Thursday, November 28, 2013

Seeing It All Through a Lens of Gratitude

In the spirit of this day of thanks, I thought I'd share a few of the answers that came up for me when I completed my 30 Days of Gratitude worksheet last month (you can get the worksheet here for free). I hope you're having a wonderful turkey day and that you tap into massive amounts of gratitude from now through the end of the year.

Here are a few peeks into my daily feelings of gratitude:

Day 7
The strongest part of my body in this moment is: my vocal cords

Day 10
I felt a little burst of energy today when: my yoga teacher said, "Yes, Melissa that's it!" while I was doing a back bend

Day 15
I'm grateful that my hands can hold: spray paint and tools

Day 23
I'm grateful for the way these things feel: cozy socks, sunlight, hot showers

Day 26
When I look around the world, I'm grateful for: tolerant people, changes in thinking about farming, marriage equality, mental health, and guns

Unfortunately there's a whole other set of gratitude catalysts that my 30 Days worksheet doesn't cover: the hard things. The challenges that end up revealing great blessings. Life coach Meadow Devor wrote a beautiful post about this earlier in the week. And it really got me thinking about how thankful I am for the challenges I've faces in my life thus far.

I'm grateful that I was a pipsqueak late bloomer because it helped me develop a greater sense of humor.

I'm grateful that my boyfriend cheated on me in 2007 so I could finally become clear on what I really deserved.

I'm grateful that I've had to spend periods of time away from my husband, forcing me to stand stronger in my own independence.

I'm grateful that health scares in my family reminded all of us how lucky we are to have one another and how we should try to make the most of every day because we never know how much time we have here.

I'm grateful that the last year has been a crazy stress roller coaster because it reminded me the importance of practicing what I preach and using the tools I have to combat overwhelm.

And I'm grateful that there will be new challenges ahead to teach me invaluable lessons and steer me along my path toward every point I'm meant to hit in this life.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you, readers. I hope you can find much to be grateful for today, too.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Launching a Counterattack on Stress: A How-To Guide

Hawaiian vacations are a great way to de-stress, but most of us can't afford to
take them on a weekly basis.

Last night I hosted a free call on my 5 Top Tips for Overcoming Overwhelm and Breaking Free from Your Funk. It was a jolly good time and if you missed it, you can listen to the recording here!

There's also an accompanying Google doc that you can download here.

What I'm talking about may not be rocket science or brain surgery—but it is brain science! Certain practices I cover can literally help you start to rewire your brain so that it refocuses on the positive instead of the negative. And when you're feeling stuck in a funk, that kind of change in perspective can be extremely valuable. 

While I have you here, I also wanted to let you know about a little program I'm putting together to kick off the New Year. It's called Wonderful U and it's all about reconnecting to your sense of self—and what makes you wonderful—so you can find more joy and get more of what you want out of life. When it comes to your career aspirations, relationships, life experiences, goals, hopes and dreams, the common denominator is YOU. Everything revolves around how you feel about yourself and how you treat yourself. I want to make sure you're feeling and acting from a place of wonderful.

So I'm cooking up a workbook, a series of four tele-classes, and a fun kick-off party at my house in California's Central Coast wine country to help you make it happen.

You can find more details here and here.

I hope last night's call helps if you're feeling stuck in a state of funky overwhelm. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or want to chat!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My 5 Top Tips for Battling Overwhelm and Breaking Free from Your Funk

One of my nightly practices: documenting things I'm grateful for in my Grat Pad.

We have this saying in coaching that goes, "You've got to live it to give it." You can't go around trying to help people solve problems if you haven't taken your own medicine and solved them yourself.

I knew this back in January when I started offering girlfriend getaway coaching weekends to friends and family that wanted to learn about "Overcoming Overwhelm," but I didn't know that the Universe had big plans for teaching (and reteaching) me how to do it myself. Live it to give it...

I thought because I had all sorts of fancy tools up my sleeve from coach training that I was more than ready to share them with the world. And much of what I shared has helped clients.

But after going through a year that included a husband out of the country, monthly trips from California to Canada, two houses that required upkeep (in cities 2+ hours apart), working one full-time-ish job while trying to launch another business (this one!), packing and moving (sans husband again), caring for ailing geriatric cats, and trying to fit in fun stuff here and there, I realized I needed a new toolset. Whew!

When I moved in August, I was under the false assumption that Everything! Was Going to Get! Easier! Hooray!


The first two months were extremely rough and it wasn't until I started putting my coaching knowledge into action that I really began to feel better.

And the funny thing was that the external stressors seemed to calm down as I calmed down. Coincidence? I kind of think not.

All of this is to say that I came away with 5 Stupendously Important Practices that I shall henceforth use anytime I'm in a funk again. And probably in between funks. Like preventative medicine.

I'm sharing my 5 Top Tips for Battling Overwhelm and Breaking Free from Your Funk on a live call next Tuesday night, November 19 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. PST. 

And it's completely free, baby!

If you're a ball of stress like I was, I highly encourage you to dial in and learn the tips—plus get a little free coaching if you need it. Send me a note here telling me that you'd like to attend and I will send you the call-in number and accompanying Google doc.

And if you can't attend live, I may record the call and post it on the site. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finding Your Feel Good Flock

I've been taking part in Brené Brown's Gifts of Imperfection e-course on, and one of our recent assignments was to make a list of people we can share our "stories" with, knowing they'll continue to love us no matter what we say.

It was an interesting exercise and it got me thinking about all the different "lists" that exist within each of our social communities.

We have the friends we've known forever and love to reminisce with, and the friends from work who can totally understand our career-related joys and pains, and the friends in similar life stages who integrate easily into our routines, and the ones who are different from us and have the power to pull us out of our comfort zones.

But one of the friend flocks I find most essential to a sense of joy and aliveness is the group that speaks our language and sets our senses of possibility in motion.

These are the people who share our passions. The ones who light up with us when we start carrying on wildly about our hobbies or aspirations or philosophies on life. They not only support the facets of our feel-good, they understand them in a way other friends may not. They get it.

For me, the feel good flock includes friends who get amped up over personal growth talk, nurturing of the spirit, and the magic we're all capable of creating in our lives. When I'm with "birds" from this flock, I can feel myself just humming. There's a sense of playfulness and positivity and deep understanding in all of our interactions.

Making a list of the people who fit this bill in your life will enable you to connect with them quickly to get feel-good fixes when you need them most. 

So who are the birds that really speak your language? Which friends up the power supply to that little light shining inside you?