Who's never been much for dabbling ~

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Just for Fun" Love, Grammie

Tonight I find myself experiencing another loss with the passing of my Grandmother.  We called her Grammie or Gram - her name was Evelyn (Summerbell) Silbernagel. 

I spent most of the morning and afternoon feeling incredibly sad, but as the sun was setting I took a walk. As I wandered around the mesa, I took a deep breath and snapped into the moment - the sky was really beautiful: clear and crisp and I could see for miles.  I was reminded that the only moment that exists is the present.  The moment felt amazing and a wave of gratefulness washed over me - 56 years with my Gram is a good, long time.

As a child I was excited to go to her house, play at her house and didn't want to leave.  I was excited when she was coming to our house, loved going to Willowbrook mall with her and making fun of silly shoes, getting lunch at Friendly's and years later, visiting her at her cozy home in Florida.

I realized that all of those memories were just that, memories and that they would never change or go away.  What will change?  I won't receive a birthday card from her any more, but since she still didn't forget to send me one when she was 95, I think I've received plenty - actually more than plenty, each one with a positive message, encouraging me to "not work too hard" and to use the enclosed check for something special "just for fun."  I didn't always heed her advice, but I'm starting to understand her point.

I won't hear her voice chirp, "Hi Hon!" on the other end of the phone. "How are Greg and the boys?"  When I was young, every Thanksgiving was at her house, I loved her ham sandwiches and her house had a piano!  When I was grown up we shared coffee in the morning and wine before dinner.  She got me hooked on flavored creamers and a good glass of Chardonnay, but she never overdid anything - I mean not. a. thing.

I learned that it wasn't that Gram never worried about anything, but she rarely lingered.  She knew how to enjoy today and if it wasn't so great, then get up, do your work and make the best of the next one.  She enjoyed us all: 3 daughters, 8 grand children, 9 great grand children and 1 great-great.  I know she had her opinions, but I never felt judged by her - only accepted and supported, always.

So I choose to consider all of that in present tense, because although we won't make any new memories, there are more than plenty to remember.  Since she stayed to play on the earth for 95 years, I'll try not to be greedy because there won't be more.  I can think of her and smile anytime, just as I would when she was alive on the opposite side of the country. I used to say to my sons growing up, "don't be a more boy" and now I need to remind myself, that we don't need more of Gram - she gave us plenty and then some.

I realized on my walk that I don't feel less loved because Gram has passed on.  I feel all that ever was, which fills me up right now.  I lifted my head from the ground and looked out at the beautiful sunset and took in the moment and then the next and the next one after that.  When I got home, I didn't feel as sad.  I felt more connected to Gram's energy of living in each day and choosing to feel happy. 

I love my Gram right now and plan to in the next moment and the one after that.
Peace to my Grammie who is in nothing but love now (hopefully sipping wine) -

Sunday, December 2, 2012

We Can All Be One

In 2005, I led a high school indoor percussion group to a national championship in the Scholastic A division.  I could and have written about the unlikeliness of our program reaching this level of recognition, but instead, tonight I can't stop thinking about the theme of our show, which was titled ONE. 

On the floor, we painted a student inspired 1* and at the time, none of knew why, but just as an * usually means to look further down the page for further information, now I am wondering if our * was about more than we realized at the time.

At a rehearsal that year, I saw a member of our drumline struggling with a passage.  She kept trying to make her hands do what she could hear in her head, but was getting frustrated.  I felt for her as we could all see that she was giving it her best effort and knew she was practicing like mad outside of rehearsals.  In an effort to calm her down I said, "Don't get down on yourself.  It may not happen in one day, but one day it will happen." 

The next day, another member had written on our white board: "It may not happen in ONE day, but ONE day it will happen - S. Woodard".  I thought at first, "did I say that?" and then I remembered the rehearsal from the previous day.  We discussed that this could be a cool phrase for our season since our show was titled ONE.  I found a good spot to insert this into our show and not long after that added what would become the closer of our show: "We can all be one."  It was a pretty organic process and just sounded good at the time.

We had a great ride that year.  It was a talented group, playing well-written music (brag moment: composed by my son) and we worked very hard to bring the music and message to life in each performance.  When we got to the national championships, everything became surreal as our little group from Arizona was squarely in position to win it all and ONE won.

Why am I writing about this 7 years later?  Because tonight I couldn't stop thinking about how our message resonated with our audiences and the judges too.  It was a joyful, uplifting show, that ended with the group chanting, "I am one, you are one . . . we can all be one!"  No one in the group or outside the group ever challenged the meaning of the chant.  I find this interesting to contemplate now, as I know plenty of people who do not believe this message can happen and others who don't even want it to happen.

Is it possible on some other level beyond consciousness, cultural norms, upbringing, environments and such, that we do understand that we are all one?  Science now knows that there are 3 million bases in our DNA and that 99% of those are identical in all humans!  Isn't that amazing?  99% of 3 million - that's a lot of shared DNA.

Wouldn't it be amazing if we behaved like we understood this?  What if we realized how alike we are despite our obvious (1%) differences?  Could we continue condemning and harming human beings  that are 99% the same as ourselves?  Many in the consciousness movement don't believe that December 21, 2012 is the end of the world, but rather our rebirth into this very understanding. 

Perhaps our 2005 show was our small taste of what could be.  Perhaps we should have shouted, "I am ONE, You are ONE . . .

*We - ARE - ONE!" 

 Shout out to the staff and members of the 2005 Page High School Indoor Percussion program.  It was a forever memory.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

See Jane Lead. Lead Jane, Lead.

I've been in the field of education for decades and although there are plenty of woman teachers, inequity exits when it comes to administration aka leadership.  Let me pause on this for a moment because although there is a preponderance of women in the classrooms, the percentages skew heavily towards men in the top decision-making positions.

What's wrong with this picture?  The problem is a reliance on a male-dominated leadership model which creates imbalance.  Schools are recreating the male-dominated court system, suspending students at an alarming rate - currently described in many articles as the "pipeline to prison" phenomenon. A relentless linear approach to curriculum and test-taking models are demoralizing and chasing off many of our best and brightest teachers (this would be more women since they are over-represented at the instruction level).

My point is not to be anti-male; it's to be for equity and balance.  Woman shouldn't replace all men in educational leadership positions, rather we should be at the same table, in the same meetings, leading side by side with male administrators.  Woman are under represented at both the state and national levels in both education and politics.  The focus must be on adding more woman to leadership positions so female values can be voiced along side the masculine.

