Author: Sarah Gibbons

I’m calling a Time-Out

As my boys say in our house, TO (time-out in case you’re wondering).

I’m calling Time-Out. I want to get a pulse check. We’re 9 months into this Pandemic, the holidays are here and many of us have had COVID, haven’t seen loved ones in months and are feeling the impact in our businesses. It’s a LOT. 

At the same time, It’s the Holidays and our sneaky expectations creep back up, because we want it to BE a certain way, and it’s not. I’m feeling waves of grief, disappointment and yet excitement too, because I love the magic that happens during this month. I’m going to throw in tired too!  Can you relate?

Where do we go from here? Can’t someone just tell us what to do? 

For all of your driven peeps who are go go go all of the time and wanting MORE impact, more connection, MORE money (fill in the blank), there is NOTHING you NEED to do right now. 

Remember, living your legacy is all about who you BE in the moment. If you’re wanting to get complete on a project by EOY, get clear on your desires for 2021, feel more rested, close out the biz year with a bang, we need you *in* leadership. 

We miss out on hearing our intuition’s whisper and JOY when we’re busy hustling, chasing and grinding it out. 

it’s time to slow your roll and nurture that giant heart and mind of yours as we glide into 2021.  To help you do just that,  we’ve put together just a few resources in all shapes and sizes to help you check yourself but also set yourself up for 2021.

RESOURCES INCLUDE: 

  1. SG&CO End of Year process “Reflection 2020 + Creation 2021”– This is the 1st time I’ve extended this beyond my paid clients, but I get such positive feedback on it, that I’m extending it to you. It’s a process I’ve evolved over the years to ground you in your biggest learnings for the year and set you up for what you want to create in 2021, all in support of you living your legacy every day. If you’d like to receive it, please personally email Sarah@sarahgibbons.co
  2. SG&Co curated Spotify Playlist – Music is my everything and so the team has pulled together our favorite beats in all one playlist to serve as a backdrop to your Dec. Listening to just 60 seconds of music can switch your vibe in a matter of moments. Catch the playlist HERE. (SG finish creating)
  1. FOR OUR MOTHERS – Get Totum Women’s Totum Talks Annual Pass – a full years access to their monthly webinar series featuring expert speakers that focus on topics that matter most to modern mothers in body, mind, ambition and relationships. The pass works out to being more than a 40% discount on the price of a monthly ticket, plus a limited edition notebook, and it’s an incredible way to stay connected to other mothers that know exactly what you’re going through. From creating a more positive relationships with your body image, to learning leadership in money management (January’s topic), you’ll gain helpful tools and tips for the things you need most.   SGCoFriends and provides 10% off the Annual Pass.
  1. FOR OUR DADS – I notice Dads in particular are use to muscling their way through things only to feel isolated. My team came across this thoughtful community for Dads by a Dad that will remind you that you don’t have go at it alone and that there is space for humor, connection and even support. Check out @thedad community on IG. 
  2. FOR YOUR SOUL – NPR has done it again. Check out the most fabulous combination of curated books + organization + recommendations. You can search by categories like, “staff picks,’ “rather short” and Art Lovers. Easy to browse and customize. Check it out HERE. 

Embracing an ‘Off Year’

Who else is full of mixed emotions heading into the holidays? You’re not alone, as I know many of us haven’t seen family members since 2019. 

My husband hasn’t seen his Dad in Houston in over a year, as we had to cancel our Spring Break trip to see him. I get it. This particular season can look very different to some of you. 

This will be the first Christmas Day we don’t have my parents in I don’t know how many years. Even when we lived in London, they celebrated the holiday with us. 

As much as I LOVE traditions (as do my children) and spending holidays with family, as we head into Thanksgiving in the States, I realized something. Ever since John and I have been married, we’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving the same way twice! 

We’ve hosted friends at home, we’ve visited loved ones in Chicago, and one year when our boys were little, we divided up the fam, and my oldest and I spent the week in London. This year, we’re spending it in the mountains creating new traditions. We’ve celebrated just the 5 of us at times. 

Here’s the thing, all of this variation feels really natural and good to me because of a simple decision I made a while back because I was so over my habit of comparing. 

I decided to love and appreciate what I have and, my goodness, it has brought me so much more happiness and connection in the moment. 

The decision to BE thankful for what you have now can absolutely co-exist with your desires, giving you so much more pleasure in the moment. 

Here are just a few things that ignite appreciation in my heart (in no particular order):

  • My handsome husband and cheeky boys
  • Living next to the Pacific Ocean
  • My good health
  • Podcasts + books
  • Money in my savings account that gives me options 
  • Spotify playlists
  • SG&Co clients + community (all of you)
  • Road trips
  • Rummikub
  • Facetime with friends all around the world
  • Zoom workouts with my trainer and Carlin
  • Being a women living in the US
  • The Mountains
  • Chai Tea + early mornings
  • Cuddles with our pets
  • My intuition and leadership skills

I could keep going, but now it’s your turn.  I love what I have and am so thankful. 

What do you appreciate? 

I bet you have a lot more than you realize that ignites your spirit. 

It’s more than enough. 

If there’s ever been a lesson in 2020, it’s that there is no normal. You get to choose how you want to experience right now, this moment. What’s your best option for YOU right now, and trust it’s more than enough. 

Wishing you grace and a fulfilled heart this holiday season however you choose to celebrate,

How to crawl out from underneath the overwhelm & underwhelm…

9 months into the Pandemic, and I feel like I was starting to feel a sense of acceptance around all of the unexpected. 

