Coach's Corner - Archives

 


Ladies, it is our time to shine

" Marches for women's rights, pussypower hats, tribes, squads, campaigns directed solely at women to Support and Encourage one another, an internet uprising over Gaga and Beyonce performances...I can't remember a time where I have experienced the spotlight shining so hotly on our gender. I feel we have the power to go one of two ways...We can open our hearts and arms to one another, even thru our differences (rephrase, "especially" thru our differences) and shine bright for the world. Or we can stand alone with our arms and hearts closed..



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A Gypsy Journey

"A home isn't about the stuff that's in it or what it looks like or where it is, it's about the people that surround you. That's what makes a home". Oh how I tried so desperately to believe these words as I heard them uttered from my very own lips. I'm telling you, I have got some pretty spectacular people in my home but even they couldn't help me deal with the fact that for two years while renting various houses I could not call even one a Home. And for that entire period of time I felt unsettled and lived with a constant empty pit in the base of my belly. I tried absolutely everything to change my perspective, to better my situation, to snap the frick out of it. But to no avail. Coach KI was failing miserably with herself.



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I see you...

I was having lunch with a very dear friend last week discussing some pretty big and exciting changes in his business and personal life.  At one point he paused and leaned in closer as he fixed his beautiful, warm blue eyes on me and said with such heart "I must truly thank you for seeing the Value in me and allowing me to see it in myself".  Well, that is simply IT isn't it? If I do nothing else on this planet but help people see their true value, their beauty, their raison d-etre...I would be a very happy woman.  I have been blessed to have many friends, clients, and staff tell me that they feel I "get them" and that I see who they are, beneath all the stuff.  The stuff can be anything that might lead others to have a particular perception about you; like your current relationship, job, or financial status;  the way you come across when you feel uncomfortable or threatened; how you dress or your physical appearance.  I don't believe any of this stuff defines who you are.  And that is who I want to know, that is who I want to connect with.  Stripped free of all the stuff, magic is given room to flow. This is the moment I often begin to get a clear sense of the amazing things you might do with your one wild and precious life (thank you Mary Oliver).  My greatest challenge is usually patience, as I wait for you to catch up to the awesomeness I see in you.



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Ohh Oprah...really?!

January, January...oh how you torment us. I'm all for taking time to reflect on what isn't working in our lives and setting goals for change and a plan of action to get there (it's kind of what I do) but in January the focus always seems to be on one big fat thing. I was recently shopping at London Drugs for some fashion magazines to get a jumpstart on spring trends (yep, it's Spring in fashion world) and was bombarded with cover after cover of what I experienced as fat-shaming ads. All promising that if you peek inside you will enter into a magical kingdom of tips and advice to finally shed those nasty lb's. I grabbed a couple of them to see if any had NEW earth shattering insights...like zeroing in more on the beliefs we have about ourselves when we think we are fat ("I'm not worthy unless I'm thin", "I could never wear a bathing suit", "I'm lazy", "I'm ugly", "I'll never be enough") and questioning the hell out of these freaking LIES. But nope, it was just more BS...does anyone out there really not know that reducing portion size and exercising more can often result in weight loss? Thank you mighty diet guru's for stating the freaking obvious!



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Sparkly Things...


"You are like a child, I just have to distract you long enough until you forget about what's got you down". Wise (and pretty hilarious) words from my big sister. A few weeks ago I was in the depths of a sweet state of Woe is Me. As is always the case when we find ourselves here, I had good reason dammit! Having just learned that I will likely need surgery for tears in both my shoulder and hip due to a car accident last year, bummed because I can't go to yoga (aka: saviour) until my body is fixed, and feeling lost and unsettled as we were forced to move yet again waiting for our house to be built this coming spring...oh, yes I was more than worthy of WIM (woe is me). And if indulged I can and will go on...I'll continue to list off every single thing in my life that is sucking or that isn't going my way until I finish with "...(blubbering) and, and I can't get the stain out of my (gasp for breath) favourite Splendid pants!!". Although all true (and that last one really sucks, I love those pants!), is it really the end? I know it's not, but when you are spiralling it certainly feels like it. That's why I was so thankful for my sister.



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What The "Bleep" Would You Know About That?!


It’s possible I was the recipient of someone’s “outside voice” at a party this past weekend. Or maybe she is simply one of those rare (and totally awesome) people who says exactly what is on her mind. I was having a lovely chat with the hostess and one of her guests when the conversation steered towards my coaching business and the hostess was curious about who it is that I gear my practice to. I said that it seems people who are drawn to me are women entrepreneurs searching for life’s Holy Trifecta…a booming business, a happy marriage, and a healthy body. Her guest immediately shot out “and what the *bleep* would you know about that?!” As I was recovering from a little shock and trying to find my words she continued to say that with “your body, your nice husband, and your successful business” I couldn’t possibly know what it would feel like to struggle in these areas.


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Hot Investment Tip!

I learned at a pretty young age that Investments were the key to getting ahead...whether it be financially or personally.  Just using the term "investment" made me feel so very grown up as well as excited and nervous because I knew there was an element of risk involved.   I was in my early twenties and dating JI (my now husband of 22 years) when we made the decision to buy a condo.  My three older siblings had all gotten married before living together so the mere thought of telling my parents I was going to be living in "sin" was terrifying .  I remember waiting for the perfect moment to approach my dad.  He wasn't paying bills, he wasn't watching sports, and was just getting up from a nap so I hoped  I was catching him in that semi-conscious, sort of doped out state.  I put on my best "adult face" and told my dad that JI and I had decided to invest in real estate together.  Yup, that's exactly how I put it.  It took awhile before I clarified that we would actually be living together in said investment.  I just kept using the word "investment" and hoped he wouldn't equate it with his little girl shacking up.  I remember an excruciatingly long pause before he rolled his eyes and said "I get it. You want to live together but please do not use the excuse that this is an investment.  You don't care about the financial return, you just want to live with your boyfriend."  As usual, dad was totally right but I did learn something at that early age.  When we aren't grasping onto what the return will be, some pretty cool stuff can happen when we invest in the right places.  That condo ended up being the one piece of real estate my husband and I bought that actually made us some sweet bucks.  We won't talk about the others.

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Surviving or Thriving?

The start of a New Year often prompts the question "did you make any resolutions?".  I feel as though this is happening less and less as we no longer want to set ourselves up for failure or make a resolution that almost feels forced as Jan.1 looms.  I believe we are now more apt to set an intention for the New Year.  A word or a phrase that will guide us thru and often inspires us to take action but is more a state of being rather than setting a specific goal (ie: resolution).  The nature of my coaching business (and the fact that I'm annoyingly curious) has me discussing this with many people at the beginning of a year and I often see a trend unfolding.  January 2014 felt like the year of Survival.  It may have been the circles I was travelling in or who I seemed to attract but many people had a rough year and were looking for coping skills to make it thru with as few war wounds as possible.  January 2015 feels like there has been almost a seismic shift in what we want in life.  We are looking to thrive rather than simply survive.

