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Treat Yourself To A Minivacation

Treat Yourself To A Minivacation

Treat Yourself To A Minivacation

Want to join me for a summer vacation? Or as the pandemic made famous – a STAY-CATION – a vacation without leaving home! I love Stay-cations because I don’t need to pack a bag 😂😉

You know how it works: walk away from your office/kitchen, shut off your phone, log off the laptop, and spend at least one hour doing something that gives you joy. Just one hour – take some time away from the routine and do something special that YOU really enjoy.

Need some suggestions?

  • Sit in the sunshine in your favorite park.
  • Take yourself out to lunch at a new restaurant.
  • Visit that local museum or art gallery you have been meaning to get to.
  • Treat yourself to a meal with someone you haven’t seen in a long time.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Take a historic walking tour.
  • Read a cheesy novel.
  • Rent a scooter, Harley, bike, or segway and roam around town.
  • Sunbathe (with sunscreen of course!)
  • Take a nap in the hammock.
  • Drive the scenic route on your way home.
  • Play backyard baseball or a pickup game of basketball.
  • Go see a movie, IN THE THEATER!
  • Treat yourself to a massage.
  • Try out a new exercise class.

Don’t wimp out! Make it happen:

  • PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR
  • Enlist an accountability buddy to do it with! (You can use me!)

So, will you do it? Will you join me and take a mini-vacation this month? If your answer is YES, I WILL, send me a note and share your mini-vacay. Extra credit for sending me pics!

Rewrite of: https://coacholk.com/2012/06/20/mini-summer-vacation/

Gratitude: The Invisible Leadership Skill

Gratitude: The Invisible Leadership Skill

Gratitude: The Invisible Leadership Skill

These days, it’s common to hear about the importance of gratitude. It has a huge array of benefits. Some of those benefits include making you a happier person, helping you sleep better, lowering your blood pressure, and even strengthening your immune system according to a study by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.

Did you know being grateful and showing gratitude is a core component of leadership?

Gratitude is a powerful, invisible leadership skill/capacity that enriches our personal lives – and the lives of the people around us! Think about it. When leaders express genuine appreciation to people around them, those individuals feel seen and heard and appreciated. That gratitude inspires loyalty and determination and naturally creates a culture of appreciation.

And it begins with cultivating gratitude in ourselves.

When leaders practice gratitude as a way of being, they build a positive emotional reserve to draw on when faced with stressful situations, allowing them to be grounded and present. Leaders connected to their internal sense of gratitude – easily share appreciation with the people around them. When that gratitude is naturally and authentically expressed, it cultivates loyalty and goodwill, making individuals, teams and cultures more creative and effective.

When we actively cultivate gratitude, we change companies, communities and neighborhoods. We make the world better and that’s WHY I shower the people I love with love and appreciation.

Here’s a podcast with even more ideas for developing your gratitude capacity!

Embrace gratitude as a way of being (not just something good to do). Really feel it, experience it and share it. You’ll be grateful for the practice.

With grateful appreciation,
Mary

Adapted from: https://coacholk.com/2018/11/12/gratitude-powerful-leadership-skill/

The Results Part 4

The Results: Part 4

The Results Part 4

The WHO I coach is perhaps the most inspiring part of my work. AND one more favorite part?! Experiencing the incredible transformations that my clients realize. I am regularly awed by the scope and magnitude of change my clients create and the growth in their capacity for courage, wisdom, resilience, and grace. One of many joys in this work is seeing my clients blossom and succeed.
Last month I shared the incredible success stories and challenges that my clients have navigated through from my perspective as a coach. Now you can hear from the people who truly matter – my clients!
Here’s what my clients have to say about their coaching:

#Sales #rejection #values #actionplan

“For sales people in general a great coach is an asset because we are forced to deal with negative emotions every day – there is a lot of rejection and fear. The resilience needed to withstand that is greater when you have an asset like Mary.
She helps me think through what is going on. If there is conflict with my values, she helps me articulate what is going on. From that we trade action steps to progress through a challenge, or take on an opportunity. She takes what is within me and helps me make sense of it and create actionable steps.
Mary does not bring a one-size-fits-all approach – this is a customized approach we have worked on over the years.” – Gabriel Harren

#empowered

“Mary established trust and empowered connection from the very start, she held me “big” and made me feel that “I can do it”. I left hungry for more – and it was what I truly needed.” – Leonid Frolov

#choices #change

“She rerouted my auto-pilot so instead of following same old road signs – you’re not enough, you’re dumb, you’re ugly, you’re a jerk – she helped me to try different routes. I learned about choices. Not just thinking about possibilities but actually living them.” – L.S.

#happiness #values #change

“The values exercise was the core upon which everything else emerged. Without the explicit listing and discussion of my values, I probably would still be at my old job not knowing why I was so unhappy and what I needed to do about it. The mind-map simply helped me further develop my understanding of my core values (the reflection of who I really am) and to bridge it with my skills, experiences, and actions with the world around me.” – M.M.

#happiness

Coaching with you helped improve my overall sense of well-being. You are a warm, stellar human being with a sharp wit and superior coaching skills! I continue to feel much gratitude for our time together. – P.C.