However, as we cruise into the last two months of 2020, I’m realizing that all the initial feels I had at the beginning of the pandemic around ‘loss’ are rushing back.  The Holidays. The traditions. 

In our house, it all started with one question: “What are you going to be for Halloween?” 

Thus began my thousand-thoughts-per-minute that went something like, “Halloween? Will there even be trick-o-treating?” 

Wait, what about Thanksgiving? We usually travel somewhere new and unexpected. Felix’s Christmas play? What about the play?!

Christmas? OMG, Christmas without my parents?!

You get where I’m going. Before I knew it, I’m off and running. In case you’re not feeling the grief, anxiousness and everything in between yet, we have our election in the US on Tues?! 

So, here we are. Tomorrow’s Halloween. Now what? Insert: talk about every scenario to death “what’s safe, what’s responsible…” 

Insert: overthink some more, and then hash out every scenario. 

Rinse and Repeat. 

Could this year get any spookier?  Tomorrow is Halloween. For those of you with trick-o-treaters in the house, how will you decide to spend the holiday? 

One of the greatest gifts 2020 has taught me is that I have a choice when it comes to everything. I can choose to hash out every detail and scenario, usually resulting in increasing my anxiety, OR I can make the next right choice that best aligns with my values.  I know I’m not alone in this lesson because I’ve spent countless hours coaching clients in the SG community  around how to feel more grounded in a world that looks nothing like what we’re used to. 

What’s the simple answer to not getting bogged down in all the inertia? 

CHOOSE to consciously create and live from your values (hint: this means you must know your values) and, from there, take decisive action by being intentional about your next freckle-size step.  

For example, while I’m gutted we won’t be going to our friends annual Halloween party, we do want to celebrate Halloween as a family. This feels super important to me because two of my values are adventure and connection. So, we’ve come up with a plan that includes a small amount of ‘safe’ trick-o-treating coupled with an evening full of surprises for our boys (scary movie, ice cream cake from B&R [where else!]). Most importantly, I’m owning my decision and there’s no need to hem and haw. Next. 

So, if you’re feeling anxious, desire to feel more grounded, and get out from underneath all that over-thinking, try the simple decision making-tool. 

  1. What’s the experience you’re truly desiring?
  2. Identify your choices clearly
  3. Choose the one that is most in alignment with your values and that will expand you
  4. Voila. Own your decision and press in. 

I promise, you’ll make decisions more easily and begin to let go of thinking of decision-making through the context that there’s a right and a wrong. A whole new world will open to you filled with ease, grace, and completion. 

Happy Halloween and much love,

Kate Hancock + Sarah Gibbons | Inspired By Her

Hi SG Community,

I was honored to be a guest on Kate Hancock’s top-rated podcast, Inspired By Her. I met Kate at Tidal Summit this year and she is the real deal. Not only is she an incredibly ambitious Serial entrepreneur, speaker, and mom to two amazing boys, she’s incredibly kind, authentic and curious.  Did I mention she also founded the award-winning spa OC Facial Center and the boutique hotel Bintana Sa Paraiso?

  • The catalyst behind why I started SG&Co., leaving a lucrative, six-figure job in the fast-paced, Tech industry
  • How I created my 1st client and the leadership I leaned into to do so! This one will surprise you – it’s a great story!
  • The #1 mentor in my life who inspires me and challenges me at the same time!
  • What it feels like to really live your legacy in motherhood, marriage, career, and all things in-between.
  • Who I was as a little girl and how decades later, the values in which I choose to live by and want to be remembered by haven’t changed!

We wasted no time diving deep into motherhood, life as a CEO and all things in-between as it relates to living my legacy. I’m obsessed with helping people live their legacy and would love to hear the impact this conversation has on you.

Here’s to living a legacy we love in every area of our life,

Residing in the tension between being and doing….

Hi Tribe,

Even though I’m almost eight years in on running my own business and nearly 12 years of parenting, I’m still working on my ability to hang in the tension between slowing down and intensely running with my ambition. It’s hard to admit this because I feel like I should have it figured out by now, especially since this is one of the biggest hurdles I see my clients struggle with, but I don’t. Like you, I find it wildly uncomfortable to downgrade my speed. 

I notice this tension is much higher during the Summer (hello, parents!) and when I take a holiday. The committee inside my brain, shouting, “You should be with the boys, it’s Summer!” or, “You’re on holiday, sleep in. Finish the 10 million books you’ve started….”

You feel me? 

For me, and from what I hear from many of my clients, both men and women, is that it all stems from the fear of, if I’m not planning, if I’m not doing, if I’m not getting ahead, then I’m going to fall behind. 

Off I — we — go, down the same spiral. If I fall behind, I’m going to be more overwhelmed. 

I’m going to miss out on that client, that deal, that opportunity.

Then the real kicker: I won’t be a success. Ugg. 

However I, you, we define success.

It’s a bitter shame spiral and, when we’re in it, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. 

We’re smart people, so we know intellectually while learning to rest, or slow down, is critical, but it sure doesn’t make it any easier. Does it? 

What on earth do we do? Why can’t we just hit a RELAX button and know that if we choose to relax, all the trains will stay on the track, pointed in the right direction? 

I’ve been working this challenge for years and been coaching around it, and here’s what’s helped me. I’ve come a long way since first starting my business and having children. The short answer is that it’s all hinging on your leadership. 