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Columbo'd to Death...

Columbo was one of my favourite shows growing up and the best part was when the shlumpy, dishevelled detective (Peter Falk) would be just about to leave a crime scene and he would turn back with his infamous line "...just, just one more thing...". Great line in a show, not so great in real life.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you...life is going along swimmingly when you are met with a bump. No problem, I can handle this. And just as you are figuring out a strategy to deal with said bump...ouch, another one. OK, this is difficult and not quite expected but I got it. And then kind of like the slap game in How I Met Your Mother (I really need to put down the remote) Bam! You're hit with another. Seriously??!! wtf?! I call this being "Columbo'd to Death". There always seems to be just one more thing.

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Awakened Woman


Awakened Woman So often we tell ourselves big fat lies about who we are...and then we make life decisions from this false place. What if you could make your decisions from a place of Informed truth...Yours.

Our Awakened Woman Workshop is designed to uncover the lies that we unconsciously tell ourselves and expose the areas of our life where they hold us back. Through guided visualization we will connect you with your inner wisdom messenger, cultivating power and creativity. We then put brush to canvas and begin to bring the image of your messenger to life. By accessing a different part of our brain we are able to loosen our minds hold on false beliefs and discover our truth.

Throughout this creative journey Life Coach Kristine Irving will gently coach you from a place of vulnerable self discovery to liberated, free and ready to create the life you desire.

And the best part... its’ FUN and absolutely no experience with painting is required! Intentional Creativity Coach Megan Anderson will guide you though a step by step process as you create an image of your own Awakened Woman on a canvas that you take home with you as a beautiful reminder of your true self, your awakened self.

We also believe strongly in not only nourishing our soul but nourishing our bodies...so we will feed you. The daytime workshop includes a light lunch and the two part evening workshop includes sweet and savory snacks.

Click here for workshop dates and pricing...



I'm such a cheeky monkey...


The start of every season has fashionistas everywhere excited and ready for hot new trends.  We're given green light to shop!  We can't possibly be caught in last year's apple green when 2014 is all about the majestic mint.   Scandalous!  But while fashion trends are fun and should never be life altering or cause us pain (do you hear me bodysuits?...I didn't pee from 1988-1993)...life trends can be a whole other story.

Unwanted life trends are situations, circumstances, or relationships that continue to show up in your life even though they cause you pain.  If you don't think you have any of these just ask someone close to you what they've heard you complain about more than say a zillion times.  This is obviously a tricky request and your friend/spouse or sister may understandably not want to remind you of the numerous times you've talked about "the guy that doesn't appreciate me" or "the horrible boss that is most certainly Satan" or "why can't I ever lose weight" for fear that you may rip their head off or cry or worse, talk about it again...but recognizing those negative life trends is key if you want to rid yourself of them.  Ya gotta Name it to Claim it as they say.  I asked my husband for his feedback and while I think he may have taken the safe route and not talked about my sometimes questionable "finance decisions" he did courageously share that I often complain about being late.  Of course this isn't shocking to me, I know this is a trend in my life but for whatever reason I can't kick it.  I know all the relevant quotes that are supposed to rocket me into freedom from my habits...

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got".


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A Change is Gonna Come

Change often brings on very different emotions for each of us. For some, it ignites excitement, hope, joy, an opportunity to start fresh. For others it conjures up feelings of apprehension, nervousness, and a healthy (read: paralyzing) dose of Fear. If you are of the latter variety my life this past year would likely have sent you into a dark hollow abyss. Some changes came by choice (closing Kits, new career direction) and others not in a zillion years (health issues, losing our family pet). What has struck me during this past year is that for each event I have gone thru the same process, regardless of how I reacted emotionally to it at the beginning. One of my favourite tools to use when coaching clients is the Change Cycle that Martha Beck (life coach guru) describes in her book Finding Your Own North Star. She uses the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to illustrate each phase we go thru after any major change catalyst (falling in love, getting or losing a job, having children, etc). I thought it appropriate to use one of my most recent events as an example of how this is done.

A major change in my life this past year (and maybe yours if you're reading this) was closing our Kits store. This definitely did come by choice as I made a personal decision to simplify the business and spend more time taking care of my health, with my family, and on my career as a Life Coach. But, even though it was a conscious decision it's still been hard as hell transitioning thru this event...just ask a caterpillar...



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Compassion...for yourself and for Mildred


I am thrilled to share this Coach's Corner with Guest Coach/Kits Rackstar/blogger extraordinaire Krista Huber. Below you will be treated to her latest blog that I thought gave an excellent perspective on Compassion for others as well as being totally hilarious. Be warned, it's a little cheeky...but so are we. ;)

Compassion for others is critical when we want the people in our life to feel truly loved but what about when the person who needs warmth and kindness is YOU? Often when we hear the phrase self-compassion we assume it's synonymous with self-indulgence or self-pity. Surprisingly, the opposite is true. Self-compassion is feeling what happened to you is unfortunate, whereas self-pity is feeling that what happened to you is unfair. Practicing self-compassion requires us to do three things...



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What I learned from Babe Cancer


On the heels of my last Coach's Corner when I spoke of reaching some realm of spiritual enlightenment which resulted in finally deciding to stop telling my body to $#@% off...I come to you with this. I guess my body prefers it when I sling obscenities because after I chose to cradle it like a baby and sing lullabies I get hit with the line we only want to hear in movies "you have cancer". Crap.

Well, I guess I have to give that pain in the neck some credit as without it I never would have had the CT scan that revealed a tumour on my thyroid. From the moment I heard there was a "suspicious lump but probably nothing" I truly knew this was not going to be good. I can't tell you why, it's not in my nature to go to the negative first and even when everyone around me was saying everything would be fine I would nod my head in a kind of slow, deranged manner, knowing the outcome beyond a shadow of a doubt. After over two months of tests and appointments and doctor/office staff screw-ups I did finally receive the diagnosis I had expected. I will share one funny story in relation to the doctor office guffaw. I called the office a week after my biopsy to ask if results had come in...



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Fall 2012 - Listen Up!


I have recently read a fascinating book called The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane.  I loved it so much I chose it for our management team book study.  The charisma myth is the idea that you either have it (Bill Clinton, Oprah, Steve Jobs) or you don’t.  Cabane shows us that this is simply not true, and that charismatic behaviours can be learned and perfected by anyone.  The book begins with the wonderful story of Benjamin Disraeli.

In the torrid London summer of 1886, William Gladstone was up against Benjamin Disraeli for the post of prime minister of the United Kingdom.  This was the Victorian era, so whoever won was going to rule half the world.  In the very last week before the election, both men happened to take the same young woman out to dinner.  Naturally, the press asked her what impressions the rivals had made. She said, “After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest person in England.  But after dining with Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest person in England.”
Guess who won the election?  It was the man who made others feel intelligent, impressive, and fascinating:  Benjamin Disraeli



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Summer 2012 - Yes You CAN!

