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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 www.bikeodyssey.com) 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,

Mary

Be a Firework

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

We are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S. of A. I really look forward to watching fireworks. Don’t you love a good fireworks display? You hear the launch, and then wait…. When the sky lights up with the beautiful display of light, color and sound, we all “OOH” and “AAH” at the delightful surprise of each firework. It is magical. By the end of the fireworks show, my face hurts from smiling so much and my heart bursting, it is so happy!

One of the reasons I love coaching so much is because each of my clients are like those magical, mysterious fireworks. Coaching launches each client in a new trajectory and when the time and circumstances are just right, BOOM! Each client lights up the sky with the power and joy of accomplishing goals that align with their heart. It is magnificent!

What kind of firework are you? When will you light up the sky?

KABOOM!

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?

 

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

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?

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

You Can’t Say Yes To Everything!

Five Practical Strategies for Getting Stuff Done

Stressed BusinesswomanSo you find yourself in a whirlwind – so many things to do and it doesn’t seem as though you are getting anything done! That’s when I get cranky, irritable, and out of sorts.  This is not me!  What happened and how did I get here?  Does this sound familiar?

In the Growing Edge Teleclass last month we spent time exploring some practical, effective strategies for finding the way out of the whirlwind and back to sanity.  Here are the top 5 strategies from our conversation:

1. Remember — Saying YES means that you are saying NO. Before you say YES, take time to examine the ripple effects.  What you are saying NO to when you say yes?

2. Chunk it down!
a.    Instead of a project list, make a list of tasks and start with the easiest tasks to complete.
b.    Set a time focus:  What do I need to do this week? Or this month?  Only work on the tasks/projects that need to be completed in that time frame.

3. Do only one thing at a time.  STOP MULTITASKING!

4.    Daily Commitment list. Each day choose a few items from your “TO DO” list that you are 100% committed to completing today.

5.    Buddy up. Partner with a compassionate, non-judgmental friend/co-worker who will help you be accountable.

What strategy will you experiment this month? Let me know your results!

Compassionately yours,
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: https://www.nbcolympics.com/freestyle-skiing/index.html

Living With Possibility

The blank page…
The pristinely white fresh layer of snow…
A new year…

Aren’t these vivid, tangible metaphors inspiring? I get to write my own story, make my own path, and set my personal intentions.

What DO I want?

Sometimes the prospect of endless possibility is paralyzing. It is so big, so wide open that it overwhelms me. I don’t know where to start. I am frozen, not empowered!

And then I take a deep breath and come home, home to my heart.

Today, I am surprised to discover that my heart is brimming with joy and satisfaction. I had no idea how full it is. I feel the heart to heart connection to those I love and those that love me! As I linger here, I can feel the swirling juice of life course though my whole body. I see faces, recall sweet moments, sink deeper into that ever present pool of love.

Wow … who knew? I have been so caught up in the hubbub of activity, I lost track of simply being. Now I know what I want for today. I want to carry this delightful heart-filling joy with me as I go on through my day – coaching my clients, prepping for my class, cooking dinner, connecting with my husband and children. Coming home to my heart, I can carry my being into the doing of the day.

How are you living with possibility today?