Once at a youth leadership workshop a 15 year old male student angrily yelled at me that I was teaching everyone to "be a girl, not a leader."  His justification for his outburst was that his father had taught him what a leader was and "compromise and listening isn't how it's done!  That's weak!  You're teaching us to be weak."  There were a few tense minutes but it gave us a good place to start discussing why a female leadership instructor might be sharing the topics I was covering.  I didn't sway my young participant, but there was a healthy, vibrant discussion with many young men in the group agreeing there was the need for the qualities of strength and power along side listening, compromise and agreement.  I like to think the young women left pleased and the men (minus one) gave themselves points for considering.

Creating equity and balance will require embracing new models of leadership that value feminine traits. Traits that are not just considered my men, but are embraced by woman.  We dominate the numbers in education, yet apply for the top education positions in smaller numbers.  We are 51% of the population, yet run for office less often.  It's time to value our own strengths in order to be taken seriously as leaders of our youth, leaders of our states and leaders of our nation.  Lead Jane, Lead!

If you agree or disagree, I hope you'll leave a comment or go to my Facebook page and send me a message: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

graph from 2012 Harvard Kennedy School Review

Friday, November 23, 2012

First Responders Don't Sign Petitions

When a fire is discovered and the call for help comes in, a fireman's first thought is not to sign a petition or join a protest against the fire, he or she doesn't wait for a committee to decide if the folks in danger deserve help . . . they just help.  First Responders take their intense training, proper gear and go into action.  

Arriving at a scene, intense, rapid evaluation occurs - the debating of procedures and policies is done well before and after the act of saving lives:

> If at all possible and even at their own peril, they make every effort to save all lives - humans and animals. Someone they save might very well have contributed to the reason for the fire or caused it to grow larger.  No matter, there's time for those considerations later.
2. AFTER everyone is safe, they methodically extinguish the fire, thus eradicating the current danger.
3. Later there will be clean up, investigations and perhaps reflection.

What if we considered ourselves First Responders and trusted a team behind us to consider the reasons for the issue after the saving was done?  What might this look like for starving children or citizens without a home?

Can we save lives FIRST and evaluate later?  Are we saving a life today with a petition?  We consider First Responders to be our most courageous citizens.  At this time in history, perhaps we add to our definition of courageous acts in order to expand who may hear the voice on the other end of the phone saying, "911, what is your emergency?" and "help is on the way."


Image by © David Woods/CORBIS

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There's No Title IX in Politics

 There was plenty going on at the Sister Giant conference this past weekend and one of many resonating points for me was this Jane Lynch quote:

"If we don't take a seat at the table -
we're probably on the menu"

Yes I know, large font, very dramatic, but did it get your attention?  It got mine.  We women can talk about issues or we can be a part of the solutions.  I prefer solving problems. No worries - there will still be time to drink wine.

A consistent Sister Giant theme was in order to create balance on what issues are being addressed by our elected officials, how they are being addressed and why they are being addressed, more woman must be involved in the discussions, the debates and most importantly - the votes!  It's not a man problem that they don't understand the feminine perspective, it's a woman problem that not enough of us are engaged in the process.  Statistically, woman are elected to office at the same rate as men . . . but sadly, way less women run for office. 

Ladies - we can come up with all kinds of excuses for why we don't run - the one that rises to the top for me and probably many of you is: politics are mean and nasty!  I'd rather go volunteer somewhere with other women, where everyone will be nice and smile.  We feel good about giving our time and perhaps some money, we're glad to see each other and then go home without watching something awful about us on the nightly news.  You know, nice.

Well the tenor and tone of a campaign or political debate is exactly my point.  If more women run smart campaigns and refuse to play in the gutter, refuse to put on the cliche armor and head into battle,  perhaps some day "dirty politics" will be a phrase from the past.  Perhaps sometime soon, there will be a 50-50 gender percentage at the state and federal level.  As it stands now, even after a record year for woman winning nation wide, we are only 20% of the total seats at the table - but woman are 51% of the population!  We can change how a campaign is run and we can change what is being addressed, but we can't do it from our couch.

I've been the idealist saying, gender doesn't matter, beliefs and thoughts do.  To some extent, that's true as all woman don't agree on all issues, but when it comes to issues that directly relate to woman and children, woman are much more likely to agree or at the very least engage in a discussion.  Maybe it's the womb factor.

We need balance in all things and our politics should be no different.  We've had Title IX in our schools for over 40 years so girls would be given equal chances to play competitive sports.  Well in the BIG game, we're not going to be given a Varsity Girl's Politics Team - we're going to have to play on the co-ed team.  We're going to have to run savvy campaigns, not to beat someone else, but to earn the votes of citizens who believe in what we will do if they trust us.

I for one am thinking seriously about how to engage my skills, heart and mind to influence change rather than watch it, hope for it and at times look away from it.

Think of the best women you know . . .
Now imagine them with the "audacity to wield power"- M. Williamson

Let's work to get more woman at the table.  Won't that be nice?

I hope you will join me at:  http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sister Giant: Here We Come

This weekend I will be attending Sister Giant in Los Angeles.  This event has been created by Marianne Williamson in collaboration with The Woman's Campaign School at Yale University.  Williamson describes this event as an intersection of consciousness and politics.  I like the timing so this doesn't turn into a political rally - that's over for now.  Instead we can focus on where we are now and where we want to go.  It may be naive, but I believe that we must engage and when I say "we" I mean: 1) woman 2) those who want the discussion to include education and children's advocacy and 3) everyone.  Ok, #3 isn't going to happen, but #1 already played out earlier this week and #2 could happen in the near future.

Most people are going to take a break from politics after a long, grinding election season, but some of us are going to carry on.  This is a new, first time event and I'm excited to check it out.  There are participants signed up from every state and several other countries.

I don't know what to expect, but the description resonates and that is my guide to this experience. 

More later -

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rejecting the Dirty Feet of Hate

I chose this quote by Gandhi today, because every day last week, I had a conversation with a student or colleague about this very issue: the hateful and unkind words of another, ringing and echoing in their minds, making them sad, angry or confused.

What we must remember is we cannot (nor should we try to) control what others say. We can turn off our computer, delete posts on Facebook, not read hateful emails and so on, but we cannot in fact, stop the thoughts and unkind words of another.