While doing our website features this month on shorts and dresses we kept butting up against my least favourite 4 letter word, CAN'T.

 

• "I can't wear shorts, I'm too old (or fat, skinny, short, tall, pasty, veiny, etc,etc)"

• "I can't wear dresses; they're too fancy (or choose any aforementioned reasons for not
    wearing shorts)"

 

Can't is an expression that we hear over and over again at the store and always leaves me wanting to scream YES YOU CAN!



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January 2012 - Is your Relationship Status in Need of a Fashion Makeover?


I am an analogy nerd. I love how seemingly opposite things can come together to form a picture that may help us better understand a situation, a person, or a feeling. And what area is more in need of clarity than the veritable land mine we call Relationships? Through coaching clients who face challenges in love, my own personal experiences, and the many, many, maaannny hours I’ve logged with frustrated girlfriends, staff, and family I feel I am qualified to offer you help with three common areas we often get stuck in during our quest for love. As a 2 for 1, and thru the magic of awesome analogies, I will also offer what you may consider even more valuable...fashion makeover tips.

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June 2011
- Your Wedding Personality: Rockstar or Royalty?


We’re a bit wedding crazed at The Urban Rack these days and heading into “the season” we thought it would be fun to talk about the different personalities weddings can take on. Is she sophisticated with a subtle grace or is she rockin’ and in your face? I know most brides have a vision of how they want their wedding to look but I would suggest it’s just as important to know how you want it to “feel”.

If I were your wedding coach (and if there were such a thing) I would suggest that you and your groom sit down and talk about your different personalities and how you would like them reflected in your big day. Once you’ve agreed (I know…hahahahaha) on your wedding personality you start to filter all decisions thru that vision. From flowers, to dresses, to food, to music…all will start to take on this personality. For example, if your personality is subtle and sophisticated you could probably scrap the karaoke and shooter bar. If you’re going all Rockstar, you might want to re-think the string quartet. Get the idea?

Some of our Rackstars and friends of Rackstars have been kind enough to share a little of their wedding personalities with us. Enjoy…

[+] Click the images to view larger

Kristine Wedding Oh SHE (the wedding) was definitely a 90’s gal…big and bigger was the theme (hair, nails, bar tab). SHE tried really hard to be classy and sophisticated but before long her true colours were revealed. It was all about the Party…for a good time call 1-800-Irvings.

~ Kristine


"She was glamorous, big beautiful church, magazine style photo shoot (photographer yelled at wedding party to stop having fun & be serious) followed by an intimate reception on a yacht complete w/ a sea sick maid of honor & Japanese break dancing monk!"

~ Melissa
Melissa Wedding


Adele Wedding Relaxed! In her big summer house, on the beach, a beautiful sunny day, surrounded by close family and a few friends - she was relaxed! The bride and groom helped decorate, make the food, and had time for a quick swim and a nap just a couple hours before the ceremony!

~ Adele



It was my "BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING!" The whole day was a traditional family affair. Lots of food, drinks and customs from the homeland. I was married in 1990,so "BIG" is the key word. "BIG" updo hair (teasing was involved!),"BIG" puffy sleeved wedding dress, and let's just say, there was a "BIG" layered wedding cake with a working fountain! And after all the formalities were done, it was one "BIG" Greek party....dancing till 3am.......oh yea, we stayed till the end!

~ Xanthy


“Less the wedding dress remorse and the fact I was totally paranoid everyone would notice my blue underwear - the day went without a hitch. It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me, as I am as anal as one can get. With my wedding organizer binder in tote & appropriate delegating, it would have been more a surprise had something gone wrong really. ( I know that’s a bit much isn’t it??) I had checklists for everything – right down to what & who I wanted the photographer to capture!”

~ Pam
Pam Wedding


Carly Wedding My wedding (I guess I should say "ours") was a simple Seaside Soiree, we had only the most important people in our lives, a handful of family and friends, and made it as intimate and personal as it could be. All our favourite foods including an ice cream sundae bar, and it was held at my families summer cabin! It was non-traditional and totally us.

~ Carly


It was kind of like having Déjà vu, have I done this before?!!

Round 1 – Stubborn and controlling, she thought she could somehow WILL the sun to come out for the garden wedding and outdoor reception with no back- up plan for rain. It rained. As determined as she was, they made it work. Round 2 – Now a more mature and sophisticated bride, she went looking for a cool Downtown Charlie Brown experience, the happy couple booked a funky restaurant with wicked food and great vibe to share with a small but tight knit group of friends and family. Ahhh, heaven!

~ Cindy


I'm not sure if our wedding has a theme to it, but the most important factor was fun. We wanted to have fun and be sure everybody had fun. At the end, the little details I tried to control didn't matter, the things that didn't turn out as I 'envisioned', didn't matter, but what did happen was a good party. Steve + I wanted to celebrate and that we did!

~ Lisa
Pam Wedding



Relationship Report Card

For many people January is a time for New Years Resolutions. I am not one of those people. I prefer to set goals throughout the year and check in often to see how I’m progressing, alter them if needed, or kick myself in the butt if I’m not moving towards them. However, I do like the idea of a January Report Card. I look at the following areas of my life over the previous year and grade myself an A,B,C,or D.


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It’s the Thought that Counts

I was out shopping last week and I overheard two friends chatting about Christmas and one stated that she “wasn’t giving gifts this year” At which time her friend replied “Good, now I don’t have to think about you.” Those were her actual words. Ouch. Would you agree that it’s really not what you get or how musch it costs but it truly is the thought that counts? To know that someone took the time to pick something out, make it look pretty and maybe write a nice card warms the heart. When you receive such a gift it makes you feel special and that someone was thinking about you.

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My 30 Day Yoga Challenge…complete, finito, sayonara, buh-bye.

As I shared with you in the last Coach’s Corner I decided to try a little different version of my usual Summer Feast. I accepted the 30 Day Challenge from Open Space Yoga in Ladner to commit to yoga 6 times/week, meditation 7 times/week and cardio 3 times/week for 30 days. It is important for you to note that I did not forgo my usual summer feast of chips and beer on the patio or yummy barbeques with friends but simply added to it with this challenge. I feel the need to stress this point as whenever I tell people about the crazy schedule of yoga and fitness they undoubtedly look me over and seem somewhat underwhelmed by my appearance. No, I have not miraculously shrunk to a size two. That would require putting down the blue cheese burger and Shiraz. However, I can tell you when I run up our stairs I don’t feel like my Auntie Trudy’s jello mold is wrapped around my midsection anymore. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first let me share a few of my favourite moments during the challenge before revealing the shocking results.

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July 2010 - No summer diet for me…I’m choosing a Summer Feast for my mind, body, and soul.

