I spent the last few days up in Taos in the mountains on vacation, desperately trying to keep up with my energetic husband on the high mountain trails. As I was huffing and puffing up the slopes of Wheeler Peak at 13,200 feet, one has some time to think deep thoughts, the alternative is to be consumed with fear about sliding off the mountain. And as the 4th of July holiday passed, it inspired me to think about freedom, and what is means to be truly free. There are things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the types of rights contained within our constitution. And then there are the more subtle elements that lie within the recesses of our minds. Because when you really start to think about what it means to be free, quite often, the inhibitor of our freedom lies within. Fixation on the Future To what extent do I really have control over my thoughts? Or am I a slave to anxiety, negativity, burnout? Often each day we’re locked in unconscious patterns of thought. Our focus and attention are hijacked. We forget our innate self-worth and often fixate on accomplishments and accolades as proof that we are worth something. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Have I accomplished enough? Will I ever have enough time to get everything done? We worry unnecessarily rather than focus on the moment we are in. We float through our day, half present, consumed by the thoughts in our head, not really connecting with others, not really enjoying the moment, or appreciating where we are at, because we’re so consumed by where we need to be. Once we get to where we think we need to be, we’re consumed by a new need, a new want. A new client, a new project, a new job, a new career. Because unfortunately when we’re fixated on the future, there’s no end in sight. Our needs and wants are unlimited. No wonder we’re so exhausted. Fixation on the Past Or maybe we’re ruminating on the past. Which can often be a recipe for depression. I should have done that differently. I shouldn’t have had that conversation that way. I messed up. I made a bad decision. If I knew then what I knew now… But the point is you didn’t. What are you holding onto from the past? How is holding onto this limiting your capacity to feel fully free? One of the principles of my coaching philosophy is “It’s impossible to make a mistake.” This is often difficult for many folks to grasp. We think about people we’ve wronged, bad decisions we’ve made, tests we’ve screwed up on. The list is long. But when you really get down to brass tacks and you think about those moments, you didn’t set out to “make” a mistake. Typically, you did the best you could in that moment with the level of consciousness you had. Or maybe instead of shame it’s anger and resentment […]
July 6, 2022
4.2 min read
Forget the mind for a second, it’s the body that really matters
I’m just going to be honest. This week I’ve found myself in a real funk. I haven’t been as motivated to do things, and I’ve found myself falling into the trap of thinking that the harder I am on myself, the more I will push myself, or rather shame myself, I will suddenly move into action. And then I start noticing all the things I haven’t done, one of which being, I haven’t given much thought to writing this blog. And because I’m then coming from a negative place to start with, I don’t want to do it, because whatever I produce won’t be good enough and will just be a real pile of crap. Obviously, this is an excellent frame of mind to start any task from… Our bodies are speaking to us And then I realized something and decided to cut myself a little bit of slack. I’ve got a physical issue that has flared up at the moment. It’s called vestibular neuritis just in case you were wondering, and it’s a condition that affects my right inner ear. When it flares up, I get really dizzy and the entire day feels like I’m riding on a boat on the high seas, and I can’t get off. Needless to say, this kind of sucks, as it often affects my ability to concentrate, to feel focused, to feel like a normal human being. It’s a boat ride without the beautiful view, and with a bit of constant low-level nausea. Hooray. The realization I had is just how important the body is to our full sense of wellbeing. I should know this right? I am a yogini after all. I even taught yoga for years. But the reality is that most of us don’t. We do yoga for exercise and to look good in our new Lululemon top. We often talk about mind, body, spirit connection, but we tend to prioritize the mind, humans being the hyperactive creatures that we are, our noggins just never seem to turn off. And we treat our bodies as a bag of bones that we drag behind us in the quest for enlightenment and fulfillment. Sure I need to feed it well. And drink plenty of water these days if you live in Texas like I do, it’s hot out there! But what I’m talking about goes beyond the maintenance needs of day to day in terms of things like food and sleep. Tune into your body – what is it telling you? Our body is sending us messages all the time. And we need to learn to tune into them and listen. As opposed to ignore and push through the discomfort like is the normal tendency of many of us to do. “Give me the drug. Give me that pill that will make me forget about it.” I’m realizing this is the way I used to handle this condition, which I’ve had since my early twenties. The result was that during a flare […]
June 23, 2022
4.2 min read
Goodbye My One Good Habit