What can we do?
  • Remind ourselves that the words of another are not entitled to residence in our minds!
    • We control what stays in our minds - and what stay there, lives there.
    • We control the repeat button (and what we repeat becomes our beliefs and actions)
    • We can choose to not believe the critic, especially when their motive is to be unkind                    
  •  When faced with the "dirty feet" of another, we have the opportunity to make decisions for and about ourselves.  Here are a few possibilities:
    • Get our feelings hurt, walk away, stuff the hurt. This decision usually leads to trying to please the person who was unkind the next time you see them or avoiding them altogether. (I am not recommending this one, but it can happen before we realize it)
    • Shoot back with an equally mean or harsher response.  Notice I used the word "shoot" because this is battle mentality and contributes to more conflict. (I do not endorse this choice)
    • Respond to the critic that you do not share their opinion and choose to discontinue the exchange.  This may depend on the relationship and what you hope it will be in the future.  I try to choose my honest and most respectful response.
    • Give the critic your permission to share their opinions of you.  We can often learn something by staying a bit longer in the fray, but stay grounded - when we get emotional, the intellect has ceased. When they are done (and often they will choose not to continue) let them know that you heard them, but choose not to accept what is untrue or hurtful to you.  This often will change the behavior of the other person the next time they see you
I find that most people don't think of themselves as "mean" - they think of themselves as "right" or "entitled" or "wronged".  They may be saying hurtful things to you because they are defensive, intimidated or have a desperate need to be in control and on top.  I try to remember they're saying more about themselves than me.  If there is some truth to what they are saying, I hope I recognize that and admit it.  Sometimes the exaggeration of the attack will calm down if you recognize what part of their criticism is true.  This is admittedly challenging to do, but it's fair and can move the entire exchange to a higher level of communication . . . or in other words, take it out of the gutter!

Anyone can crawl out of bed and write, speak, spew, or tweet an insult.  It takes compassion and maturity to respect the dignity of another human being regardless of whether you know each other, like each other or agree with each other.  Let there be no misunderstanding, I have ignored, engaged, reacted badly, and believed the unkind words of others - probably still do, but less and less and less and as I do, I feel much better about everything.

Our minds are our very own domains.  They are ours to keep clear, evolving and kind. 
I will not allow another to walk through my mind with dirty feet.  I love that.  I hope you do too. Thank you Gandhi.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween!

I wish my friends and family on the East Coast all the best.  I know it's been a few rough days and for some, they will be facing a complete rebuilding of their homes and neighborhoods.  To all of you, I wish a speedy recovery, with support from your state, Red Cross and FEMA  workers. 

I'm giving out candy tonight and about to hop on a webinar so I won't be blogging this evening.  Here are some Halloween tunes compliments of one of my favorites, Danny Elfman, composer for most of Tim Burton's movies:


Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What's LOVE Got To Do With It?"

"What's Love Got To Do With It?"  Recently I posted this question on Facebook and then answered my own question as "EVERYTHING!"  Tina called it a "sweet old fashioned notion", but I call it essential - NOW.

Love - a feeling and emotion we all experience, but each in a personal, often profound way.  The love of a boyfriend, husband, partner; the love of our children, parents, siblings and best friends; the love of our work, our playtime; nature, heritage and country.  (I often say "I love anything with cinnamon or blueberries."  That's shallow, but true - but I digress)

What I suggest is loving LOVE enough to commit to it as a way of being in our world, not just a feeling we keep to ourselves.  Let's bring love into our communities, cities, and nation.  If love is something special, then why is it missing in our political dialogues and platforms.  Did she just say "in politics?" . . . Yes I did.

This morning I read a love letter to our community in our local paper.  It was a refreshing change from the bickering of school and city politics - and I agree with the author, there's plenty to love in our community.  We can disagree, debate AND commit to compassionate decision making. Why must these conversations only occur for non-profit mission statements and in volunteer meetings?

I'm not delusional, I know we must prepare and respond to those who foster hate and would do us harm.  What I am encouraging is that we not be habitually dismissive of those who try to lead from the perspective of love.  Our compassion can inform our platforms and policies transforming our love from personal expressions to the community and beyond.  Love is not a sign of weakness; it's powerful and essential.  Anyone with me on this? 

Sorry Tina - Love has GOT to have something to do with it. 

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PS - Heard a wooshing sound when I woke up this morning and found this hot air balloon idling over the neighbors house.  Don't you LOVE surprises?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Will vs Chaos

I used to write a blog called Be One With the Chaos.  We've all experienced it and I was fascinated by how some could hold their center while others fell apart.  I know incredibly resilient people who repeatedly inspire with their ability to be creative and solve problems in the face of challenges. I've also witnessed complete melt downs - how and what we try to control matters.

I recently read in Brendon Burchard's book The Charge that "we can control the quality of our character, actions and contributions to the world."  Without resolve to maintain our values in thought and actions, we are almost defenseless in the face of chaotic events.  Only when we rely on our character and hold our center can we rise above the turmoil of disasters, tragedies and random events.

When we least expect it, we may be blindsided.  Will we react or respond?  Burchard says, "meet the uncontrollable with a measure of choice and will."  Respond from our character.  Avoid reacting from pure emotion.  Getting emotional usually adds fuel to the fire, while a response that reflects our values and maintains the dignity of all involved has an excellent chance to lower the negative impact or even eliminate the damage that chaos can cause.

A shout out tonight to one of my colleagues who held her center in the face of an emotionally charged and cheap-shot accusation.  I won't go into the details but this could have blown up into a nasty, racial issue in our community.  What I loved is while my friend acknowledged her fears to speak up in the past, she spoke with dignity and conviction today, standing up for not only herself but countless others.  I'm so proud of her.

We cannot predict where chaos will come from or why, we cannot and should not hide ourselves away in an attempt to avoid it - we can live each day to create the good we are capable of and respond to random chaos not from our defensive ego, but from our best self with honesty and dignity.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boom - CRASH - BOOM!

When I was one of no more than two to three woman band directors in the state, I was focused on my students, our progress, how my strengths could contribute to their growth and how to improve my weaknesses.  I rarely ever thought on a day to day basis, "What should a woman band director do?  What should she say?  What should I not do because, that would be what a man would do?"  It just wasn't in my thought process. I was a band director (who was a woman)

But every now and then, someone would say something that would remind me that I was a woman being a band director. 

