Busy as a Bee

Busy as a beeExciting news from Coach Olk HQ! My new product, Activating Your Inner Champion, was one of 3 featured products in CHOICE, The Magazine of Professional Coaching. WOW! I am speechless. I’m sure I’ll recover soon and be blabbing about it all over the place. Stay tuned and in the meantime, click here to read about it.

May is full of all kinds of busy-ness personally and professionally. The end-of-school year events (field trips, concerts, track meets, banquets) merge with the onramp to summer activities (soccer games, picnics, graduations, vacations). In my day-to-day business operations, I am redesigning my website, welcoming new clients, exploring new training opportunities, and learning how to talk about Activating Your Inner Champion!

With all that busy-ness, it is so easy to get knocked off center. I can get so uptight, worrying about the things I need to do, the things I am not doing and should be doing, and all the things I forgot to do!

YIKES! Can you relate?

That’s why I invited Rick Carson, author of Taming Your Gremlin to YOUR GROWING EDGE, my FREE TELECLASS. Rick will share his wisdom for stopping that internal churning and reconnecting to our hearts.

Please click here to join Rick and me at the teleclass on May 14th at 11:30am CT.

Busy as a bee,

Spring is Sprouting

Hand with sponge cleaning dirty window

April is here and soon the signs of Spring will be sprouting everywhere! The excitement of this season puts a smile on everyone’s face and lightens our steps. I hope that you are enjoying the delights that Spring can bring — even through the snowflakes.

I am looking forward to sharing my delightful friend and coaching colleague, Judy Zimmer, with you. Judy is going to help us breathe some fresh air into our stuffy LinkedIn profiles in my FREE TELECLASS this month.

Hey, feeling the need to do some internal spring cleaning to connect to your inner wisdom? Then you want to check out my new productActivating Your Inner Champion. It will help you clean out those internal cobwebs that keep getting in your way.

Happy Spring! Here’s to a shiny, squeaky clean, new you!


Planting the Seeds of Spring

flower seedling in a pot ready for planting

Isn’t it great to have so much more daylight this time of year? Excitement is in the air and signs of spring are beginning to sprout.

I am planting lots of seeds this month.

1.  I am thrilled to be sharing my Inner Champion audio learning program with the world! Now that the audios and journals are finished, I am dreaming up all kinds of ways for people to use it. Look for more details from me this spring.

2.  I am hatching plans to refresh and reinvigorate my website — new content, new photos, and a new look that works on any digital device. I even have videos I want to share!

3.  My free monthly tele class is on March 12th and it plants the seeds for the Power of Play in our livesJoin me!

4.  And I am looking forward to designing and creating beautiful, relaxing space inside and outside our house!

Feels like spring fever is setting in and I am eager to see how the seeds I am planting now, flourish and grow in the upcoming months.

Here’s to spring,


Horseman galloping at high speed in horse racing

How’s your New Year unfolding so far?

My year is starting out like a race horse bursting out of the starting gate and galloping away at break neck speed! It’s all good, exciting stuff that is happening.

The most thrilling part of my ride is the release of my new audio program: Activating Your Inner Champion. It came out on February 1! You will be able to read all about it on my website soon or learn about it in my Free Teleclass this month. (Check out my Upcoming Events for more information on the teleclass.)

I am doing my darnedest to stay firmly in the saddle and ride with grace, strength and determination. The best part of this fast pace: I stay focused on the road ahead in order to succeed on my steed. There is no room for boredom or distraction!

Here is the question that is guiding me on this wild ride: “What is most important right now?”

What is guiding you?


How did your 2014 wrap up?

Driving on an empty road towards the mountains and setting sun

How did your 2014 wrap up? Did you race at breakneck pace and slide full speed into home plate at last? VICTORY; I made it! Or maybe you floated like a leaf on a soft breeze, gently landing on the last days of the year? AHHH, how sweet it is! Every year it is a different story.

Last year went by very quickly. Even my kids were amazed that 2014 was coming to a close. I hope that means that we were so engrossed enjoying the everyday moments of life that we didn’t even notice the passage of time. During the holiday season, we thoroughly enjoyed a break in our regular routine. There was so much more time for sleeping in, cooking, sledding, and watching movies without work/school, meetings, and extra-curricular activities. I hope that you, too, enjoyed a pause in your routine.

I am looking forward to 2015. A New Year is like a blank page waiting to be filled. I don’t do resolutions, but I do find a theme for the year. One year my theme was “Yes, bring on the best!” Another year, “The answer always there, right away, no delay!” So far, the theme that is taking shape for my 2015 is something about ever-expanding love and happiness.

What is your theme for 2015? If you want some help crafting your theme for the year, call me for a special thirty-minute New Year coaching session for only $49. I would love the chance to help you pave the way to a fulfilling and satisfying year. (Contact me before Jan 31, 2015, for this special offer.)

Happy 2015,

Your Comfort Zone

Mary says: “My job as a coach is to challenge you to go outside your comfort zone, to try something different to help you land in that space of what’s right and true for you.

