168 seeds

cropped-final_clear_path_logo_sept_2014-e14168700681691.jpgDid you know that there are 168 hours in a week?  We have all, no doubt, felt the rush of time, the lack of time, the squeeze of time, but have you ever stopped to calculate how much time you actually have per week?  Personally, I had not.  It was revealed to me by my own life coach, in a group coaching session in which we were all lamenting a perceived lack of time.  This wise man asked us to calculate the number of hours we had between our coaching sessions, which occur once a week.  Suddenly something that was so abstract, got very clear and linear; we have exactly 168 hours, or seeds as my coach called them, to play with.  I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the very number.  I felt like it was something I could work with.  Granted, we do need a certain amount of sleep, and if we use the standard 8 hours per night, we could say that uses up around 56 seeds/week.  That still leaves roughly 112 hours of awake time!

This new bit of concrete knowledge is much like knowing the real amount in, say, my bank account!  It would be silly if I had no idea how much money I had, so why did I not see how silly it was  not knowing how much time I had to work with each week?  It is freeing when we are honest with numbers, particularly numbers that are constant!  I have 168 seeds each week, and I have choices.

Here is a fun exercise, if you are up for it.  Take one of your seeds (hours) today, and tell yourself that you have a “choice” as to how you spend it.  What does that feel like?  Did you choose to do more work, or did you choose something closer to play?  Did you spend it alone, or with another? And, did you feel empowered by it?

Sometimes, most times in fact, we just need to simplify and get back to the basics in order to move more freely in our lives.  By just breaking things into their most general pieces,( in this case it was taking a day and segmenting it into hours) to find that we actually have more choice and freedom than initially perceived.

*If you do this exercise, I would love to hear how you spent your hour, and what noticing you had. Cheers to choice!cropped-img_0218-e1431116777919.jpg

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How do you define success?

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I think we would all agree that each of us shares the desire to live a “successful” life.  My Webster’s dictionary defines success as:

 

  1. favorable result
  2. gaining of wealth, fame etc
  3. a successful person or thing.  

So, how do you define success in your own life?  What, in your estimation, brings you “favorable results”?  How have you already experienced success in your life, and how would you like to experience it in regards to your future? Continue reading

Detox your inbox

About a month ago, I had a rude surprise, when my email address was hacked.  I dutifully took all of the steps to close the account and then went on to change every single password attached to anything online!  It was a job for sure, but not one that I wanted to take any short cuts on. I set up a new email account  and contacted everyone that needed to know of the changes (amazing how we are now all tied by email, from the secretary at my kids school, to potential business links, to my old high school friend now living in England). I had also just ordered 150 business flyers from Vista Print with that email address on it!  When I contacted Vista Print to see if by chance I had caught the order before it had printed with the wrong email address, they politely informed me that they had already sent the order out, but would gladly reprint it free of cost with the new email address!  I just had to include that did bit, because it was a true highlight in a day that had been filled with frustration.

The next day when I went to my computer and opened my email account, it was empty, a state that it had not been in for YEARS!  I had nothing to read, nor did I have anything to delete.  You see, I had subscribed to way too many fantastic newsletters, sales alerts, coaching websites, etc, that over time began to take over my inbox.  I used to routinely delete 20 emails each morning prior to a cup of tea.  I had perhaps 100 more that just sat in my inbox, all with compelling subject lines about success, which I never had time (or desire?) to read. Every time I looked at them I felt guilty, like I was missing something! I just did not see how overwhelming it had become until I was faced with a fresh start.  I have not signed up for any of the subscriptions that I used to have.  It now takes me a short time to go through my inbox once or twice a day.  This simplicity is like new found freedom!  But, it did not have to come at the extreme of being hacked, I could have actually taken a realistic look at the toxicity of my inbox, and remedied it myself!  To honor what I have learned, I now make it part of the coaching that I do with clients, teaching them how to “detox the inbox” before it threatens to devour too much time, energy and self-worth!  Just one more way to take back our lives, and live in streamlined simplicity for true success  in every area of life!

HEALTH, Master the Game (inspired by MONEY,Master the Game)

Happy New Year!  Have you made any commitments or intentions for 2015?  Does it have anything to do with HEALTH?  Typically, that tops our list, with “losing weight” as the first priority.  And perhaps you have another resolution that has to do with trimming your spending too?  Yes, after the holidays, which are frequently filled with extra calories AND depleted by extra spending, it is no wonder that we may not feel “at the top of our game” come January!

