The other day I woke up with an ache in my neck. It was a familiar pain, I’d experienced it in the past when I hadn’t been practicing proper ergonomics and I ended up having to do 4 months of physical therapy to get it to subside. And there it was again. Despite the fact I know better, I’d been doing all the things I shouldn’t. Sitting hunched over at my computer in bed or on the couch because I was too lazy to go to my office. And forget the maintenance exercises I’m supposed to do each morning. Who has time for that? Well, it came back this time with a vengeance. Pain like I’d never felt before. So painful I couldn’t sleep at night. There I was, lying in bed on a girl’s weekend to Marfa, Texas with my best friend, awake in agony for the better part of 3 nights. The spiral loop of doom It was the last night of the trip that I really started to think myself into jail. My friend had left me alone in the hotel room so I could go to bed early and get some rest. Except rest was not to be had. My mind was spinning. I knew I had to calm myself down, but I was off to the races… The day after we get back I start teaching a new leadership program for a client. What if I’m running on no sleep to do that? What if the pain doesn’t go away? What if I’m not firing on all cylinders and have difficult participants? What if they think I’m an idiot? And then that will just set off a chain reaction to affect every other session I have with these people, who will now just view me as some kind of overpaid talentless hack who knows nothing about leadership? Why does this kind of thing always happen to me? I’m cursed! It’s amazing where one’s mind will go when it has the opportunity to run free. Mine is typically off the cliff in 10 seconds or less. My mind was caught in what I call a spiral loop of doom – you keep replaying worst case scenario over and over again, and your anxiety rises and rises. Eventually you end up in a state beyond fight or flight, where you literally freeze, start to dissociate and shut down. I started opening all the tools I have in my mindfulness toolkit. I tried meditation. No dice. I tried breathing techniques, but again, nada. The loop of doom had grown too strong. And then I remembered a little phrase that my cousin Margaret had mentioned years ago when she was trying to quit smoking. “This will pass.” Her trick was to repeat it out loud to herself when she would get the compulsion to light up a cancer stick. “This craving will pass. This moment will pass.” The calming beauty of a simple phrase The beauty of that […]
May 18, 2022
4.1 min read
Too busy to meet a friend for coffee? Embrace your inner sloth…
“So how are you doing?” I asked an old friend the other day. “Busy! I’m just so busy at the moment. It’s crazy trying to find enough time in the day to get everything done. I don’t know where the time goes. How about you?” “Oh, keeping busy too I guess.” I vaguely hear myself mouthing the boilerplate response. The land of the crazy busy people I often feel as if I went to bed one night and woke up foggy headed and disoriented in the land of the busy people. You know the kind. Outwardly they appear as if in a perpetual rush. They’re surrounded by an aura of nervous, chaotic energy as they go about their daily business of running red lights, texting while driving, tapping their foot impatiently in the checkout line, intently replying to that next super urgent email on their smartphone, so focused they barely look up to mumble “Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip” to the bemused Starbucks barista. They tell you how much they meant to call you, but they’ve been running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Work has been insane. They promise to call soon, once their meditation class finally finishes. They say that it’s such a shame they don’t see you more often. Let’s make a date for coffee soon. I’m always left bewildered by these interactions. Is this crazy busy routine is just a clever ploy to avoid me? The second thing that crosses my mind is, “Why is the simple business of going about your life so damn complicated?” Because as far as I’m aware, none of these folks are busy solving the problems of the world or a front runner for the Nobel peace prize (present company included). Of course, there are things I could be doing but don’t (which I regularly beat myself up about) like working on yet another marketing campaign for my business or writing a new training course or perhaps even writing a fabulous new blog. But despite these things, I sometimes find myself bored. But bored is taboo these days. We’re not supposed to be bored. If we’re bored, something’s obviously wrong, because our Facebook statuses and Instagram pictures would indicate we’re all leading highly exciting, fast paced, idyllic lives full of meaning and purpose and god only knows what else. I’ve often thought about answering the “How are you” question honestly when I’m having an off day. I wonder what reaction I’ll get from the other party if I tell them I’m “bored and uninspired.” It may be similar to the look I got the other day at the liquor store when I was restocking the bar and mentioned to the cashier I was just picking a few things up to get me through the weekend. I often wonder, “How did crazy busy become our new normal?” As a child, I recall those moments of boredom that inspire you to light […]
February 8, 2022
6.5 min read
Sorry Whitesnake, you WEREN’T born to walk alone – A quick tip for building a support network
A proud child of the eighties, I’m sometimes reminded of that Whitesnake song, “Here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I’ve ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone!”