Here's one: After directing our high school concert band at a festival, a male judge approaches me in the hallway and said, "Hi, I'm Jim David (not real name) - that was a very aggressive program you chose for a female director."  I remember being caught off guard by the comment.  Was this a compliment?  My impression was that he was surprised by what we performed.  He didn't appear to disapprove, but apparently he expected softer, gentler music.  Boom - CRASH - BOOM!  We had a killer percussion section at the time and I programed several selections that gave them a chance to show off their talent, so yes, there was some drumming going on - and we played some fast stuff too. 

I think my response to him was, "Thank you?" 

That was a No Win Situation.  The judge considered my gender before we played a note.  If I had chosen a program full of ballads and Mozart transcriptions, then I'm perceived as a typical female director: nice, pretty, safe.  When I chose music that showcased our ability to play intense, percussive music, it was perceived as a woman directing masculine music.  Not being a director at all, would be the only way out of this conundrum, but that's not a viable option, is it?  (Obvious answer here: Hell no.)

These are the current circumstances ladies.  We are far beyond the decades with no female athletes, no female music directors, sports announcers - NO VOTING!  But - there is plenty of residual gender bias left and that is for our current generations to dissolve, like a hazy day when the sun shines so bright, the fog must go away.  When we shy away from our dreams because we don't see enough (or any) female role models, we perpetuate, we actually contribute to the male-female roles staying locked in our psyche for another generation to deal with.

Be what you want to be.  Be the authentic version of you, which happens to be female, but be YOU first.  Avoid acting either feminine or masculine - that is your gender, not your title.

I was a music director because I loved it.  I learned from outstanding music teachers, both male and female.  I loved sharing music and challenging my students to excel beyond what they thought was possible - and I happened to be a woman. 

There are more female directors in the state than when I was directing, but it still isn't even close to half.  Why?  Because it still looks like a man's job.  Woman dominate the K-8 ranks, but still are seen far less in front of a high school and especially a collegiate instrumental performance group. (Btw - I added instrumental because lots more woman direct choirs than bands and orchestras - I guess singing is considered more lady-like.) BOOM! I'm done today.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Hey Lady, Can You Fly This Thing?"

Today, I'm talking to you ladies - yes, you; the ones in the wrong career or settling for a position below your ability.  Neither of these options honor who we are and what we can contribute.  I have no doubt that plenty of misplaced women are still contributing plenty, but what are we capable of when we're actually pursuing our heart's desire. Rather than an administrative assistant, Gail researches viruses at a university.  Libby goes on digs in South America since she left her department store sales job.  Jennifer quit running the radio station's front office, so she can write her own radio programs.  Did your parents tell you to play it safe, but you wanted to fly airplanes? 

Women hire a personal coach for many reasons, but it often comes down to: "I don't feel fulfilled by what I'm doing" or "I like my work, but feel like there's something more for me."  Our society gives woman plenty of subliminal messages about what we're supposed to like and not like.  Aspire to leadership?  Well ok, but you'll have to exhibit more masculine traits, you know, to convince everyone that you're capable and up to the heavy challenges.  How many overt and subliminal messages say femininity and leadership roles are not compatible?

I love coaching woman who want to lead.  Leadership is an exciting, complex and fulfilling path to walk.  If you have that calling - listen to it.  The most effective leader is an authentic one, not a masculine one.  We've become jaded by the manipulative behaviors of leaders in politics and business.  I encourage us to not look away from the pools of deceit, disgusted and discouraged.  Rather, pour the fresh waters of compassion, creativity and collaboration into the stagnant ponds so they thrive again. 

Ladies - if you want to lead, then learn to lead and lead well, honestly and passionately.  We are past the time in history where we should settle for a position that makes everyone comfortable. If you can run the company, then don't settle for being one of the VP's.  If you can improve your state or federal government, run for office.  Woman are not being beaten by men more often at the polls, they aren't running as often.  Less than 25% of elected politicians are woman and yet we are 51% of the population.

The world needs more female leaders; we need to stop wasting our talent because we're following old patterns.  Creating new paradigms takes concerted effort and cannot be accomplished from a settling, rationalized mind-set.  Coaches are in the business of complacency busting.  If you know you are settling, I hope you will work with a coach.  If you want to be a pilot, I hope you will fly.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

This F-Word

Nope, not the 4-letter F word (I know that's what you're thinking); I'm talking about the 5-letter word we need everyday - FOCUS!

When we were younger you might remember getting "Focus!" yelled at you by a parent, a teacher or a coach.  "Stop talking and focus."  "What are you doing?  Stay focused!"   I'm  suggesting now that we choose to whisper this word to ourselves, "shhhh . . . stay still . . . focus."

There are so many distractions in our daily lives that we must make the commitment to improving our focus if we stand a chance of getting significant work done - not once in a while, but everyday.  Our phones beep and sing and ring at us, our email "blings" you've got another new email, here comes an instant message, a tweet and on and on.

Ironically, I've resorted to using the rain app on my phone to drown out the noise when I just want to focus on what I'm working on, reading or God forbid, resting.  Focus takes intention and practice - special thanks to my clarinet days; I thought I was practicing scales and difficult passages, but really I was practicing how to Focus. 

It helps to practice focusing in our childhood years, but improving our focus doesn't take buying an expensive instrument or taking a course - it takes committing time to one thing at a time and sticking to that commitment, despite the incoming distractions.

Besides the obvious tasks at work and needs of our home environment, there are lots of daily applications for focus.  Some I suggest are writing, meditating and reading.  When instructing young leaders, I emphasize focused listening - something that can be done haphazardly or with a high level of focus and intent.  Also, I'd appreciate it if some of you would focus more as you drive (you know who you are)!

Focus doesn't have to be the bad F-word and we don't need it yelled at us commando style.  Commit to improving your ability to focus without caving to distractions, focus on extending your ability to focus for longer periods of time, and to really enjoy the process, focus intently on challenges that matter to you, those tasks that make a difference for yourself and others.

Shhh . . . stay still . . . focus.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Calling All Multipliers

Do you have influence?  A leadership role?  A chance to set the feeling tone at work or in a volunteer environment?  If you do, then you have the opportunity to engage in human math; not the stuff on paper, but the math of real lives. You can use your skills and position to add value to the people you influence or you can subtract from them.  Unfortunately, we all know a divider or two.  They may be in charge or they may be using divide and conquer techniques behind the scenes, but their propensity to use division is real - and toxic.

