I don’t even know where to begin. I have been avoiding writing this, something, anything all month. Voices inside my head say, “Who are you to offer up insights, support, advice during this time? You are barely holding your own shit together yourself somedays!” But it’s that realization that compels me to write and share just that; I don’t have it all together these days, and that’s ok.
I have always been a driven professional. I embrace leadership roles. I love to teach, mentor and coach others and take on any role whose job it is to ensure that everyone has what they need to be successful. But lately, I have been shrinking into myself and taking on a persona that is quite the opposite. I am limiting the number of clients I work with. I allow myself unscheduled time to read, walk the dog or just sit in my back yard and watch the clouds, and that’s ok.
I am not pushing myself to be the best that I can right now. I am not developing business growth plans. I am not taking online courses or workshops. I am not keeping up with my online presence or marketing strategies. I haven’t even taken the time to go through my financials this month, and that’s ok.
There are days when I feel my heartbeat race and I need to stop and do my breathing meditations to cleanse my mind and soul. There are moments when I cry just because I allowed myself to deeply focus on the present moment and my surroundings and am overcome with a fierce gratitude for the beauty of the world in front of me at that moment and its contrast to what is happening in other places in the country/world, and that’s ok.
And then when I need it most, I find inspiration from friends, authors, spiritual teachers and amazing thought leaders. I see people being friendly to each other in public, trying to smile as wide as they can behind their masks so that it is apparent that they are smiling at you. Small children catch your eyes in the grocery store and wave from their shopping cart. I hear stories of loving kindness on social media and even the news. I watch all the cute animal videos that come across my radar. I use social media to send positive thoughts out to the world and my loved ones. I realize that I can let go of my physical office space and use a full virtual platform for my coaching. I find hope in the fact that I don’t have to limit myself to helping only those in my area, but can reach and support individuals across the country. I tap into the positive thought that, I know, it’s going to be ok.
I leave you with one of my favorite mediations that I continuously turn to these days as shared by one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Gabby Bernstein:
Begin your lovingkindness meditation by focusing on yourself. When you develop love, kindness, and compassion toward yourself, you cultivate more love for others.
Breathe in gently. Exhale gently. Then silently repeat each of the following intentions. It’s okay if you don’t get it word for word at first – with practice you’ll memorize the phrases. Your intention is what’s most important.
Silently repeat these phrases, directing lovingkindness toward yourself:
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I feel supported and safe.
May I have love and compassion toward myself.
May I live with ease.
Next, bring to mind someone you love. Feel your appreciation for them, and then share this offering of lovingkindness to them.
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you feel supported and safe.
May you have love and compassion toward yourself.
May you live with ease.
The following document provides a written guided mediation called "The Eye of the Hurricane". An audio file of the meditation is also provided. In this meditation, the concept of inner peace is clarified by using a hurricane as a metaphor. Within the strong, turbulent winds of a hurricane is the eye, a calm, quiet, centered space. The goal is to help you explore inner peace by using your breath to become like the eye of the hurricane; the silent part of yourself that can notice difficult or challenging experiences without getting caught up and carried away by them. The meditation was a part of the "Crisis Kit" developed by Positive Psychology.com. I thought it quite appropriate during this time of uncertainty and change. Love and light to all of you.
As a career and life clarification coach, I help people find clarity, purpose authenticity and joy in their professional lives. Although I understand the role and importance of the professional resume', writing or developing them for clients is not what I do. My marketing materials and website make that quite clear by stating “if you want to recreate yourself on paper (i.e. resumes and cover letters), I am not for you. If you want to work with someone who will push you to examine not only your core strengths and values and passion, but to also identify and overcome your limiting beliefs, let’s talk!”
Mark Franklin of OneLife tools explains that "a career is not just a job, but the full expression of who you are and how you want to be in the world...." Therefore, I firmly believe that before you ever put your pen to paper or type away on the keys of your computer, you need to tune in emotionally and vibrationally to who you truly are and who you want to be as a professional. As stated by author and career coach Laura Berman in her 2015 TEDx Talk, “Career Satisfaction doesn’t come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be while you are doing that job.”
