My Thanksgiving Wish for More Gratitude

2a29e6f8-3a6b-4e44-8812-6fdcab326646Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  — Melody Beattie

Practicing Gratitude

I sat down to write something new but as I thought about the past year which has been filled with chaos, change, surprise, concern, dismay, and just about every emotion there is, it seems that now more than ever we need to unite in gratitude. I know we all are grateful for certain things at certain times, but I suggest we all commit to becoming more grateful and embrace gratitude by making it a permanent daily ritual.

United We Stand

Whatever your feelings are about the world, remember that you create your own outcome, regardless of who’s in charge. This is a time for unification with others… as the song says, “United we stand, divided we fall…” This is a time for more compassion and understanding, for more love and kindness. We must keep our energy in a high vibration state, send more love out to the Universe and trust that the Law of Attraction will find the best outlet for it to flow. And if we get stressed or frustrated when things don’t go according to plan and life becomes chaotic and overwhelming, how can we get our energy back up so that we feel fulfilled, at ease, and content?  One way is to form daily habits that ensure that we’re operating from our highest positive vibration…like writing gratitude statements.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

2 years ago, I started writing down 5 things th

at I was grateful for every night. It has become a daily habit along with my meditation and I highly recommend you try it! Try to think of new things each day, simple things like:

  • I’m grateful to have a job that allows me flexibility
  • I’m grateful I had time to make an apple crumb slab pie today
  • I’m grateful to be picking up my new Wheaton terrier puppy this Friday!
  • I’m grateful for family and friends
  • I’m grateful my daughter is coming home for Thanksgiving!

Taking time to be grateful on a regular basis can have long lasting positive effects and keep you operating at your highest vibration so that you’ll attract more opportunities and people, and you’ll feel more focused, positive and happy!

Other Success Rituals

Performing random acts of kindness is something else you can do to keep your vibration high.  Simple things like holding the door open for someone, making soup for a sick neighbor, donating to a charity, or just smiling and saying thank you to the postman- all of these raise your vibration by sending positive energy out to others.

Offering compliments, words of encouragement, or watching inspirational TED talks are also ways to keep your energy vibrating at high levels. I find meditating alone or with others to be very helpful as well as practicing yoga, dancing, or walking. Exercise is important for your physical as well as mental energy balance, so do what feels good to you.

The key to being successful is really repetition of daily habits like these to keep your vibration high and your thoughts consistent with your actions.  This takes time and effort and like anything, practice!  But isn’t it worth it?  Imagine a world filled with gratitude and love, which turns “…denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”…this is what I’d like to attract; how about you?

Love and Kindness Meditation

This Thanksgiving and every day, more and more, I am grateful for family, friends, colleagues, and clients (and all beings)…and I’ll leave you with a partial meditation I first heard from a friend and amazing woman, Robyn which is even more relevant today…

“…May everyone be peaceful and loved, healthy and strong, safe and protected, and have self-love so that your life is filled with ease.”

May you all have a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with love and kindness…plus lots of your favorite foods shared with those you love!

With Gratitude,

Clare

Have You Found Your Igikai?

Happiness defined…

We all yearn to be happy; it’s a universal goal and it is often linked to finding our life’s purpose, life satisfaction, appreciation, gratitude, and moments of pleasure or joy.Happiness-quotes-1

University of Minnesota researchers found that about half of happiness is genetically determined… And that we’ll be happy if we pursue basic values such as faith, family, community and work.

Where Meaning and Happiness Collide

Work can bring happiness by joining our passions with our skills, empowering us to create value in our lives and in the lives of others.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”  Americans who feel they are successful at work are twice as likely to say they are very happy overall as people who don’t feel that way.

Finding Your Ikigai

More often than not, happiness and meaning often feed off each other. The more meaning we find in life, the happier we typically feel, and the happier we feel, the more we often feel encouraged to pursue even greater meaning and purpose. And if you can mesh passion and skills with a mission and work that you’re paid for- voila! It doesn’t get any better than that!

To find your Ikigai, or life’s purpose, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are your strengths? What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need? What is your mission?
  4. What can you be paid for?

Without purpose, people can feel unfulfilled, and this can affect their happiness quotient.  Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky says happiness is “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” We like to feel that what we do matters beyond just getting a paycheck.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

Ready to Find Your Ikigai?