#accountability #intuition

Mary really supported me. When I was questioning my own confidence she did not let me get away with it. Mary coaches from her heart and intuition. She always held the bar for me higher than I could picture it for myself and pushed me to get there. Mary, to me, is an angel on earth. – Jane

#authenticity #clarity

“Working with Mary has helped me have much more authentic conversations with people in my life, whether those are people I’m dating, or my relatives, friends or colleagues. She’s helped me get a clear sense of my voice in all those types of relationships.” – Annemarie E.

#happiness #challenges

“There were two big main issues that Mary and I worked with: I had too much on my plate, and my marriage was blowing up. So we worked on both.
I gained a good sense of not only who I was but trusting that I had the answers, which is really where you want to get to: That you can trust yourself with the way you are feeling and that the decisions you are making are right for you.” – Dayle Q.

I hope in this month of showers & flowers, that you have an understanding of what I do and why I love it! Maybe you’ve even been inspired to turn your own showers into growth. Or perhaps you thought of someone in your life that could benefit from finding balance instead of burnout. If you know of anyone who is navigating life’s challenges and wants a partner to foster their growth, please do pass on my name. Word of mouth brings me the clients that fit me best and that’s why I appreciate YOU!

May you bloom and grow! 😂☔🌸
Mary

HOW I Coach

HOW I Coach: Part 2

HOW I Coach
Even though I’m a coach who is a cheerleader for positivity and possibility, I know that LIFE IS HARD — it isn’t always sunshine and butterflies and unicorns and rainbows. The old saying April showers bring May flowers is an apt analogy for life and coaching. We all have gray, rainy days and thunderstorms that pop up. Sometimes even seasons filled with them.

My job as a coach is to help you learn how to navigate those uncertain, challenging, rainy days so you can learn and grow from them. Coaching through those grey seasons can evoke transformational change and here’s HOW…

AWARENESS

The starting place in every coaching engagement is self-awareness. Life throws us curve balls that we often exacerbate without even knowing it. Through exploration, self-reflection and some data collection, coaching helps clients discern what are the real challenges and what are the manufactured obstacles; what is it I can control and what can’t I control; what is most important, what is urgent and what can wait.

One of the biggest obstacles for anyone amid any transition is a personal pattern of mental gymnastics that creates stress and negativity making it almost impossible to respond to the challenges of life with strength, resilience and confidence.

Thank goodness for my friend and mentor Rick Carson who pioneered Taming Your Gremlin® over 30 years ago to help us FREE ourselves from the monsters of the mind! His simple, not to be confused with easy, three step process begins with SIMPLY NOTICING how I’m adding to the misery of a current situation. Once I get good at noticing, step two — I can fool around, play with different options to reduce the misery. Step 3 – repeat as needed!

Twenty years later, another friend and mentor, Shirzad Chamine integrated the research findings from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, performance science and positive psychology to create Positive Intelligence (aka PQ) – a simple operating system to help build the mental fitness to respond to challenges with a positive mindset instead of a negative mindset. Guess what – there are three muscles that strengthen our PQ: The Saboteur Interceptor (catching the monsters); Self Command (directing the focus of your mind) and The Sage Perspective (looking without judgment for the opportunity in the challenge.)

ACTION

Once a client gains clarity and awareness, that’s when your coach asks – what are you going to do with that?! Transforming learning into meaningful action is the purpose of every single coaching conversation. And both of the above-mentioned tools are critical in coaching because they integrate AWARENESS with ACTION!

ACCOUNTABILITY

Did you just cringe? Accountability gets overused and abused but in coaching it’s your friend – helping you to stay true to what you want to do. Transformational change only happens when you have some way of calibrating your success.  Accountability is so misunderstood and so critical to lasting change that I wrote a whole other blog post about it!

AWARENESS + ACTION + ACCOUNTABILITY = SUCCESS

That’s my secret formula for HOW I COACH!

My Work as Coach- Part 1

My Work as Coach: Part 1

My Work as Coach- Part 1

My April theme of the month is Showers and Flowers. This month always gets me thinking about the powerful transformation that happens between April showers and May flowers. Those gloomy, rainy days create the bursting blossoms of Spring. And these Spring words of change, transformation, blossoming, and growing are so rooted in what I do as a coach, I thought it would be a perfect time to share about my work. The what, the how and the who. Today I’m going to dive into what I do.

To me, coaching is a partnership with my client dedicated to EVOKING transformation – yep, instigating great big, lasting change.

Clients usually hire me because they’re at a significant transition point in their career and/or in their personal life. Sometimes they’re stuck in a rut. Or perhaps they’re stepping into a brand new, big-gulp challenge and want to do their best. And sometimes they’ve arrived at an important milestone and aren’t sure what the next leg of the journey entails.

Coaching gets my clients through these transitions “FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER – Together.” Ok – I borrowed that from the Olympics. My clients would navigate these transitions without me or coaching but in partnership with a coach, the transitions are smoother and the results are better than either one of us would imagine.  A coach is a powerful, collaborative accountability partner who helps clients harness their naturally creative energy to move through the flux & uncertainty to create deep awareness AND powerful, confident action.

