One of the hardest decisions you'll

The Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Done for a Job

The craziest thing I’ve ever done to get a job is what I’m doing right now.

Going to gSchool and writing a check for $20k all for the promise of getting a job is a level of crazy I never quite thought I’d entertain. Especially since I’m 43 years old and NEVER in a million years ever pictured myself doing something tech related.

I’ve spent 20 years as a developer of people and ideas and firmly planted in a career path that spoke to that part of me. Teaching, counseling, writing, coaching, and a whole bunch of other things where I felt utterly and completely at home…mostly because I did them for so long.

I’m not comfortably at home in the world of code. But whatever. I wanted a job and this was the most direct path.

Getting a job after you’ve run your own full time business for 9 years is not an easy feat. Continue reading →

Yoga for Desk Jockeys

Yoga for Sitters

When I started gschool I knew that spending 10+ hours a day sitting in a chair was going to kill me just a little bit.

It was what I worried about the most. Mostly because I had no idea what else I was going to be worrying about. Now I know there is oh so much more to concern my head with.

Still, sitting is some hard ass work.

Ever since I started my own business 9 years ago I’ve made every effort to stay on my feet. (I’m kind of obsessed with sitting disease.) I had a treadmill work station that allowed me to walk 10 miles a day while writing and working with clients. I did that every day for 6 years. When I moved and no longer had room for my “set up”, I got a standing desk. To compensate for losing my treadmill, I’d break up my day with yoga sessions, runs, or walks with my dog. My body felt good. It’s easy when you’re the boss.

Now, just a few weeks in, my body is barking at me. And others in my program have expressed some of the same feelings.

So, when it came time for me to do a lightening talk for my class, I thought it was time to bring my years of yoga teaching to bear and try to be useful to my fellow sitters. And since yoga has been shown to not only make your body feel better but to improve executive function, I was hoping to make us collectively smarter in the process.

If you’re a sitter too, here’s a simple yoga sequence you can do at your desk any time, ideally 5+ times a day.

Originally I did a sequence and took pics of my friend in her chair. But the pictures were awful and the lighting was too dark; so, I found this perfect little sequence online that has fabulous pictures. This is the perfect sequence to do when you need to unstick what’s unstuck. Thanks Joanna!

 

Don't Break the Chain

Change is Hard

Change is a maddening experience.

Sometimes change is thrusted upon you overnight and you’re expected to accept, adjust, and dive in without a single say in the matter.

And other times, when you want to make a change, it feels like your progress is as swift as a river of molasses.

The other day during a discussion with some of my executive coaching colleagues we were talking about how long it takes for people to believe you have actually changed and have become a new version of yourself. It takes about a year. A year of them seeing you engage in new behaviors day in and day out, with nearly no slip ups I might add, in order for them to believe that you are actually that new and better or more effective version of yourself.

When it comes to making dramatic changes to your health and fitness, you may begin to notice changes in a week or two, your significant others and people who see you every day won’t likely notice until 4-6 weeks in, and it will take the general public a full 12 weeks to notice. Continue reading →

gSchool Galvanize

Week One @gSchool: Waking Up the Brain

On the morning of my first day of school I told Dylan that I was nervous and I really needed a pep talk.

This amused her to no end.

She sat straight up in her chair, cleared her throat, parsed her brain for everything she’s learned about handling new situations in her 8 years on this Earth, and listed off all of things I needed to do and remember when I went to school.

Okay mom, here’s what you’ve gotta do:

1. Have fun. That’s the most important thing.

2. Make sure you smile at everyone.

3. Ask people very nicely if they will be your friend.

4. If someone is making fun of you because you’re acting crazy (this is clearly something she has come to expect of me?), just ignore them and find someone else you like.

5. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t know something. Just don’t give up no matter what. You can totally do this.

6. And maybe you could bring some of your cookies or something cuz I bet your teachers would really like that.

I didn’t have time to whip up some cookies (though that was a very good suggestion), but her advice was perfectly on point and every time I thought about it throughout the day, which was a lot, it made me smile. So I pretty much nailed #2. Continue reading →

gSchool

On White Space, Clarity & Dumping it All for gSchool

I’ve been writing for other people for 20 years.

Being able to do so has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given; however, it’s time for something new.

It’s not the career I want anymore.

Creating some white space for myself over the past year has made that clear.

I want to write for the rest of my life, but not for other people. I want to write because it feels like home, because there’s no better feeling than the one I get when I’m about to take on a blank page, and because when I’m writing, I feel like I’m at my best. It’s just that I’m ready for that writing to become a more or less selfish endeavor. Continue reading →

Personality Type

Discover {and unleash} Your SUPERPOWER…At Work and Not

If you’re interested in reading about your superpower, it’s possible that you’re experiencing a crisis of sorts. Maybe…

  • your career isn’t going as well as you’d hoped
  • you hate your job
  • you feel out of sorts
  • you’re not sure what your next step should be
  • your relationships are tanking
  • you’re having trouble making decisions
  • you have a nagging feeling that you’re not living the life you were meant to have
  • you can’t seem to move forward…on anything

Or maybe you just want to know what your superpower is. Fair enough.