So far I’d been coping like a trooper. For instance, I hadn’t the slightest bit of concern about the run on toilet paper. And despite client cancellation after cancellation in my leadership development training diary, I still hold faith that these events will eventually be rescheduled, albeit it may take some time. I don’t care what the so-called experts say, I plainly refuse to believe that training and leadership development has been relegated to a computer screen for the rest of eternity. In a quest to use this “time off” to my advantage, I had mentally started to compile a list of all the things I would like to do for my business I had been avoiding: do my taxes, clean up my files, update my coaching log for the International Coaching Federation – a super tedious task I’ve been avoiding for over a year and even start my blog up again. Like many small business owners I had enthusiastically embraced the blogging and posting practice back in 2015 when I started my leadership training and coaching business, determined to change the world with my inspirational messages and quotes, carefully curated from conscious thought leaders, placed cleverly on calming meme backgrounds like a babbling brook or a starlight sky, and scheduled strategically on apps such as hootsuite to ensure maximum audience attention. After about six months of lackluster results I abandoned the practice in a fitful rage, convinced that social media in all its forms was one gigantic scam as well as the downfall of our modern mindless society, perpetuated by higher ups to get us to publicly humiliate ourselves. But this morning the impossible happened. This morning I finally hit the wall. The meltdown I had been unconsciously teetering on the edge of for the last two weeks finally materialized. The cause? My local yoga studio temporarily shut its doors, the most recent business to fall prey to the corona virus meltdown. I’ve been practicing hot yoga for over ten years now. Since I began my practice in 2009, it’s been the one constant in my life. The longest running positive habit I have. The only long running positive habit I have, I might add. I’ve had loads of negative habits over the years. I’m really good at these I must say. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 14 years, it was only nine weeks of grueling yoga teacher training that finally got me to quit. Happy hour was always a convenient excuse to avoid doing the things I knew I needed to do at work or at home, under the guise of 50% off appetizers and trying the newest exciting craft cocktail at a downtown hipster bar. I’ve been biting my nails on and off since I was a child, although I did manage to give up my favorite stained, smelly, blue crocheted blankie at age 8. I suppose that’s a plus. I have what one might call a serious addiction to tex mex queso […]
March 17, 2020
3.9 min read
Five Tips for Yoga Beginners Any Klutz Can Do
Every once in a while, you think of that yoga mat in the back of your closet that your well-intentioned woo-woo sister bought you for Christmas, and you feel a pang of guilt. Work has been stressful – maybe one class wouldn’t hurt? And then the memory comes flooding back of that god-forsaken Zumba class you took a year ago. The instructor was shouting instructions like a crazed banshee. Your feet turned into the proverbial two left ones. At one point the overzealous woman next to you tripped you and you did a faceplant on the floor. Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever felt this way, this next blog on hatha yoga (the yoga of twisting yourself into a pretzel-like formation while trying to maintain a peaceful zen-like feeling) is for you. And while there are many different types of yoga, such as: Dhyana (what most folks would describe as sitting meditation . . . can you say ommmmmmm?), Karma yoga (the yoga of action and unselfishly doing good for others), Jnana yoga (the yoga of wisdom, e.g. is that chair real? – am I really here? – will the Texans ever make it to the Super Bowl?) and many more yogas, for the purposes of this blog we’re going to focus on hatha yoga for three reasons. Why? First of all, it’s more common than Starbucks, seeing as how you can’t go more than ten feet before tripping over another new studio these days. Second, it’s what most Westerners associate the word yoga with. And, finally, it’s quite often misunderstood. So with all that said, here are my 5 tips for yoga beginners guaranteed to make you dust off that ratty mat that’s lurking in the depths of your musty closet. Tips for Yoga Beginners Yoga Beginner Tip #1: Try a Few Different Yoga Styles Which of the following are types of hatha yoga? Vinyasa Kundalini Ashtanga Bikram Hot yoga Restorative Iyengar Yin Yes, it was a little bit of a trick. (Sorry!) These are all forms of hatha yoga. Be aware, some studios nowadays even have another type specifically called hatha yoga (just to make things really complicated), but at the end of the day it’s all just hatha yoga. Which leads me to the first tip for starting your yoga practice. Maybe you try a class, and it’s too fast. Try another. Maybe you try one, and it’s too slow. Try another. All of these different styles have their unique advantages. No style is better than another, despite what some studios will tell you. Most studios have introductory offers that are dirt cheap that last for a week or so where you have the opportunity to try a number of different classes. Make the most of it. Yoga Beginner Tip #2: Go at Least Twice a Week In order for the yoga to really be effective, you need to find a rhythm with it. If you’re going sporadically, it’s hard […]
February 27, 2018
6.8 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!
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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
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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.