My oldest son’s 14th Birthday. Everybody older always tells you how quickly life goes by. It’s so cliche, but it’s so true. I found myself getting a bit nostalgic so stepped outside to write you all. When my oldest was born, we were quite settled in London and if you’d told me this PNW gal would be raising her boys in 72 and sunny LA, I never would have believed you.
I’m confident that John and I made the best choices we could, given what we knew at the moment, which have lead us to the life we’re leading now. I’m quite thankful for ALL that we’ve created and the people in our lives.
Certainly coming out of the pandemic, now more than ever I’ve found myself paying close attention to how I’m experiencing day to day, and sitting with the question…
“Is this as good as it gets?”
I was in a conversation this month with a potential new client, and when I asked how things were going, he said, “pretty good. I mean I can’t complain. I have a really good job and I’m healthy.”
I dug in a bit more and asked, “On a rating scale 10 being I’m incredibly fulfilled and 0 being not so much, what number would you say?”
He answered with…
“I’m a 7. It’s good for now.”
A 7?! My insides shrieked, because 7 in my mind is the danger zone. It’s another way of saying, things are good. Fine. Specifically, I make that response mean, “I should be thankful for what I have, even though things are OK, they’re but not amazing.”
I so get it. We are taught to be thankful for what we have, and to not desire more. Especially when there are people hurting more than us, and the political and economic landscape is as turbulent as it currently is right now.
I disagree. I believe now more than ever is an opportunity to evaluate the experience you’re having day to day, and ask yourself, “Is this as good as gets?”
This doesn’t have to mean you pull the ripcord and do a complete 180. It does mean that you carve out space to visit your values and measure how you’re living by them (if you don’t know your values, email me and I’ll send you my values guide to help you get clear).
It will also require you to believe that you are worthy of experiencing life a 10/10 regardless of the circumstances around you.
John and I have been doing this over the last couple of months, and recognized that within the value of connection, particularly within our family, we weren’t anywhere near a 10. We’d fallen prey to ‘life.
We’re changing things up for 2023, and I’ll be sharing more about that in the coming weeks.
For now, as you begin to go into December, really ask yourself, ‘Is this as good as it gets?” From there, pull out those values and do some evaluating.
Are you going a mile a minute with back-to-back meetings, work, children, personal projects, while thinking about what you’re cooking for dinner and getting “organized” for the holidays?
You’re left feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and even bored from the groundhog’s day feeling that can arise when we push ourselves in overdrive.
I mean, seriously, where is the F-U-N
It can be easy to think that this chaotic schedule is happening to you (been there).
It’s Exercise Time
Instead of killing the fun, here’s an exercise that I give my clients that are in this de-fun spiral.
Make a list of 10 ways in which you squash fun.
Writing them down will require you to stare at how YOU are contributing to feeling overwhelmed. It can be confronting. And then choose one or two things from your list (to start) where you can show up differently in your leadership.
Here’s an example of a list I started a few years ago.
How I Squash Fun in my Daily life
Being busy every moment of the day
When I have a win, I ignore it and immediately focus on the next big opportunity
I tend to overextend myself in every area of my life.
I stay up late responding to emails. This means not being able to get up early and work out because I’m too tired.
I delay making decisions because something better may come along.
I do the easy stuff first. Which is often the mundane stuff and doesn’t inspire me at all.
I say yes to client requests no matter what.
I use fun as a ‘reward’. (Ex: I get to watch that movie once I’ve cleaned up the house)
I compare myself/my life/my kids to other people’s lives/kids.
I often over-effort/overthink.
As one of my mentors says, “this issue isn’t the issue, the issue is how you relate to the issue.”
As you move through your day, your busy week, and get ready for the holidays, I encourage you to come up with your own list of “10 ways I squash fun.”
Then stare that list in the face and see where you can show up in leadership. Can you stand in trust and not worry that that client will leave you if you say no and maintain a boundary? Can you stand in fun and choose the fun thing before the reward?
We’re here for a nanosecond and laughing and enjoying life is what it’s all about.
If you’re too busy to say yes to something you really want, are you willing to lead from a different quality in order to create it?
Almost all of my clients, and myself included, have a bias for action. We like to plow through things and get it done. That also tends to mean that are schedules are packed. Sound familiar?
Part 2 to that, those packed, productive days can also mean that when opportunities we really really want come up (professional, creative, personal, fun) we don’t know what to do.
We freeze, and often turn them down completely. Also sound familiar?
Case in Point: I was at a wedding a few weeks ago and one of my clients spontaneously invited me to the 3% Conference in Atlanta in two weeks.
I didn’t tell her this, but I’m telling you. My initial thought…. “Is she crazy? That would mean rescheduling nearly 15 client meetings across three days. And the boys… what about the boys, the homework, the cooking, and and and…”
…. Clearly, that came from fear.
Then I thought….” is she being serious?”
All the while I could feel a burst of positive energy and excitement course through my body.
Experience and impact are two values I live by, and the 3% Conference is something I’ve wanted to participate in for years. In a nutshell it’s a very established movement in the creative world that believes (as do I) that more women & more diversity = MORE creativity + more profitability.
