Opening

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Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Opening.” Fearlessly open yourself to all the possibilities of your life.

What doors are opening around you? What’s keeping you from entering?

How open are you to receiving love, compassion and care from others?

What are some things you wish you were more open towards? This week, work on one or two of them.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

Truth (You deserve it from yourself)

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Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Truth.” You know when you’re telling someone the truth but how truthful are you to yourself?

How close is your life to the one you know you were meant to live? How can you start heading in the right direction?

If you’re in an unsupportive relationship consider replacing it with a more positive one.

This week, be aware of times when you’re not being yourself to please someone else. Strive to be more genuine.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

The Science Behind Being a HeartMath Coach

There are hundreds of scientific papers around the techniques and methodologies of HeartMath. Here’s a new video that quickly explains the principles.

Faith and Optimism

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Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Faith.” Have faith in yourself and your ability to move your life forward.

What steps are you taking now to improve your life? Write them down so, when they become reality, you’ll reaffirm your ability to create powerful change.

How can you better express the faith you have in others?

Faith requires trust and patience. This week, let anxiety fade and have faith that all you’re working towards will be yours.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

Acceptance

acceptance

Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Acceptance.” Not everything in life has to be a battle.

If something unpleasant happens this week, accept it as part of your life experience. Learn from it but move on and don’t dwell.

Have you been holding others to unreasonably “high standards?” Try accepting others for who they are.

How accepting are you of yourself? Strive to be your best but love yourself for who you are in the moment.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

Breakthrough

breakthrough

Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Breakthrough.” We each have the potential for greatness, we just need to break through anything that’s blocking us.

What positive actions can you take this week to move towards a life-long goal?

Having difficulties communicating with someone? Break through the static by really listening to them.

What negative attitudes do you have towards yourself? This week, break through one of these limiting beliefs by acknowledging your talents.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

Protection

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Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Protection.” We each need a safe place to retreat and we can also be a haven for others.

Create a special, comfortable place in your home where you can sit and let the cares of the day disappear.

What are some steps you can take to more genuinely reflect your values, protecting your true self?

How can you offer strength to and best serve those you care about?

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

You can make your relationships flourish!

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My chapter of the International Coach Federation, of which I’m currently President, just held their annual educational retreat called FLOURISH! The educational content was focused around how we can truly flourish as coaches. Of course, as coaches, our ability to be our best reflects right back to our clients. How can we best serve them and help them achieve true greatness and, well, flourish?

Of all of the sessions, the one that stuck with me the most was about how the trusting relationship built between coach and client creates this “sweet spot” in which roadblocks fade away and clients can see the road before them more clearly. (I’m a metaphoric coach…it seems to work its way into everything.) We know from experience though that building trust takes time but there are a few things that can be done to help it along:

Know and accept who you are. It’s difficult trusting others when you don’t know and trust yourself. If you’re constantly questioning your place in the relationship and trying to make space for yourself then there won’t be room for anyone else.

Accept the other person for who they are. If you’re always trying to reimage someone else, you’re basically saying to yourself that they’re somehow not good enough. You won’t trust them and they’ll also sense the nonacceptance which will prevent them from accepting themselves.

Be honest and truthful. This should be a “no brainer” but if someone learns you’re not being truthful, that trust is destroyed. Prevent that from ever happening by always being truthful. Even an uncomfortable truth will always turn out better for you than holding something back.

Know that everyone has incredible value and purpose. You are worthy of the trust of others and that holds for them too.

Keeping these in mind in any interaction, whether with a family member, colleague, coach or client, will help you develop that trusting relationship and allow you and that connection to flourish.

Photo credit: Napafloma-Photographe / Foter / CC BY

Set Boundaries with your Employer

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I just read a post on a very respected time management blog about checking into your work email on Sunday to be more productive. Um, NO!

You work hard at showing your value to your employer and you want to be there for others but you also need some boundaries. If you start responding to your work emails on Sunday, over time the boss will start to wonder why you don’t bother on Saturday. Then Friday night. Suddenly, you’re on 24/7 call when you never signed up for that gig.

The need for work-life balance is a real thing. Your employer pays you a check but they’re not the one your kids need to tuck them in at night or your significant other looks to for attention. You also need time to evolve to be the genuine and unique person you’re meant to be. You need time to write, paint, read, create, dream; whatever else you’re meant to do that isn’t part of your day job.

Make sure you and your boss are on the same page as to what’s expected of you outside of normal work hours. If it isn’t spelled out explicitly in your job description, have a frank discussion with them. If you have personal commitments outside of work (and yes, you’re allowed to have a life outside of work) make sure your employer is well aware of your schedule.

If your explanation carries no weight, you always have a choice.

I know of a very successful executive that had been with their organization for years. Towards the end of their career, with a number of years behind them to have shown their worth and commitment to the organization, they needed to adjust their schedule to care for an ailing spouse. They had a new, up-and-coming boss that started questioning their commitment. The new boss couldn’t understand how the employee’s spouse was more important than the organization. Really?! At this point you have to question the direction in which the organization is going when the fundamental concept of family no longer has meaning. This individual made the right choice. They left to live their life.

I’m seeing an alarming trend with my coaching clients where “work” and “life” are one in the same. It seems trite but ask yourself this question; are you living to work or working to live? Working through prioritization exercises and communication tactics, I help people live their purposeful and authentic life. It’s something to which everyone is entitled and it all starts with setting those boundaries at work.

Photo credit: Trois Têtes (TT) / Foter / CC BY-NC

Time for a Change

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It’s the end of the year and my phone is ringing off the hook. It’s peak season for coaches because, as we end the year, many are looking back and realizing they didn’t make the best use of the past year and want help moving forward. Many feel it’s time for a change.

Before you make that jump, here’s one important question to ask yourself. Am I making a change for myself or someone else?

Coaches turn down a lot of potential clients because of their answer to this last question. You might be completely satisfied with your life but feel outside pressure from parents, a spouse or work colleagues to “do more” but if the desire isn’t genuinely yours then coaching isn’t going to help you one bit. In fact, the coaching experience would just be an exercise in frustration for both you and the coach.

To find out if you’re ready for a change, ask yourself these three questions:

  • If I knew today was my last day, could I say I’m satisfied with what I’ve done?
  • Am I doing all I could with my life right now?
  • Can I afford to wait another year to “do more?”

If you answered No to any of the above questions, then it might be time for a change.

So, where do you want to go now? Here’s an exercise I use with a lot of my clients. While you won’t have the benefit of interacting with a coach, it might help you gain some clarity.

Relax in a quiet room with your eyes closed. Take a few deep breathes. Now, imagine your “perfect” (and authentic, what’s going to make you happy) life. Think about all aspects; your career, health, finances, personal relationships and even your spirituality. Think about everything in as much detail as possible.

Once you have that well planted in your mind, imagine someone just asked you this question: “You are so happy these days. You have the perfect life. How did you get where you are today?”

Now, answer the question. Out loud.

A lot of people are surprised by what comes out of their mouth. Often, this is the first time they’ve said out loud something they’ve always wanted for themselves. Or, they knew something was just “off” and this exercise helps them find the words they’ve been missing.

Now, go make everything you just said a reality!

Have a healthy, happy and successful 2015!

Photo credit: SomeDriftwood / iWoman / CC BY-NC