Current Events

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summertime Sass Series for Women

We had fun doing this series.
Let me know if you are interested in getting something like the below.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why Life Coaching - Really?

I believe that almost everyone knows meanwhile that being overweight is unhealthy in many ways and that exercising is part of a healthy and long life. I have seen many professions - like fitness trainers all the way to mediation lawyers - give advice such as "make healthy choices", "deal with your stress", or even "give up smoking". So, how come people are still doing such things, despite the good advice?
It is because everyone needs the help to accomplish habit changes in their daily life, beyond the advice. The reasons for unhealthy behaviors are as numerous as there are people. The advice and active help needs to be tailored to each individual person. So is one person for example one person task oriented and wants to know the next step in order to achieve a goal, whereas another person might want to understand what is going on, in order to be able to move on. This is the incredible strength of Life Coaching. Although it has a clear and proven method, it is highly individual and gets every single person what it is the he or she needs: not their friend, their mentor, their mother,...., but that very person.

Getting some generic advice that leaves you alone with implementing it and that needs for you to really turn your life around, is like acing a science test without having been given material to study for it or without having even had lessons in that subject. You might want the outcome and want to have a good grade, but how are you gonna do it all alone without knowledge of the subject? And it does not get you any closer to passing the test, if your doctor, your friend, your spouse, maybe even your fitness trainer keeps telling you that you needed to pass that test, that you needed to lose weight, etc. It can get worse, once the people who truly care for you start thinking they did not make themselves clear enough about how important it is for you, or worse, when they start thinking you are not trying hard enough. If you only tried harder, you would know all the answers and pass the test, lose the weight, or quit smoking.

This is exactly how it is, when you, say, try to make healthy choices in your diet. You probably even know what the desired healthy choices are, but come evening, and you come home from work tired or once the house gets quiet, you go for the fridge and enjoy that alone time with your favorite "treats" until you are exhausted. Or you are convinced you need to exercise some more or at all and keep thinking, you will go running or swim some laps tomorrow. But tomorrow never turns into today, never turns into NOW.

This is where a Life Coach accompanies, helps identify the next possible step. Eventually you are at your goal, you have lost that weight, have established that exercise routine, have aced the test. How wonderful! Congratulations!! Your family is proud of you, the relationships are not strained and are better than ever. Plus, all the way to the goal was not even close to difficult. None of the treaded things have happened, you actually feel much better now. You can be proud of yourself! That is, what a Life Coach can do for you. And I just LOVE doing it for my clients. It still is magical to me to see my clients blossom, take responsibility and enjoy the process. They feel empowered and do things and go places that they have only be dreaming of. I feel so blessed to be able to assist people with that. Also, I am so grateful that there is a method like that available to anyone who chooses to use it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Toxic Social Environments: Solutions Beyond Fight, Flight or Freeze

Ever since I have been coaching people towards their own life fulfillment I was also very careful with surrounding myself with supportive and well meaning, successful people. I like to socialize and work with people who believe in the possibilities and blessings of Win-Wins. You could also call it “live and let live”. Once in a while I find myself in a tricky social circumstance where old patterns like fight, flight or freeze want to come forth. Unwilling to give in to any of these options that do not serve me or my goals, I worked through it and found one that does: FEEL!

Isn´t amazing, how on a perfectly alright day a little incidence can change everything and the day is interrupted in a most unpleasant way? In my case it was a flood of e-mails from fellow volunteer people who were spreading around their criticism as oposed to acknowledgements and respect for each other. It really got wild for me once I was the target. All of a sudden old fears resurfaced and weighed heavily on me. So I went through all the above mentioned stages: First I froze and just ignored it. Then I was ready to resign and flee. Then I was ready to “tell them”. Once that was over, I realized that I did not want to be in re-action anymore. I want to be in charge of my life and consciously decide what to do. From that powerful state I can creat my future and realize my visions.

But how do I get from being in the claws of my past to creating my own future? It seemed almost impossible, so strong was the pull backwards into these bad emotions. With all my might did I try to avoid these emotions. Then I decided to walk through them instead of pulling away from them. FEEL. I took a moment to sit with every feeling that came up and to the story that came with it. Then I respectfully thanked them for sharing and came back to 2010 me and who I truly wanted to be. I consciously chose to be in charge, responsible, grounded. Some deep breaths helped to reclaim my own power and to focus on what it is I want to create and how I want to be. I know I don´t want to get back at people, I know I don´t want to be a pushover either. I want to stand up for myself and make that clear in a respectful and loving way. It felt so much better to just stay where I was, without avoiding (flight) or attacking (fight) or letting myself down (freeze). Focussing on my own strength and my goals and most of all, my own VALUES turned out to be extremely helpful.