Who I really want to reach are those of you who know deep down that you are a multiplier.  You can add significant value to the lives of others and you are needed!  (Did I mention, now?)

In these divided times is when the multipliers must step forward.  If you can do significant work, don't hunker down at home and just take care of yourself.  Who has been a multiplier in your life?  Imagine that person in your mind.  Can you now step into those shoes and create value and opportunities for others?  Are you waiting for just the right moment or for someone to give you permission?  Don't wait, please don't wait.

I challenge you to look at your actions and take stock of what math sign you carry around?  If you realize that you are engaging in subtraction or even occasionally division, make the commitment to get into the addition column today. There are plenty of people willing to make a situation worse, willing to cut others down, but offer no solutions, no positive actions.  If you already know how to add value, then look for your opportunities to be a multiplier.  I guarantee the moments will appear if you look for them.

It does the world no good for you to engage in subtraction when you are a game changer - be a multiplier.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting It Done

In the coming days, I'll be traveling to Florida for my father's service.  I liked the Seth Godin post below as it reminded me of my father's devotion to service.  He knew he could do the work and would do it.  That of course, often got him more work as many would rather compliment you for being effective at "getting it done" than doing the work themselves. If it's important to you, do the work.  If your words won't influence others, your works may.

 The wishing/doing gap

It would be great to be picked, to win the random lottery, to have a dream come true.
But when we rely on a wish to get where we want to go, we often sacrifice the effort that might make it more likely that we get what we actually need. Waiting for the prince to show up is a waste of valuable time, and the waiting distracts us from and devalues the hard work we might be doing instead.
If you can influence the outcome, do the work.
If you can't influence the outcome, ignore the possibility. It's merely a distraction.
Seth Godin

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shining Light

Today is my first day without my father, I'll say on earth, because I believe his spirit is still with me.  It's an experience we all go through and now is my turn.  Rather than writing my own thoughts today, I'll share these to honor my father, a man of God, compassionate and giving who let his light shine so others might benefit:

From the chapter "Heaven" from Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:

"There is no light more bright than the light that shines within us.  Hope is born of participation in hopeful solutions." (This phrase epitomizes his life of service)

A favorite passage of my father:

Matthew 5: 14-16
"Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

And lastly, from his faith, the chapter "Science and Being" pg 295:16-24 from Science and Health:

"The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window pane.  The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less oblique than the walls. The mortal mind through which truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality - in order to become a better transparency for Truth.  Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun."

My father's light shines in many.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Clean Out the Closet and Clean Up Our Act

Let's look at the same process we use to clean out a closet to help us clean up our act  -

Think about the piles you might make as you pull your stuff out of that closet:

Get Rid of It
Did you find that jacket that never fit?  The orange set of towels you keep thinking you'll use at Halloween?  How about that fondu pot from 1980?  When you start with the resolve to get that closet cleaned up, you pull these out, take a good look, maybe have a good laugh and then put them in the Get Rid Of It pile.
Same goes for a habit or behavior that you don't need - look directly at that behavior like it's that fondu pot staring back at you.  Don't flinch and don't distract yourself.  If you know you don't need to eat that bag of chips at 10pm, Get Rid of That Behavior!  Give those chips to your neighbor with ten 10-year olds at her house for a birthday party.  Are you hanging on to an old behavior that you no longer need or can afford?  Give it away with the cassette deck.

I don't need to hit the snooze alarm three times.  I found that I don't need to use it at all.  That behavior is now in the Got Rid of It pile so I can afford to give away my alarm clock too.
Sometimes Useful
Sometimes we find something useful in the closet that we forgot about.  If you find an umbrella that still works, well you don't need it everyday so that goes in the (sometimes) Something Useful pile.  The trick here is to not only save it, but to put it in a place where you'll remember it and use it!

When it comes to our habits, this might look like paying our bills (on time), putting out the garbage, cleaning behind the appliances or buying a card (for our favorite relative that's not on Facebook).  

Wow - This is Cool!
The Wow - This is Cool pile includes stuff you forgot you had but are so glad you found again; so glad, in fact that you'll start using it again right away.  This stuff is useful and meaningful and you can't even remember why you tucked it away - so hooray!  It's found and back in circulation.

How does this look in our habitual life?  Well it might be discovering the joy of talking to a friend that you lost track of or realizing that you were happier when you jogged four times a week.  It could be resurrecting a long-forgotten yoga routine or a recipe that makes you feel good and is good for you too.  "Wow - that's cool" and I even have the ingredients!

Don't Need it and No One Else Does Either
This covers the stuff we find that has no value to anyone - the don't put it in a yard sale, don't give it to a charity, don't put it on the curb with a 'Free' sign on it pile . . . it's junk and belongs in the garbage. 
This includes stuff that's broken and unrepairable, is so old that there are no replacement parts, or is dangerous.

Ok, so here goes - when we have behaviors that are not worth repairing (as in a habit that has no redeeming value to our life) or that comes from long, long ago with zero benefit, or - drum roll here - is DANGEROUS,  these behaviors belong in the chuck it pile.  Rationalizing any of these is a con game waged against ourselves.  Be brave, be honest, hold yourself to the standard you know you deserve, hire a coach or if it's an addiction or therapeutic issue, get proper help. 

We all know the obvious, illegal and addictive ones, but don't forget the less obvious like chronic blaming, shaming, yelling, tantrums, manipulative pouting, gossiping, being chronically late or making others guess when our nasty stuff will show up.  It's up to each of us, to look at our own stuff and want to clean it up.  

So do you want to do some tossing?  Let's clean up our act and a nasty closet too while we're at it!

Leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wanting and Giving

There is plenty to read these days about manifesting what we want in life, making money online, beating the lottery, getting a big this and an expensive that - I've read them, sometimes even been seduced by them, but these pitches activate the 'getting' mindset when what manifests peace in us, is the giving mind.  We may have a laundry list of stuff we say we want, but most of us deep down, want to feel peaceful, fulfilled and purposeful. 

I want fulfillment, but what am I willing to give for what I want? 

We often idolize musicians and actors, but forget that they gave up security, the almighty steady paycheck, in order to be in those careers.  Many had to give up pleasing a parent who wanted them to be something "practical".  In the past I had peers say, "oh, you're so lucky because you got out of the classroom and don't have to do lesson plans and curriculum maps" and I answered, "and all you have to do is be willing to work on a grant or in to consulting that doesn't guarantee your employment from year to year." 

