The Chatter of Your Inner Champion

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” Marcus Aurelius

Yes, you have a brilliant internal resource I call your Inner Champion. With practice, you can connect with your Inner Champion and magnify your internal resourcefulness!

Let’s Connect with Your Inner Champion

Put your hand on your heart, get quiet, get grounded. Imagine that your heart is breathing in love and exhaling gratitude.

As you linger in that love and gratitude, listen for that part of you that always believes in you, supports you, encourages you, knows your heart.

It may show up as a slight smile on your face, a subtle nod, a warm feeling, or a kind voice. Allow this experience to become your primary focus. This is your Inner Champion.

Tune in to the energy, experience or voice of your Champion. Tune your internal radio station to this channel—it’s dedicated to believing in your magnificence and capability.
This voice ROOTS for you …
This essence CHEERS for you …
It BELIEVES in you …
It STRENGTHENS you …

Your Inner Champion might sound like a giddy ecstatic teenager or like a calm Yoda.

Practice Inviting Your Inner Champion to Speak Out

Once you’ve tuned in to this voice, you can connect anytime! Really attend, listen and notice—through the noise and distraction of everyday life—to the Voice of the one who cheers for you. Go ahead and practice tuning in as often as you can.

Put your hand on your heart and trust whatever comes—however it comes. Simply notice the wisdom. This part of you is always on your side and always knows your heart. Listen to her advice, and thank her for her constant presence, support and wisdom.

It may be awkward at first, but keep practicing. Just like working certain muscles makes them stronger, you can exercise your ability to notice the energy/presence of your Inner Champion, and you WILL get better at it. When you have clear and easy access to your Inner Champion, it’s a powerful counter balance to the negative self-talk so many of us have humming in the background.

Most importantly, when you face a challenge, you will have a solid connection you trust—that voice of wisdom will to speak to you.

Trust Your Inner Wisdom

Get acquainted with your Inner Champion, welcome her into your heart and spirit. Trust that your Inner Champion is always with you and guiding you, and her wisdom is inside whenever you need it.

Mary

Small Is the New Big: Take Small Steps to Achieve Big Change

Recently, I rediscovered a book that has been on my shelf for years, called One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer. I love it so much that I want to share it with you.

Dr. Maurer’s big, audacious, surprising notion is that we don’t need to take (and in fact aren’t served by taking) big, audacious, surprising steps. Instead, harness the power of small steps. It’s called the Kaizen Way, after a Japanese principle of manufacturing improvement.

Big Changes Tend to Backfire

The idea here is that those crazy big steps, promises and pivots encouraged by our “CAN DO” culture, are actually more likely to spark fear, overwhelm and cause frustration. When we make big promises, our subconscious puts up big resistance, and while we might start off with a bang, we’ll ultimately lose momentum and feel discouraged. By taking small steps, we avoid setting up that dynamic of internal resistance, finding a natural, graceful way to move securely toward our goals.

Playful, Creative Change Instead of Forcing It

Change – big or small – is scary. By practicing the strategies of the Kaizen Way, we work around our brain’s natural fear response. These strategies lay down new neural pathways that unleash our brain’s natural capacity for creatively and playfully creating change, instead of forcing it.

Instead of making big promises, figure out small steps. Here are three of the six small steps outlined by Robert Maurer!

Three Strategies of the Kaizen Way

Number 1: Ask Small Questions, Repeatedly

Our brains LOVE to play and questions help open the door to our natural creativity. Small, gentle, open-ended, positive questions allow us to tip-toe past the fear and playfully explore! Big questions may trigger our automatic fear response.

Here’s how it works: Instead of asking yourself “how can I lose 30 pounds?” try asking “how can I be physically active today?” Instead of wondering “how can I find my soul mate?” wonder “what would an ideal mate be like?”

Part of this strategy is repetition: ask yourself repeatedly over days or weeks. Post your questions in places where you see them regularly. Mull it over, don’t force it…But do noodle on all the possible answers to your questions. Try writing the answers down.

Number 2: Think Small Thoughts

Dr. Maurer explores the technique of mind sculpture developed by Ian Robertson. With this strategy, you use your imagination/mind to develop new skills. Mind sculpture is more than guided imagery, visualization, or just thinking. It is a total imaginary immersion, engaging all the senses. When you practice mind sculpture, you use your mind to fully immerse yourself in the activity. Your brain believes that you are actually engaged in the activity. This way of practicing engages your mind and neutralizes fear at the same time.

Number 3: Take Small Actions

This is the heart of the Kaizen Way. No matter how much you entertain your brain with puzzles or questions or mental rehearsals, at some point you have to take action in order for change to unfold. These actions need to be so small and seemingly insignificant that they trick that brainy brain of yours! They might even seem small, trivial–even laughable. But they will comfortably, naturally, organically lead you to a second step, then a third, and so on until you have accomplished your goal!

Examples include marching in place for one minute (instead of pledging 45 minutes in the gym), going through one quick conversation in your French textbook (instead of vowing to do a whole chapter), or cutting down your portion size by one bite at each meal (instead of cutting out a meal).

Gentle, Playful, Compassionate Change

The Kaizen Way is a life-long practice that kindly and respectfully encourages you to move towards your goals. Don’t force these small steps: They only work if you allow them to work in a comfortable and easy manner.

All change takes time. Building these new habits requires compassion, trust, optimism and patience. Be kind to yourself, and open to the possibility that small can be huge.

Mary

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?

 

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

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