I also found that with that behavior, all my fears did vanish and everything turned out just fine. At the end I felt grateful for the learning experience and hope that I don´t have to revisit that cross roads anytime soon again. My bigger wish however is, to remember next time and the time after that and again and again, to choose to feel and stand in my own power. I know the first time is the hardest and each time it gets easier and comes more naturally, until one day it is my default mode. Now THAT´s how habits are formed. Oh, and one other thing about toxic environments: Stay away from them as much as possible. A toxic environment in social terms is people who are overly critical, complain a lot, are envious or mean. In one word, not worth hanging out with. If you have no choice (although we have more choice than we often admit) stay strong in your own power and values in order not to be pulled down by these kinds of people. Sometime you can actually improve their situation by just being in a good mental space yourself. But don´t expect it. Good luck!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Gratitude used to be an old-fashioned word for me about something that I would archive in the category of manners: nice, but somewhat useless. In recent years I have experienced, how important gratitude for my quality of life is. Here are the reasons why you cannot afford to live without GRATITUDE - or rather - why you would not want to live without ...

First of all I want to say that Gratitude is so highly underestimated and underutilized that I am always happy to talk about Gratitude in order to spread the word. Practicing Gratitude systematically is a very powerful tool and essential in the pursuit of a happy and fulfilling life.

What does it do for me?
As always I invite my readers to try it on yourselves and not to believe anything just from hear say. I can tell you my story so you can relate to how it works. As a typical teenager I used to be very good at complaining and at the "that´s the least they (parents) can do for me" attitude. So even good things got downplayed. The main motto was "never enough". This attitude can be seen in many adults, who have never shed this approach to the world. It actually harms the chance for a rich and fulfilled life. With an attitude change towards gratitude, life is suddenly seen as a miracle, full of wonders and precious experiences. The endorphins and other great neurotransmitters are flowing and the feeling of happiness is created.

How to practice Gratitude?
There are various ways to practice Gratitude. It starts with very simple and time efficient ways that require merely moments of awareness. During your day, stop to think about what is great in your life, your day, this moment. Recognize it, smile and say to yourself how thankful you are to have X in your life and how blessed you are. This awareness practice also works well first thing in the morning to set an uplifting tone for the day, or last thing in the evening to recap the day and let it end on a high note, which makes for better sleep.

Another way is to keep a Gratitude journal and enter some things to be grateful for every day (or whenever it fits for you, but as regularly as possible). It is also rewarding to read earlier entries. It is an especially great resource in times of despair and distress.

There are also websites where everybody can log their things to be grateful for. It is fun to do it that way, it comes with some comradeship, which helps sometimes to stay with it.

What does it mean to be grateful?
Being grateful is truly a way of life. It has nothing to do with an "I am not worthy" approach. It is a conscious thought about how happy I am and how blessed I feel to have X in my life, to be able to do X or to have experienced X. These can be big and very little things. It makes me feel special and connected to and engaged in life.

As an example, here is what I am grateful for now:
having breakfast cooking on the stove
being happily married
having wonderful clients, who I love and adore
being free to create my life one day at a time towards my dreams
that my early morning headache dissipated
that the weekend is approaching
that the workers on the roof are about to finish today
for my MacBook that I absolutely adore
for having been able to give up coffee in the morning - after years of trying
for learning each and every day new and exciting things about life
for the tomato harvest in our garden
for the fresh figs from our fig trees

I could go on an on. So, with the list getting longer, my composition improves more and more. In daily life it is so easy to forget the wonders of this world. I would for example be rather annoyed at all the spam mail and the many work mails than marveling at the fact that we can communicate via e-mail these days, which I find highly fascinating.

Gratitude is a tool, a conscious choice for a better life. If practiced as prescribed, it will definitely create major improvements for anyone. All it takes is a commitment to it. The rest happens from there on.

Thank you for listening :-)
Have fun with this.