Take giving down to a personal level.  What if you are in an argument and just can't seem to get your point across?  The discussion becomes heated as you both try harder and get louder in an attempt to convince the other of your point of view.  I want this to be resolved, but what am  I willing to give?

> Try giving the person you are arguing with "the benefit of the doubt" - this is a gift because we are taught that giving them a "benefit" means you're giving in or giving up, but that is NOT what is occurring when you make this choice.  Giving a benefit is a choice of addition, not subtraction.

> You can give "I don't know what I don't know".  Perhaps there is something here I am not aware of, have never experienced or can't understand because I don't have the experiences of the other person.  Do we ever have the identical experiences of another? I work with people from a different culture and socioeconomic background than mine; at times, it's essential that I give them this perspective or I'll wind up sounding condescending and disengaged from their reality.  It's tough to communicate from there.

> You can give "What would this issue feel like if I walked in their shoes?"  This is going from I don't know to maybe I can try to understand a bit more if I step on their side for a few minutes.  This may increase empathy, which is a gift.

> You can also always choose to give LIGHT.  This can be challenging to choose, because when light is the most needed is when the situation or opponent is at their darkest.  What changes the dark?  Not more dark - only turning on a Light.  If you find yourself in the presence of someone who is "going to the dark side", getting personal, ugly or demeaning, you only have two choices:
1) choose to leave: the gift of retreat, which many consider weakness, allows everyone involved to live to argue (or understand) another day, gather our dignity, and can save you from dropping into the same demeaning behavior (the subtraction mindset which creates guilt in yourself - never a gift).
2) shine a LIGHT: resist every urge to drop into the darkness of the argument, share only positive thoughts and solutions, see a light around whoever is trying to darken your day or win at any cost and know that it is not personal - they are expressing the dark thoughts in themselves, regardless of how much they try to make it about you.

If you can't hold on to light thoughts, which I readily admit can be difficult, go back to 1) . . . try another day if this pattern repeats with the same person and you're willing to keep engaging until it improves.  (Not willing?  Walk away and do no harm.)

What do you really want?  What are you willing to give to make it happen? 

Healthy Giving improves life.  Giving takes a healing mindset, purposeful action and love to dominate our decisions and actions.  Giving works in the mindsets of addition and multiplication, avoiding subtracting or dividing to get what we want.

Happy GIVING ~


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Choosing Childish or Child-Like?

There's a difference between acting childish and being child-like. 

When we're being child-like, we are in-tune with our joy, some might say naive, but nonetheless, we're happy to be there and in the moment.  Feeling the wonder of something new and amazing, seeing a work of art, the beauty of nature, "there's Grandma!" or enjoying the sun on your face as you ride your bike.  Perhaps we don't squeal with glee like when we were young, but the feeling is clearly linked to those childhood moments.  The anticipation of something exciting is another childhood feeling - that can't quite go to sleep I'm so pumped up rush is a child-like feeling that can kicks lot of endorphins into our grown up bodies.  It's possible to feel that way again if we allow ourselves the wonder and joy that was so freely expressed as a child. 

Somewhere along the way, we replace many of those anticipatory moments with worry and angst.  Growing up doesn't mean replacing joy with anxiety, but it does require less (and less) childish behavior.

Acting childish: first notice that you'll have to act because you are not a child anymore.
Try this one:
I want my own way!  Screw up your face 'til you look fierce and see if that tantrum look still gets the job done (at home or at work) . . . probably not.
How about:
I want this now!  Give in to yourself and buy what you don't need or can't afford.  The instant gratification will soon give way to the weight of the bill or the shame you feel when that shiny new item sits in the closet.
I don't want green food, I want ice cream. You're in charge now - do it everyday if you want.  See if this creates child-like wonder or the need for a new wardrobe.

When choosing between acting childish or being child-like,  choose be.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's Stalling Your Dream?

Do you know what you want but can't seem to get there? 
If you know what you're aiming at, that's a huge!  It may seem obvious, but lots of us don't quite know what we want. 

If you do know, check out these variables that may be stalling your progress:

> You lack the resources to get to your goal: this may be financial support, technical knowledge,     manpower . . .

The short answer to this is to begin gathering a supportive team that can fill the roles or information you need.

> You have not given yourself the thumbs up to go for it.  Play with that one.  Have you given yourself permission?  You may be listening to gremlin voices within that say, "what are you thinking?" "you can't do that"  Hopefully you don't have real live naysayers in your inner circle.  If you do, kindly ask them to support you or stay out of the way.

The short answer to the negative inner voice is to hear it, recognize it's fear-based bull and ignore it.  (A coach can help considerably with this part of the process.)

> You are distracted.  This may be incessantly checking Twitter, Facebook, email, texting on demand and answering your cell phone.  All of these can and will wait, but YOU have to make that choice.  Some of us are distracted by the drama of others or the chaos of our own making.  Distractions from your goal, make that your dream - must go!  Too much TV, gaming, eating, sleeping, gossiping = failure to launch.

So if you know what you want, give yourself a big dose of DO.  Carve the time out of the mindless, time-sucking activities that are distracting you from real progress and the joy of doing what you love.

> You may have the dream wrong.

Sometimes what seems like a conspiracy to sink our dreams is the universe trying to tell us, we're chasing the wrong dream.  There are clues -

Coaching dreamers willing to DO - http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Climb Every Mountain

I grew up in the 60's and 70's and can't remember a year without The Sound of Music (there were a few, I just don't remember back that far!)  Some are surprised when I name this among my favorite movies, but I don't care - the messages are too strong, voices too beautiful - what little girl didn't want to skip through the mountains like Julie Andrews (or float down to earth with nothing but an umbrella)? 

For days now, Climb Every Mountain has been floating in my mind, randomly, quietly and at times powerfully.  So today's post honors that persistent unconscious voice trying anything, including singing to get the conscious mind's attention.

". . . a dream that will need,
all the love you can give,
everyday of of your life,
for as long as you live.       

Climb every mountain,
ford every stream,
follow every rainbow,
til - you - find - your -

Oscar Hammerstein wrote that his muse for this song was an actual nun and drama coach named Sister Gregory.  Letters that she sent to Hammerstein described the parallels between a nun's choice for a religious life and the choices that humans must make to find their purpose and direction in life. When she read the lyrics, she confessed that it "drove her to the Chapel" because the lyrics conveyed a "yearning that … ordinary souls feel but cannot communicate."