I have spent years in the health industry working with people on wellness goals as well as teaching fitness classes such as yoga and nia.  And all the while, I have been coaching myself too!  Health is an ongoing thing, a daily endeavor filled with choices.  I used to teach in the school system and I did my best to bring nutrition  and physical education to the students.  You see, I feel that health, in all of its facets, is really not taught much in our many years of schooling.  So far, it has been something that people must pursue on their own, if they so desire.  And we all know that there is a lot of wacky information to wade through in pursuit of truth when it comes to fitness, nutrition and overall wellness!  That is where a good health coach can come in handy!

The other area that I feel we are lacking in our traditional education is money and finance. I do remember taking an accounting class in high school, but beyond that, nothing else besides math classes.  So, if your education was similar to mine, your main learning about money and finance came from observing those around you, mainly your family.  In my house, if money was brought up at all, it was because of lack.  Money was never referred to as something that may be FUN to discuss or brainstorm ways to improve our situation!  So, for many years I must admit that I stumbled around quite ignorant about the potential and excitement in regards to money.  Eventually I encountered great people and resources in my studies of personal growth.  Interestingly, many  fears and blocks came up for me around money and finance.   So my self-guided education in money and finance therefore has been slower than my journey into the realm of health.

When I heard about the book that Tony Robbins had written on the subject, I knew immediately that it was a “must read” for me. The book is called, “MONEY, Master the Game”.  Every bit of profit from the book has been donated in advance to the charity known as FEEDING AMERICA.  I ordered it for myself for Christmas, received it Christmas eve, and finished it on New Years day.  It is over 600 pages.  In the past, books on finance often left me feeling behind, and seemed to be written in dry textbook form.  Not this one!  Now, I will go back and highlight the heck out of the book and put the 7 simple steps for success into practice.

I want to share with you a 4 step “winning” strategy that Tony shares.  As I read it myself, I saw how it naturally aligned with “winning” at the game of health as well.  Here goes:

1. DON’T LOSE ($) or, in regards to our health, DON’T LOSE strength, mobility, stability, flexibility, confidence, balance, etc.  Instead, GAIN all of those components of fitness. In other words, if you slack for too long, it takes more TIME to get it back.  And we can never get back TIME.  As a daily practice, look at your HEALTH ASSETS and add to your HEALTH portfolio, bit by bit.  It all counts.

2. RISK A LITTLE ($) TO GET A LOT ($), or for this article, MOVE OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  For example, try a new fitness class or even a new teacher, take your daily walk in a new area, eat a new food, workout shorter/longer/harder/easier.  Just take a step out of what is familiar(risk), and GAIN more confidence in yourself as an adventurous person!

3. ANTICIPATE & DIVERSIFY ($) or, ANTICIPATE temptations, and DIVERSIFY your responses and workouts!  In anticipation for your snack attack, for example, replace bags of chips with cut and ready veggies, or have your workout gear next to your bed for your early morning walk.  To diversify, find a health buddy, get a dog, vary what you do each day, vary your sources of protein, etc.  Don’t set yourself up for boredom.  Plan your health adventure like you were entertaining a toddler!  Keep moving, keep it fresh, keep healthy snacks on hand, and take a nap when necessary!

4. YOU’RE NEVER DONE ($), and same for health, YOUR’E NEVER DONE!  You actually never reach the place of , “I am in such good shape, I will never have to workout again! ” or “I ate great for a month, now I will never have to pay attention to what I put in my mouth!” We just keep learning about ourselves, and about health and wellness, just like we do with money and finance.  If we can view it all more like a game, rather than a chore, it can actually be fun, entertaining, exhilarating while still challenging.  Truth be told, we do not crave stagnation.  As the old saying goes, we either move forward or we die!  Again, view the journey with your health, like a trip with a kid.  Never a dull moment, my friend!  Feed your sense of ALIVENESS!

I would love to hear your thoughts around this and any feedback!  Happy 2015!

 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

If you answered “yes”, then I don’t want to add to your sense of overwhelm, but I will just write a short post to suggest a practice that I find SO energizing and clearing!  It is the ancient “art” of decluttering!