Here are the cornerstones of the Co-Active Model of coaching that are at the heart of every single coaching engagement:

#1. EVERYONE is naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Nothing is broken or needs fixing. People have the resources to naturally resolve the challenges they encounter. Coaching helps clients discover, recover and make the most of all available resources.

#2. Coaching addresses the WHOLE person. Every aspect of a person’s life is fundamental to creating lasting.transformational change. Professional & personal facets; strengths & weaknesses; body, mind, & spirit; past, present, & future experiences – everything is considered.

#3. Every moment contains an opportunity for learning and growth – use this moment!

#4. The purpose of every coaching engagement is to EVOKE transformation. Yep, it’s my job to provoke and instill lasting, sustainable change.

This is a small segment of the Co-Active Model that is central to my coaching approach. I hope it gives you a little peek into my coaching philosophy and the work I do with clients.

The Transformative Power of Accountability

A lot of factors come into play when we’re trying to move forward on something in life. One valuable tool for making progress is accountability. In its simplest form, accountability is just making a promise to do something, then having some way to track whether you actually do it.

Instead of tracking it yourself, it helps when someone else tracks it with you.

An accountability partner raises the bar. You might have tried this with exercise plans. While you might be tempted to skip a solo workout, you definitely think twice about rescheduling a tennis match because someone is counting on you.

When the stakes are higher or the goal is more complicated, an accountability partner does more than tracking and/or showing up. And that’s where an experienced coach comes into the picture. Being the perfect accountability partner is a coach superpower!

What Makes a Great Personal Accountability Partner?

First, there has to be mutual trust and respect. It’s got to feel safe, because it always feels vulnerable to invite accountability.

We have to be willing and committed to giving honest, direct feedback. We can be gentle, but we need to be truthful or else we’re no help at all.

We offer encouragement without judgment or attachment about the outcome.

It’s More Than a Checklist

Coaches know accountability is more than simply checking tasks off a list. We like to get in deep with all the subtle dynamics around your efforts. While we help track your progress, we also ask important learning questions to shed insight into your passion, your skills, your resistance. We help you rethink the steps you’re taking, offering fresh challenges and new slants. We help you re-engage with your goals when you’re struggling to focus.

A coach will dig a little deeper to help you understand your successes and your flops. A coach will ask you to reflect on what you are learning from those actions and inactions, and help you apply those insights going forward.

Accountability is quite a dance, and everyone has a different rhythm. As a coach, I’ve learned how to tune in to who you are and what makes you tick, so I can help you, with direct compassion, make progress on your goals and integrate the lessons you are learning along the way.

Mary

 

A Sparkling Theme for 2019

I am not a fan of resolutions.

They’re well-intended, but they don’t seem to last. We need something to anchor and guide us, to help us be our best.

Having a theme for the year is what works for me. It’s more inspirational.

The thing about resolutions is they set external targets. They are prescriptive, telling you what to do. While there is a certain power to their concrete and tangible character, they seldom stick because they lack inspiration.

Themes don’t expire, they inspire. They tap into our creativity and curiosity, rather than our willpower. They engage us instead of dictating to us. That’s why a theme lasts longer.

Review Your Year for the Pivotal Moments

Yahoo. Boohoo. Aha.

That’s the simple lens I use to review my past year, reflecting on events, accomplishments and moments.

Try it… Write down your “yahoo” moments of 2018. What are you proud of? What brought you joy? Maybe you’ll think of positive steps taking care of your health; quality time with cherished friends; redesigning your website or reorganizing the basement.

Now your “boohoos.” What tough things happened? Jot down whatever triggered your disappointments or sense of loss or shortcoming in the last year.

What sparked an “aha”? What did you learn? What truth were you reminded of?

Review your list. Say thank you to 2018 for the yahoos, the boohoos, the ahas. Feel your gratitude for all you learned.

Now crumple it, toss it out, and say goodbye to 2018.

A Theme to Inspire Your New Year

To figure out your theme, take a fresh piece of paper and write on top: “What Is Next.”

Jot down what comes to your mind and heart.

Ask yourself….

  • What do I want my life/career/work to feel like in 2019?
  • What do I want more of? Less of?
  • What fires me up, makes me feel more alive?
  • What scares me?
  • What are the challenges in 2019?
  • What do I want to focus on for the next year?

Noodle on these questions…. Instead of trying to figure out the answers, linger with the questions.

While you linger, drop your attention to your heart. Drop your attention to your breath. Don’t force it, see what comes.

As words, images or ideas surface, a theme might reveal itself. Sometimes it pops right out, other times it emerges as you noodle. Pay attention to what makes you sparkle, what inspires you.

Once you’ve got a theme in sight, take it out for a test drive. Live with it for a week or two. Does it resonate? Does it spark more questions? Revise and reiterate until it resonates, and let it guide and inspire you as the year unfolds.

Mary

Mary

Where is the Freedom in Your Life?

Please share your answer to this month’s question by using the comment section below!

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

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