At the end of yoga class yesterday, my teacher Erikka came up to me and said, “Your practice looks really nice.” Quite a compliment, coming from her, a graceful swanlike woman, I’ve often watched her move seamlessly out of one posture to another, balancing on one foot in warrior three without a care in the world. Effort without Intention It reminds me of when I first started my yoga practice. I was anything but. There, in the sweaty confines of the hot room, I was swearing under my breath as I struggled to lift my crooked back up one inch off the floor in cobra. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I came back to class, day after day because I knew I felt better, but I looked at the postures as difficult mountains to climb, never acknowledged any progress I made and certainly never thought my practice was “good enough.” I muddled through year after year and somehow found the willpower to never give up. Lately I’ve been talking a lot in these blogs about the body, and particularly our connection to it. I’ve been realizing how frequently we get triggered by something, have that feeling that we’re out of control or overwhelmed, and then move about our day, only half really being in this wonderful bag of skin and bones we call home. We lose touch with the sensation of really “being” in our body, how miraculous that experience is. We become, for lack of a better word, “ungrounded” and float our way through life living almost exclusively in our head, in the neurotic diatribe that is almost always occurring in our monkey-like mind. The Power of Intentions So yesterday, I did set an intention in class. For many years I’d roll my eyes when teachers would say that. When I taught yoga, I’d often tell students to do it as well, but I really didn’t grasp what the words meant. I thought it sounded cool and zen like. My intention was to ground myself in my body during my practice. I’d had a tough week, I’d been triggered many times teaching a new course to a group of participants. My mind was on hyperdrive, “Was I good enough? What kind of feedback am I going to get? Was I too honest and harsh in the group coaching circles? Do the participants think I’m some sort of hack? I should have said this. I should have said that. I’m not sure they got all that much out of the experience. Maybe I upset them. I’m never going to be called back to do any work for this client again!” But I digress… So my intention was to look at the yoga not just as an interesting challenge, but a tool for connecting my body to my mind and spirit. I focused deeply on my breathing and recall hearing myself breathe in and out. In mountain I reached my arms up to the sky, to salute the […]
June 30, 2022
4.5 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!
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.