Overwhelm is a sense of being buried, crushed and overpowered.  Not a nice feeling, and even as I typed the words, I felt a crushing feeling around my chest, and a shortness of breath!  Obviously it is a  worthwhile endeavor  to step out of this feeling of overwhelm and into something much more empowering. The practice that I will suggest is simple, but freeing!  Basically the art of decluttering involves the act of removing things from your environment, your schedule, your diet or your mind.  I find that the easiest of the four is the material removal of a an item or two (or more if you are in the groove!).  So, you could pick a shelf, a drawer, or a closet, and just look for an item that has not been used in the past 12 months.  Think of it like a treasure hunt!  And then when you find such an item, remove it immediately for a feeling of success and lightness!  You may continue to “treasure hunt” for more items if you have the enthusiasm or drive.  The catch is, once you find an item, you must then be prepared to “give” it away to either the garbage, the thrift store or to someone  that would appreciate/use it.

The simple act of clearing a bit of space, has deep repercussions and when done on a lager scale, leads to true transformation.  The feeling of overwhelm will soon be replaced with the amazing sense of personal power and freedom.  To your Clear Path~

Christmas Cheer

Today, I was at the mall. I had three presents to buy and knew exactly where I would find them. I purposely went early, right when the mall opened, to avoid crowds.  What I found  there, besides the three presents, was fascinating.  While waiting in the long lines to pay for my purchases, I had the opportunity to observe my surroundings.  For whatever reason, the stores were mainly populated by senior women, armed with coupons (I am not knocking coupons, I too had one for each purchase!!) and not a one of them seemed pleased.  In fact, one woman, whom I knew, told me as she stood in line, that she did this daily.  She clipped a new coupon each day and made her $20 purchase in order to get $10 off!  She said that she was getting tired of it.  No kidding.

Next, I made my way to a thrift store, scouting for a robe or tunic for my 4th grade son to wear when he makes his debut at the Christmas concert as one of the three kings!  Now THIS was a shopping experience!  Fun and unique finds, cheap prices, and, GO FIGURE, happy people!  I scored on a brown robe for my son, and a classy wool coat for me, all for $6!  And to put the cherry on top, the cashier  spoke my language;  and by that, I mean she was a JOY sharer.  Her words were upbeat, her smile was true and her heart was in her work.

Two contrasting experiences with so much symbolism.  Personally, I have been giving myself a dose of what I preach.  As a success coach, I have found radical benefits in decluttering and detoxing my own life.  So, as December rolled around, I was more than ready to simplify the holiday.  When I got my Christmas boxes out, I went through them and deleted half of my collection~ painlessly!  Last weekend, when we went out and found a tree, we chose a a small one, only 4 ft tall! And, I have made the decision to postpone sending Christmas cards.  My heart was not in it, so I figured, why force it?  Maybe the desire will hit me to send cards in March, or July, or not, and it is no biggie.  I feel freer, and as you might imagine, my spending is down too.

So, as I age, you will not find me roaming the mall daily, coupons in hand, adding to my collection of unused stuff.  My plan is to simplify more each year, making more space to appreciate what I do have.  I also want to be wandering the woods, fishing the rivers and hiking the trails.  S-I-M-P-L-E.   That is a gift I can give myself.

 

What is a life coach anyway?

Great question, and I am glad that you asked!  A life coach is basically a person that will help you clarify your goals/dreams and support you in designing a plan to reach it.  You see, we all have aspirations, but what is often  lacking is1) the plan and 2)following through.  So, to fill this disconnect, a coach can enter your life and if you are ready and willing, the two of you can set the structure and form for the success of your desired outcomes!

 

This sounds amazing, and it is for sure, if and only if, you and your coach are a good match.  Most coaches will offer a complimentary discovery session  in which you are able to talk freely about your goals.  The coach would then tell you how they could further shape your personalized plan.  Some coaches have a niche area of expertise, like relationship coaching, or financial coaching, and others have a more broad base like success coaching.  As a client feel free to interview your potential coaches and choose wisely.  You can even ask for references and client reviews.

 

Once you hire a coach, be prepared to have homework each week!  You definitely want to get the most out of your sessions and your coach will likely partner with you in designing weekly action steps.  Use the coach for the excellent accountability that they provide.  Often coaches check in with clients by email in between the phone sessions.  Be honest about your progress, no extra points are given for fake successes!  Coaching is a personal journey and competition is not the aim.  This is the journey of the client, and it is all about connecting to the power and the answers that have always been within you.