it. Instead of “type the date”, I can think “type 2017”. It makes a difference.

(go on, try it, you know you want to!)

So, along with the calendar, what else shifts for you in 2017? What grows? What are you creating or adjusting? How do you shift your thinking, or your ask to help it connect?

What are you letting be in its full, now awesomeness? Let the connections that are working for you linger and be easy!

Get the goods on this year’s upcoming workshops and group connections, and anxiety busting, balance inducing clarity & goodness. Keep up on the (infrequent!) emails by signing up below, and join the Facebook group for even greater access to goodness.

Keep it connected,

Mindful Body Round-Up

In the 42 Days of Connections Facebook Group (we are on-going and would love to see you there!) we’ve been talking about the impact of the mind on the body, what your body may be trying to tell you about your emotional state, stress or other decisions.

Is your stomach feeling queasy over a decision you are torn over? Is your headache your cue to step back and relax? Knees are all over the idea of movement…so if you are feeling stuck – in a job, in a situation, or a meeting – do they get jittery or sore?

It may not be this dramatic…or maybe it is:

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Source: NYPL Digital Library

**Super big reality check: Now, clearly, your body also tells you about what your body is doing. Sudden pain in your foot? Check and make sure you didn’t step on a nail before you start on an inner inventory of your day’s events.**


Once you’ve ruled out stabby things, over-exertion and other physical considerations, there are lots of other things left in the running. So, where do you begin?

Well, after checking out my previous post on the subject, of course, here are a few other resources that you can review. This runs the gamut, from authors, to consumer medical sites, woo-adjacent ezines and business blogs. It’s something that we all can make better use, in pretty much any area of our lives. Just listen to your body to connect the dots.

Is your work supporting you? You know, in those ways other than just financially.

This article was published last month on the Coaching Tools Company blog and, while written to coaches, there’s nuggets in here for anyone.

We all work. In some way or fashion and, far more often, in many ways and fashions. Sometimes we do what we do because we believe it’s just part of the gig. Do we love it? Do we even like it? Does it matter?

Oh, yes it does, ladies & gentlemen. It so does.

We’ve all seen the articles and heard the inspirational talks about how mindfulness can help us feel better, be calmer and “amp up” our self-care. And that self-care is critical for you to be your best for your clients! But, did you know that practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can also become a ‘go-to’ place when you want to assess how your work is supporting you?

It’s not just warm-fuzzies. Mindful connection can be the barometer for you and your direction in your work. What better time to regain clarity and focus than now?

…read the full article on the The Coaching Tools Company

Now, I’m not suggesting we can foist off every little piece of work that doesn’t suit our deepest desires. But what if some of them can be? What if you can monitor yourself and your mood going into and doing those things that aren’t your favourite? What if making the connection between a boring task and the bigger picture changes your whole outlook?

Perhaps better goals, better work, better outcomes, and better you throughout.

I’ll take that.

42 Days: an invitation to your components of connection

Today, I turn 42.

If you want to head straight into the invitation, scroll down to the end!

Now, normally, I don’t spend a lot of time and energy on my birthdays – the last year I really noted it as a “big deal”  was back in 2003 when I turned 29. Something about 29 kicked in and sent me to my first tattoo. And then, although more tattoos followed, more life changes followed, and more personal development continues to follow, none have connected to my birthday quite the way this year has.

And, why not? Indeed, why on earth not? It’s trite and true – as with anything! – if not today, when?

42 simply feels like a good year to connect. I feel it in my gut (and, oh, will we talk about that!) Time to check in on connections. Reconnect. Continue to connect. This all now fits. I am ready for it.

Added bonus? 42 connects to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Ultimate Question in the search for the answer to life, the universe and everything. Because, really, the Ultimate Question may not be a proper question, but it’s a damn good quest. And my geek-adjacent* self is rather fond of it.

 

So, the first 42 days of my 42nd birthday will be about sharing exactly how I connect, reconnect and stay connected on a regular basis, to my inner self, the outer world, to get closer to the answer to the Ultimate Question, and that crazy tenuous idea of “life balance”.

Bah! That word: balance. Sounds so precise and static! When we all know it’s anything but either one of those things.

But I digress.

Connections: For me, stronger connections to myself and my world encompass things like: Presence. Engagement. Empathy. Trust. Respect.

But that’s me. You’ll have your own list. Do you know what it is?

Your invitation: join me, and some super fun folks who also want to connect to their answers to the Ultimate Question, over the next 42 days to learn how to tap into your connections. Find what works for you and learn to recognise when you are stepping into growth, balance, change or cautious territory. It’s free. It’s got give-aways and group goodness. It’s going to be fun! I wouldn’t share it if it wasn’t. It’s the start of a new way to connect with your life, work, health, family & play.

We’re all hanging out of Facebook over here: http://bitl.y/CYDfbgroup This is a private group, online, for us to share, laugh and learn in a judgement-free space. Just ask to join and get connected!