Here are three powerful questions I’d take a moment to answer that will help you

  1. Do you buy into the belief that taking time to nourish your spirit allows you feel grounded, more connected, and more creative?  If you don’t, that’s a place to look!
  2. Are you clear on your values, and are you intentionally prioritizing how you spend your time based on those values? Be honest here. 
  3. Who would you be without all that thinking or worry, and what would you be able to experience right now in this moment? Seriously, take a moment to visualize what would be possible. 

For me, what’s on the other side of that is a version of myself that trusts in the Universe and the intentional groundwork I’ve laid both in my professional life and my personal life (in other words, less controlling anda version of me that feels so freeing).

I experience a version of me that feels free from overwhelming thoughts, more connected to my heart and the infinite possibilities of creativity that lie within, more relaxed around my children and husband, and just so much more alive. It’s a feeling that’s hard to put into words, but you know it when you feel it. I want the same for you. I want to put an end to this idea and behavior that supports you in going a mile a minute because you believe your world will fall apart if you slow down. 

The world wants you in your wonder and, in order to do so, we must slow down to speed up. 

Not sure how to do that? Reach out to me at sarah@sarahgibbons.co, and I’ll make space for you in my diary to have a conversation this month. 

Love,

I can’t sleep, my heart has something to say to you.

We’re leaving on a 13-hour road trip today, and I just couldn’t sleep. Rather then tossing and turning I decided to write to our SG Tribe. This is a longer share, but there’s no quieting my heart, so I appreciate you being here, reading and engaging my thoughts (pls excuse typos). I have an invitation for you in this note, so pls stay with me! Also, it’s no accident that it’s Juneteenth today. In case you don’t know, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Yet, as we’ve seen, it didn’t put racism to death.

That’s where you and I enter the picture.

Connection is my #1 value and I believe at the end of the day, it’s the quality, the value, the feeling that every single one of us is craving the most with ourselves and with each other. It’s like oxygen. Without, we can’t breathe and we most certainly can’t co-exist side-by-side in a world that fosters justice and peace for BIPOC.

I believe connection necessary ingredient required MLK’s dream to become true, “One day we will live in a nation where we (they) will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” MLK

Just over a week ago I was sitting with one of my best friends, Tashion Macon, Godmother to our youngest son, having one of our heart to heart convos as we always do. We started off having a good laugh over recent Netflix shows we’ve watched, to sharing the latest on our relationships and work wins and challenges. Without missing a beat, we moved into sharing what was really on our mind regarding the ever-present racism towards Black, BIPOC in our country. As Tashion was sharing, and I was struck by how comfortable, connected and safe we both felt in baring our soul, asking each other poignant questions, and not thinking twice about ‘getting it wrong.’

This may surprise you, but we’ve been asked many times how we became such good friends. People have noticed there’s sisterly love, and acceptance, a love, respect amongst is unshakeable.

It’s an interesting question when you think about it, and one that’s stopped me in my tracks and left me baffled as well as her. It pains me to say this, but I have a hunch we get asked it because she’s black and I’m white.

See our friendship grew out of a connection of spirituality. At the time, I was completing an advanced degree in Spirituality and Tashion had already completed her advanced studies in Spiritual Psychology. That connection point was the ripple that enhanced, evolved, and expanded our relationship and ultimately formed a friendship with no edges.

It’s this kind of connection that starts from a place of seeing the good in someone, extending grace when you notice your friend fumbling to learn and grow and no-matter-what champion them to be the best version of themselves.

Tashion and I both agreed quite quickly that there is a massive group of people in our world black and white, who have felt much of the below:

Hungry to have a soul-to-soul connection with people of different color.

Desire to impact humanity that fosters equality for BIPOC and change the trajectory for generations to come.

Are White and are afraid to speak up, even though they know intellectually they have to be willing to sit in the discomfort of saying the wrong thing in service to their growth around becoming anti-racist.

Are BIPOC and have felt a range of anger, disappointment, frustration, and betrayal with the lack of white people trying to understand and connect with them in a way that fosters really feeling seen, understood, and supported. As a result, hold back sharing their truest feelings for fear they will be even more judged and belittled.

Can you relate?

Tashion and I have observed the main approach being highlighted in social media distinguishing anti-racism, stems from a place of looking at how we’re different, vs. how we’re similar. It’s a nuance, but it’s actually really important. The strategy that’s being encouraged is to read everything you possibly can on anti-racism while also listening to as many podcasts as possible on the subject. Listen and learn. I’m all for expanding our minds and this kind of learning is valuable, however, more information doesn’t magically create transformation. Especially if digested alone. If it were that easy, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation in 2020.

We believe change happens at the heart of CONNECTION and requires INTENTIONAL ACTION that is authentic to you. It’s from this place, we’re able to build a bridge between one another and hold each other’s hearts with a preciousness and speak to our differences, with the intention that BIPOC absolutely are equal and should be treated that way.

Tashion and I have partnered before and have always known we’ve had a calling to serve together and create impact, and the time is now.

We’re on a BIG intentional mission and are creating a movement & a curated community called ‘In The Ripple’ that places connection at the heart of change, first focusing on black equality and then rippling out to ALL of humanity.

It is from this foundation that we facilitate conversations, rooted in connection and commonality, for a more hopeful and just future for all.

Mark your calendars on 6.27.20 8am PT- to 9:30PT for our 1st ‘Connected Conversation.’

The heart of honest conversation and humanity meets here, rippling inwards, outward, forward, and onward.