(Click here for printable version)

I think I’ve always taken a bit of an extreme approach to life, particularly as it relates to mind, body and soul. I usually operate somewhere between full tilt (I swear I hear this frenzied version of the Batman theme song running over and over in my head) and dead (comatose on couch…cause who can keep up that pace?!). I’ll find myself devouring every personal growth book I can find while ignoring my body. Or, I’ll join a plethora of activities (martial arts, rock climbing, pilates, rowing - yup, done ‘em all…once) only to eventually fizzle out and stop because they aren’t feeding my soul. “If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got”…I’ve said it a million times so now I must live it. It’s time to try something different.

Mind

I always have two books by my bed, one for personal growth/business and one for pleasure. Right now I’m reading The Magic of Thinking Big (David J.Schwartz) and The Golden Mean (BC author, Annabel Lyon). My latest realization is that I’ve been more about quantity than quality. I fly through books and enjoy them thoroughly in the moment but then forget everything by the time I file them away (and proudly note that I can put another notch on my bookshelf). Over the past year I’ve started doing book studies with my store managers. It is amazing how much more you retain if you write notes and discuss after. I’m starting to do this on my own and it’s fabulous (not with the “pleasure” books…that would be nerdy). I’ll be lucky to get through “Big” by the end of the summer but that’s OK because when you ask me about it I’ll actually remember.

Body

I think it started about two years ago. We had a particularly lovely summer that went clear into October. Summer bbq’s, chips and beer on the deck, lazy days…the debauchery began. This seemed to morph into a rather festive holiday season filled with parties, wine, chocolate…and then right back into summer. I couldn’t break the cycle of fun, and honestly…didn’t care to. I’ve struggled with neck and back pain (who hasn’t?) for 20 years and for the first time I was feeling pretty good and told myself that not working out is actually caring for my body. It was a good excuse for awhile but then, my cousin got engaged. Sorry, have I lost you? OK, full disclosure…my cousin asked me to be his Best Man and dammit I wanna look good. This is the kick I needed but I was no longer motivated to go to the gym on my own. I’ve always “hated” classes (primarily because I’m a tad clumsy and usually end up looking like a total spaz) but decided it was time to try something different. I joined Muscle Memory in Tsawwassen and I love it! Fatburner classes 3 times a week and I feel better already. Trainers are all wonderful and aside from a few tangles with a stubborn treadmill I haven’t fallen off a ball or dropped a weight on my foot…yet.

Soul

A couple months ago I decided to try a couple different yoga classes. And those that know me well were wondering what Kool-aid I’d been sipping. I have been a self-described “anti-yogini” up until now. I told myself that this was not to “feed my soul” but rather to try and stretch my aching body. I went to a few different locations and enjoyed the classes but knew I probably would do what I’ve always done…quit. My Ladner manager Carly, told me I HAD to go to Open Space Yoga in Ladner. She said Michael (the owner) and his staff were amazing. I was nervous when I went to my first class but as soon as I saw a friendly face (thanks Sharon!) I started to breathe. And then breathe some more…and some more…I didn’t realize until that moment that I never knew how to breathe. The class was great and it felt good to stretch my body but it was during my drive home I was most surprised. I started to feel warm tears run down my face. What is this?! Was I brainwashed? I couldn’t figure out where this emotion was coming from. And then I realized…it was my soul.

My 30 Day Challenge

Through Open Space Yoga (www.openspaceyoga.com) I have decided to take the 30 Day Challenge. The commitment is yoga or pilates 6 times/week, meditation 7 times/week, and walking or cardio 3 times/week. I know I will struggle with finding the quiet space (in my head) for meditation but after my first yoga experience I realized I could probably use a little more time connecting with my soul.

A Summer Feast is never fun alone so if you decide its time to try something different I would love to hear about it. Please email me at Kristine@theurbanrack.com. I’ll be writing a follow up in the September Coach’s Corner to share stories of challenge, struggle and hopefully wild success.

“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.” Oscar Wilde




April 2010 - A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Are you the go-to gal in your circle of friends or in your family? Do strangers share their heart and soul with you at the bus stop? Do people think you are the one with all the answers? If you have answered yes to these questions you are most definitely a friend indeed, and I wonder if you’re also a friend in need?

As a card carrying member of the Go-To-Gal club I understand that it can be overwhelming. At times I feel what I say may be the catalyst for change in someone’s life, change that may not always be easy. But, I know you will agree that it’s truly an honour to have people share their hearts with you. I value Connection above all else and when I share these moments with friends and family I know I am living my purpose. I have a general list of guidelines I follow to a) Keep my membership in the club and b) Ensure that I don’t burn out and end up drooling at a bus stop crying the blues to a perfect stranger (maybe you?):


  • Listen with your heart. It’s quite possible that Listening is the hardest thing for some of us to do but this skill can be learned and honed. You must rid your mind of idle thoughts and live in the moment. Don’t think about what the next perfect thing to say is. That whole “your eyes are a window to your soul” thing...is true! Look into their eyes.

• Don’t blab. You’ve built trust with this person and if you break the trust you will most likely never get it back.

• You don’t need all the answers. Most people don’t want a “fixer” they just want to be heard.

• Encourage action. I think the reason people come to me is because I am intolerant of staying “stuck”. Life’s too damn short…we must take action to change.

• Laughter…this should be rule #1. I have shared situations with friends that are gravely serious but we still find a way to laugh. Not only does it feel great but can often clear our muddied minds.

• Don’t answer the phone! You cannot be on call 24/7. It’s important to choose times that you simply let the machine take the call. If it’s an emergency they will leave a message or call back.

• Care for yourself first. We all know that if you are in a plane crash with your child you are to first put the oxygen mask on yourself. You must determine what “self-care” means for you. I like to eat chicken wings and watch Survivor with my boys.

• Ask for help. What? Did I just see you cringe? We Go-to-Gals often find it very difficult to lean on someone else. It’s a wonderful moment when someone shares their heart with me but it’s a truly powerful connection when we share our hearts together.



And if you are not a member of the Go-to-Gal club, you should be! I know that’s a bold statement but you may be missing out. Trust me when I tell you that nothing feels as rewarding as Serving others. People often say to me “You poor thing. It must be so hard dealing with everyone’s problems. I could never do that.” I’m not a poor thing, I’m immensely blessed. Thankfully, I’m not dealing with problems I’m listening to people and hopefully by sharing they will find a way to deal with their own problems. And yes, of course you can do it. There is nothing magical about listening with your heart. Give it a try next time you find a friend in need.




February 2010 - Modern Love: Dating in this new world…it works!

Looking for love in all the wrong places? Well, if you’re not in front of your computer you might be. Over the past decade we’ve entered into a whole new dating world and for many, its working. Online dating can be easy, fun, efficient (how romantic), and sometimes…scary. I’m intrigued by this new frontier in dating. So many friends and friends of friends have found love online that I decided in this month filled with candy hearts and Valentines to be your Love Coach instead of your Life Coach.

