My parents got such a kick out of me saying the word, that I knew it must be important and to keep saying it. Plus, I loved my doctor. Kids have lots of career goals at age six from the imaginal: mermaids, princesses, and superheroes, to the understandable: mom or dad or mom and dad, to (if you’re my kid) pilot (she calls it plane flier) or astronaut (which she calls rocket ship flier) and sometimes singer or dancer or “can’t I be it all, mom?!”
“When I’m older can I ___?” is our current favorite question.
What does what we wanted to be when we were young teach us about our current career goals? This can range from a little to a lot. We don’t really know much about ourselves when we are young, nor about the job opportunities we see, and even less about how realistic our ideas are based on the education needed, the job market, and other limiting factors. On the other hand, this native can be a tool for exploration and expansion of possibilities. Exploration into what we dreamed of and desired as a child can, for some, be eye-opening and while it may not point directly to a career that makes sense now, it can teach us about the qualities of the things we like to do or would like to do if given a chance either as a job or as a joyful hobby in our lives.
Hobbies, my friend are fantastic!
It’s not my most popular advice but it is important to remember that just like one person can’t fill all our needs, neither can one activity. Our careers can be fulfilling while not filling every box. In those cases what you might really be seeking is a hobby, sport, side gig, or project that you do for the love of it and not for money in return. Consider if you do turn your passion into entrepreneurship that you will likely be handling sales, management, and vision, not actually working on your passion.
Another great way to find fulfillment is getting more involved in nonprofit and volunteerism. This has so many benefits both for self and for others and there is no lack of need. There are also plenty of clubs, activity groups, and other outlets for self-development out there that a simple search can find.
If you have considered all those possibilities, and career-boosting is what you find you truly want and need, it’s time to take a look at a few things: your talents, skills, and experience, the opportunities out there, and where those align or need some help aligning.
Giving some time to explore these three categories is going to clarify a ton for you. You can explore through reading, informational interviews, imagining, and trying out before you jump in at full risk. A life-coach or counselor can be really helpful here. They can see talents in you that you might be missing and often know of career paths that are more interesting and hidden. They can also give you an honest sense of what kinds of classes, courses, or other continuing education you should pursue to land that job of your dreams.
If you’ve been struggling with career issues, my six-week life-coaching workshop will Wednesdays Oct 12 – Nov 16 7-8:15 pm will address this from all levels, your non-negotiables and wiggle room, and everything you need to know to have a fulfilling life! Check out also how tools like this one could help you learn more about yourself and what you like to do!
Those of you who have been following my trajectory know that nature immersion has become a central component of my yoga, wellness, healing routine. The healing powers of the outdoors have been obvious to me for some time as they apply to each of us regardless of our trauma. Getting to understand why from a scientific lens and how to maximize these benefits for myself and others has been an insightful and creative process that I am still in and hope to remain in for sometime. It’s been affirming to see, as I pursue my masters, that the therapeutic aspects of being outdoors are endorsed, though still in their early stages, in the counseling field.
During this time of expanded knowledge seeking in the living non human world I have taken on a few teachers and a few fundamental practices.
I’ve studied with Mark Coleman, author of Awake in the Wild, Marguerite Ulmann-Bower of Plant Pioneers, and Micah Mortali, author of Rewilding and Director of the School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership at Kripalu. Each of these teachers has contributed to my deepening relationship with the land, all the living beings on the earth and with myself. I merge their practices with my 2+ decades of yoga, breathwork, mindfulness, and coaching to invite healing, acceptance, and growth into the lives of my students most notably on retreats here in the Great Catskill Mountains.
Today, I feel so grateful to have Micah Mortali on the Beyond Trauma Podcast. In his episode, we discuss the impact of just a short time outdoors on the nervous system and the power of reconnecting with our natural home, the outdoors. I share some personal experiences allowing the earth to take my stress and the great joy of working with Micah to learn more about outdoor skills, survival skills, ancestral skills, and healing trauma in nature.
I so hope you enjoy this episode which you can listen to on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
You can expect much more from me on this topic in the coming years and join me this October in upstate NY for a taste of what we talk about today. Details HERE.
Sometimes though we have our best intentions we end up pushing friends away when they need us the most. When a friend is struggling or even just debating a next step, it is important to know how to be there for them. Being conscious and careful about how we respond is a kindness to a friend that will be appreciated and reciprocated when our time comes. It can be the determining factor between being pushed away or let in and make a real difference in how our friend procedes.
So how should we respond to a friend in need?
It sounds simple but real active listening is a skill that requires practice. At the core, it means being present to hear without a planned response and without thinking about what to say next while listening. It means being fully with your friend and engaging all of your senses to understand them as completely and accurately as possible.
Especially when we know someone for awhile, it can be easy to assume we know all about them. This really gets in the way of an authentic relationship in which we allow the other to grow and change and to contradict. As you are with your friend listening, imagine you are with them for the first time. Get background information. Ask them to clarify. Look for what’s missing. Paraphrase back to them and check if you’re understanding correctly.
Trust & Believe.
Sometimes all we need is for another to trust and believe in us. Even if your friend has fallen short a thousand times on promise to themselves, let them know you trust and believe they can succeed. See it for them before they can. Tell them they can have their dream if they want it. Build their esteem.
Follow up with your friend like you would with a lead or job referral. Don’t let it go too long. Let them know you are thinking of them and interested in updates. Ask a poignant question when checking in that lets them know you are really with them. Be specific and caring about what you ask. Let them know they can come to you and how best to reach out.
We all make mistakes. We all fall short. We all repeat patterns again and again before one day breaking them for real. You are not a boss or a teacher. You are a friend. Love your friend regardless and let them feel that love through their failures and successes equally strong.