*I cannot claim the rights to the phrase “geek-adjacent”. That was coined by a smarty wordsmith delightful, also geek-adjacent good friend.

100 Things I Connect With – Part 1: In Me

So I talk a lot about connection (not sure if you noticed that yet…) but what exactly am I talking about? Connect to what? With what? For what?

Well, you  can connect to pretty much anything, I wager. Should you? Probably not. Although some will argue that there is a time and place for everything. I say, the more you experience thoughtful connections, the more you recognise what connection feels like in different situations, and the more you learn how to connect – and let go – consciously. What you choose to connect with – and the strength of that connection – impacts everything else in your life on some scale.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share some of who and what I connect with: In Me; Around Me; In Others; In Inter-connection.

Here are some of the things I connect with In Me:

  1. how I hold my shoulders
  2. any tension around my eyes
  3. the alignment of my spine; my posture
  4. my intentions for the day (or week, or month or year)
  5. joy in my movement
  6. unease in my heart
  7. a song or lyric rising up
  8. my breath
  9. the intuition “ping!” to pay attention
  10. hunger and fullness
  11. energy flow
  12. attraction to colours
  13. thirst
  14. my presence or distraction to the moment
  15. desire to move or rest
  16. areas of discomfort or pain
  17. sensitivity of touch
  18. how I see light and shadow
  19. what it feels like to blink
  20. tension in my jaw
  21. a need to move
  22. a need to rest
  23. memories
  24. dreams
  25. how curious I am at the moment

Without judgement, what do you notice about you right now? What steps out and makes itself known? What do you have to think about and search for?

Check in with you.

Up next, connecting with the things around you!

 

De-stress. My guest post on The Coaching Tools

This article was published on the The Coaching Tools website the other day and, although it’s written to other coaches, I think it’s equally applicable to anyone.

Yes, anyone. Everyone. It does not matter whether you are a coach, a healer, a patient, a parent. It only matters that you are a person in the world. Stop, connect and be present.

I believe that balance is a flowing, ever changing moment in time. With all the changes, challenges and opportunities coming at us daily, it’s incredibly difficult to hold a perfect state of balance.

So what do you do? How do you manage the stresses of all that you do?

Read the full article here, with four fast and easy ways to connect and de-stress at any time.

big, crazy-ass network of stuff

That was the profound phrase I spouted the other day (okay, over a year ago), while trying to mentally connect the dots between a set of ideas.

Yep. My thoughts are deep like that.

network

Every time I start to work on something – anything – I find myself trying to tie it in to something that already makes sense to me. How is this an extension of what I already am or doing? The connection isn’t always easy to make. And if I can’t connect it to something important in my life, great! I can let it go.

But, sometimes, it’s way too easy. Everything is connected in the end and, really, isn’t this shiny new opportunity just as relevant to life, family, better health or work advancement as everything else? Isn’t this project, health issue or scheduling nightmare just as valid and worthy in the grand scheme?

Perhaps.

So, how do you determine what makes it into your sphere of care, worry, concern or fears? What taps into your time and energy?

How are you thoughtful without over-thinking??


Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when your looking at a piece of your life that seems to be kicking up shit:

1. Why is this important to me? Why is this important to me right now?

 

2. How am I passionate about this? Yes, how. How does this call to you? Are you approaching it in the best way?

 

3. What happens to the other areas of my life if I do this? (hint: list both the positive and negative impacts!) What happens to the other areas of my life if I do this right now?

 

4. And the corollary: What happens if I don’t do this? (hint: list both the positive and negative impacts!) What happens if I don’t do this right now?

 

5. What is more important in my life right now, than this? What is less important?


I run this scenario often when it comes to my photography. I love photography. I enjoy it and I totally connect with the camera, the images, the lighting and finding my best shots. But it can take up a lot of time and, really, it’s a hobby. So when a recent opportunity came up to photograph an event, it looked like this:

1. It’s important because it would be a great opportunity to focus on candid photos of people. And this is a one time conference over a few days.

2. It would be a reasonable challenge for me – I would love the chance and the challenge of an event of this size and set up! Plus, I get to attend the event!

3. I would have to set aside dedicated time to process the pictures after the conference. I would get to do a dedicated body of work on this type of event. I would be able to connect with people in the process.

4. This type of experience won’t be readily available for several years at least. I would lose the opportunity to attend the full conference. I would have the time I would otherwise spend in processing the photos.

5. As always, my family and current commitments in life and business are more important. Getting outside and eating well are more important. Sleep and time to re-energize are more important. Television and social media definitely aren’t as important.


So, I agreed to do this event. I now have the head space and the framework to schedule and prioritize the work that comes along with it. The next time, my answer may be different. Because life will be different.

It always is. It’s always connected.

How do you assess your work, new plans or projects or even just the next shiny thing in front of you?