Monday, August 11, 2014

Creating From Burnt Toast

Do you ever have one of those days - or weeks - where nothing seems to go *quite* as planned?

You burn your toast, you're late for work, and your dog steps in a pile of poop all before 8 am. How is that even possible?

In a world of Instagram and Facebook where it seems that everyone is having a perfect day everyday, it's easy to feel shitty about your not-so-perfect morning. 

It's easy to judge it, scoff at it, become irritated at it, and to go through the rest of your day holding a grudge against it.

It's easy to create a story called, "I'm having a shitty day."

Here's the thing, though. The minute we start telling that story - whether in our heads or out loud, we begin to guessed it...a shitty day.

Now, of course, shitty things happen. Really tragic things do too. But the gift in all of these is that they are opportunities to create from.

We can create from irritation, create from sadness, and create from the burnt toast. 

Every moment of every day is a moment to create from. 
What we create is our choice.

Here's a challenge to put this into action: this week, when you find yourself feeling irritated, bored, short-tempered, or annoyed, pause. Take a breath, and ask yourself, "what do I want to create in this moment?" Record your progress for a week. Notice the impact.

And if you're so inspired, share your observations in the comments.

To Creating From,

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Heartbeat of Culture

My new lip balms! Check out the biodegradable tube.

Brian Chesky of AirBnB said that culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.

A lot of companies say that they have a great culture. 

The good ones talk about it, write about it, and put it on slides during company retreats and meetings.

The better ones infuse culture into all of the decisions they make, the new projects they take on, and the teams that they form.

In the very best companies, the culture oozes from every nook and cranny...from every team member's mouth...from the meeting notes... from the production line. 

In the very best companies, culture is the heartbeat.

I had the privilege of feeling that heartbeat today.

EcoLips in Cedar Rapids is part love story, part business success story, and mostly a story about doing things with passion and purpose in an incredibly conscious way. 

The greatness of EcoLips is appreciated by lots of people - and recognized with a number of prestigious designations including B Corp Certification.

What struck me most about EcoLips, though, was not the awards. 

It was a lot of things - the commitment to quality, to being environmentally friendly, to consciousness.

And, it was the culture.

...the way it radiated from every single part of what they do and who they are. From the quirky lobby filled with old-school bikes, to the adorable video from their CEO to the way that everyone stopped to say Hello...the EcoLips culture is alive in every tube of lip balm and every step of the production process.

I truly believe that companies like EcoLips are changing the way the world does business - and that by changing the way the world does business, they are changing the world.

Not only that, but they make some pretty kick ass lip balm too.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Currencies of Life


What comes to mind as you read that word? What emotions are stirred? What feeling do you get in your body?

If you’re like most people, just seeing the word money sparks a reaction.

Money is an interesting thing. In many ways, it’s essential to live (in our country, anyway) and yet it’s seen by most as so much more than a necessity. It’s coveted, desired, hoarded, given away, lost, gained, traded, and exchanged. For it, we human beings stay in deadening jobs and equally deadening relationships, and we do things that defy every bit of what our souls long for.

The funny thing is, money is a form of currency.

We tend to view money as the form of currency, when in fact it’s one of many.

Energy, time, knowledge, and even gratitude are all forms of currency that can be exchanged, traded, and spent in a way that aligns with who we are and what’s important to us.

When we begin to see money as just one of many forms of currency, we can begin spending and receiving these different currencies in a way that reflects our values.

So here’s what I invite you to do:
  • Make a list of all the currencies that you use in your daily life in one column on a sheet of paper.
  • Then, on the right side, list the value that each of these currencies relates to for you personally.

For example, my list looks like this:
Freedom, Impact, and Flow
Expansion, Growth, and Impact
Love and Meaningful Relationships

Then, over the course of the next week, pay attention to how you’re exchanging each of the currencies on your list and how they may or may not reflect your values.

Notice when you feel best about spending one of your forms of currency, and also when you notice a sense of misalignment around your spending.

Consider updating your list each time you notice a feeling (physical or emotional) related to spending one of your above forms of currency.