If we have that yearning to find our direction and purpose, there's really no turning it off.  We can distract ourselves, rationalize, and procrastinate, but the dream's voice will persist: "pssst, don't forget, we dreamed of  . . . "

Do your dreams deserve "all the love we can give"?

I like to think my mind was humming this tune at my heart's insistence.  Maybe that's corny, but it makes me smile, 'cause:

"Perhaps I had a wicked childhood,
perhaps I had a miserable youth,
but somewhere in my wicked, miserable past,
I must have had a moment of truth."
Something Good, Hammerstein

My dream is to coach all the days of my life ~ 
message me at: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Enjoy -

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Write New Rules

We are conditioned to follow rules: family rules, school rules, rules at work, homeowner rules, community rules, rules of the road, . . . yup, there a lots and lots of rules out there.

But what about the rules within?  These are our GUIDING RULES.  They become our beliefs.  They guide our behavior, our actions, they create our path.  

Our guiding rules are worth considering and reflecting on as we may be unconsciously following rules and beliefs that are the beliefs of someone else: parents, friends, community members, the society at large.

One clue that you are following someone elses rules is when you say to yourself, "I should do this" or "I should do that."  Remember the word SHOULD and pay attention to how often it enters and lingers in your mind.  A second clue is a feeling.  To me, it feels like static when I act or react in a manner not aligned with what I believe and who I am.  Static can feel like: dis-ease, a knot in your stomach, a headache, tension somewhere in your body (almost always the same spot - shoulders, thighs, forehead).  Sometimes people describe static to me as a voice shouting, "what are you doing?!"

Start with some of the simple ones that go way back like: "Eat everything on your plate."  We all know why parents say this in a valiant attempt to get something of nutritional value into their youngster's system.  Now let's say you're 30.  You're busy and often eat out, going to countless restaurants that routinely give you huge, make that obscene amounts of food.  Despite clearly seeing three portions sitting on one plate, despite knowing that something called a "to go box" exists, you obediently go about eating everything on the plate.  This is a simple example of a guiding rule at work.  So the question is - does that rule support or defeat your conscious goals?

These unwritten rules can be much trickier, but once you put your attention to why you are behaving a certain way, you will discover there are many more rules lingering below the surface of your conscious mind.  Some are ok, even helpful, but many are not.  "Don't speak your mind, you're not smart enough", "That dream is foolish", "Just be quiet and behave", "Woman can't handle money", "Someone who looks like that is not worth knowing" and so on (there are thousands).

When you discover one of these guiding rules at work and it clearly does not feel right - STOP and write a NEW RULE.  You are the adult now and your guiding rules can be ones that reflect who you are.  Being who you are honors who influenced you are a child.  It is not disrespectful to be true to yourself. We will always have rules that must be followed.  Be sure that the ones that you carried from your first few decades actually line up with who you are now and what you value. Rewrite the ones that don't.

A coach can help you uncover unwanted rules: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It Takes Courage Part I & II

When I first saw this poster, I was drawn to the courage it takes to be who you are,
then I realized there was an essential message to be digested before the "and":

"It takes courage to grow up."

We simply can't get to who we are when we refuse to grow up.  Steven Pressfield calls it "Going Pro".

I'm renaming e.e.cumming's quote: It Takes Courage Part I and Part II because we must summon our courage for both parts  -

If we get Part I without Part II, we are likely playing the part of a grown up, but missing the authentic mark.  In this scenario, our life may be spent on a career parallel to but not actually on the path we were destined to take.  This can be easily identified by comments like, "I wish I had . . ." "When I was your age, I should have . . ." "If I didn't have a family to raise, I could have . . . "

If we adhere to Part II without Part I, we lack the discipline to stay on our path - we're easily distracted, lacking focus and sometimes even self-destructive. Most everyone can see our potential, but it is unrealized, left in the dream or wishing state or considered not worthy of pursuit.

Coaches can help with Part I & Part II: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jurassic Park is Calling

When our son Seth was not quite 10, we went to Jurassic Park.  The school year had just ended and for a few years, Seth, his brother Tanner and I had been going to Phoenix the week after to play: water park, motel pool time, summer clothes shopping and a movie or two.  Fun, carefree days.

In 1993, we waited in a long line to get our tickets to see Jurassic Park on the opening day.  When we went into the theater, we couldn't find three seats together without splitting up. The boys were 8 and 10 so I headed back to the ticket counter and asked if we could use our tickets for the next show.  He didn't want to agree, but most people know not to mess with a mother when she's got her cubs nearby. We're not splitting up!  ("Ok lady, here you go" with eye roll)

It was a long wait and this time we made sure we were near the front of the next line to get good seats together.  We had our popcorn, sodas, and requisite candy: Sour Patch for the boys and Raisinettes for mom.  Cue your memory of this fantasy thriller here: ______________________________.

I'll never forget what Seth said to me when we came out of that movie. "I'm going to do that when I grow up."  I wasn't sure what he meant, so I asked, "Are you going to be in the movies or make movies?"  "No", he said with his well developed seriousness.  "I'm going to write music like that."

When we got home, he started on his own dinosaur-inspired composition called "Prehistoric Overture."  He was going into the 5th grade.  I helped him transcribe what he dutifully worked on at the piano day in and day out for weeks.  Those were special days.  We both knew that he had discovered his calling, his purpose -

and he was 10 years old.

Twenty years later, what does Seth do?  He writes music professionally!  Tonight, he and his brother will hear the music of John Williams, conducted by Williams live at the Hollywood Bowl.  I wish I were with them again, but I can feel the glow of excitement from hundreds of miles away and it takes me right back to those summer days of their youth.

To find, nurture and follow our passion, our purpose - can there be a better life? 

Most will say it's luck to know what you want to do at a young age, but I believe he was observant enough at a young age to recognize that feeling, the famous "ah-hah" that speaks volumes when something is just right. 

Like me, you're probably past the age of 10, but paying close attention to those moments that speak to our soul and say, "this is it, do this" - that's worth our time and attention at any age.  I wish for you that moment and the courage to follow the feeling. 

Coaches are here to help forward your action.  Just say "I'm ready!"  