Words hold power and can elicit emotion which inspires action. You must be sure that the words you are choosing to represent you are truly in alignment with your desires and “who” and “how” you want to be as a professional. Words should not be chosen solely because they are popular on job posting platforms. Aligning yourself with how others want you to be by using only their words and descriptions can lead to an emotional disconnect between your authentic self and your professional goals. If the words on the page don’t emotionally inspire you, your actions and how you show up as a professional to job interviews and the workplace could be detrimental.
Before beginning the process of writing your resume’, I suggest engaging in reflective work about what you truly want from your ideal career position. A great exercise for doing this is called, “Clarity through Contrast” and the “Desire Statement.” These exercises, developed by Michael J. Losier, encourage you to identify what it is that you DO NOT want in your ideal career (contrast) in order to obtain clarity about what you DO want. Here is how it is done.
On a blank piece of paper make two columns. Label the one on the left “Contrast – What I Don’t Want” and the one on the right, “Clarity – What I Do Want” (see image). Under Contrast, record all the things that you do not want in your ideal career (i.e. lack of flexibility in scheduling, no ability to use my creativity to develop new product designs). When you are done with your list, re-read each statement and re-write it so that it reflects what you do want in your ideal career (i.e. flexible hours and scheduling, ability to use creativity to develop new product designs). Be sure to convert all your contrast statements to clarity statements.
After you have become clear about what you do want in your career, you need to write out your Desire Statement. The Desire Statement is an effective tool for raising your vibration in a positive way to attract what you do want to bring into your life. On a new sheet of blank paper write the following statement at the top of the page:
I am in the process of attracting all that I need to do, know, or have to attract my ideal career.
Then, use the sentence starters below to re-write your clarity statements:
I love knowing that my ideal…
It excites me…
I love how it feels when….
I love the idea of…
I’m more excited at the thought of …
More and more…
I love seeing myself…
For example: “I love knowing that my ideal career offers flexible hours and scheduling” and “I am excited to know that my ideal career is one where I can use my innovative thinking to create new product designs.”
Re-write each of the clarity statements as a desire statement. When finished, write the following statement at the end: I am in the process of attracting all that I need to do, know, or have to attract my ideal career.
Once you have crafted your desire statements, then you can begin looking at your resume’ in a new light. Do the words and phrases you use to describe yourself, your skills, your talents and accomplishments on your resume’ create the same level of emotional excitement and enthusiasm as your desire statements? For example, if one of your desire statements is, “I am excited to know that my ideal career is one where I can use my innovative thinking to create new product designs” and nowhere on your resume’ do you enthusiastically share your ability to use innovative thinking to create new product designs, then your career desires and resume’ are not aligned.
In addition to helping you authentically create yourself on paper in the form of a resume’ and even a cover letter, the “Desire Statement” can help you create the positive energy vibration to attract your ideal career. Be sure to keep it somewhere visible and read it as often you can while embracing the positive feeling states and emotions that it elicits in your mind and body.
Want a coach conversation partner to help you craft your own Ideal Career Desire Statement and guide you through the process of manifesting your ideal career? Schedule your 20 minute FREE initial consultation session today: https://nhcoachingappt.as.me/consultation
I am thrilled to announce that I have applied and been accepted into the Quantum Success Coaching Academy. I will spend the next 11 months working directly with Christy Whitman and her QSCA mentors and facilitators to broaden my coaching knowledge and expertise regarding the Laws of Attraction. Successful completion of this program will result in a new certification that will provide me with approaches and processes to work with clients on an even deeper level to support the manifestation of what they truly want to bring into their professional and personal lives. It will also be the most amazing personal and professional journey for me to work and learn with fellow coaches and mentors.
