You are a human being. Not a human doing.

Do you ever feel like this? 

You're working harder than ever yet not much is changing regarding what you really want and you're beginning to think there is something wrong with you.

You are a human being. Not a human doing. Sometimes we forget that as we work long hours or work hard but notice we aren’t fulfilled or our work isn’t appreciated. 

Don’t push away difficult emotions. They resurface as anxiety, busyness, anger, frustration, stress, numbness and disconnectedness. 

When we learn how to sit quietly and ask ourselves what’s really going on inside us, that humility creates space for courage. We open this space by getting out of our routines, going to a favorite place or on a walk. The beach always does this for me. 

What we’ve turned away from creeps out of the shadows back into the light and though it is difficult to face what we’ve been running from, a sigh of relief follows when we do. Freedom is in sight. 

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So Much Tension

Do you ever look out at the world and wonder why with so much beauty there is so much tension? Why at work there is a sound mission yet there are personal agendas, bureaucracy, posturing and cynicism. 

Why at home and with friends there is love yet there are interpersonal struggles. 

Why with your free time there are interests but there never seems to be enough time to get to them. 

I took this photo on the beach recently because it reminded me that when we slow to a standstill we can actually canvas the landscape to notice not only what we need but more importantly what we want. 

You think you need a new job. You think you need a different partner, more love, new friends. You think you need more time. 

What you really want is to show up at work with confidence, influence and strategic execution that matters, gets noticed and opens opportunities for you to serve in a stronger capacity. 

What you want is to go home, not reach for cookies or wine,...

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Do This to De-Stress

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed such that you don't know where to begin? Then because you can't jump start anything that seems to work you become self-critical in the process and start taking everything personally. 

"This will never get better. It always seems to happen to me. Nothing is working. I wish I could just stop being this way. When will I get a break?"  

Here is a practice I share with my clients for when you feel stressed:  

1. Notice how stress shows up in your:  

a. Body = ________________

b. Feelings = _______________

c. Thoughts = ________________  

2. Welcome stress. Get curious about it. The body, mind and thoughts are designed to heighten how we deal with stress. This is good unless fear takes over. Disarm fear by answering…  

a. I am stressed about __________________________________ (WHAT?)  

b. Dig deeper. Ask yourself WHY? 5 times: Why is that important to me?

Why is that important to me?

Why is that important to...

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Just Calm Down

Telling someone who is visibly upset to "Just calm down" is like saying, “Just stop overeating” to someone who wants to lose weight. Intellectually, you know what you need to do yet your self-management skills aren’t keen enough to cease the behavior or the unresolved feeling. And quick fix advice such as “be positive” makes you feel worse because it denies the inadequacy you feel inside. 

I used to be more of what could have been labeled a ‘distant’ leader. Calming down was not my issue. Relatability was.

Three things changed that for me and for my clients struggling with how to manage emotions:

1) Allow them.

2) Be curious about them.

3) Be compassionate to yourself and others.

This wasn’t a quick fix. It was a repeated practice of continually taking myself through this exercise of self discovery which lead to self acceptance.

I was a single mother and only provider of four children who was stuck in survival mode. I neglected...

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If You Are Easily Offended

Many truly great leaders have a trigger that once tripped eradicates composure, reduces executive presence, and strips effectiveness as a behavior they don’t want to exhibit takes over. 

That behavior could be getting emotional, lashing out defensively, crusading offensively, withdrawing in defeat and others. At this point you are off your game and people not in this fight-flight-freeze trap can manipulate you if their motivation serves them to do so. 

Everyone has a trigger. It’s where we feel most vulnerable - most hurt, sad, angry, undervalued, small, at risk, ineffective. In a nut shell it’s where we feel most alone. It’s like being immediately thrust to the edge of a cliff with a herd of rhinoceroses charging you and nobody there to throw you a rope. 

Great leaders lean in not out from this feeling. They sense it coming, get curious about what the vulnerability is trying to teach them, nurture it like a puppy, throw themselves a rope...