Have fun, guys -


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If You Want to Sing Out

Here are some simple lyrics from the Cat Stevens' song "If You Want to Sing Out"
They ring true to me  -
Let's be clear:

If you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high

And if you want to live low, live low
'cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

You can do what you want
The opportunity's on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
You see 
Its easy 
You only need to know

If you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
'cause there's a million ways to go

You know that there are.

You know that there are.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

You've Got to Play the Wind

I wrote a blog for a while called Be One with the Chaos.  I don't advocate asking for it, but to deny that it exists or wish that it doesn't cross your path is a sure path to failure.

When I was a young softball coach, I can remember hitting ball after ball to my outfielders on the windiest of days.  I'd aim for left field and it would drift to right; fly after fly.  It was frustrating and tiring, sometimes funny and cartoonish, but I kept hitting them anyway.  We could have packed it in and I've seen plenty of teams do just that, but if there are 20-mile an hour gusts at our Monday practice, couldn't it do the same on our Friday game?  Our outfield was ready for that.

I heard the coach for unarguably the best swimmer ever, Michael Phelps, say he made Michael late to meets on purpose. If some random chaos slowed his arrival to a competition, Michael could still get in the pool and swim his best.  He also made him swim hundreds of laps with his goggles fogged up.  That's the edge that great coaching can provide - preparing for chaos and swimming on to victory despite its' arrival.

"Adversity, injustice, bad hops and rotten calls, even good breaks and lucky bounces all comprise the ground over which the campaign must be waged."  Steven Pressfield from the WAR of ART

What is your "campaign"?  Are you prepared to play the wind, go on stage, take the field, the court, go  into court, or to the most important meeting of your life regardless of what gets thrown at you?

Identify your gusts of wind.
Name them.
Write down the terrible referees.
Embrace them!  Prepare for identified chaos (and expect some you didn't know existed.)

"Oh thank you for being assigned to this crucial, stressful day!
. . . because I'm prepared to play in the wind, with the blind ref, with my shoes untied."

Coaching matters.   http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bad habit? Change It.

Do you have a little annoying habit you want to get rid of?
How about a BIG one that's really blocking your chance of a great life?

Pick something small to prove to yourself you can do it.
Better yet - choose something BIG and go for it! 

Either way the key is to start tomorrow - no excuses.

Get up 30 minutes earlier and create a plan for the day that will include what you WANT to do, what action will replace the bad habit.  Be specific.  Write down your plan or tell someone else or both.

At the end of the day, honor your effort, no matter if it felt easy, hard or you were only somewhat successful.  Commit to get up tomorrow and go for it again.  Don't forget to appreciate your efforts and success at the end of the day.  This will help your resolve the next morning.

Every habit was born from repeated actions.  They can ALL be undone!
Be brave and give yourself a great new habit starting right away.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Free Book for You

Today's post is a free book offer for you.  Sign up on the right for Coach W posts by email and I'll send you:

How to Maximize Success in Your Life
by Jack Zufelt

This book is a series of 20 stories featuring Brian Tracy, author of over 40 books and Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.  Each story has a different author who come from a variety of backgrounds and careers. 

The final chapter of the book is mine - titled "Embrace the Journey." 

Once you have signed up for email posts from my blog, I will send you an email so you can send me your mailing address.  Your information will not be collected by an agency and nothing else will be sent to your home from me other than than the book.  This is just a thank you gift for checking out my blog.

Of course, if you prefer to sign up without receiving the book, that's ok too. 

Glad you're here - coachwsolutions@gmail.com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

When It's Worth Being Stubborn

I used to describe myself as"tenacious" and "persistent".  I'd say, "what you call stubborn, I call tenacious" and I'd usually smile (inferring a wink . . . which is usually received as a smirk).  Then I read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield and had to agree with his assertion that "stubborn is less lofty than tenacity" - that resonated with me. Who needs "lofty" when what the circumstance dictates is a good dose of stubbornness?

I have always known that others consider me stubborn and some of those would add "to a fault", but I've decided to own my stubbornness - it's mine, so here I go: I'M STUBBORN and PROUD OF IT!  Why?  Because I'm confident that I'm stubborn when it matters . . . to me

What matters to YOU?  What are you passionate enough to get stubborn about, dig-your-heels-in, don't-let-go to your core about?  I'm not advocating control freak (my way or the highway) or ignorance is bliss stubborn - I'm talking about those beliefs that are worth fighting for, the ones you've examined and feel deep down in the core of your being.

What must you be stubborn about?  Not lofty tenacious or pesky persistent, but down right "damn, she's stubborn!"  When you recognize the issue that you must resist with all your skills and passion (hint: this usually feel like a kick to the gut), then Pressfield suggests, "We sink our junkyard-dog teeth into resistance's ass and not let go, no matter how hard he kicks."

Now that's not lofty, but I'm for it!  Warning: this is NOT for the meek.
 We'll discuss finesse and grace on another post (wink).

 i coach those insisting on an amazing life: coachwsolutions@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Voice

Is your voice a roar or a whisper?
Of reason or fancy?
We all have a unique, authentic song -
irregardless of talent,
or judgment
or grace.

How do you recognize your voice?
When it resonates within,
expands your chest -
for a deep breath of "yes, that's me"


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Self Reliance

Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson has been re-released by Seth Godin's Domino Project: Do You Zoom.

This version includes quotes relative to points made by Emerson as well as his original text. Here are a few excerpts:

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion;
it is easy in solitude to live after our own;
but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with sweetness the independence of solitude."

"Do your work and I shall know you.
Do your work and you shall reinforce yourself."

and a contribution in the same chapter by Pamela Slim:

"We look for ourselves in many places -
meditation retreats, personality assessments, Twitter rankings.
But the best place to find the reason why we were put on earth is in a private moment immersed in our craft.  In that sacred instant, we see without a reasonable doubt that we were made to create and contribute."

I coach to empower - we all deserve to be exactly who they are, do exactly what was meant for us, feel alive and make a difference on our journey.  Coaches are guides for others to uncover their truth.  It's a calling I've known for a long time.

Thanks for pausing here today.  I hope you'll consider leaving a comment or send me an email:

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Welcome to friends and those I don't yet know -
For my birthday, I'm giving myself a new blog focusing on my passion for personal and group coaching.  I've been a lifelong learner, teacher, leader, competitor and musician.  I love working with youth and adults who aspire to their best self even if they are not quite sure what that will be ~

Today I leave you with this thought . . . BE YOU, LOVE YOU, SHARE YOU!