What is your ritual for saying farewell to the year?

Bear Polar with Cubs 600x400

I wish I was a bear! The temperature has dropped and the snowflakes are flying. I am ready to tuck myself in for a long winter’s nap. My version of hibernating is snuggling under a warm blanket by the fire, listening to holiday music, eating homemade cookies and snoozing.

Besides the tempting invitation to nap, the quiet darkness of wintertime invites us to slow down and reflect. In December, my clients pause and look back over the last year using what I call the YAHOO/BOO HOO/AH-HA formula.

Here is how it goes: each client thinks about, writes about and explores…

YAHOOs:  What did I accomplish/achieve this year?  What am I most proud of? What made my heart happy? What delightfully surprised me?

BOO HOOs: What didn’t I get to?  What were some of the failures or disappointments? Where were the sad moments? What do I regret?

AH – HAs:  What did I learn?  What do I want to carry with me into the next year?

Then we create a ritual for saying farewell to 2013, bringing the year to a close and making way for the New Year.

How do you wrap up the year?

 

Ask the Coach

Here are a few questions I planned to tackle on my teleclass today:

WHAT IS COACHING?

It is a partnership dedicated to accomplishing personal and professional goals. Every coaching partnership is uniquely designed to facilitate learning, development and change.

WHAT HAPPENS IN COACHING?

Once goals are defined and the working relationship is built, each client brings their situation, dilemma, project details to

the coaching conversation. The coach listens deeply and asks provocative, open ended questions that facilitate “AH- HA” moments. Once a client makes a discovery, the coach and client look for the meaningful ways to put that learning into action. Then, as a team, they create structures that will hold the client accountable to what it is s/he wants to accomplish.  Bottom line, effective coaching is AWARENESS, ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY!

HOW DO I KNOW I AM READY FOR COACHING?

Do you have a goal you want to accomplish?

Are you ready to make a change?

Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone?

Do you believe that learning is critical to successful action?

Do you have the resources (time, money, self-

esteem, support people) to invest in the process of change?

Do you have a sense of humor?

If you answered YES to those questions, then you are ready for coaching!

There are so many more questions people ask me!  If you have a question, post it in the comment section below and I will answer as soon as I can. Can’t wait to learn your questions.

Enjoy your day!

Mary

Mary

Meet the Gremlin Tamer February 9


“Your gremlin is the sleazy malcontent lurking in the shadows of your very own mind. Left to do his thing, he’ll zap your health, foul up your relationships, dampen your creativity and send you tumbling into low-down funks and anxious fits.”

Would you like to learn more about Taming Your Gremlin® directly from the man who created the popular and powerful Gremlin-Taming Method?

Then join me on Feb. 9! Rick Carson will be my guest for The Growing Edge Free Teleclass.

Rick is the author of Taming Your Gremlin® (and 3 other books). Visit the Gremlin Taming Institute to learn more about his work.

We’re looking forward to a lively and highly interactive half hour. Any personal, interpersonal or client-related issue is grist for the mill, so come with your questions and be prepared to participate!

Talk to you soon!

Mary

New Year – Now What?!

Happy 2012!
What is your tradition for welcoming the New Year? Some people PARTY. Some people make resolutions. I like to do something inspiring and long lasting – I create an INTENTION for the year!

What is an intention?
How is it different than a resolution or goal?
How do I create something that lasts the whole year?

Join me on January 12th and find out. Come to The Growing Edge FREE teleclass and create an inspiring personal intention for 2012. Who knows, maybe we will start a new tradition for welcoming the New Year.

To reserve your spot on the call, simply click on button below.

I am looking forward to hearing your voice on the call!
Mary

Register for New Year - Now What?! in This event is a teleclass.  on Eventbrite

Mary

Strengths: The Secret to a Juicy Life

Last week in the Growing Edge Teleclass, the topic that sparked learning was STRENGTHS: The Secrect to a Juicy Life. We turned the common definition of STRENGTH on its head. Just about everybody, including the dictionary, defines “strength” as something that you do well; something that can be seen and/or demonstrated.

Strengths Psychology enriches that basic definition with some important, subjective additions. Marcus Buckingham (author of GO, Put Your Strengths to Work) defines strengths as the specific activities that you consistently do well and that energize and invigorate you. To get a better, more personal sense of this definition, try this activity:
Take a moment to think about your week. Remember the variety of activities you did – professionally and personally.

Which activities made you feel…

ALIVE – POWERFUL — STRONG – CONFIDENT

Which ones had you saying…

That was easy!
I can’t wait to do that again!
What a rush!
WOW – that time flew by!

Once you identify some of the activities that invigorate you, TAKE A CLOSER LOOK. Explore what matters most about these activities and you will begin to discover your unique constellation of strengths! Click here to read more about how Marcus Buckingham puts these ideas to work.

