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

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!

Mary

Retreat: An Essential Daily Practice

It is a gray and chilly day here in Minnesota. Every now and then a few snowflakes drift by. What a perfect day for a retreat!
Today in the Growing Edge Teleclass, my friend and Retreat Coach Extraordinaire, Michelle Burns, treated us to a lovely mini-retreat. She guided us to an inner landscape of renewal; helping each one of us experience a wonderful, relaxing, peaceful retreat. Here is where I went…

In less than 10 minutes, we felt refreshed and refueled.

AMAZING!

All of us left the teleclass with a renewed commitment to carve out some sacred down time each day. Some people will be taking walks in nature. Others will be creating time to meditate. Still others decided to create Technology Free Zones during their week. I renewed my commitment to no screen time for 30 minutes before bed each day.

With the barrage of constant connectivity from cell phones, emails, mp3 players, texting, iPads, laptops, etc. — we need down time to reconnect with ourselves to know who we are and what we want.

How are you going to create a retreat for yourself today?

Click on the comment link below and tell me!

PS. If you want a two hour time block for yourself, join Michelle and me for a VIRTUAL RETREAT on November 20. Click here for the details

Breathing Into Daily Transitions

From the moment you awake, you are moving from one thing to another. The routine tasks we perform every day are full of little transitions. If you’re like me, you’re usually thinking two steps ahead – and feeling 3 steps behind.

You’re brushing your teeth, thinking I am running late; I’ve got to get that presentation finished before noon; Remember to send an email to the car pool for tonight’s soccer game. You quickly say good morning to your family while rattling off a list of the day’s To Dos you want them to remember.

Whew, my mind is spinning just writing that!

Planning ahead is useful and necessary, but it often means I am not present in the moment. That makes life HARD and full of tension! So, what is a busy person to do? How can we move through transitions with more grace and ease?

BREATHE!

If you can anchor yourself by breathing in those moments in-between and really pay attention to where you are right then – your transitions will be smoother and you’ll be more centered. You will discover a quiet joy in those precious moments – even if it is fleeting.

So this week, experiment with breathing. Take a deep breath when you are brushing your teeth, commuting to work, or simply moving from one room to another. How does this one small thing make a difference in your daily transitions?

I would love to hear the results of your experiments. You can comment below or send me an email (Mary@coacholk.com).

Warmly (with a deep breath),

Mary

Navigating Transitions – Free Teleclass

TRANSITIONS: Successfully Navigating the Moments In-between
Thursday, October 14 at 10:30 AM CT

It’s Fall in the heartland. The trees are changing from vibrant green to shades of red and gold. The days are shorter; the air is crisp. We are slowly and surely moving from the heat of summer to the chill of winter. FALL is a season of TRANSITION.

This month The Growing Edge Teleclass will explore TRANSITION. Sometimes they are challenging, sometimes they are graceful. They are inevitably part of the natural rhythm of life.

Join me on October 14 as we tap our collective wisdom and knowledge about navigating transitions.

• Why are some transitions smooth and easy?
• How come some are rough and require lots of effort?
• What makes a transition exciting?
• What has you dreading a transition?
• What resources do you count on when you are in the midst of a transition?

I will share some strategies for staying sure-footed as you dance with the rhythms of life’s transitions.

I promise that you will leave our conversation inspired and ready for any transition that comes your way (or is already underway!)

I am looking forward to growing with you this month!

Click Here To REGISTER

The End of Summer

Despite what the calendar says, summer is officially over next week at our house when school starts again.  We are making the most of the last few days of our relaxed routine with extra trips to the beach, staying up late reading or roasting marshmallows at a backyard bonfire, long walks around the neighborhood, and savoring the casual conversations with friends and neighbors.

We have plans for a fun-filled escapade to the Mall of America, a few last play dates, a camping expedition and a hiking adventure in the woods surrounding our neighborhood.

This week is a celebration of all things SUMMER – fun, spontaneity, adventure, connection, recreation!

How will you be celebrating summer?

Sunny summer regards,

Mary

My Mom, My First Life Coach

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone! (one day late). I hope that you are taking some time to celebrate the wonderful women in your life. This week I was thinking about my Mom and appreciating the gifts she has given me over my lifetime, and then it hit me …

My Mom was my first life coach!

She was the first person who created a safe space for me to be all of me. She showed me that life was full of learning and that learning could be FUN! She saw my greatness when all I could see were my limitations. She nudged me out of my comfort zone, giving me opportunities to try things she had a hunch I would love. Most of all she loved me with out reservation or conditions.

Thanks Mom for giving me the best foundation for my life and my career!

Who was your first life coach?
What would a partnership with a coach give you today?

Call me and let’s get to work!

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Hannah Kearney

Hannah Kearney

What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • Construction Worker
  • Detective
  • Professional Soccer Player
  • Musician
  • Olympic Athlete
  • Archeologist

Those are some of the answers to that question around our house these days. Each answer gives clues about that person’s passion in that moment. It is delightful to witness how those passions blossom.

I love asking myself and my clients that question. It invites us to dream, to wonder, to change. The question nudges us to consider possibilities and assumes that there is always room to grow!

My husband is percolating on plans to ride his bicycle across America. My nephew would like to be a successful ballet dancer in New York. My thriving flight attendant friend looks forward to the day when she can return to the Missionary work that feeds her soul. When I grow up, I want to create a lucrative business cooperative for women entrepreneurs who are as dedicated to their families as they are to their work.

So how about you – What do you want to be when you grow up?

Mary
Image source: http://www.nbcolympics.com/freestyle-skiing/index.html

Wrapping Up The Year

Now that we are almost done wrapping the presents, I have started to think about wrapping up the year.  Most people have some kind of ritual or tradition of saying farewell to the year. During December, I offer my clients the opportunity to recap this year using The YAHOO/BOO HOO/AH-HAH list. (Try saying that 3 times fast.)

Under the YAHOO, we look at accomplishments, what you are most proud of, and any other items to celebrate; BOO HOO – goals not achieved, regrets, disappointments and any sad moments; AH-HAHs – key learnings or lessons this year offered.

Then my clients create a personal ritual for closing out the year.  Once that is complete, we tackle setting intentions for the next year.

How will you wrap up 2009?

New Holiday Tradition: Looking Forward to the Obstacles

We had a delightful Thanksgiving sleeping in, enjoying the outdoors, and of course, EATING! We especially relished our new holiday tradition: a post-dinner obstacle course in which family and friends gather in the basement and devise a course incorporating physical challenges such as leaping over couches (see photo of my son, James) crawling under tables and jumping rope; feats of manual dexterity (dropping bamboo skewers into a small glass); and tests of memory (how many times do I rock in the chair?)

Young and old look forward to the “race.”  My children start planning for it long before the adults plan the dinner menu. Everyone is engaged, whether by running the course, being a timer or commentator, or cheerleading.

Of course, this tradition got me thinking…

In planning our post dinner fun, everyone looks forward to creating a challenging set of obstacles and seeing how each person masters those challenges.  How could we bring that excited anticipation to the challenges and obstacles in our own lives?  Who enthusiastically cheers us on when we stumble?

Of course, part of the fun of the event is the competition. We are racing against the clock and each other but there is never a clear winner.  The goal seems to be to do your best and have fun at the same time.  What if we approached our lives with the same friendly competition and intention to do our best?

One more thing that adds to the delight: Nobody gets bent out of shape about the impromptu changes that happen as we run the course (like one of the spectators deliberately stepping into someone’s path). We laugh and admire the contestant’s ability to adapt on the fly.  How can we playfully handle the unexpected in our lives?

We are already making plans for next year. Would you like to join us?

Mary