Together, we have a toolkit of connection and conversation strategies that will positively enhance persons committed to being the change they wish to see in the world and the change humanity so desperately is crying out for in these unprecedented times. This conversation is for black women, men, and white women, men to come together in a space with no edges.

We’re not claiming to be experts in anti-racism, but we are owning our superpowers as masterful co-facilitators around conversations that inspire action and are rooted in connection.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE VIRTUAL CONNECTED CONVO ON 6.27.20?
All we’re asking is that you make a donation to Color of Change, an organization we wholeheartedly believe in. Share with us that you’ve donated, and we’ll get you squared away with all the necessary details for our Connected Convo as well as admit you into our private @intheripple FB Group.

We’re limiting the size of this group because we’re very particular about how we facilitate and ensure that this is absolutely a safe space for voices to be heard, expressed and connection to be fostered in a way that creates sustainable change at the soul level. Spots are limited, so if this speaks to you, pls email me at my personal email Sarah@sarahgibbons.co by Wed. June 24th, and I will personally respond to you. Join In the Ripple, ‘Connected Conversation’ Virtual Summit on 6.27.20.

Onward together,

Own Your Impact: The World Needs You Now

Do you get just how powerful you are? The reason I ask is I noticed a clear theme this week with a segment of my clients: women in powerful leadership roles with track records of traditional success, unknowingly giving their power away. I’m calling attention to it because I don’t think it’s relevant to just my clients, but instead to driven women in general. Seeing this makes me so sad because giving away power softens the full impact of the fabulousness that can be shared with the world!

So many driven female leaders seemed exhausted and frustrated this week. Certainly doesn’t help with all that is going on at large, but, if I’m really honest, I’ve seen this pattern of behavior by women even pre-COVID, before mass protests, and prior to the economic bust.

This pattern often gets disguised in various versions of people pleasing. The flavor I notice the most is around female Sr. Execs involving way to many people in their big decisions because they want their teams to know that their opinions matter; that they matter. However, these leaders tend to swing so far over, creating indecision on their part and frustration on the part of the team due to lack of clarity.

Been there before?

Look, being in leadership and managing can be very lonely. It’s impossible to please everyone. We know that intellectually, yet I see so many women still trying to check that approval box with every decision they make. It doesn’t work! The real bummer of it all is that these leaders end up diminishing their own power, and ultimately their impact.

Eventually, I find two things happen: Either burn out, blaming the job, which leads to finding a new gig. Or, getting so fed up with it that leaders finally crack, realizing their leadership needs an upgrade.

It’s simple. Not easy, but simple.

Here’s the question I ask myself and my clients regularly that very quickly snaps me back into leadership.

What are you tolerating right now that  if you were to stop tolerating, you could be 10x more impactful?

I decided a while ago that I was done tolerating the crazy idea that other people’s opinions mattered more than mine. I hated the way it made me feel, and the time I wasted in the process of asking what others thought. Since I committed to no longer tolerating that behavior, I’ve felt such a sense of self-trust and so much more empowered and confident.

My SG tribe women: it’s time to own your magnificence and be willing to own your power. The world needs your gifts. We need your gifts; you need your gifts.

Shoot me a note or share with us on social, what you’re done tolerating. We got you. The tribe has you and, by no means, do you need to uplevel your leadership on your own.

Here’s to living your legacy and owning it,

A Personal Note From Sarah

How is your Heart today? 

Given the fear and loss created by Covid-19 to the horrific murder of George Floyd to the ongoing racism that exists in everyday moments, I’m disgusted, saddened, and stunned. I’m also intimidated.  

In full transparency, I’ve written and rewritten this email several times this week, only to come back to it after feeling like it was missing the mark. 

As a white woman, conscious of my many privileges, I have work to do. Now more than ever, I believe my mission through SG&Co remains incredibly important: to support ALL people living their legacy. 

We’ve all been introduced to meaningful opportunities to take immediate action – everything from donating money to the George Floyd Fund to lifting up the voices of and work done by all the strong, thoughtful Black leaders guiding our pained communities. 

I felt myself swept up this week with all the immediate ways to take action and make a difference. My communities shared all of the media recommendations with the goal of reinforcing anti-racism. However, the efforts just felt like they fell short given the enormous weight of what’s happening. Even my body was telling me this through the jittery anxiousness and tension I was feeling mid-week.

As doers who instinctively take action, want to be in the trenches, and yearn to make an impact, we immediately activate through our outward-facing behaviors. However, we have to be careful to not rest too comfortably, mistaking clever social posts, donations, and diving deeply into books as the only means towards transformation. While those actions are important, information does not equal transformation. I believe transformation in our consciousness is what will lay the foundation for systemic change.

There’s an essential step we all need to take to ensure we don’t trip on our road to the future. This is what I am doing:

I’ve committed to slowing down this week. Before sharing resources, curating social media, I’m taking stock of my own thoughts, assumptions, and behaviors that do not directly acknowledge the experience of people of color.

I’m also having intentional, one-on-one conversations with family, friends, and clients who are part of the black community through either the color of their skin or as part of a mixed-racial household. 

Listening. Learning. 

I see this as an opportunity for all us.

I’d love for you to join me.  If you’re wanting to evolve at your core (another word here) it starts  inside as an honest conversation with yourself without all the distractions. As well as inside one-on-one conversations with members of the Black community. This will begin to transform your way of being and intentional action, and will create systemic change. 