Without speaking to my team, my husband, my kids, I blurted, “HELL YES.”
I let go of how I would make it all work and I chose to lead from trust.I get it, I really do. Leadership happens in the moment. Busy bees like us can get such tunnel vision and addicted to the high of planning and completing things, that we deny ourselves the joy of living in the moment.
But there’s another way to lead.
So this week in your leadership…
Can you identify what you’re craving, and then identify what QUALITY you need to lead from to experience that desire.
I chose trust. My team, my family, my own ability. To communicate changes and decide what things can be pushed back or let go. And I know you can choose a different quality to lead from too.
Stay tuned as I share my key takeaways and leadership growth from the 3% Conference this week (follow me on socials if you don’t already)!
I’m so glad we’re in this together learning and growing,
We’re on the brink of the holiday season and I’m slipping into old patterns.
We waited until this week to sort out Halloween costumes, and Amazon was not an option (gone are the days of excitement and appreciation for my handmade Halloween costumes). Sure enough, we were driving from one Halloween store to another trying to track down a very specific costume.
I could feel the tiredness and irritability setting in. As I was sitting in peak LA traffic with one of my boys and literally asking myself, “What are we doing? Did I learn anything from COVID?” The impact of my choice to drive around looking for one specific costume felt chaotic and wasn’t in alignment with the feeling of grace and ease I desire.
Does anyone else relate to leaving something to the last minutes only to create a chaotic, frustrating experience for yourself?
But I caught it – I noticed that I was leading from that place of chaos and frustration and I checked it.
If anything, COVID taught me to roll with things – to stay open – to lead from a place of flexibility and to model that for those around me.
That’s how leadership works. It’s a choice. It requires us to be an active participant. Even if you’re facing extreme circumstances, it still comes down to you choosing leadership from moment to moment. And yes, it can feel very uncomfortable.
I have a hunch that the holidays are going to test us this year. Most of us are still climbing out of a dark hole adjusting to socializing again. Sorting out the dance between supporting our own needs while also delivering on all of our commitments.
As we approach the holiday season, what quality will you choose to lead from in service to having the experience you desire?
I’m choosing openness, with the intention of not being attached to an outcome because I know that’s how pinch-me-moments happen. Bring on the ease and grace, please!
Today’s leadership kick: Where do you argue for your limitations/life circumstances instead of choosing possibility?
I just returned from 4 days in the majestic National Zion Park, where I hosted the retreat for The Board. These women have spent 9 months consistently choosing to show up for each other and themselves. Through two hour group coaching calls they grew their leadership and experience into the most authentic and powerful version of themselves. These women, like you, live very active lives. CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Mothers, and had every good reason to cancel up until the last minute…BUT they didn’t.
They chose to come.
They chose to lead from curiosity.
They chose to BE uncomfortable.
Where most people want something different but continue to cling to cruise control, these women chose otherwise.
A lot of people talk about wanting to grow their leadership by reading a self-help book or listening to a podcast, but then get distracted with life and rarely anything changes
Not my people.
These women experienced their edge when it came to their own leadership last weekend. I was reminded that there is no replacement for experiencing coaching in the great outdoors. There’s a depth in the connection that gets created and that lends itself, so beautifully, to people dropping their armor and opening their hearts to being a stand for one another.
At one point, one of the women said how much she loved the hike, but hated having to look down all the time to avoid tripping on the rocks. Hours later realizing that was a telling metaphor for how she shows up in life –
if she’s constantly focused on what’s WAY out in front of her, it can lead to future tripping ⇢ which can stir up anxiety and in-action.
Realizing there are times where it’s necessary to focus on what’s right in front of her if she wants to take action and make changes.
Another Board member noticed she often chose to be in the back of the hikes, and when she would move to the front of the group, she felt wildly uncomfortable! She made it mean, in her head, that somehow she wasn’t as strong of a leader as the other women because she wasn’t in the front. Only to realize that leadership doesn’t look one way – and for her, hanging back and bringing up the rear allowed her to lead authentically.
If it weren’t for these women sitting in their discomfort and expanding their ability to sit in it, they wouldn’t have experienced these insights.
Subtle yes. Transformative, you better believe it.
You can read a version of this kind of growth somewhere, but when you experience it, embody it, that’s when you physically begin to show up differently in situations and lead from a more conscious place.
I have so much more to share, but for now, consider, “Who do you want to BE?”
How will you choose to BE in order to show up in leadership in ALL areas of your life?
If you’re one of my people and believe revolutionary growth happens inside revolutionary relationships, DM me to learn more about The Board 2022. We start in Feb. and the first spot has already been claimed! And…I’ll be announcing something very special about The Board for 2022 this week that has ME leaning into my edge.
Will you choose YOU this coming year?
Never underestimate possible.
Some of you know we made the difficult choice to put Hank, our 90 lb., 15 year-old Australian Labradoodle down recently. Um hello, that was excruciating – but the right thing to do.
I’ve been reminded that grief is grief – a human or a pet – one minute I feel at peace and the next I feel a gaping hole in my heart.