I enlisted the help of friends and family to learn a little more about internet dating. It was worth it just to hear the roster of nicknames one friend had to give her dates to keep track of them. “The fat guy, the bald guy, the old guy, the drunk guy, the French guy, and the guy named Guy.” My cousin, Steve, and his bride-to-be Lisa, had so many great stories they agreed to let me share them with you in our Rackstar section.

I was curious as to why some people aren’t willing to give the internet a try or why others who are dating through an internet service want to keep it a secret. No surprise that the number one response is that they don’t want to appear desperate and number two was they were afraid they’d get stuck with a wing-nut. I have personally witnessed two people who are very close to me find love through online dating. And I can tell you that neither would ever be described as desperate and they both dated plenty of wing-nuts without assistance from the internet, thank you very much. They were simply ready for love and had the courage to put themselves out there. So, are you ready to find love? Are you tired of meaningless dates that never go anywhere? Sick of the bar scene? At the risk of sounding like a cheesy late night Love Guru…here’s my Ten Step Program for LOVE.

Click here for a printable version of these 10 Steps

Step One: Check your bags. Three little words but this can be a daunting task. I’m talking about the baggage you drag around from past relationships and past hurts. Many of these experiences cause us to play tapes in our heads “you’re not good enough”, “you’re too fat, too thin”, “you can’t trust men”, all leaving you feeling unworthy of love. I refer to these tapes as your Gremlin talking. If this is an area you relate to please click here and we’ll get you started on taming that nasty beast.

Step Two: Accept (I mean really accept) that online dating is simply the modern way to find love. The only person standing in judgement is YOU. The people who choose to give online dating a shot are strong, courageous and not waiting around for love to fall from the sky. And this isn’t just my opinion. Of the thousands (kay, dozens) I asked “what do you think of people who use online dating services?” all of them said it was no big deal. So, if you truly accept that online dating is cool and you still won’t give it a try…refer to Step One.

Step Three: Know your Values! I’ve talked about this before (Jan 2009 Coach’s Corner) when learning to live a more fulfilling life but in the area of dating, it’s critical. Values are what you must have in order to live an authentic life. These are the things you simply can’t live without. And we’re not talking about “he has to have a six pack” or “he can’t be short” or if he uses a toothpick at dinner he’s out (that can be changed. Trust me.). Values are things like family (does he want one?), religious views, helping others, integrity, humour, personal growth, or health. Remember that we are often tempted to shop for values that sound good. Be real. I suggest that you have your Top Five and use this as a filter when choosing dates. And don’t hide your values. I’m not saying to get into a creationism vs evolution debate on your first date but before more time is invested you want to get the big stuff on the table.

Step Four:
Create an Honest Profile. This topic hit a lot of nerves with the daters. Please, please, please use a picture that represents what you really look like. Not that one picture that was taken on some crazy angle that magically appears to have shaved 3 inches off your butt. If you’re bald, flaunt it. If you’re curvy, rock it. Surprises can be fun, but not here. It’s also good to have a variety of pictures that tell a story of who you are (ie: not all party shots or all hiking shots). As for the written word, again honesty is the best policy, along with humour and for the sake of St.Valentine, please use spell check.

Step Five: Do the work. Finding the person to share your life with is serious stuff so give this the effort it deserves. If you are using one of the free online services like Plenty of Fish you may find yourself with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of possible dates. One dater suggested using a log book to keep track of the guys with a few quick notes beside their names. If you connect with someone online and you’ve decided to meet, try to book a date as soon as possible. Telling him how insanely busy your life is and that you will try to squeeze him in between The Bachelor night with the girls and Yoga doesn’t really scream “love is a priority in my life.”

Step Six: Be Yourself! I know, duh right? But how many times have you found yourself in a situation where you meet someone for the first time and then afterwards thought “I was such an idiot”? What, is it just me? If you find yourself acting weird just excuse yourself for a moment and re-group in the ladies room. You are also allowed to be honest and say “I’m sorry, I feel like I’m acting weird. Can we start over?” Being real is so refreshing.

Step Seven: Humour is your friend. Dating, relationships, boys…they’re all supposed to be fun. Every single success story I’ve heard starts with “we laughed together”. If you’re too intense or unable to relax you will never reveal the beautiful, fun woman that you are. And if the date is a disaster, it becomes fabulous fodder for your next ladies night.

Step Eight: Learn to say NO thank you. Keep your eye on the prize. If you find yourself dating a guy that you can’t see yourself with down the road…retreat, abort mission, get out! The awesome thing about this modern dating world is that most parties know the drill upfront. Nobody is into wasting time. Most people say they know for sure on the first date but if you had great conversation online with the guy and his profile and picture seemed perfect but the date was a bust I would suggest you give it another shot. Maybe he was just “being weird” (see step 6). And finally, please let him down gently. This may not be your Prince Charming but you don’t want to break him for your single sisters out there. Oh, and if he says No to you? First of all, he’s crazy! And secondly, do not let this be your excuse for throwing in the towel. It simply means your fish is still in the sea.

Step Nine:
Is he the one? My favourite relationship movie quote ever was Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it Gets” when he said to Helen Hunt’s character “you make me want to be a better man”. Does this person make you want to be a better woman? Who are you with him? It’s often hard to be objective in this area and you might want to enlist the help of someone in your life that you love and trust and has no agenda other than your happiness. It also helps if this person has experienced you as a little “less” than you truly are in past relationships. Of course you want to go through your Value Filters to make sure you will be on the same page down the road, you want to make sure he blinds you to all other men (other than George Clooney), and meet his friends and family. Who we choose to spend our time with speaks volumes.

Step Ten: Be in Love. You have passed Step Nine and now is the time to let yourself fall. I know this is easier said than done but you’ve checked your bags, you’ve chosen wisely, and your heart is full and ready to be shared. Giving half your heart so you can save the other half “just in case” he hurts you will only create what you fear the most. Remember why you started this journey. And if it doesn’t work… dive back in with a better understanding of what you need and deserve and the faith that he is waiting for YOU.




January 2010 - Mood Catcher


“I like these cold, grey winter days. Days like these let you savour a bad mood” Bill Watterson (author of Calvin & Hobbes)

Is it just me? Are we living in some crazy stressful times right now? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to be positive and joyful? While I’ve never been a fan of the “bad mood” and try to avoid those that are, I have recently found myself to be a card-carrying member of the club. I’ll sit back at the end of a particularly stress jammed day, go through ALL the things that I was forced to endure and convince myself that I am entitled to this surly mood. I do know that bad moods are contagious and not to be shared so it’s during these times that I feel the need to turtle away in my jammies (that ironically say “don’t be crabby” all over them) in front of some mindless TV show. Not a bad plan but the accompanying chocolates and wine are probably not helping. Bill Watterson above couldn’t have said it better…I truly am savouring.