We’ll be sharing more about the action we’re taking over the coming weeks, but we’re not in a hurry. We’re all in on Black Lives Matter, and we’re all in standing in leadership to live a legacy we’re all proud of every single day all allows us to put our heads on the pillow at night and know we’re living from integrity.

Much love,

Sarah & the SG&Co team

Action ignites Inspiration: Meet Katie Weitz

SG: What do you want the SG Tribe to know about you? 

Katie Weitz: My name is Katie Weitz, and I was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. I started my social justice career boycotting Nestle and writing letters to President Reagan to stop nuclear armament at age six. 40 years later, while my understanding of social justice has matured, my advocacy efforts are just as passionate. I love to problem solve with big ideas and can foresee unintended consequences as well as question assumptions. I am a small CoG, Champion of Good, in the big wheel of my community. I got my fundraising sea legs by working for Susie Buffet’s Foundation. In addition to helping non-profits solve the problems encountered while fundraising in a digital age via Advokatie.org, I am the Executive Director for the Weitz Family Foundation, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty in Omaha, NE by empowering individuals, agencies, and organizations to create a more equitable and peaceful society. We believe in empowering servant leaders to address issues of equity and justice in Omaha, Nebraska. Since inception in 2000, over $50 million in awards have been granted to housing, arts, education and health organizations in Omaha, Nebraska.

Sarah Gibbons: What does it mean to live your legacy every day?

KW: Living my legacy every day means helping other people make their dreams a reality. I am fortunate to have worked in large Omaha Foundations and, with deep family roots in the community, I have a broad network of powerful change agents. I feel like a radio transmitter, pulling in information and tuning the channels to sending the messaging out where it is needed. While my professional ability to see both the macro and micro allow me to successfully point out flaws, challenge assumptions, and warn of unintended consequences, my efforts don’t always imediately land as helpful. However, when paired with passionate doers, willing to keep pushing to find the answers, I find that almost anyone’s dream can be achieved. Further, my desire to share power with those most affected by policy or program implementation forces me to confront the challenges of operating in an “old boys” town and, regularly, navigating both implicit and — at times — unambiguous racism, classism, and conservatism that prevents a thriving community for all.  Omaha is a great place where everything is possible, big enough to have demand and resources and, yet, small enough to be two degrees from anything you need, empowering me to live my legacy of helping others accomplish what they have set their minds to.

SG: What do you find most challenging about living your legacy each day?

KW: What’s most challenging for me in living my legacy every day is to consciously focus on celebrating not just the macro-wins, the final outcomes, but also the micro-wins that are the building blocks towards completion. It is easy to fall prey to those feelings of never doing enough, never being enough, never giving enough. It can be a real challenge to recognize the myriad of micro-milestones and focus on the successful facets of each event. For example, when my job is to point out inefficiencies or when my teams have gone wrong, it’s easy to label the work as lost; effort that I didn’t guide correctly. Instead, however, I have to remind myself and teams that we’re not retreating; we’re advancing in another direction, we’re course-correcting because we learned which direction to not go in.

SG: What’s the new belief or habit that has changed your quality of life?

KW: The new belief in my life is that I now have an awareness of and practice around being intentional about how and where I focus my energy, identifying wins and acknowledging success, all while honoring myself. My work with Sarah has been incredibly meaningful in leading me to identify and transact with beliefs I think I always had but was unable to properly connect with. My work with Sarah has helped me identify all of my professional (and personal!) wins, identifying a graceful path, and prioritizing filling my own cup. My work with Sarah has provided me a daily practice to reinforce my daily legacy, helping me see that I’m reliable to accomplish big things, which alone is a gift that has changed my life.

Jaw-Dropping Amazing or A good Enough Life?

How are you? We’re on day 71 of Covid, can you believe it? Wondering how you’re doing with the shift into Summer and what that might mean for you. Maybe you’re starting to settle into your new norm and have enough Band-Aids in place that it’s starting to feel ‘good enough’ for now.  After all, good enough delivers comfort; some sort of predictability and feeling of control. 

I notice this mindset with my driven clients, and I want to share it with you because I see the personal and professional costs if they let it get a hold of them. I was coaching one of my executive clients this week, and she shared that our coaching work, after 8 months of experiencing major shifts inwardly and outwardly, was starting to feel like a chore. Of course, initially it felt like a gut punch. However, once I began to get where she was coming from and really seeing her, I had an assertion around what was going on. We had created big results up until now; we’d accomplished some incredible, professional goals that matched her ambition and commitment to growth. However, since hitting those milestones, life very quickly had become good enough across all the major areas of her life. Comfortable, easy usually excludes excitement. Without the excitement and dreaming about the impossible, I’m not surprised coaching started to feel like a chore.

 We course-corrected and looked at where she might be hiding and playing small, and it brought up so much emotion! On the other side of that emotion was the realization that the reason she hired a coach was to move way beyond her comfort zone, the life that’s “good enough” and into a life she never thought would be possible. 

 *THIS* is what I do. As I told my client, the real work begins now. Her homework this week starts with her asking for what she wants from three colleagues at work, on the back of courage and vulnerability.

 I’m fortunate to have found my professional calling and have the opportunity to work with such high-caliber clients. I get to witness hundreds of people experiencing the leap from “good enough” to “jaw-dropping-amazing.” I realize not everyone is up for the latter; it’s very uncomfortable and confronting at times. 

Here’s to living a jaw-dropping amazing life,

“Through my work with Sarah, I developed a skill set that delivers far more awareness and intention than I had before. As a result of Sarah’s guidance and process, I realized my role as a leader and continue to experience the positive changes in holding that space. In addition to the impact on my professional life, I also created a strong, intentional vision for my personal life.