From the moment we brought Hank home, he began teaching me one of the greatest lessons about leadership.
Hank was a BIG dog, with big paws. Albiet clumsy, and certainly not the fastest pup in the pack during his glory days. But what he lacked in coordination and speed, he made up for in presence. He was regal. Strong. Yet gentle, and approachable (even the non-dog lovers would ask to pet him!)
Over the years, I watched Hank command attention wherever he went. Literally everywhere. He’s in more random people’s photos that I could even count.
And he did it in the most gentle way. No obnoxious barking, or bickering with other dogs or attention seeking behavior.
If he was on a walk, he would saunter down the street and wouldn’t even blink if another dog nipped at him. If he wanted a human’s attention, he would gently lean into the person nearest to him as if they were old friends.
In a world where presence often takes the shape of being the extrovert, or the biggest sharer on social media, I found myself dimming my light because of what I thought presence had to look like.
Can you relate?
Hank in his very methodical, consistent way continued to remind me that presence can look entirely different than how it’s portrayed in the world.
He showed me that strength and courage can co-exist with softness, inner confidence and trust.
Hank lived by ‘the more the merrier’ even if it meant bringing cats into our house or friends’ dogs. He was so comfortable with who he was, it didn’t matter if others were introduced into the mix thus needing attention.
He was living proof that owning your presence didn’t mean that someone else couldn’t shine.
So in your leadership this week — could you lean into your presence without dimming your light?
Brene Brown said it best. Strong back, wild front, brave heart.” That was Hank 100%.
For all my ambitious working Moms out there who are doing a mile-a-minute with both feet on the gas pedal, please hit pause and watch this Ted talk today ‘My Year of Saying Yes to Everything,’ by Shonda Rhimes.
I’m proud to say I’ve watched this upteenth times because the message is just that good. For those of you who don’t know, Shonda Rhimes spent last year doing a social experiment saying YES to everything, allowing her to push boundaries and fears.
What was most valuable to her is what resonated the most with me. The idea that ‘Work doesn’t work without play.’
When I reflect on my own professional experiences, I can absolutely draw a correlation between the years that I spent head down, chasing, running, scrambling to close the next deal, only to feel disconnected, exhausted, lost and unfulfilled on the inside. The joy had been sucked out my professional life and was seeping into other areas of my life. My a-ha moment came when I had three very active, enthusiastic boys, five years old and under, staring me down every night and begging me to play?
It hit me. The message became clear.
Shonda Rhimes is spot on when she says, “It’s not really about playing with the kids. It’s about finding your joy. Give yourself 15 minutes a day and figure it out. Play in that arena.”
I like to think of our children as spiritual guides, sent here to remind us how to connect to ourself, so we can live our lives Consciously. Awake. Engaged. At the highest version of ourselves. My little boys had done just that.
Here are three things I do to weave JOY and PLAY into my life daily.
I go for a 15 minute walk, and I always find one or more of my children want to join.
I have playlists lock and loaded on my phone and put them on at least once a day – dance parties (solo or w/ children)
I sit on the ground. I find play happens on the ground. Either wrestling, make-believe, conversation….it all happens on the ground.
I couldn’t agree more with Shonda Rhimes, the more I give myself permission to play, the more I feel like myself, which is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? To live and experience the truth of who we’re here to become with grace and ease.
I stumbled uponthis video from Tina Turner’s 76th birthday celebration, and oh my. It lit me up inside. She taught me something powerful. While I’m pretty sure I knew it on the mental level, I felt it throughout my whole body. Something just clicked — especially at 27 seconds when she does a little skip!
Even if you watch just the first two minutes, my hope is that you’ll experience something similar. From the moment you can see her feet, there’s…
She exudes such humble confidence and owns her magnificence. It’s absolutely brilliant. Imagine a world if more of us women showed up this way?
What if you walked into your next networking event, board room meeting, or even just a restaurant, that way? Okay maybe you wouldn’t strut, or maybe you would! Imagine being so accepting and enthusiastic about who you are, leaving no room to hold back?
I can remember a time when I was in grad school — six months pregnant, getting my Masters, working a full-time, corporate job all while also coaching on the side. I would get comments like, “You’re so amazing. How do you do it?” I’m telling you this not to gloat, but because I didn’t own it; I downplayed it.
Can you relate? How many times have you sat in a meeting and not really gone for it? Not shared that million dollar idea that you know could have solved everything? Or maybe you’ve taken the backseat in a conversation with your husband because you just felt that was the ‘right’ thing to do.
No more. Imagine waking up, embracing your greatness, your uniqueness and celebrating it?
Instead of collapsing, channel Tina and try this:
Celebrate yourself — in your mind, energetically, and in the way in which you talk with others.
Trust that there’s room for everyone to experience success — you having a win doesn’t take away from someone else’s.
Brene Brown said it best, “Courage starts showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” CWM, it’s time to own your magnificence and be seen. If you need to strut. Own it. Do and be whatever it is you need to in order to ignite that spark inside and own who you are… it’s time. It’s from that place we can really make an impact.
And…I promise you’ll have a lot more fun along the way.