Have you been showing up for your friends? In which of these ways or what other way? Comment here and share your experience.
If there is one secret I know about life it’s to show up for it. Even if you are not ready, unsure, and frightened as hell, you will always prosper in some way from showing up even if it’s to learn your lesson for next time. Growth will never come from hiding.
My commitment to showing up was the beginning of a major shift in my life, one which has continued to reveal ongoing benefits. One great thing about learning to show up is it gets easier and easier each time until you don’t have to think about it at all.
One day you realize that you are just naturally in the muddy mix of your life and you can’t believe there was a time you chose to stand on the sidelines.
Here are 3 simple ways to start showing up more in your life and gaining the immediate benefits of engagement:
Say “yes”. Shonda Rhimes Book Year of Yes is a great one to read if you have a tendency to say no to things and want to make a shift. Forcing yourself to attend parties, meetings, and events is a real necessary and level one part of showing up. Start saying “yes” to invitations (even the challenging ones) or they’ll stop arriving. Risk being uncomfortable for the reward of being present.
Quit the snarkiness. Snarkiness, sarcasm and judgement are ways of disengaging. They keep you outside the story. Drop them and get inside where the mess of life happens. That’s next level showing up. You’ll never be fully in your life if you’re always judging how others are living theirs. You will never understand the tough choices people make until you are busy making your own.
Dissent. Showing up means bringing all of yourself, even if that means towing unpopular opinions. Share them and let yourself be known for all that you are. This is the highest level of showing up. It involves bringing all of yourself, even the dark, quirky, and strange parts into the room. When you can show up in this way and be accepted you know you are in the right circles. You’ve found your people and you’ve found you.
Which level of showing up are you and how could you level up your ability to show up this summer? What do you find the most difficult and most rewarding aspects of showing up? Take the time to reflect on how you are showing up in all aspects of your life and relationships. Share your stories in the comments below!
Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress? Stress is the leading cause for heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, weight gain, and premature aging. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and completely dismantle our lives and yet we are largely lost as to how to combat it and often even how to see and acknowledge it.
Most of us don’t notice our stress until it has debilitated us, taking out our backs, locking up our necks, or giving us a horrible stomach ache. Once we have let the stress go that far, it is hard to bring down. A great help to managing our stress and reducing our chances of chronic illness would be to notice it sooner.
You can learn to notice the first signs of stress in your body by checking in with yourself throughout the day. Ask yourself, “how is my breathing?” If it seems shallow, short, locked up in any way, that could be a sign the body is under some stress. Quickened breath is also a clue. Look for breath position. Is it high in the chest (stress sign) or low in the belly? If breath quality/location is hard for you to access, you can check in with your vocal tone. A stressed body will often produce a high, airy voice and a calm one a full round sound.
Go ahead and check your breathing rate and position and vocal quality now! What do you notice?
Observing your breath is the quickest way to reduce your stress instantaneously. Choose a spot you feel your breath the most, like your nose, chest or belly and just watch as it comes and goes. You don’t have to do a thing. Simply observing is an art which has enormous impact. Many will tell you to deepen or lengthen your breathing. I would say to just watch. We are so quick to make adjustments but our systems know what to do to run most calmly and efficiently if we only get out of their way. Learn to be with what is and your body will thank you.
Get in the habit of observing your breathing multiple times throughout the day. You should see an immediate reduction in your stress level each time and a cumulative decrease in your stress level over time. If it helps you can even set an alarm for checking in with your breath every hour until it becomes second nature. This simple act will have a profound impact on the quality of your life and could even save it. Nothing should be stopping you from starting today.
You will find in time that you don’t even have to remind yourself to observe your breath. You will do so regularly and naturally as needed, re-regulating your system and finding peace in the moments of being one with this most subtle of human acts.
Have you noticed, or is it just me, that people are always saying they are value driven? Family values, American values, the word ‘values’ comes up more and more and yet few know what their true values are let alone what to do once they pinpoint them. What if you could clarify your values? You can. It will simplify all your decision making and release you of inner conflict as you made steps forward.
Many struggle not just with defining their values, but also with having too many different values. Though it’s possible to identify with a variety of values, ultimately our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. One value is the driver and the other values fall behind. In order to give our lives clarity and truly understand who we are, it’s important to know which one or two values trump all. When it comes down to it, is it independance, or loyalty that drives your life, accountability or courage and so on. You have to know what you value to know exactly who you are.
Once you’ve discovered your top values it’s up to you to make sure you are paying more than just lip service to them and that you start to live them. This is the true meaning of authenticity. A choice to live in authenticy is a choice to live by your values and show up by honoring them in every single decision you make.
In fact, this way of living makes otherwise complicated decision making extremely easy. It’s not always easy to make the choice that aligns with our values. fact, it is often the hard choice. It is, however easy to see what the right choice which aligns with your highest values is. Then you face yourself and decide with each decision that passes to be a person who lives their values and practices them in action.
Here’s your assignment guaranteed to help you live in total harmony with who you believe yourself to be
To help you I’ve compiled a list of values below. Circle your top 10 and then narrow down to your top 2. Comment on this blog and let me know what your top TWO values are.
Do a value assessment.
Decide two greatest values.
Weigh EVERY decision you make on these.
Face yourself when you are acting in contradiction with your values.
Pivot when necessary.
Being involved in community
Feeling Competent and Capable
Peace and Tranquility
Learning new things
Having a spiritual way of life
Rest and relaxation
High Moral Standards
Intimacy & closeness
Having fun, leisure activities
Contributing to society
Stability and security
Time with family
Pursuit of a hobby
Growth as a person
Successful management of money
Taking on new projects
Time in nature
Being the best