There are two skills I developed via Sarah that I use daily. The first is realizing that much of my unhappiness was directly attributed to unmet expectations. While many expectations were ones I placed on myself, I came to understand that I commonly applied expectations to others. The real a-ha! moment that Sarah coached me through was an understanding of the difference between expectations and agreements. This shifted so much for me, generating change across the board in my life.

The second breakthrough that has reduced the friction in my professional and personal lives is the ability to distinguish, and not commingle, acceptance and shame. Through many convos, exercises, and analysis with Sarah, I fully understand that I am the sum total of my experiences and choices. While they have been a mix of good and bad, all I can change is how I move through the world today. I cannot fully explain how liberating this insight has been and the fruit it has yielded in my life.

A third breakthrough has been around having an awareness of being a leader (willingness to have honest conversations and sit in the discomfort) vs. trying to make everyone happy and not rock the boat. I have found that in every aspect of my life, when I show up as a leader and am willing to say “the thing” and stick with it, breakthroughs and change occurs. When my focus is on being social and pleasing, the frustration continues.

Probably the biggest surprise I’ve had is around my marriage and the role that I have played in its current status. My way of being, because I was living through expectations, was not always kind or deferential. I was always expecting of him what I expect of myself. I never realized that my expectations, my lack of transparency, created a huge gulf between us. I have shared this breakthrough with my husband, taken responsiblity for what I have done, let go of my shame, and invited him to enter a new space in our relationship.

Sarah helped me see that the game that I’ve been playing is too small; that I’m capable of much much more. She’s given me the freedom and tools to strategically think bigger.

I think Sarah’s gift is challenging people’s assumptions about themselves to help them redefine what is possible in their life. She does it with such care, nuance, and patience that the changes feel organic — like she’s uncovering who I really am, and I recognize that person. Sarah’s insights about me and her ability to gently guide me toward my best self is masterful! In Sarah, I have found a masterful leader and by far, my biggest champion.

Sally Nellson Barrett, Founder of Just Jump Films/ I Love Public Schools

Motherhood is Leadership.

Driven women are accustomed to thinking of leadership in terms of a fancy title. Or, a corner office. Or, an MBA from (insert your favorite university). This misconception occurs without realizing that when you signed up for Motherhood, you were actually taking on the leadership role. 

Fast forward to the present, and it probably seems obvious that you’re in leadership when it comes to leading your children. We all know they watch our every move: the good, bad, and the in-between, starting at a young age. And, leadership as a mother is not for the faint of heart.  When you were pregnant with your first, remember how everyone told you how awesome parenthood is? Funny how they omitted the part about sleepless nights, tantrums, impact on marriage, career, etc.  I work with powerful women all day long, and those of them who are mothers will tell you their leadership gets tested the most as a Mother.

I’m eager to see Mothers really own their leadership in a way that creates the relationships they want not just with their children, but with their partners and colleagues.  

Imagine what more intimacy would feel like with your partner? Not just physical, but emotionally too.

Imagine what it would feel like to be even more leadership with your colleagues and to be really seen and heard? 

I hear all day long from driven women how they are chomping at the bit for more intimacy and support from both partners and colleagues; how they’re tired of carrying all the load when it comes to the operations of the children and the household. While there are plenty of examples of mothers not being given the same respect and opportunities as men, I believe it’s up to us Mothers to change the narrative. We need to say goodbye to any flavor of martyrdom and pointing fingers (past or present) and stand in leadership.  Otherwise we’re just handing over our power and perpetuating a leadership style that doesn’t foster intimacy and ultimately authentic connection.

Three telltale signs you’re owning your power and standing in leaders as a Mother and a woman:

  1. Standing in personal responsibility and cleaning up a mess, if you’ve made one, that’s impacted someone else. This looks like not only owning your mistakes, it ultimately means owning the impact you had on someone. Clean. It. up. 
  2. Believing you’re worthy of your desires and asking for what you want. You were born worthy. Life happened, and you’ve started to pick up stories that your desires don’t matter as much as someone else’s. It’s not true. That story doesn’t serve you. Standing in leadership looks like choosing to drop that old storyline. 
  3. Practicing forgiveness daily! Forgiveness is the gateway between judgment and compassion. If you’re wanting to love more openly, be kinder, be more patient, then the judgement has got to go!  Remember, judgment and compassion are like oil and water, they don’t mix. This doesn’t mean you have to let someone walk all over you. It just means being honest with that person and by all means practicing forgiveness and letting the judgments go. 

As a Mother of 3 boys, I fall out of leadership regularly. We’re human. We’re complicated. We have lots of feelings all at once and that can create chaos. My focus is always how quickly can I get back to center. Leadership. Mother’s Day is just a few days away. Instead of hoping you get to have a lie in, ask for what you want. Stand in leadership. Ladies, we were born with voices and desires for a reason. Let’s use them to lead. Imagine collectively what would be possible if all of us Mothers took the bull by the horns and stood in leadership? I imagine we’d feel a tremendous sense of connection, support, and love not only from our colleagues and partners,  but from our children too.

Here’s to being driven women who are owning ALL of their leadership, unabashedly,

Tired of feeling invisible?

How are you? Really, how are you? I want to know. 