It’s possible to find your purpose and be happy in a career that’s meaningful where you’re fulfilled…  Sure, you have to do the work which takes some courage, and perhaps shifting your mindset… but you can address the challenges and obstacles and make appropriate choices, one step at a time.

If you’re unhappy or feel stuck in your current situation, if you’re unemployed or underemployed, and you’re ready to see what else is possible, I have a super special offer for you! (details below) Together, we’ll craft a strategy so you can define happiness on your terms and create your own personal road map for success.  Sound good?

Special Offer for Unemployed or Underemployed Job Seekers- *50% off Career and Life Coaching with Clare!

The first 3 people who send me an email will receive coaching at half my regular (job seeker) rate!  I’ve seen it make a difference for so many clients and I’m committed to helping people find work (and a life) they love…plus recent research has shown that coaching helps job seekers find work faster by providing emotional support, objective feedback and accountability that keeps their motivation and momentum strong. It’s a win-win!

So, what do you really, really want?  And what are you waiting for?
It’s your life, and you can make it work! Let’s find your Ikigai together!

*Conditions: A minimum of 3 months or at least 6 one hour coaching sessions, meeting weekly or every other week per terms on my coaching agreement, which will be sent ahead for review.

Stay-at-Home Moms- Ready to Get Back to Work?

readytoworkMany of us have been fortunate enough to stay at home and raise our children.  When I had my first child, I thought I had it all figured out.  I’d stay at home for 6 weeks, then go back part time for a couple weeks, and transition back to full time.  And I did…But what I didn’t factor in was how being a mother had changed me.  I no longer wanted to be a workaholic, clocking in up to 80 hours a week.  I had a baby and I wanted to spend time with him.  So after almost a year of much stress, and angst, I left my job.  It felt great! I had my second baby 21 months after the first, and became a full time mom!

While I loved being a stay at home mom, part of me longed to do something else, some kind of work that used my skills and that I was really passionate about.  I got a copy of What Color is Your Parachute and started reading it. But not having anyone to share the exercises with or get feedback on wasn’t working…and then it dawned on me. Why not offer a class for people who, like me, would benefit from feedback and accountability?  I called it Get the Job You Want, and I’ve been teaching it for over 25 years now!

Over the years, I added classes on Stress Management, How to Network (things I’d taught while I was working as a side gig), and I became a DiSC trainer and gave workshops on People Reading and Communication Skills.  I also had always loved cooking and baking and had done some catering and baking for area restaurants in the past so I started doing that again too.  I had made lots of contacts at my last job and through all the activities with my kids, I had built a network and found work I loved!

Of course, this is only part of my story.  There were obstacles, fears, and choices to make and being a self-employed coach, helping others find their magic formula for success, continues to be a journey.

So are you ready to get back to work? A lot has changed and it’s harder to re-enter the workforce now especially if you’re looking for a 9-5 career with benefits like you had previously and you’ve been out for more than a year.   Though it’s tough, it’s clear that women bring many vital skills to the challenge.  All that juggling, coordinating schedules, meals and activities, advocating and allocating resources, essentially being CEO of your home is an advantage and has prepared you for your next job!

Returning to work requires that you now advocate for yourself!  There’s lots to think about and do before you launch.  For starters, you need to figure out what you want to do, whether you want part time or full time, and whether you’d like to start your own business or freelance etc.  You may want to volunteer or check out paid internships or returnships.  Path Forward and IRelaunch are two programs to research and you can’t apply unless you have a gap in your resume!  But, before you leap, take the time to think about what you really want.

Is It Time to Do Less and Be More?

Do You Feel Overwhelmed At Times?The-life-you-were-designed-to-liveFB

It seems that everyone is too busy.  When you ask someone how they are, they respond, “I’m so busy!” And we all wish we had more time to get things done. Here’s the deal:  there are 24 hours in a day for each of us, no more, no less, and we have to make choices on how to spend those precious hours.  So perhaps if we’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe we need to look at why…what are we so busy doing that it’s making us crazy?

Are you attached to being busy?

Setting realistic goals is a good idea.  But sometimes, we have a tendency to set too many goals in a day or week that there just isn’t enough time to get to them all.  Sound familiar?  Of those 24 hours a day, hopefully 8 are spent sleeping which leaves 16 to work, exercise, take care of children/family/pets, maintain a home or living space, take classes, meditate, volunteer and/or socialize etc.