I can relate to that. I’ve felt and experienced all of those things.

What turned it all around for me was accepting and embracing who I am and unleashing that certainty into every area of my life.

I know, it sounds so simple. But the truth is, accepting yourself for who you are and embracing it is easier said than done. For one, we don’t always know ourselves as well as we think we do. We’ve spent a lifetime being told by parents, teachers, bosses, friends, and anyone with an opinion what we’re good at and who they would like us to be.

They haven’t lodged their opinions or perceptions on us with bad intention. At least I hope not. It’s just that it’s human nature to see the world and the people in our lives through who we are rather than through who they are. So, when we get messages from others, no matter how overt or subtle, we often accept their opinions as truth (often unconsciously) even though deep down we may feel like someone else entirely. Continue reading →

Nothing will work unless you do.

How to Get Better at Doing Great Work

Great work.

Ahhh. Just hearing those words together makes me feel all tingly inside.

I hear it and I think, “Yes, yes, I want more of that!”

Then, I go about my day and end up doing what Paula Scher calls solemn work.

Solemn work is work we know. Its work we get used to doing, work we’re good at, and work that’s predictable. We expect to do it, it’s expected that we can do it, and it’s expected that the results will be good when we do perform it. It’s the kind of work that allows us to use our skills and natural abilities but it does not stretch us. The results don’t blow our minds and we rarely complete that good work and think, “Hell yes, I think I’ve just made my mark!”

That’s how we feel when we do great work, or as Scher calls it, serious work.

Serious work is the work we think we can’t do, or work that we don’t even think about at all because it’s just outside of our wheelhouse. It’s the work that shows up out of nowhere and we know in that moment we are unqualified to do it. It’s big and great and the idea of doing it sends irresistible triggers to the part of us that craves meaningful work that will allow us to blow our minds, hopefully others too, and do something that matters. Continue reading →

7

7 Questions to Guide the {Next} Version of You

The person we are changes all of the time. As long as we’re still alive and kicking, it’s never too late to change either our minds or our situations, and maybe both.

I’m not sure who said this, otherwise I would give credit where credit is due, but I remember hearing in graduate school that five years is the rough time frame that includes the life of the current you.

Meaning, when you spend time regretting decisions you made many years ago, you’re attempting to access a person that really no longer exists. It’s unproductive and it undercuts your ability to make the best choices you can in this moment.  You aren’t your past.

On some level we know that. But it’s easy to forget it when we’re trying to figure out who we want to become.

So today let’s just pretend we’ve emerged from our slumber as a brand new, uncomplicated, baggage free version of ourselves and we get to slap whatever paint we want on our canvas. Who do you want to become?

Get your fancy pen ready. Continue reading →

numerology

On Mystics, Numbers, and the Energy in Our Years

It’s about this time of year when I start to feel a shift in the energy of my life.

I start to notice myself looking at everything in a new way, having a bit of retrospective clarity (oh if only we had that clarity in the moment), and I have a sense that something new is afoot.

About 15 years ago I started studying Numerology and over the years the knowledge of the number energies has surprised me, guided me, and calmed me when nothing else seemed to be making any sense.

Well actually, I got my first taste of it when I was a pre-teen and I read an article in Elle Magazine about numbers. I can still see the numbers clear as day on the page. I ate it up like it was a green apple jelly belly.

But back in those days, there was no Internet to keep the interest going and there weren’t a whole lot of “New Age” bookstores or mystics lining the streets in my neck of the woods, so all of my knowledge of the subject was contained in that 5-page article.

Then, in 1999, I had a reading and I was again hooked.

So, that’s how my fascination grew.

For those of you not familiar with the roots of Numerology, here’s a very abbreviated history lesson. Continue reading →

blue bike

On Engagement, Flow, and the Quality of the Human Experience

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow and Professor of Psychology and Management at the Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont (CA) Graduate University, the excellence of daily life depends not only upon WHAT we do but HOW we do what we do.

The “how” he talks about is the “psychic energy” we bring to the activities that make up our day-to-day life whether those activities involve doing a task, participating in a hobby, or spending time with another human being.

Csikszentmihalyi believes that our attention is limited and therefore what we pay attention to is an important variable in how we experience our time and the quality of our lives.

For a great part of his career Csikszentmihalyi has been studying and measuring the quality of the human experience. In order to do so one of the instruments he developed is a measurement technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). Continue reading →