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When You Want to Do Something Else

Every year at this time I ask my clients to designate one word for the year that will serve as a homing beacon for when life is confusing. This year I chose the world "ALLOW." I wrote the word in sand at our beach house, took a photo of it and put the image in a frame on my night stand where I look at it each evening before bed and each morning before I start my day. I've been doing this for years.

The word ALLOW served me well this year. I prevailed in my work on a $4.6 million capital campaign for an important project that serves under-resourced patients, supported my mother in an independent living facility, was executrix on my uncle's estate, overcame health challenges, celebrated a milestone birthday with the people I love - all while in the stress of a pandemic where people were sick and dying at the hospital where I am its Foundation's president.

I ALLOWED what was out of my control while focusing my energy on what was in my control. And for me a lot of that energy went...

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I Am Struggling

I am struggling with what we’ve been seeing in the world - the blatant lack of respect for fellow human beings. I’ve read everything I can on it, talked with close friends, ordered books that I think will help make sense of it all. It wasn’t until I stopped “seeking” answers and turned inward that I found what I was looking for. 

I got out my watercolors, sat down on my front porch and painted a favorite scene of Hilton Head Island from a photo I had taken   recently. In the solace of this mindful activity clarity began to emerge.

The world is full of scarred souls - souls who don’t know how to love because they’ve never been loved or feel they don’t deserve love. Love is the very basic of all emotions. Everything emanates from there. So if we can’t love, we can’t connect, be open, grow, be happy, feel liked, love others etc. When we are void of fulfilling emotions and don't turn inward to work on what needs...

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This Happened Sunday

Two nights ago I didn’t recognize myself. I got home from a wonderful weekend at the beach to find that all the packages that had been delivered were left in the rain in my driveway instead of on the porch. Many of my Christmas card envelopes had gotten stuck together from the moisture and I had been shorted 25 of them.

As I sat there putting labels on envelopes and trying to pry apart envelopes without ruining them I heard myself say, “I hate doing this. I don’t even know why I send Christmas cards” followed by a few words I can’t even write down.  

Now, this is not me. I think all year about the photos on my Christmas cards. It’s my way of sharing a joyous hello. I love opening the cards from friends.  

Finally, my husband had to tell me, “OK, that’s enough now” to shake me awake from my funk. 

Perfection. Holidays inspire perfection. And that inspires expectations. And that inspires unmet expectations....

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My Special Thanksgiving Message for You - Will she make it?

As you head into the Thanksgiving holiday please remember to take care of yourself. We often set expectations for holidays that set us up for disappointment. Or we’re sad about who won’t be there. Or we tire ourselves striving for perfection making a meal that gets eaten in 30 minutes. 

Thanksgiving is a time when we appreciate all that we already have and already are - a sweet kiss to a child that lives out of town, a laugh shared over a family memory, a favorite smell, the touch of a hand that says, “I’m here and I love you.” 

Remember to see people as individuals and not part of a scene you’ve prescribed in your head. Don’t let the holiday go by where you’ve not been fully present for at least one individual precious moment with each and every loved one, including your pet. And sometimes just pause, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am grateful to feel good!” 

All of our six children will be home...

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Your Comfort Zone

I really like this graphic because it illustrates how we have to move beyond fear before we can truly learn. We can read and study about what we need to do but nothing really changes until we deal with fear first. After conquering fear there is freedom.  

Fear is generally mired in life messages to which we affix assumptions. “I’m not ______ enough.” Unraveling those messages is difficult no doubt. We have to face them first. Examine the discomfort. Define how we feel about it. Welcome it in so we can own it. Not turn away. We can release what we own. If we remain victims and don’t own our discomfort it just keeps chasing us down and we just keep running away. That’s paralyzing.

Wishing you freedom today.

If you are struggling with uncertaintly and feel exhasuted and ineffective watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable...

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