Catchy huh? Except for the fact that the songwriter was more concerned with finding the perfect rhyme than sharing an important truth about life. Which brings me to the point of today’s blog: how to develop a support network. Cultivating a robust support network is an important ingredient in the multifaceted recipe of resilience.
February 3, 2022
3.3 min read
It was a privilege to work with Shelley as my leadership coach! The process was structured and yet flexible enough to meet needs as they arose. Shelley helped me to grow, learn more about myself, and to really achieve what I set out to accomplish. We worked on planning, navigating a promotion successfully, and so much more! I experienced many successes as a result of working with Shelley, she has great resources, knowledge, and really helps with setting the foundation to this coaching work. She won’t let you down!
Having the opportunity to have Shelley as my Leadership Coach could not have come at a better time in my career. I was recently promoted to CFO and was new to the Senior Management Team. Shelley helped me navigate joining the team as well as helped me to determine who I wanted to be as a leader. The Leadership Circle Profile helped our team to discover our blinds spots and to be able to understand each other better. Working with Shelley not only has affected my professional life in a positive way, but also my personal life. She helped me take leaps and has given me the resources to continue this journey of self-improvement. If you’re looking to find more about yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself, I highly recommend working with Shelley.
I have been working with Shelley for the past 2 years on my leadership development journey. What I thought would be a straight line, I soon learned with Shelley’s guidance, was a winding path with several ups and downs along the way. Shelley supported me as I took a deep dive into my professional and personal history and learned how it affects my approach and my perceptions. She helped me to slow down and recognize certain behaviors and understand that I can pivot in the moment or try again next time. Ultimately, my work with Shelley turned out to be so much more than what I expected. Her approach to coaching was exactly what I needed.
Senior Vice President, Consulting
I’ve learned more about leadership in the past six months working with Shelley than I have in my 10+ year career. She is an incredible coach with many tools in her toolbox. The guidance and mentorship I’ve received from Shelley has been life-changing. She will challenge your limiting beliefs and inspire new ways of thinking.
I highly recommend Shelley if you need a coach, thought partner, and guide as you consider the next steps in your career. She provides practical tools and advice to help launch your career exploration, but most importantly, she is an expert at helping you cut through the noise of your limiting beliefs. At the end of our time together, I had a much clearer vision of what I wanted in my life and a plan to make it happen. My only regret is that I didn’t find her sooner!
My career coaching sessions with Shelley have brought me back to living. It’s been contagious, spreading throughout my personal and professional life. I now have the building blocks I need to continue setting healthy boundaries, the freedom to show up as my authentic self, and an adaption of a growth mindset that has allowed me to make bold decisions and try new things. I’ve discovered that there’s always another way and how to eradicate barriers that lead to tunnel vision. These sessions with Shelley have been a great gift and have given me the momentum I need to continue the journey to be my best self.
It is amazing to think where I was only 10 months ago when I first started working with Shelley and where I am now. Not only professionally but mentally and emotionally. Shelley helped me navigate out of an unhealthy work environment by challenging me and asking me those tough questions we never seem to ask ourselves. What are the values of a true leader? How do those values align with my own? Shelley challenging me and guiding me through some of those tough questions is what led to my epiphany and me having the courage and confidence to leave an environment that threatened my well-being. She taught me how to become more self-aware and self-compassionate. Reminded me to be kind even when the world would understand if I did otherwise. And the biggest one for me, shutting down that crazy inner voice (we all have it!) and replacing it with being present. Shelley has armed me with tools that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Tools that will help me to continue to grow and learn. Life can be hard but working with someone like Shelley does make it easier. She will help you navigate the good and the bad and you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process.
Director of Marketing
First of all I would like to say that I would recommend Shelley to anyone needing career guidance. As my counselor Shelley helped me transition my career from bartending to Tech Sales which was a difficult and scary transition for me. From the start Shelley was fantastic. Initially I had no idea of which direction I wanted my career to go, I just knew I wanted it to go somewhere else. Shelley was so kind and patient as she helped me figure this out, and gave me a step by step guide on how to explore my options and make an educated decision. She also helped me assess my skill set which played a large part in directing my energy. I landed a great job within days of my final session with Shelley, and now I’m month 3 I am absolutely loving it and doing very well. It was the perfect job for me and Shelley was the one that got me there. Working with Shelley was one of the best decisions I have ever made, she literally changed my life and I am so much happier for it.