Posts

Same & Different!

Hello! It’s been a minute, no?

I am happy to put my fingertips to keyboard and be back in communication with y’all. How have you been? Please drop me a line (so reminiscent of paper and pen) to let me know, I am truly interested. 

If I were to encapsulate the past six months, I’d say that it was like a mountain range—full of peaks and valleys that were a combination of exciting, fun, challenging, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. At this moment in time, I feel ready to use my foundation, recent learning, and experiences to move in a few new directions. 

What about you?

We’re past the habitual conversations of January about setting intentions, making resolutions, etc.. Honestly, I don’t mean to belittle such practices. Yet, I believe that every day is a new day with the potential to make changes. We can decide when and how often we need to check in with ourselves to step into dreaming big, charting a new course, or engaging in course correction.

What surfaces for me is grounded in my conscious understanding that my life/our lives are finite, creating a bittersweet tension and desire to search for the good, beauty, joy, and what’s possible every day. My North Star is a belief in being in connection with others. This awareness leads me to:

  • be grateful—for even the cold, grey, cloudy, ache-y days 
  • engage consciously with family, friends, and colleagues—who do I want to be and how do I want to interact in this moment in time
  • look at all my work and play with new eyes/actively choose where I will devote my precious time—letting go of what no longer serves me and picking up new and exciting endeavors
  • practice self-care daily—meditate, create art, read/listen/learn, and keep strong boundaries

Where are you at this moment in time?

What is your North Star—your values or guiding principle(s) that facilitate easier decision-making about the direction of your life and all you do? 

I can’t wait to create more of what I desire in my life and in the world… I hope the same is true for you.

More to follow…

If you’re the plant, what’s the sun, nutrients, and water?

There are so many changes possible in 2022 and yet there are some deeply challenging aspects from the past few years that remain.

With an eye on the present, and a desire to take good care of myself so that I can continue to grow and be of support to others, I’m focusing on what nurtures me. 

What’s nourishing you now?

Several times a week I turn to my Zentangle practice for the creativity and calm it provides me. For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with botanicals and last week I added color. 

I’m writing a few haiku almost every day (as part of a year-long program), as it really stretches me. Here’s one of my favorites:

Beauty of first snow

breathtaking and heart-stopping

Vanishes quickly

Meditation almost daily, and a silent retreat for part of this week, are both restful, a respite (from the cacophony of my life), and CHALLENGING.

My daily walks in the neighborhood and a local state park, and my standing desk keep me from feeling rooted in my chair and energize me.  

Happily, I’ve found a few groups of colleagues who stimulate and support me and I leave those meetings feeling inspired and connected. 

 

 

 

How are you growing yourself—whatever that looks like to you?  

What habits have you created? 

What is no longer serving you, that needs to be let go?

(And, just knowing that we need to leave that which holds us back, doesn’t make it easy to do.)

What dream do you have that will move you forward? How will you design the ease, growth, play, calm, or whatever it is that you desire? I’m guessing you know those answers if you make the time to ask and answer the questions and develop a plan. 

If having a sounding board or a partner to ask some of the questions and support you in the design of your own self-care package, please reach out to me. It is a delight and privilege to walk on the path/be a part of the journey with those who want to take good care of themselves and step into more of their dreams. 

Discovery, Learning & Fun—Mapmaking!

What’s your thinking about maps? Do you love them (the paper, how they fold up, the colors), hate them (they’re paper, they fold up, the print is tiny), maybe make them yourself?

I’ll admit it, I’ve been a map lover from a very young age. I’ve always relished playing with the folding maps and pored over them when traveling in Europe as a teenager. I still love paper maps even though these days they feel unwieldy and inefficient at times. Perhaps I feel so at home with them because I’m a big picture thinker and when I can see everything at once I can understand how all the pieces fit together… where things are in relation to each other. Just this past weekend we went to upper state NY. (And, no, Dutchess and Columbia counties are not “upstate” NY, no matter what folks from the five boroughs tell you!) We wanted to visit small towns, walk in forests—and essentially have an understanding of what was where… Hence the need for a paper map—I was in heaven!

Yesterday, I attended a Creative Mornings Field Trip—Anne Ditmeyer’s, Make a Map re-entry Edition. Oh my gosh, it was such fun! I don’t often take time out for Field Trips, as they’re during the workweek but since I delivered one last year, and will be delivering another one on May 13th, I wanted to support the work of others who are volunteering their time to share their expertise.

The prompt was, “Your morning commute.”

I went a little “off script”…

and chose a trip

I had hoped to make last year.

In 60 minutes, we made three different maps. Each one of them was completely different — in subject matter and materials used! I have to say that I have NEVER drawn a map on a piece of fruit—though I have taught folks how to tangle (draw Zentangle patterns) on gourds. It was challenging — and a delight!

 

My map of a recent fun adventure—drawn on a paper towel—was a super cool experience! The texture of the towel and the freedom to just play and experiment was joyful.

Our last map was about imagining a future world we want to live in… with some additional prompts, I started to create a “map” of my place to be… (which is a work in progress).

Plorking Becomes New Inspiration

The experience left me ready to dig into maps all over again.  As I pondered how to get back into my practice of mapmaking, I thought not only of the books lingering in my bookcase but also of my creations tucked into nooks and crannies in the house. Here are a few examples from the past few years…

A map of my heart

From a journal swap about maps!