For a long time I’ve tried to not refer to this cloud over my head as a bad mood as that might require me to actually be accountable. I mean, c’mon…there are a million reasons why we are in this state right? The economy, hormones, technical difficulties (my personal woe right now), relationship issues, health issues…and on and on. When we snap at those around us we can usually excuse ourselves with the thought that all these other things have made us react this way. I’m not moody; I’m just under immense stress. I was having lunch with a friend the other day and we were discussing moodiness and she told me about a Dr.Laura (remember her? I loved her…most of the time) call she heard. The caller was concerned about marrying someone that was moody all the time. Dr.Laura told this caller to “Run, Run, Run…as fast as you can. He will never change”. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that. Really? Never change? It’s a fine line between being under stress and being moody. My line is becoming increasingly blurred and I think it’s time to deal with it.

I Googled some sites to help me find steps to lift the cloud and here’s the best of what I found:

1. Occupy your mind until the mood is lifted. Preferably with some meaningless task like cleaning out your inbox, folding laundry, filing your bills.

2. Go Shopping. Seriously, this was number two on the list. Love it!

3. Call a friend but beware of spreading the moody disease.

4. Change of scenery.

5. Consider the other person’s point of view if that’s what prompted the mood.

6. Attitude adjustment. I know, easier said than done but being aware is the first step.

7. Exercise.

8. Write down what is bothering you.

9. Is it really that bad? What solutions can you come up with?

10. Watch your favourite TV show.

11. Treat yourself to something you love.

12. (my addition) Find something, anything that makes you Laugh. Dive in and let yourself laugh…really hard.

13. Repeat Step 12 over and over again until your face cracks (watch the Botox, it may spread).


I am working through the above steps but I also decided I could use a little extra help. Inspired by a scene in New Moon (what?! My 40 something friends and I were merely chaperoning one of their teenage daughters) I now have a Dream Catcher hanging in my office (the place where many moods are born); I call it my Mood Catcher. Sometimes I think I see it smoking.




October 2009 - Just say NO

As a parent of a teenager “Just say No” takes on a whole new meaning but today I am referring to saying No to the things that suck the life out of us and Yes to the things that make us more alive and honour our Values (Values exercise: Coach’s Corner Jan 2009).

 

In the May 2009 Coach’s Corner I asked you to look at areas in your life with a new set of glasses, to look at them from different perspectives. The side effect of that is an increase in the number of choices. We not only have an abundance of things we feel we must do and things people expect us to do, we also have the abundance of all the things that look too good to pass up. The consequence is that many of us end up living our lives expending ourselves as if it were all unlimited, and it’s not. One of the most empowering skills we can learn is the ability to simply say no. However, there is nothing simple about it. Saying no is one of the most difficult skills to learn but once we master it we are able to create a life in Balance with boundaries. The first step is to ask yourself: “What do you want more of in your life? What do you want less of?”

 

To say no involves a choice. It actually means saying yes to something and no to something else. This past summer I said no to the gym, skipping dessert, or passing on my favourite summer combo of chips and beer on the patio. This resulted in me saying yes to a most lovely muffin top over my AG skinny’s. However, I also said yes to pleasure…and my Yummy Tummy belly smoother but I digress. When you find it difficult to say no it often triggers an area of habitual response: to say no means you’re not a team player; to say no means you’re selfish; and so on and so on. I would like you to start with listing three areas in your life that you say Yes to and what the resulting No’s are. Then, do the same with three areas in your life that you say No to and what the resulting Yes’s are. For example: if I say yes to working late hours every day, I am saying no to family and rest; if I am saying yes to fear about losing my job and yes to powerlessness, I am saying no to serenity. You will start to discover where you automatically respond with yes or no and this can open up new options. Consider what the no is in every yes and you can shed light on blind spots or habits.

 

After you complete this exercise you should have a clear idea of where you need to say no in order to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want in life. After I completed this exercise for the first time (I find I need to repeat often) I also found it easier to accept no’s from others. I realized they weren’t rejecting me but just clarifying their own boundaries and making choices for themselves to get more of what they want in their own life. Gotta run…saying YES to they gym today.




August 2009 - Quotes that Inspire us to Lead with our Heart

On our never ending journey to reach that state of pure happiness, acceptance, self actualization and the ability to inspire others with our mere presence (what?! it could happen…the books say so) the management team at The Urban Rack is diving into a book study based on The Heart of Coaching by Thomas G.Crane. While its primary purpose is to help us learn to coach within an organization we have also learned so much about ourselves. We are all leaders in some aspect of our lives; at work, with our children, or in our friendships and this book teaches us to lead with our Hearts which is not always easy to do. As any good Self Help book should, it comes with fantastic inspirational quotes that we love. This month, I would like to share a few of our favourites. Enjoy!

  The carrot and stick are pervasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys they’ll perform like donkeys. John Whitmore

Modeling may not only be the best way to teach, it may be the only way to teach. Albert Schweitzer

One way to change people is to see them differently. Barry Stevens

Real freedom is the ability to pause between stimulus and response and in that pause….choose. Rollo May

“Constructive Criticism” is a scam run by people who want to beat you up. And they want you to believe that they are doing it for your own good. Cheri Huber - There is Nothing Wrong with You

We don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are. The Talmud

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my greatest assets I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. Charles Schwab

Never do for others what they can do for themselves. The Iron Rule

In any situation, the individual most able to describe reality without blame will emerge as the leader, whether designated or not. Edwin Friedman

At the heart of any good business is a chief executive officer with one. Malcolm Forbes

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Anonymous

Healing comes only from that which leads the patient beyond his entanglements with ego. Carl Jung

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. Jose Ortega Y Gasset

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but…to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. Dorothy Nevill

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. William James

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. Epictetus

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. Carl Rogers

In order to be utterly happy the only thing necessary is to refrain from comparing this moment with other moments in the past, which I often did not fully enjoy because I was comparing them with other moments of the future. Andre Gide

It is never too late to give up your prejudices. Henry David Thoreau

The people, led by wise leadership, will come to the realization, “We did it ourselves.” Lao-Tsu

And my all time favourite…

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others? Martin Luther King, Jr




July 2009 - Your Future Self

As I continue to live in the dusty, dirty world of Reno-Land (kitchens and bathrooms and attics, Oh My) I find myself having to constantly think about what kind of space I want to live in down the road. I realize it’s just “stuff” but I do feel that my surroundings represent in part who I am. Towels and pictures are easy to change but flooring and countertops are more permanent. How do I know if what I love today I will love in 5, 10, 15 years? Who will I be then? Deciding on hardwood or tile can be daunting but deciding on kids or no kids, staying in a secure job or venturing out on your own, or wondering if you are ready to open your heart to love again can be downright paralyzing. Wouldn’t if be wonderful if there was someone to turn to that knows what potholes lie ahead, is intimately familiar with your strengths and fears, and can help you make decisions without any care of opinions or judgements of others? You do have that person. It’s you, in the future.