NOW – Can you imagine what life would be like if EVERYDAY was filled with the activities that made you feel powerful, alive and strong?

MY CLIENTS CAN!

Clarifying and playing to strengths is what we do in coaching to produce extraordinary results.
SO TELL ME – What do you do well that adds JUICE to your life?

Happy Mid-Year!

Yes, you read it right! I am celebrating the middle part of my year. I know most people are busy setting New Year’s resolutions.  For me, this is the best time to evaluate the plans I made way back in September.

Whatever your preference, this is a great time to stop and check in on where you are.

TRY THIS: Set a 30 minute appointment with yourself in the next week.  Hold your meeting in a quiet, distraction free space.  Bring blank paper and your favorite writing/drawing tools.  Start by closing your eyes and simply focusing on your breath.  When you are ready, ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • What is important to me in this moment of my life?
  • What is humming along quite nicely?
  • What needs fine-tuning?
  • What would I love to DUMP?
  • What are the challenges and obstacles I am facing?
  • What are my goals or aspirations for the next year?
  • Who is on my success team?
  • When will I hire Mary? ;D

Write down or draw your answers.  Remember, the most valuable answers come from your heart!

I’d love to hear what you discover.  Use the comment section below or send me an email: Mary@coacholk.com

Hello Darkness

“Hello Darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again…”

P. Simon 1964 “The Sound of Silence”

I love the quiet darkness of winter. It brings a peaceful calm to my heart and mind. In the midst of a frenetic time of year, the darkness invites me to sit down, to slow down, to just be in this moment. When I embrace the quiet darkness, I am treated to wonderful surprises – the sharp contrasts of the shadows cast by a full moon, the fiery brilliant colors of the sunrise, a wonderful sensation of being connected to everything and everyone! My heart tingles with aliveness! I am grateful for the invitation to slow down and come home to me.

Thank you Winter Solstice!

What surprising invitation do you find in the quiet darkness?
Leave a comment and let me know!

Gratitude: It Takes Practice

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.”
~Melodie Beattie

What are you grateful for today?

Sometimes it is as simple as that – taking a moment to notice. I have a gratitude journal that sits by my bed collecting dust most days because I forget that gratitude takes practice.

When I take the time to simply notice what I am grateful for and write it down, I become aware of the fullness of life. My attitude shifts. I am able to let go of the thoughts and habits that artificially stir up trouble. I feel more centered, more grounded which means when I bump into a real problem, I am able to respond with more grace and a sense of humor.

Today I renewed my commitment to a simple practice of gratitude. I started the day by writing down 3 things for which I am grateful and I am committed to do this simple practice for 40 days. Hopefully by then it will become a daily habit!

What simple practice of gratitude will you do?

THANK-FULLNESS: The Practice of Gratitude

November is a month full of giving thanks around my house. We celebrate Thanksgiving, our national holiday of appreciation for life’s bounty. I also celebrate my birthday and my wedding anniversary, too. My birthday gives me the chance to appreciate all the gifts in my life. My anniversary allows me to stop and appreciate my soul mate and the relationship we have been cultivating for over 20 years. I get a lot of practice being thankful in November!

Join me this month as I dive deeper into the PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE. Each of the Growing Edge blogs, the free teleclass and my special event: The Practice of Gratitude Virtual Retreat, all revolve around what gratitude is, what it means, how we can share and learn from the wisdom of others, and how to develop a daily gratitude practice.

  • Watch for my weekly gratitude blogs
  • Sign up for my Nov 11 free teleclass – The Wisdom of Retreat HERE
  • Join me for our first virtual retreat – The Practice of Gratitude hosted by myself and Retreat Coach Michelle Burns on Nov 21. Click HERE for more information

I invite you to take time this month to get grounded in the practice of gratitude, rejuvenate your spirit, and marvel at how this powerful practice can make your life rich, meaningful and magical!

Mary

Navigating Transitions with Grace

“Life is one transition after another” according to one of my wise friends who attended my free teleclass earlier this month. It is true. Some transitions we navigate are BIG – getting a new job or losing a job, becoming a parent or losing a parent, getting married or getting divorced!

When challenged by transitions, our natural human tendency is to RESIST change. We automatically tighten our grip on what is familiar when we face something new and unknown even when that unknown is something positive.

When we are unaware of this reaction, we struggle and make the transition even more challenging.

What helps everyone in any transition is to become aware –

How am I reacting to this change?

What are my options?

What do I want to retain?

What do I want to let go of?

What are my obstacles or challenges?

What obstacles am I creating?

How do I want to be in the midst of this change?

These are the kinds of questions that help my coaching clients successfully and powerfully navigate transitions. If you want more grace and less strain in your transitions, call me (952-939-0277). Let’s see if coaching is right for you.

Mary