Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2010

In a few short days, on April 28th, I will celebrate another birthday. I generally let these days slide by unnoticed but this year marks another decade. I am turning 60. I am not in shock even though that voice inside me asks how this happened when I turned 50 only just a few short days ago. No, I am not suffering from early onset dementia, perhaps a menopause moment, or just the realization that life speeds up with every decade.

Of course many have spouted the rhetoric, “Well how do you feel about that?” My answer, “I can’t change it so I may as well enjoy it. Is there really any point to being in a late-life crisis over this?”

I am curious about those who claim to be in crisis over turning 60, and about those who ask how I feel. As if we can change the fact that we are growing older, and that each of us will hit all these landmarks sooner or later unless something unexpected happens.

 Honestly, I feel 37. I told a sales clerk at the Body Shop the other day, when she asked if I had an April birthday, entitling me to a 10% discount, that I was about to turn 50. She casually looked me over then smiled and said  that I did not look 50. Silently I applauded her and partied inside cheering the fact that, at least in her eyes, I wasn’t even close to 60. Of course Jim couldn’t stand it and ‘outed’ me. Poor girl is still confused about my exact age. And why do I have to fess up to it anyway. If I say I am younger than the calendar tells me, will I not attract more youth? 

Yes, just like anyone else, I have the desire to live and look young. Of course the mirror tells me something else. I see the wrinkles creeping in around my eyes and mouth and the furrows deepening in my cheeks, and still I can’t see 60 years. It is only a date after all, my biological age. I think I will continue to defer to the sales clerks and my own inner voice and ignore the mirror.

Party on! And on May 1st I will do just that – we are hosting a labyrinth walk and I decided it was also time to party. Now this is a big decision for me as I had my last real birthday party when I turned 9. It was memorable in that Donna Covey ate too much cake and barfed all over my new shoes. I remember a few tears and the chaos that followed. Not to say there haven’t been other opportunities, I have simply chosen to find other ways to celebrate. I turned 50 outside Portland OR at my friend Delayne’s home nestled at the foot of Mount Hood – that was very special. I can’t remember how I celebrated 20, 30 or 40. I want to remember celebrating 60 and I’ll let you know how it goes.

As for the rest of you who will hit this landmark age along with me this year, you are invited to my party and to witness what a real celebration looks like. I have a picture painted in my head of dancing, and drumming – moving forward on the heartbeat of life. Care to join me?

Until next time,

Betty

Read Full Post »

Just the other day, my friend and business colleague and I were on our way to WXN – Women’s Executive Network, in Ottawa. It was an ungodly hour as the breakfast meeting began at 7:15 and we live an hour out of Ottawa. Add time for parking and catching our breath, I was up at five and on the road 20 minutes later on my way to rendezvous with Doreen. I could continue to carp or switch gears and tell you how magical it is to be out on the road before most lights have even been turned on in the homes I passed and to witness the colour rising in the sky as I wound through the back roads of North Glengarry. And then there is the comradeship that Doreen and I share, both of us being entrepreneurs and both of us working full-time with our life partners. It was Doreen who I turned to for advice in the early days of Jim’s retirement as she and her husband Heinz had years of experience in the ‘work together’ arena.

Weeks ago we had decided to attend two networking events in one day, one at breakfast, and one late afternoon, allowing ample time in between for play – a spa date, lunch and conversation. Despite our best intentions, talk turned to work, sharing our excitement and occasional frustration with what we do. Both of us actively work with the Law of Attraction however, so we allow little air in the frustration balloon, choosing instead to fuel the fires of attraction.

Doreen introduced me to a book she is currently reading by Suzy Welch entitled 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea. I have yet to read this myself  however I gleaned an interesting idea from our conversation, related to day-to-day decision making and the impact our decisions have. 10-10-10 is a filter. Consider this, when making a decision, you ask yourself what effect will this decision have on your business or your life in the next 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 weeks or on a larger scale, 10 days, 10 months, 10 years. I have been steadily reflecting on this and it has helped  become aware of how often I make decisions because they feel urgent. I don’t necessarily pause to consider the long term consequences; I react. I am wondering what would happen to my decisions if I engaged the 10-10-10 filter.