For example, your friend asks you for a ride (again), this time to a destination 45 minutes away. As usual, she doesn’t offer to pay you back for gas money. You find yourself agreeing but feel a pit in your stomach as you do.

Or, you spend your morning shopping online for a wedding present for one of your closest friends. She is one of the most generous people you know and has been a huge supporter for you as you’ve recently transitioned to a new career. Your heart actually beats with excitement for her as you select her presents online.

Notice that the situations above likely required similar forms of currency and touched on similar values – but that the feeling surrounding each of the ‘expenses’ was likely very different. Pay attention to those feelings, and begin to notice trends that emerge.

As we begin to pay attention to the currencies that make up our lives and the values that they honor, we can start to become much more deliberate about spending in a way that honors our values.

Honoring our values in our day-to-day living eventually leads to honoring our values throughout our lives. 

What about you? What are the currencies that make up your life, and how do they relate to your values? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

To honoring all the forms of currency in our lives,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Creation Before Intake

I admit it. I have a bit of a problem.

Give me a good article, video, blog post, or book and I can’t get enough. 

I love learning about new ideas, new philosophies, and new tools to incorporate into my coaching business.

When I first learned about Marie Forleo from one of my clients, I gorged on her videos for about 3 days straight. So many tips!

The only problem was, with all this learning, there was little time for creating. So much time hearing other people’s voices and ideas that there wasn’t time to express my own.

As a result, I’ve come up with a new motto to guide my daily learning routines.

Creation before intake.

This means that I get up each morning and write down m own ideas, do my own writing, and do my own important things – before I start taking in stuff from others. “Stuff from others” includes everything in the learning category, along with requests and to-dos that come in the form of emails and messages.

The result?

I’ve become much more productive and also much happier with my daily routine, because I’ve reduced the amount of stuff I’m taking in each day. 

I also like to think that my new system is helping me to be more creative, as I’m spending more time developing my own ideas and my own voice – and less time being influenced by everybody else.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I still love a good Marie Forleo break every now and then. But these days, it’s just that – a break – from the important things on my list that now take priority.

What about you? What helps you prioritize creation and your important to-dos over intake? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coaching Mini Sessions

Have a big decision to make?
Feeling stuck in an area of your life?
Have something you know you need to deal with, but that you’ve been avoiding?
Ready to make a big change but not quite sure how to get started?

Curious, but not sure if your topic fits?

Here are a few examples of topics I’ve worked through with clients during these types of sessions.

  • I’m not happy at my current job but I’m not sure if I want to make a change; I make great money and have even better benefits.
  • I received a promotion and now need to decide if I should take it which would involve moving to a new city.
  • I’d like to make more time to focus on my health, and am having a hard time fitting it in with work and family responsibilities.
  • My sister and I haven’t spoken in two years. I’d like to reach out to her...I'm wondering if it’s too late.
  • I have an entire novel drafted; I’m terrified to publish it.
  • I’d like to start a blog; I’m nervous about “putting something out there” that others might judge.

During these 30 minute sessions, we’ll explore your topic, collaborate and brainstorm, and you’ll leave with a concrete plan of action and accountability. We’ll use a co-active model of coaching, which means that I’ll ask powerful questions to empower you to find the answers. Of course, everything we discuss is confidential.

What It Is:
  • Collaborative, creative, and co-active
  • An opportunity to see things in a new way
  • A chance to try out coaching in a safe and supportive environment
  • Time for fresh perspective

What It Isn’t:
  • Advising or therapy
  • A way to “fix” you (you don’t need fixing)
  • A silver bullet to the challenge you’re facing

Available Times:
  • Thursday 2/6 between 12 and 6 pm
  • Friday 2/7 between 7 am and 1 pm
  • Tuesday 2/11 between 2 and 6 pm
  • Wednesday 2/12 between 7 am and 1 pm

To Sign Up:
  • $30 for 30-minute coaching mini-session via phone, Google Hangout, Facetime, or Skype (you pick)
  • Email with your first and second choices for a time slot if you’re interested.