Sometimes the challenge is one of tenderness and gentleness. That same client can at times require the drill sergeant who says get it done and get it done now. That is what I love about coaching – it is so improvisational.”


hot chocolate with mini marshmallowsOur long, luxurious fall came to an abrupt end the first week of November. Winter came in at full strength with six inches of snow and cold temps. It took all of us hardy Midwesterners by surprise. After about a week of denial, we adjusted. Everyone is in full winter mode now wearing warm coats and hats, turtle necks, and wool socks every day. We are a practical, adaptable crowd!

I love the snow. That layer of white really brightens up our shorter days and forces us to slow down. And I love December because it is a month of contrasts. There is the frenzied energy of year-end activities and holidays. And then there is the quiet energy of HIBERNATING — tucking in under a warm blanket with a mug of hot cocoa for a low key evening.

Another reason I love December is the YAHOO/BOO HOO/AH-HA activity I offer my coaching clients.

Curious? Well, here is how it goes: We start with YAHOO — exploring all the things that were good about the year: accomplishments, achievements, and good times. Then we visit BOO HOO: the disappointments, things that didn’t get done, and the tough moments. We wrap up with AH-HA: capturing the important nuggets of learning from the year. Most of the time, at the end of this activity, my clients create a simple ritual for saying Good Bye to this year.

I love doing this activity with my clients and for myself. It really wraps up the year so that we start the New Year fresh. Would you like to give it a try? CLICK HERE for a worksheet that will walk you through the activity. I hope that you like it!

Warmly, with hot cocoa and marshmallows,

Energizing and Refreshing Retreat Experience

RainbowsThis fall Mother Nature has been putting on quite a show in the Midwest. We had a long run of warm sunny days, beautiful blue skies and glowing gold, orange, and red trees. And rainbows! I have never seen so many fall rainbows. It has been breathtaking.

Our house has been full of activity: decorating the yard, carving pumpkins, creating costumes, picking out treats, and making plans to celebrate with friends. October was an exhilarating month of transition.

November has been and continues to be a busy month of celebrating. We are looking forward to gathering with family and friends for Thanksgiving. I will be celebrating my 29th birthday again. (wink, wink) And the most important part of November: Our 25th wedding anniversary. It seems like we just got married last year! My husband and I are thoroughly pleased to celebrate such a remarkable milestone.

All this transition season busy-ness motivated me to create some quiet, restorative time for all of us. Michelle Burns and I have cooked up an energizing and refreshing retreat experience to entreat you to SLOW DOWN and immerse yourself in the experience of GRATITUDE! I hope that you will join us for the event. All the details are listed on my Upcoming Events page.

Yours in gratitude,

Devoted to Fun!

Mary WaterskiingIt is so much easier to be spontaneous in the summer. Probably because we don’t have the same intensely rigid daily schedule that comes with the school year. More flexibility in our schedule means more opportunities for playtime! Last night I joined a spur-of-the-moment football-throwing contest. Two weeks ago I tried water skiing (successfully! that’s me in the picture) for the first time in 30 years. Tonight, it looks like we might ride bikes to our favorite local pizza joint.

These spontaneous good times really lift my spirit and dramatically lower my stress levels. (Not to mention, the physical exercise is good for my entire family!) And the last 3 weeks have been challenging. One of my fit, healthy brothers had a heart attack last month. My Mother-in-law was hospitalized twice for pneumonia and is bouncing back very slowly. My husband was out of town (enjoying his long planned bike trip and I was shepherding and schlepping the teenagers to their summertime commitments. Oh yeah – and running my business too.

Each moment of impromptu, purposeless play really cuts through the stress and strain of life. Play injects my heart with a shot of joy that sustains me. That burst of delight reminds me that even in the midst of hardship, life is good.

Incorporating play into your daily routine is beneficial to you, too. Would you like to make play a habit in your own life? For the rest of August, follow my Facebook page for daily ideas on how to PLAY. Very few of them will require special equipment or physical finesse. These play prompts will create a smile and melt the stress away in the middle of the day.  Join in the fun and post your experiences and your own PLAY ideas on my Facebook page, using the hashtag #PowerOfPlay. Let’s start a PLAYvolution!!

Mary Mustache Your serious DEVOTEE to PLAY,


Slow Down & Savor Summer

Feet of a young woman lying in hammock in a garden

I love August. The daylight lingers just long enough that we can enjoy extra summer activities once the workday is over. We often sneak over to the beach around 7 PM for a quick swim to cool off on a hot summer night. And our usual 20 minute evening stroll around the block takes an hour and a half because we stop to visit with our neighbors who are out and about. We savor these dog days of summer. They nourish our soul for those long, cold, mid-western winter nights.

On the work front, this summer I’ve been developing my new product that could be released this month! It’s an audio learning program with workbook — designed to help you discover and use your Inner Champion. You know, that brilliant inner resource that believes in you and consistently guides you to success and satisfaction! Stay tuned for the latest on this project.

What is on your summer FUN list? There is still time to get out and enjoy the summer salad days! Come and play with me. Sign up for my free tele class on August 17th for some great tips and reasons to play every day.

Happily yours,