 

Coaches use a powerful tool to help clients reach greater fulfillment in their lives by accessing the person they truly want to be in the future. We call it your Future Self. She (I know there’s a couple guys out there that read this… my Dad, my husband, and my cousin…but for this purpose we will use “she”) is the one that will often have the answers when you don’t. She can look back with detachment and compassion as she lets you know what the right decision is. Your future self represents a powerful image of a life of fulfillment, a life of accomplishment.

 

The exercise we use to invoke your Future Self is best done in person with a coach. However, I feel the benefits of learning about your Future Self are so great we’ll try it in this format. If you are able to close your eyes and have someone else read from the attached script that would be ideal. Remember to choose someone that you are able to be fully relaxed with. This exercise will take at least 15-20 minutes to be done properly so please don’t rush through. You will want to choose a time for yourself with no distractions. Ready to meet your Future Self? Click here.


June 2009 - Guest Coach: Sharmani Pillay - “Figuring out the Sunscreen Numbers Game”

I was only outside gardening for an hour, and not even facing the sun (plus, it was April! Who burns in April?). But in that short time out in the beautiful rays I got a most lovely red stripe across my lower back, the area left exposed between my shorts and my top. Not only was I treating my neighbours to more than they need to see of me but I was left with a painful sunburn in such a short period of time. It’s obvious we need to take more care than ever when applying sunscreen but how much is enough? What SPF do we need? What are the key ingredients to look for? This is clearly outside my area of expertise so I turned to a professional.

 

Sharmani PillayAs a practicing pharmacist and skin care expert, Sharmani has been giving healthcare advice for over 20 years. She now owns and operates PharmacyMix, an online skin care store that offers effective solutions to every day and more uncommon skin concerns. From treatments for dry skin to products that can help you minimize the effects of aging, you’ll find a range of treatments hand-picked by Sharmani for their ability to deliver results.

 

Sharmani’s 3 times weekly blog offers skin care advice and covers current topics in the area of health and wellness. You can check it out at www.pharmacymix.com. For our June Coach’s Corner Sharmani is sharing some advice on sunscreen. Click here to learn more.






May 2009 - 7 Steps to take you from Powerless to Possibility to Freedom

My husband and I are renovating our bathrooms and heard Rona was having a Scratch and Save sale last Saturday. We borrowed a truck from a friend and bravely headed into what I knew would be Hell. Just driving there I started to feel the stress creep in. The parking lot was jammed, we had this big-ass truck to manoeuvre, and then of course…no flat bed carts to be found. I hadn’t even stepped foot inside and I was CRANKY! Two hours later with a massive headache we scratched the expected 10%. “I knew it’s all we would get” “The service sucks at these places” “People are rude!” I screamed these statements in my mind but thankfully didn’t let the words escape my mouth. Next to me in line was a very chatty, happy older gentleman. He empathized with the poor girls at customer service who seemed to be doing 12 things at once, he was relaxed and in good spirits, and truly thankful for the 15% he scratched. While he whistled and smiled, I felt totally annoyed that he was ruining my Cranky-Buzz. He left Rona up more dough than me and less one pounding headache. Hmm, I thought…maybe I should try on his perspective.

 

Between my coaching background, self help workshops, and library of books I’ve read to help me live a more fulfilling and balanced life I am well aware that we have the power to choose the life we want. My brain may tell me that I have a choice but I sometimes feel stuck and unable to take action. The challenge is that some perspectives are so deeply ingrained in us that we are often trapped by a single point of view and we simply can’t see a different way of looking at a situation. When we are being driven by our lives we will say things like: “That’s just the way it is.” Not only are we not considering alternatives, but we are blind to those other options: “With my schedule I can’t possibly make time for exercise” or “Shouting at my kids is the only way I can get them to listen” or “Shopping at Rona on a sale Saturday will be a nightmare”. So, who’s driving the bus in your life? Is your Gremlin (see Feb/09 Coach’s Corner) in the driver’s seat and won’t relinquish the wheel? Or have you assigned the power of choice to someone else? There are 7 steps you can take to go from powerless to possibility and finally into freedom from old perspectives that are holding you back. Click here to get back in the drivers seat.



April 2009 - Do You Keep Secrets for Good or Evil?

This month we’re unveiling some of our beauty secrets at The Urban Rack (see home page…Yummie Tummmie, the Cleavage Cover, and the Tool Box). Let there be no more muffin tops, oozing cleavage, or visible panty lines we say! We can now be armed with an arsenal of secrets to trick others into believing whatever we want them to. While I personally believe all of these products are used for good and not for evil it made me wonder about other kinds of secrets. Do we keep secrets from people because we are afraid what they might think of us if they found out the truth? What about when others confide in you? You now have to not only keep track of your own secrets but theirs too. Will you crack under pressure? What if the secret they share is about a mutual friend? What if it totally goes against your values or beliefs? (click here to read more…)


March 2009 - Q & A with Kristine

Over the past several months in Coach’s Corner you have taken steps to enjoy a more fulfilling life, defined your primary values, and learned to tame your gremlin (that self-defeating voice in your head). Congratulations! You deserve a break. This month we thought it might be a good idea to get to know your Coach a little better. The Urban Rack staff (a.k.a. Rackstars) have asked Kristine some of their burning questions.

Q: If you were chosen for a casual one on one date with The Bachelor, what would you wear?
 
Q: Who coaches you when you have questions or need to talk to someone?
 
Q: What is your fave song you’re rockin’ out to on your Ipod right now?
 
Q: What charities, if any, are you involved with and why?
 
Q: What is your favourite pair of jeans for spring?
 
Q: Other than your fabulous husband and son, what influential person would you want to spend your “final” 24 hours with?
 
Q: What led you to pursue a career in Life Coaching?
 
Q: What is the one thing you can’t live without?
 
Q: What was your biggest obstacle when opening your 1st store?



If you were chosen for a casual one on one date with The Bachelor, what would you wear? Xanthy, Kits.

 

(I assume you mean in another life where I’m single (and 10 yrs younger). I’m going with a cute strapless spring dress and my new fave jean jacket by AG. (It is the perfect jean jacket!) I would probably wear a Boho-style wedge but throw flip flops in my purse just in case. Accessories to finish the look would be a bright scarf casually tossed around my neck like I totally didn’t try too hard (but I did) and a pair of killer sunglasses.



Who coaches you when you have questions or need to talk to someone? Carly, Ladner

 

I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who all have huge hearts and are crazy wise. I believe we are blessed with a variety of people in our lives, each one here to teach us something different. If I were to name only one…I would probably say my dad. We are so much alike I think he understands me in a way that allows him to drive straight into the centre of the issue. (And yes that’s drive, not dive, as he’s clearly steering the bus in these situations).