What are your priorities?

When you look at your to-do list, how much of it is really important to you?  Are there things you could let go of, or move to another month?  One thing I learned many years ago is that you can’t manage time, you can only manage what you do with that time.  So instead of making long to do lists (that really create overwhelm), try putting all your priorities on your calendar and attach a time to each of them.  For example, I put all my clients down and highlight them in pink, then I add daily priorities like meditation and exercise, and then fit in things around those, allowing ample time for driving, and getting places in traffic.  You can’t make a 6pm yoga class if your last one hour client is at 5!  So be realistic and avoid stressing over things you can’t control or change.  Maybe you could move the client or find a yoga class that starts at 6:30pm close by.  I also try to book only one major house project at a time and spread them out over the year.  Each night, I check off the priorities and if I missed one, I move it to the next day.  This system really helps me avoid overwhelm; try it and see if it helps you.

How about letting go and feeling better?

A colleague once said, there’s nothing sexy about being so busy that you’re stressed out and overwhelmed.  Give yourself permission to relax, chill, and reward yourself for not filling up every minute of your day with busy-ness.  My goal is to get rid of as much paper, clutter, and stuff on my to do list that doesn’t matter to me, so I can feel lighter and enjoy life more!  How about you?  If you’d like to free up more time for joy, join me on September 15th at Noon-1pm for a free meditation session on Letting Go of Stress and Overwhelm.  Let go and see if it makes a difference in your life!

 

 

 

What Matters Most to You?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

findyourpurpose

It’s easy to be complacent; it’s comfortable.  But here’s the deal: we have limited time to create the life we really want. So ask yourself: How did you get here? Does what you’re doing now align with your true purpose and who you say you are? Do you feel like there’s more you’d like to do to live more fully? What do want to do next?

It’s time to act…it’s time to celebrate your true nature- who you are and what really matters to you most. Be a “wayfinder” and chart a new course for yourself.

Are there areas that feel out of sync with what matters to you? What can do do to experience more joy and alignment with your true self?  Start where you are today by taking small daily steps to help you move towards your goals and try using these four tools:

  • Reflection– Practice self-awareness; take time to think about what you really want
  • Exploration– Explore new possibilities; step outside your comfort zone
  • Choice– Choose something you want that will bring you joy
  • Action– Take a step towards your goal or dream

As you move forward, be prepared to overcome obstacles like fear, worries, emotions, inertia, or analysis paralysis…any or all of these could try to keep you in your comfort zone. Identify your support system- who will be your cheerleader?

Sometimes we lose sight of our vision and we feel like giving up if the going gets tough.  As a coach, that’s where I can help. My passion is to help my clients clarify their vision and hold on to it as it evolves, even if they lose sight of it or themselves along the path…

If you’d like some guidance, I invite you to join my Inspired Action Coaching Group or take my Vision Board Workshop or both! Details for both can be found on my website.

There are so many possibilities to imagine…what are you planning to do with your one wild and precious life? I can’t wait to hear…

Wishing you much joy and success!

Clare

Life is Like a Camera

lifecamera

I originally posted this in 2014… Because of the discouragement and confusion I have been hearing from some of my clients, I decided it was worth sending this message out again… May you all choose happiness and joy… it is out there for you…

Recently, a client shared this anonymous quote with me and I just had to share it with you:  “Life is like a camera; focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.”  I love the metaphor and vivid reminder that there are always choices and opportunities in life… happiness is really a choice.

What does being happy and successful mean to you?  

Many of you may remember Steve Jobs’ message, “…Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life- follow your dreams and passions…”  And yet, I see many people doing just that- working at a job they don’t like, doing what they feel they “should” as opposed to what they want, feeling stressed, and stuck in a rut.  Sound familiar?

In The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, recorded her patients’ biggest regrets in a blog:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I’d let myself be happier.

Deep down, I believe we all know what’s really important in life, but often we get caught up in the “shoulda, coulda, have to’s and must do’s” that society dictates will bring us success.  But at what cost? It saddens me to read that 80% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs! Why waste 40-60 hours a week doing something you hate? Take a good look at your life now. Are you stuck on a treadmill you think you can’t get off? Are you ready to redefine success and happiness and live a life true to yourself?

What’s your dream?