 I am sure Suzy’s book is much richer than what I have suggested, I simply like the idea of considering this 10-10-10 philosophy and beginning to apply it to my daily decision-making, especially as it applies to business development. Business, as we all know, requires responses that will sustain and grow our business in both the short and long-term. Using 10-10-10 as an aid to decision-making could be a simple yet powerful strategy. So, thanks Doreen!

On another note, I wanted to comment on networking. One year ago, as I was beginning to re-build my business following a writing sabbatical, I decided, with the encouragement of my colleagues, to begin networking in earnest. I am proud to tell you that I am now the member of at least 6 networking groups. I also want to share that networking effectively is not what I thought it was a year ago. It is far more than exchanging business cards, follow-up, and searching for new business opportunities. It is, in my view, a way of connecting with others, seeing them, make a heart-felt connection with 2-3 unique people with each networking opportunity, building community, contributing, and more. I have learned that seeing networking through this lens is much more attractive than the card exchange and chasing people – an important learning on my part.

Life is one great lesson – I am eager to hear yours as well!

Until next time…

Betty

Read Full Post »

I had the opportunity this past week to present to two different West Island audiences – a public lecture sponsored by AMCAL Family Services and the English Montreal Coach’s Breakfast. It has been awhile since I have given key note presentations and it was refreshing to return to this energy and have a conversation with an audience. It was certainly a SIGN for me that this is where I want to play.

One of the topics that frequently arise during my presentations is, “Do you believe is counselling?” I assume the question is asked as I bill myself as a coach. I address this question by first clarifying the difference between coaching and counselling.

Here is my explanation: Coaching focuses on forwarding the action in your life. It does not look back; it assesses where you are at the present time and assists you in becoming clear about what you want to attract to your life. In this sense it is about today and the future.

Coaching utilizes the art of inquiry and deep listening. It may be the first time in your life that you feel totally understood and that you are valued unconditionally.The focus of coaching is to allow you to re-discover the many facets of who you are. This includes your strengths, gifts and talents; those aspects of yourself that you may be overlooking.

Is this similar to counselling? Counselling and Coaching have two things in common, they both begin with the letter ‘C’ and they are both based on working directly with a client to examine an aspect of their life. Counselling tends to focus more on the past, an excavation process which allows the client to examine old wounds, relationships, and the many aspects of life which could be intefering with the present. In this way counselling serves a purpose.

In responsing to the question “Do I believe is counselling?”, the anwser is yes and no. From a personal perspective I have always asked myself, how does it serve me to dig up the past. I ask my clients and audience participants the same question. It is not for me to decide on their behalf. I will add however, that where our attention goes, energy flows,  that is to say, I believe that if we focus on the wounds of the past we will attract more of the same. That is unless we become very clear regarding what we want instead of this ‘Old Story’.

Shifting back to coaching, the process I engage clients in is creating and recording their New Story. This involves listening in on the self-critic, who represents all the fears and limiting beliefs of the past wrapped up in one complex messy fur ball; untangling the strings that bind this mess together, and becoming clear on the messages you want to feed yourself everyday. My suggestion is that these messages stem from your Heart Voice, a guidance system deep within you that truly wants you to attract all that is in your highest good. These messages would be self-affriming; they would acknowledge you and the gifts and strengths you bring into the world in both your relationships and your work, and would encourage you to step fully into your personal power in terms of living the life you know to be the one you actually want to live.

The New Story is rich and deeply textured and it is built upon all the lessons of the past. As a coach, I don’t avoid discussing the past with clients, in fact I encourage clients to complete what I refer to as a life review. The purpose of this exercise however, is not to dwell there, but to assess those ‘bliss moments’ of your life. These moments represent those times in your life where all the dots lined up – you felt successful, you felt joyful, you felt complete. You knew that this was a significant achievement.

I offer this exercise as I have noticed, both in myself and others, that we rarely acknowledge ourselves. Instead we focus on what we did not achieve, on our failures if you will. As a result we do not really see ourselves and the contributions we have made to the world.

I hope the SIGN for you in this blog, is to step up and begin celebrating YOU. If you don’t know where to start or how to do this, find a coach. Although there is much to be learned from examining the past, today and the future is where your life is really playing out. It no longer serves you to linger in the days of memory, it is time for all of you to step into the New Story of Me, and begin living the life you have always wanted and which has been there waiting for you to claim it.

Until next time…

Betty

Read Full Post »