 So, this past weekend I was supposed to be in magical Zion National Park with my Board Group, an amazing group of 6 driven leaders, all committed to supporting each other to create their biggest dream this year as well as receiving support to create theirs. Since we couldn’t be in Zion due to shelter-in-place, I hosted a virtual retreat, working together in depth for 6 hours split up in two sessions. When I say worked, we went deep, we stretched ourselves, & we felt all the feels along the way.

Prior to the virtual retreat, I noticed my own thoughts around visibility. It’s hard to admit this because I think there’s so much judgment wrapped around discussing visibility. Those thoughts sound like:

  • “Who am I to want more visibility?” And, “Shouldn’t I be grateful for the life I have; the love around me?”
  • “Wanting more visibility is rooted in shallowness, & I don’t want to be known as shallow!”
  • “Visibility isn’t that hard if you’re willing to sell your soul to social media & miss the life in front of you…”
  • “I’m an only child, & so this sense of being alone is deeply-rooted; even when I experience visibility it’s never enough!”
  • “I actually have a lot of visibility as a driven person, so what am I complaining about?” 
  • “If only I was more visible in my marriage, my community, the world…”

I could go on & on, but what I noticed through my conversations within the SG community & my clients, is that I’m not alone! Phew. 

Almost every driven person I know — even if they have a huge social media presence, any level of fame, etc.) — is craving more visibility. 

What the heck does visibility mean anyway? 

To me, it means feeling the presence of all me in every area of my life. That presence includes the intelligence, the humor, the sensitivity, the generosity, the curiosity, the directness; all of it. It feels like courage and not being afraid to just own who I am – take it or leave it. 

For some, I hear they want more visibility in their marriage. For some, it’s within their friend group, or work, or even with themselves. I’ve found specificity works wonders and claiming what area you want more visibility in your life will really serve you. 

Now what? 

We can talk all day along about what’s getting your way, and more often than not, it’s some version of your fear. Knowing WHY you want to experience visibility and being clear about the pay off will act as a magnet, pulling you through the muck & driving the conscious choice to change your visibility. 

As a driven person, once you decide you want something, you go after it. It doesn’t mean you won’t be met with some resistance, which can show up in the form of overwhelm, confusion, frustration, martyrdom, and withdrawal, but here’s a place to start.

  1. Claim what quality you will stand in, so that you can take the action needed to be more visible? Some ideas: commitment. Courage. Vulnerability. Expressiveness.
  2. Start with the end result in sight for the specific area in which you want to be more visible. In other words, what would you see if you were MORE visible? 
  3. Work backwards, creating the key milestones you’re committed to in order to BE more visible. The key here is to write them down on a timeline, so you’re transparent & honest with yourself. 
  4. Write down your 1st baby step towards the first milestone, letting that step inform the next & the next. 

If visibility is what you’re after, then don’t wait. I believe that the world wants all of us in our wonder, & it’s actually quite selfish if we hold back our gifts in any part of our lives; it deprives others from getting to experience our awesomeness, our gifts, our magic, & our uniqueness. I can’t think of anything worse than getting to the end of our life, looking back & knowing we didn’t share ALL of ourselves with the world.

No. More. Waiting. 

I want to see you. We want to see you. If you want support. Hollar. I got you. We got you.

Love,

You want different results, show up differently.

Last week I shared how there is gold in this experience for ALL of us if we’re open to slowing down just long enough to see it.  For those of you who took a few minutes to post on social or email me directly about the Gold you’re finding, thank you! I love hearing from our SG community of driven leaders. 

I was on a video call this week with one of my clients, who’s typically going 100 miles an hour as the President of a Fortune 500 company, and she shared that the biggest gift for her during this pandemic has been slowing down enough (while keeping all the plates at work spinning!) to catch  some of her children’s milestones. She experienced her son riding his bike for the first time. As someone who’s working long hours and on a plane weekly, that was a huge gift for her.  In fact, it was the insight behind that gift that really rocked her. She gave me permission to share this with you in hopes of helping others use their gold for growth and learning. 

She had always imagined being an impactful leader AND being a present Mom who would never miss her children’s milestones. Over time, that desire faded and was replaced with her reality that had her on planes more often than she ever expected and working 15 hour days. 

When had she become someone who had settled for a different kind of motherhood experience than she had imagined? 

The short answer is: life got busy, responsibilities started piling up, society alway says “you can’t have it all etc”, and BOOM! She became agreeable, and the rest is history.  

Fast forward to this week, and she can’t stop thinking about her powerful insight. She had two choices: She could note the insight and then continue to play the game of life the same way she’s been playing it for the past 20 years, which includes pointing fingers at Corporate America, her partner, and anyone else for that matter who’s standing in the way of the experience she’s really desiring. 

OR, she could do something about it. 

Now, the latter is the harder choice. Not because it’s work — driven people aren’t afraid of doing work — but because it’s uncomfortable to look at why experiences aren’t really happening the way you’d like them to. 

Here’s what I want to impart on you: It’s not that she started doing something differently such as ignoring all her corporate responsibilities, so she could catch a milestone moment. It’s that she took a look at her leadership. In other words, the qualities in which she had been standing in that was perpetuating her to be absent. The quality that stood out the most to her was being agreeable. Compliant behavior led to her to not use her voice, to not establish clear boundaries that would empower her to be both a visible leader AND an engaged, present Mom. 

I gave her an assignment: She made a list of all the areas in her life where she’s being agreeable. You guys, the list was so long. It’s no wonder that many of her deepest desires weren’t coming to fruition. Just by making this list, she felt empowered to shift her leadership. It was a major eye opener!