Imagine living a life you love- doing work that’s meaningful where you’re valued and appreciated…sharing work and life with people you care about who are being true to themselves. It’s possible! You can create a life around your passions and dreams.  Sure, it takes courage, perhaps shifting your mindset, or working on self limiting beliefs… and yes, there will be challenges and obstacles, but you always have choices and choices are always better than regrets.

If you’re unhappy or feel stuck in your current situation, if you’re unemployed or underemployed, and you’re ready to see what else is possible, I have a super special offer for you! (details below) Together, we’ll craft a strategy to attract more of what you want, define happiness on your terms, and create your own personal road map for success.  Sound good?

Special Offer- *50% off Career and Life Coaching with Clare!

The first 5 people who respond to this email will receive coaching with me at half my regular (unemployed) rate! Why am I offering to coach people at half price?  Mostly, because I’ve seen it make a difference and I’m committed to helping people find work (and a life) they love; it’s my passion and brings me joy... plus recent research has shown that coaching helps job seekers find work faster by providing emotional support, objective feedback and accountability that keeps their motivation and momentum strong. It’s a win-win!

So, what do you really, really want?  And what are you waiting for?  It’s your life, and you can make it work!  I can’t wait to work with you!

SAVE 50%*
For the first 5 people to respond to this email! Coaching with Clare @ $40/hour!  (Regular rate is $80/hour for unemployed job seekers) 

Conditions:  You must commit to a minimum of 3 months or at least 6 one hour coaching sessions, meeting weekly or every other week and agree to these terms by signing my coaching agreement.  I will send the coaching agreement to all 5 of you ahead of time so you can review it in case you have questions.

Offer Expires: August 25, 2017

The Upside of Procrastination

The Upside of Procrastinationprocrastination

Instead of seeing procrastination as a terrible thing, I now see it as a tool that helps me learn how I work best. Here are six different reasons why we seem to procrastinate…

and a few tips on what you can learn from (and do for) each.

Reason 1: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy the entire task or job.

Solution: One of my life coaches told me several years ago that if I didn’t like doing something, I should “delete it, delegate it, or automate it.” What a great way to look at things! I’m a big fan of ONLY doing tasks I enjoy or am good at. The rest I give to people who are good at it and/or enjoy it. (If you can’t afford to hire someone, try bartering.)

Reason 2: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy a PART of the entire task or job.

Solution: If you’re putting off a whole project just because there’s one part you don’t want to do, figure out how you can get away without doing that part. Again, delete it, delegate it, or automate it.  Or, if applicable, ask a friend to do it with you; teamwork helps!

Reason 3: You are procrastinating because you don’t know how to handle the task or job.

Solution: The answer will not drop in your lap. Get help — a friend, co-worker, or family member to teach you how, a book or home study course to show you how, or give it to someone who can do it for you.

Reason 4: You are procrastinating because you simply can’t find the time.

Solution: Schedule future time to do it, or get rid of other tasks to create the time you need. If you still can’t do this, and timeliness is important, then find someone to do it for you.  I put everything on my calendar, in time, so if the day is full, the item goes to an open day.  And I try to space projects out so I don’t have too many going at once.

Reason 5: You are procrastinating because you feel stuck.

Solution: You may just need to jump start your momentum. Give yourself permission to do just one small part of the project. Or do the easiest part first to get you on a roll. This usually creates momentum, and you end up doing a lot more than you intended to! I have some coaching buddies who I’ll call sometimes for a “Do It Now” session, usually 3 hours…we call each other at the top of the hour and say what we’re going to accomplish; then we report back on our progress each hour…again, teamwork works for me!

Reason 6: You are procrastinating because you don’t really want to do what you thought you should do.

Solution: This means you may have the wrong objective or strategy in the first place! Is this something you really want to do, or do you just think you SHOULD do it? Or is it an old goal that doesn’t fit you anymore? Your answer may surprise you. Let the goal go for awhile and see what happens. Maybe this is someone else’s goal, not yours and you now have free time to do something you want to do!
Start Paying Attention!procrastinationchart

Once you start paying attention to which activities you put off regularly, you’ll know sooner when to be stricter with yourself or find help to get those tasks accomplished in a more timely manner. So take a minute and make your list right now of what tasks you’ve been putting off! Don’t beat yourself up about it, just make a note and figure out how to get them done. (Or delete them and find an alternative to help you reach the same goal.)