ZIA/Zentangle Inspired Art of the island of Tasmania!

These were prompted by examples from, Map Art Lab by Jill K. Berry and Linden McNelly.

Anne Ditmeyer mentioned, www.handmaps.org and From Here to There: A Curious Collection from the Hand Drawn Map Association by Kris Harzinski And I poked around a bit online too and am interested in You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon.

My Next Map

I started to think about the I/O (Industrial/Organization) Psych grad students from Baruch College that I would be speaking to within a couple of weeks. Since our focus will be life after grad school I am thinking that a map of my influences—how I got to where I am—might be interesting for them.  I started drafting my ideas map and I have to say it’s not ready yet! I’ve identified my influences but I haven’t picked a plan or a format for sharing my journey. I can’t wait to share with you and with them next week!

What are you noticing in your life right now?

What are you noticing these days about yourself, your colleagues, and your clients?

I’ve noticed in my coaching practice, that some of my clients are working differently than before.

In my practice, I’ve always been the gal that begins working with folks starting with their history and foundation, their strengths, and past successes. We explore and dream about what they want and then design possibilities for experimentation and growth. My process is to help clients move toward creative, solution-based outcomes, in which they are the agents of their own change.

What I’m seeing is that some of my clients are taking smaller steps on their journey.

I wonder about that. Perhaps it’s coming from mental fatigue, competing priorities, concerns about achieving their goals, or … I’m sure the answer is different for different folks. I don’t think that I even need to learn the answers as my role is to listen to their experiences and ask the questions to explore the possibilities they imagine for their futures. And, of course, there are so many paths to achieving one’s goals… enjoying the journey—with its achievements, challenges, failures, and learning—is one of my criteria of success.

What about you—how are you feeling?

As you make time to reflect on your thoughts and actions, what do you notice? I know that we don’t exist in a vacuum. I definitely feel the ebb and flow of connection with the world outside me: work and communication (both professional and personal). I also feel the effects on how I choose to spend my precious time… I crave more art/creativity and silence.

Last week, I wrote about feelings also… Here’s a visual, by Abby Vanmuijen, that’s so appealing to me, . You may want to check out her site too.

What are your thoughts about how you’re doing—and that question comes from a place of curiosity  (not judgment)—looking at the subject like it’s a gem, exploring its facets.

I want to hear how you’re doing… Drop me a line or make a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

We’re more than our minds—Handling our feelings (gasp!)

When’s the last time you felt (out of the ordinary) nervous or anxious?

I had that experience just last week.

I was meeting with my lawyer to prepare for giving a deposition. (Long story short, I have a lawsuit against two companies.) I’ve never given a deposition before. As I learned throughout the process, though I might have guessed it from watching a bit of television, it’s not exactly like having a conversation. It’s not a comfortable back and forth, it’s more about being short and to the point, just answering the question that is being asked. Those of you that know me, know that I am a bit of a chatty person. While I am task-oriented, I do love to share details that make the conversation more full and interesting. In this instance, my focus needed to be laser-like (did I understand the question, was I using the correct language to convey my thoughts), and my answers had to be brief.

Before even thinking about the struggle to get into that rhythm, I needed to manage my nerves. Even hearing myself talking about being nervous was new and different for me. That’s not to say don’t get nervous, I absolutely do, and can feel it in my body, but I just don’t talk about it much.

What about you? When’s the last time you were feeling anxious or nervous?

In 2015, I studied breathwork with Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg. It was another resource in my repertoire for working with my coaching clients. I became certified in their technique, using it not only with my coaching clients but also as part of the self-care program that I brought to Tasmania in partnership with my colleague Julia Curtis.

In learning the breathwork methodology, I started doing “body scans” of myself. In my practice, and in centers across Tasmania, I taught others the same skill. My training (and ongoing practice over the years) served me well last week when I needed to discover more about how I was feeling, locating tension in my body, and then working to calm my nerves through breath work and tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

What’s your process for discovering how you’re feeling?

Perhaps my question sounds unusual though in my work I have found that many people do not know how they feel. They know how they think, up in their minds, yet they don’t easily locate their feelings in their bodies—joy, happiness, contentment, worry, frustration, anger, surprise. (There’s great information available to learn more about these areas. Let me know if you’re interested in the resources.)

Once you’ve discovered your answers about how you’re feeling, how do you support and care for yourself?

I found, that in this nerve-jangling experience,

  • maintaining my awareness of my internal state and working with it,
  • getting congratulatory and constructive feedback from my lawyer as we practiced my testimony, and
  • seeing myself on Zoom—regulating my appearance and demeanor

left me tired and yet generally pleased with my performance.

I also credit my extensive work in Nonviolent Communication with being able to discern my emotional state, to put labels, and assign meaning to my feelings so that I choose how to work with them as opposed to them “running” me.

If you’re curious about breathwork (and the science behind it), I’d suggest Drs. Brown & Gerbarg’s book, Breath, Body, Mind. It’s an easy-to-learn process and always available for our use.

If you’re interested in gaining some of these skills, breathwork, and EFT or perhaps shifting to an appreciative perspective on your life and the world, I hope you’ll be in touch. I coach individuals in all of these areas and use all of them myself.