What is your fave song you’re rockin’ out to on your Ipod right now? Jen, Kits.

 

I am totally loving this fun, kooky song called “James Bond” by Scouting for Girls, a pop band from the UK. It makes me smile every time I hear it.



What charities, if any, are you involved with and why? Doris, Ladner.

 

Cancer has been a frequent, unwanted visitor in my family and I do believe there are things each of us can do to make a difference. I have walked twice in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, last year we had an Urban Rack team for the Underwear Affair, and each year I have a fashion show that raises money for a variety of charities. And of course, when local charities and sport teams come knocking I try to help when I can.



What is your favourite pair of jeans for spring?Jill, Ladner.

 

Hands down, my new boyfriend jeans by AG. I love them so much I want to marry them. I confess to a torrid love affair with so many different styles of denim over the years but this one is special. He is loose and cool, looks like he’s seen the world (rips and fading), but hugs my butt in the most perfect way (not too grabby!). I love them rolled up with my Converse high-tops or dragging on the ground a bit with flip flops (no, not wearing those yet..but have done the test drive at home). My family’s been on a steady diet of KD and water for the past month to cover the cost, but totally worth it.



Other than your fabulous husband and son, what influential person would you want to spend your “final” 24 hours with? Susan, Kits.

 

Yikes, this requires some thought. If I were to still have time to make a difference on the planet my choice would most likely be Obama but my fate has left me only 24 hours? I assume you mean a living person? In that case, I would spend my final 24 with my sister, Leslie. Leslie has been a spiritual mentor to me throughout my adult life and in those final moments I want to be comforted about where I’m heading (and direction is UP, I hope) and Who I’ll be with.



What led you to pursue a career in Life Coaching? Angela, Kits.

 

My primary focus continues to be my career in retail. But, several years ago I felt a calling to pursue a path that I felt would benefit my retail career as well as honour my strongest value. I want to make a significant difference in my life and the lives of others. I’ve tried to live a life of service but always knew I had more to give and I needed to play a bigger game (my mantra comes from my favourite quote “Your playing small does not serve the world.” Marianne Williamson). I don’t currently have a lot of time for Coaching but my niche seems to be women in small business. I act as a Life and Business coach, helping them strategize to reach their goals. I also use my experience in business to help with more practical things like financials, budgets, etc. But, my greatest pleasure is using the skills I’ve learned with my wonderful staff. I am committed to helping them discover and embrace their talents and gifts and provide an atmosphere for them to truly shine in their unique beauty.



What is the one thing you can’t live without? Jen, Kits.

 

My bra.



What was your biggest obstacle when opening your 1st store? Chandra, Kits.

 

Uh, money and…money, and…did I mention MONEY?! I opened my first store with my partner and friend, Pam. We had the desire, the passion, business education, but lacked adequate funding. The pressure we put on our families and ourselves was unbearable at times. If I had it to do over I would have definitely hired a consultant the year before to help with “actual” start up costs. We just couldn’t seem to get out from behind the 8 ball. Of course, I am a fierce (often annoying) half glass full person so I tried to desperately seek the learning in the situation but I would caution anyone starting out in business to please get some help. But am I glad I stuck it out?...hell ya!


February 2009 - Taming your Gremlin

Over the past couple of months we’ve looked at how to live a more fulfilling life. You’ve identified the areas in your life that need attention and learned to make positive changes while honouring your core values. You know that in order to get what you want you must continue to grow. So, why is it that lately you feel that you are easing back into old habits? That voice in your head is telling you “This is stupid, it’s too risky, you’re not ready, you might get hurt”. Who is that voice? Meet your Gremlin.

Your gremlin abhors change and demands the status quo. Her (of course your Gremlin may be female or male) primary job is to hold you back and hold you down. She does not care whether or not you honour your values. The Gremlin wants what it wants in the moment. About the only time she cares about your values is when you’re not honouring them the way you said you would. Then the Gremlin says: “See, you’re not really honest. Integrity is obviously not a priority. Give it up.” The important thing to remember is your gremlin is with you for life. There is no killing it off. So, we need to learn to tame this beast.

You probably already know, or at least sense, that you are not your body, your feelings, your thoughts, your personality or the roles you play – mother, wife, friend, up-person, down-person, good, bad. These are just labels to describe your style of existence. The real you is a pure life force, not limited by your concepts or ideas about who you are. The real you feels wonderful all the time. As we learn to tame our gremlin we learn to increase our ability to enjoy ourselves.

If you want to learn how to identify your gremlin and ways to tame this sly creature, click here.



January 2009 - Are you honouring your Values?


Before we can answer this question we must first discover and clarify our values. Values are who we are. Not who we would like to be or who we think we should be. Once we can clarify what our values are we are able to create a map that can guide us through making important decisions in our lives. We learn to take a stand and make choices based on what is fulfilling to us. Last month we looked at the area of Fulfillment (click below if you missed it). There is a critical link between fulfillment and values. When we honour our values we feel fulfilled, even when it’s hard. Integrity may be a key value for you and often you must suffer pain or discomfort in order to honour this value.

Values are not morals. They are not about moral character or even ethical behaviour, though living in a highly ethical way may be a value. Values are intangible. They are not something we do or have. Money, for example, is not a value, although the things you might do with money might be considered values: fun, peace of mind, service to others.

How do we clarify what our values are? Firstly, we must use our own words. If I presented a list of values to choose from you may be tempted to go shopping for values. We have a tendency to list values we think we should have, like integrity or spirituality, and exclude those that society perceives as not so admirable, like recognition or personal power. For some help with clarifying your values click here and I’ll lead you through some questions to get you started.

Homework check: As promised, I’m following up on my challenge to you last month. Did you set a goal for each area on the Wheel of Life? Did you reach your goal? If not, don’t give up. Just set it again and go for it!



December 2008 - Do you feel Fulfilled?

One of the first areas of coaching is to look at how fulfilled a client feels. Before we can assess that, we have to look at how you define fulfillment. We often confuse being fulfilled with feeling good. The two conditions may coexist, but they don’t have to. Some people will say the times when they felt most fulfilled were times when they had the least, when life was a struggle. In light of our current economic situation I think it’s safe to say this may be a great opportunity for many of us to find fulfillment in our lives (yes, I am a glass half full person). In the midst of scarcity, life can be abundant. It is during these times our focus often turns away from what we want to what we need. This is different for everyone but can include feeling more passionate about our job, our spouse, or our friends. In order to make this happen we sometimes need to take action that doesn’t feel good, such as leaving a secure job that you dislike or having a difficult conversation with a close friend.

What are some of the areas in your life that lack fulfillment? Click here to use the Wheel of Life to help define them.



November 2008 - Play Big

This month I would like to share the quote that helps me whenever I forget to PLAY BIG.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be?


YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson


Embrace your unique beauty