We left that video call with her commitment to stand in honesty, specifically with her teams. 

The result? She got on a call the next day with her teams and was honest about how her leadership was impacting her relationships with her children and set a new boundary around when she is and isn’t available for calls. While the action seems obvious, it’s the shift in her leadership, her way of being, that has had the biggest impact. 

As a driven person, my hunch is you’re hungry for more. It’s not enough to just harvest your gold; you want more. You want different results. 

Before you go down the path of trying to figure out the solution. Look at your leadership. Who you’re being and start there. Shift your being, shift your results. No need to overcomplicate it.

If you’re like me and generally want MORE and want support around this, I’d love to hear from you.  Email me or drop me a line on social.

Love,

There’s Gold in the Uncertainty

How are you feeling? Not an easy question to answer, but I care about you and want to know! I’ve been a bit quiet since the whole pandemic landed in my life. When I start to experience a lot of change, my pattern is to turn inward. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I’m an observer at times. When I was a little girl & wanted to try something new, I would watch. Study it. Then, I would dive in with intention & do whatever the thing was on my terms. 

I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on this pandemic. Sat with questions like, “If this were happening for us, then what’s the gold?” Surely there’s gold, right?

I keep coming back to this idea that we, as a society, have been asking for more time, more connection, &, whadayaknow?!, the Universe delivered an expected pause. 

Starting in March, I found myself scratching my head, having what felt like an out of body experience, stuck in one of those 80’s sci-fi movies about the end of life as we know it. I had moments where I felt like a space cadet, moving through the days silently, introspectively in isolation, & then experiencing immediate existential bursts of energy & excitement over my realization that there is now space in my day to breathe. Imagine the impact that has had on my family, not knowing who they were going to get from day to day! 

Can you relate? 

I was fantasizing about Q1 2020, the days when (I felt like) I had control over my life. I had loads of travel for work & fun, experienced my biggest professional growth for SG&Co in 8 years, was present for 3 basketball games every Saturday, had tennis lessons twice a week, & standing weekly date nights. We hosted lots of house guests, hiked when we wanted to & went to the grocery store multiple times a week. Short days. Feelings of joy, exhilaration, exhaustion, overwhelm, gratitude, momentum, possibility. Control. 

Fastforward, & Q2 is underway with certainty running off like a bride with cold feet. The sense of control I thought I had was an illusion. Now that the running to & from, & the sense of freedom that I had — defined by being able to DO what I wanted when I wanted — has faded, I have space to notice all the feels. 

Anxiousness & curiosity are co-existing. My sheer feeling of horror towards noise. My boys are in the house so much more; you guys, it’s LOUD. I’m refereeing so much, & screens are at an all time high. I’m super uncomfortable with it.  

Did I mention I’m married to a Texan?! Pandemic or not, he just has a loud voice. God love that loudmouth.

But, without all the running to & from, it’s like I’m wearing a fresh pair of polarized sunglasses that have yet to be scratched. I feel like I’m actually noticing shades of things in a way that I never had before. 

Is anyone else having this experience? 

Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  1. Now, more than ever, I get the saying, “The only thing you have control over is how you show up & relate to your life.” I’m recognizing now, more than ever, it’s imperative I live from my values, as that’s what informs my way of being.
  2. I need to protect my energy & manage my boundaries. My intuition is loud, & it’s up to me to choose to listen to her.  
  3. It’s really, really uncomfortable when all the obvious distractions disappear, & I’m forced to BE in the present a hell of a lot more than ever before; still getting used to this. 
  4. I’m noticing beauty around me so much more. Last week, I heard a woodpecker & went running back to get one of my boys & my phone to video this guy just pecking away.
  5. My children are sharing a lot more. Or, maybe it’s that I’m listening & paying attention.
  6. My husband is incredibly talented at building things & enrolling our 3 boys in the process. I knew he was handy, but not like this. It’s really sexy seeing him build.
  7. I love to cook & actually prefer to make up my own dishes vs. following a recipe. I’ll share more about my concoctions soon. 
  8. My clients are scared, anxious, &, yet, they keep showing up. They’re opening, instead of closing, in the face of fear. They’re having really hard conversations at work, &, yet, they’re growing more than ever vs. falling prey to the tempting & easy route of shutting down. 
  9. I love puzzles. I used to think I didn’t have the concentration, but I do. 
  10. I love riding bikes. I like to pretend I’m in a bike gang when all 5 of us are out riding. It feels like we can conquer anything together.
  11. I feel more like myself when my priorities align with my values instead of my expectations. I see possibility everywhere. 

I’ve always prided myself as being a feeler (John, my husband, says my feelings have feelings). You guys, I feel like I can feel again in ways that I never knew were possible.

This, my people, my community, I believe is what it feels like to experience connection on the inside. To be ever-so-present that you notice the details. You feel the details. You live the details. It’s less about the big broad strokes & more in the details. 

I want to hear about the GOLD you’re discovering. It’s this gold that will support us in living our legacy each day. In the spirit of Maya Angelou, “Your legacy is every life you touch. It’s your way of being.”

Make no mistake about it: You have 100% control over who you BE throughout the day.  Minute to minute. That’s called leadership. Our leadership is tested more than ever in the breakdown. So, buckle up you guys. Harvest your gold & use everything you’re feeling, noticing, & learning to stand in leadership & live your legacy. 

That is how we’re going to turn this horrific pandemic into a blessing. 

Possibility is everywhere if you choose it,

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