Hope these tips help you find peace with your procrastination:)

(This is adaption from one of my previous coaches…)

Love, Kindness and Compassion

f5fd6fb1-3fe5-46a8-ad94-aad8e2482a3dLast weekend, I attended Joy of Living Level II Meditation Training, based on the teachings of Mingyur Rinpoche.  Rooted in Buddhist teachings of Tibet, this session focused on how to open our hearts to others, while recognizing our own challenges as well.  When we understand that loving kindness and compassion are with us always, we can then connect with and nurture them by meditating on the four immeasurables: love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.  Key principles are Basic Goodness, the Desire to be Happy and Free from Suffering, and the Four Immeasurables.

Basic Goodness

We explored recognizing that the fundamental nature of awareness is good and pure through meditation practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but once we recognize our basic inherent goodness, we can see it as the desire to be happy and free from suffering, shared by all beings. And we can see that love and compassion are innate qualities that we possess and can find in the present moment.

The Four Immeasurables

Here, we discover love, compassion, joy and equanimity and nurture them, in a progressive manner, one step at a time.  First we meditated on finding love and compassion within ourselves, then for loved ones, next for neutral people, then for those we find challenging or difficult, and finally we meditated on the four immeasurables for all beings universally.

I found parts of the practice challenging and yet so rewarding.  And I left feeling full and complete, knowing there is so much to learn.  This meditation weekend was a gift of joy.

My Gift For You

*Free Meditation Info Session on Friday, March 31, 12:15-1:30 pm!

If you want to learn more about how meditation can help you feel more love, compassion, and joy in your life, then join me Friday, March 31.  we’ll try a few different types of meditation so you can experience what it’s like.  Ideal for newcomers, but all who are interested in meditation are welcome…

To register, send me an email with FREE MEDITATION in the subject line and I’ll send you the logistics.  I look forward to hearing from you!

To Your Joy of Life!

Let Your Passion Bloom

“Don’t worry what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

Passion is defined as a compelling emotion or intense enthusiasm, but it’s so much more…it drives us and propels us towards life’s larger purpose.  It is where we find our uniqueness and what gives our life meaning.  Often we’re so busy with our “to do” lists, we forget what really matters to us.  As a coach, I have clients who tell me they’ve never thought about who they really are, what they really want or what ignites them.

How can you find your passion?503bf0f9-d71b-49b8-ad5e-5c57f53a91c6

For many, it’s a calling, something they’re drawn to and love doing, and it comes
naturally.  For others, it’s a hint, a feeling, or something you notice that emerges slowly, like a seed that if cultivated, will grow and bloom.  If you’d like to rediscover or unveil your passion, start by answering these 5 questions:

1- What did I like to do as a child?

Did you like to do art projects, read, act, organize others in games?  What did you get absorbed in and get lost in?

2- What could you talk about for hours on end?

What subjects rev you up, give you energy, or get you going on a rant?  What really matters to you?  Justice, family, the arts or science?  What’s your favorite subject?

3- What would people close to you say you were awesome at?

What are you known for?  For me it’s food and just about everyone knows I love to bake!  I’ve been making cookies since I was a little girl and I look for every opportunity to share them with friends, family, and clients.  What is it for you?  Look to your natural strengths and interests; what do others say you’re good at?

4- What could you do all day and never notice the time go by?

What hobbies do you get immersed in so much that you avoid doing your Power Point presentation or accounting paperwork?  Again, it’s food for me and also connecting with people, sharing an idea, a concert, or movie…explore your go-to activities and notice next time you’re happily absorbed in something.

5- If money and time weren’t an issue, and you knew you could only succeed, what would you do?

50b9bde9-67f7-424c-b733-a04ef168cb1aWhat have you thought about doing, or said you’d do when you retire?  Write a book, travel for a year, start a business?  Let your subconscious guide you here and know that your first answers may not show up as a fiery passion…keep asking and listening…the answers will come.

Uncovering your passion(s) takes practice, like anything else.  Start with these questions to help clarify your values and what you want, identify fears and obstacles that might get in the way, and bring those passions back to life!

If you’d like to rediscover your passions, join me on Friday, March 10 from 12:30-2 pm for a Discover Your Passions session in Acton…To register and for details, simply reply to this email by March 8th.

Warmly,

Clare