Change is in the Air

Cold fall or winter evening. People resting by the fire with blaTransitions are tough and exhilarating at the same time.

Just take a look at our Midwestern weather this time of year: you can leave the house in the morning shivering in your sweater and by lunch time, you are sweltering, ready to shed those socks and shoes for sandals! You just never know what the day will offer.

That particular lesson from Mother Nature — helps me become aware of how my mindset creates struggle or ease in the midst of transition. When I hold tightly to my expectations and things don’t turn out the way I planned, I get pretty cantankerous. It is really hard to delight in a surprise October snow shower when I had my heart set on shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt.

So when I start to feel that cranky, agitated feeling, I can step back and notice how I am contributing to the stress of this moment. I can choose to ruminate on my disappointment (I really wanted it to still be summer!) OR acknowledge my disappointment and focus my attention on something within my power (oh goody, I get to wear my cozy fleece jacket and wool socks!)

What is your attitude when change is in the air? Try this if you are feeling cranky:

  1. Stop whatever you are doing
  2. Soften or even close your eyes
  3. Take 3 nice, easy breaths — giving your breath your full attention
  4. Open your eyes and go back to whatever you were doing
  5. REPEAT AS NEEDED until crankiness subsides

Ready with socks and sandals!
Mary

International Coaching Week 2016: SPECIAL DEAL!

ExperienceCoachingWebBannerThe International Coach Federation (ICF) has designated May 16-22 as International Coaching Week. Professional coaching is a powerful experience that is shifting corporate culture from command and control to collaboration and creativity. Coaching is developing stronger leaders, better communicators, more productive employees and increasingly positive people.

Want to give coaching a try? During International Coaching Week, I am offering a 30-minute one-on-one coaching session for just $50. Regular price is $400! At such a reduced rate, spots will fill up fast. Starting May 16th, contact me to reserve your spot. Only a limited number are available. Prices go back up to regular rate on May 23rd.

What do you Cherish?

Remember this golden oldie?

That’s my theme for this February: CHERISH. I love the tender, sweet feeling that this word (and that melody) inspires. I am excited to notice what I lovingly adore, what I treasure, what is close to my heart.

How about you? What is it that you hold dear?

Cherishing my connection to you,
Mary

Cultivate a Practice of Gratitude

WomanGirlHandsHeartSunshineVintage600x400What a Fall it has been! Just when I thought my schedule was settling into a routine, something surprising would get added. Sometimes it was a happy event like a new, exciting work opportunity. Other times it was an unexpected tragedy such as the death of a dear family member. I am so grateful for all the reminders I have plugged in to my day-to-day life to remind me to BE HERE NOW. That focus keeps me in the vibrant reality of the moment — whether the moment is delightful or heart breaking. When I practice — BE HERE NOW — it gets easier and easier to relinquish my age-old habits of worrying, ruminating, or blaming when life doesn’t unfold as expected.

During the month of November, GRATITUDE is the experience I plan to cultivate. How about you? What are you focusing on this month?

Warmly,

Mary

Turn the page

It is October 1st and we turned the page of our old fashioned wall calendar this morning.

October 2015

October 2015

It was exciting to take a peek at all the adventures this month has to offer. To top it off, we even have real Fall weather today – a cool morning and a bright, sunny blue sky day! Just a few minutes outside reinvigorates and grounds you. Boy, do I love those basics.

Today is even more exciting because it is DAY 1 of my 30 day commitment to clearing out the clutter in my life. Every day for the next 30 days I will GIVE AWAY or THROW AWAY something. At the end of each week, I will donate the items to our local thrift store. Here is what went into the GIVE AWAY pile today…

Going to Goodwill!

Going to Goodwill!

Would you like to join me? I know I do better with an accountability partner! That reminds me, I will be talking about all kinds of tips for making accountability more engaging in my FREE TELECLASS this month. Check it out!

HAPPY AUTUMN!

Transition Time

Picturesque Autumn landscape of sunset colored trees and warm colored leaves that covers the ground  ** Note: soft focus, best at smaller sizes

After a glorious summer filled with plenty of adventures (planned and unplanned), it is time for me to transition into the routines of fall. Sometimes the return to routine is refreshing; the predictability and regularity keeps me grounded and moving in the right direction. Other times it’s disorienting and overwhelming because it adds another layer of deadlines and time pressure.

In this month’s Your Growing Edge teleclass, I will share what I have learned about effectively navigating this transition.

I am looking forward to fall. How about you?

Warmly,
Mary

Savoring Summer Sunshine

Mary Enjoying Summer GrassGLORIOUS!

That is the best way to describe the most recent phenomenal streak of weather in my neck of the woods. The days are sunny and warm with bright blue skies and no humidity. There is just enough breeze to be comfortable in the shade. Every time you step outside, you can’t help but feel good. That summer sun just lifts my spirit.

Instead of coffee breaks, I sneak out for a nature break every chance I get. I am savoring these last days of summer and storing up plenty of summer sunshine memories for those cold, dark January nights!

How is summer nourishing your spirit?
Mary

Take a Break

Relaxing on hammock in garden in summer

How’s your summer unfolding? My family embarked on an exciting adventure to Costa Rica this month. I hope that you are taking time off and enjoying a break from your regular routine. If you don’t have a summer break scheduled, then set aside some time for you and take a mini-vacation!

Pura vida,
Mary

Green and Growing

organic rice field with dew drops during sunset

“June is bustin’ out all over!” Ever wonder where that came from? Check out this video link. It is almost 9 minutes long but if you like a big song and dance number, you will love this!

I am looking forward to the “bustin’ out” activity of June. It is SUMMER and that means all kinds of exciting changes. Our routines change — no school, long weekends, and summer vacation — WAHOO! Our wardrobe changes — can you say SHORTS and sandals?! Because there is more daylight, we stay up longer, hang out later, and have more spontaneous adventures at this time of the year.

Excitement is in the air for work, too.

“June is a comin’ — look around!”

Warmly, with sunscreen,
Mary

Leo Olk Miller: Our Forever Baby

Leo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seventeen years ago today, I joined a tribe I didn’t know existed.

  • On May 14, 1998, with broken hearts, my husband and I welcomed our full term stillborn son, Leo Olk Miller into the world.

    We were devastated. We knew that his spirit had left his body before he was born. And what a magnificent spirit it was. Before he was born, he had touched so many hearts and souls with joy, connection and laughter. So many people were looking forward to greeting this new soul.

    Despite our sorrow, we were eager to touch him, to hold him, to cradle him in our arms. Our families came to meet him – to touch him. They gathered around and held on tightly to us. The love and courage of our families buoyed us as we sank into the deep sadness of losing our baby.

    Later that night, after everyone had gone home, Leo’s spirit came to visit. He washed us with love and light. He blessed us with the immense joy and happiness he was now feeling. He let us know that he was happy and well. And he let us know that in time we would be happy again too.

    We will never know why he left his beautiful, perfect body. But his powerful spirit – that joyful, playful, loving spirit – lives on in our family.

    Happy Birthday Leo, our forever baby.
    We are so grateful for the gifts you give our family.
    With love and tenderness, Mommy