Employee engagement has become a topic of much focus in the corporate world. Many organizational and human resource experts have invested multiple hours and dollars to create a culture of engagement in the work place. This might seem outside the realm of the small business owner (for this article we are defining a “small business” as those companies with more than 1, but less than 50 employees). In addition to understanding what employee engagement is, it is important for small business owners to understand why it is necessary for them to take steps to develop it within their business culture.
What is meant by employee engagement? I might be easier to describe what it is not. Employee engagement does not mean employee happiness or satisfaction. An employee might be happy and satisfied while at work, but that does not mean that they are engaged. Being happy or satisfied does not mean that they are working hard or productively and operating on behalf of what they know is best for the company. When an employee is truly engaged, they are emotionally committed to the company for which they work and are compelled to offer more of their capability and potential. And what is the return on investment for a small business owner to put the time and finances into developing a culture of engagement? Engaged employees provide higher quality service, which leads to, improved customer satisfaction which results in, increased sales and profits.
So how does one create a culture of engagement? Here are 5 simple entry points to get you started:
The new year offers a fresh start and an opportunity to create new dreams and aspirations for ourselves. For many, this comes in the form of “New Year’s Resolutions”. Resolutions are typically framed around areas of our life that we feel need to change. When thinking through a resolution, the language of “should’ or “must” typically comes into play; “I should try to get the gym more often…”, “I must get some control over my spending habits….” This type of language calls forth our inner disciplinarian and most of the time, fails to be inspiring or motivational. Therefore, in 2018, I would like to encourage you to forego resolutions and instead focus on a more uplifting possibility to manifest change in your life:
Positive Affirmations:The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, meaning to “make steady or strengthen”. An affirmation by definition, suggests that something exists or is true. Creating affirming and positive thoughts in our life is key to manifesting the experiences and feeling states that we want. According to Dr. Carmen Harra, “Affirmations do indeed strengthen us by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. When we verbally affirm our dreams and ambitions, we are instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our wishful words will become reality.” To include this powerful tool into your life, identify 3-5 positive affirmations that resonate with you and incorporate them into your daily life (check out Dr. Harra’s article for 35 amazing affirmatios that you can use: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carmen-harra/affirmations_b_3527028.html). This could include taking time each morning to say them out loud, write them on sticky notes that you place around your living and work space so that you will see them often, record them as a voice memo on your phone so that you can listen to them. What ever works for you. The key is to be sure that you fully embrace the power of the idea and words in your affirmations.
Reflection on all that Went Well in 2017:This practice embraces positive psychology ideology which encourages the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives to cultivate what is best within themselves. Utilizing simple prompts such as “What am I most proud of from 2017?” or “What from 2017 do I want to encourage more of in 2018?”, or “The top 7 things that made my heart sing in 2017” can create powerful feelings of happiness and accomplishment. It is from this feeling state that we can make plans to continue embracing and developing positive experiences for the year to come.
Vision Board:A Vision Board is a fun and simple way to create a physical visualization of what you want to bring into your life. Visualizing the positive feelings and experiences that what we want helps create a positive energy that supports and guides their actual manifestation. If this sounds to “woo woo”, note that athletes have been trained in the use of visualization techniques for decades in order to improve performance. As explained by the “Make a Vision Board” website, vision boards can help you to:
Perfect Day Visualization:Take some time to think about what a “perfect day” in 2018 would look like. This should be something that is actually attainable, but a couple steps outside of what you typically allow yourself to enjoy. Maybe it involves using a flex day to sleep in late and spend the day lounging in your yoga pants binging on your favorite snack food and NetFlix show. Or maybe it is using a weekend or holiday to get out into nature and take a long hike with a friend or your dog. It could be identifying a time when you will finally enroll in a cooking class that you have always thought about. Think of all the details and feeling states that your “perfect day” would include. Document all this information in some form and then, set a deadline for when you will make that “perfect day” happen. Depending on what you plan, you could create 3-4 Perfect Days for the year. Getting in touch with the positive feeling states that you will experience on these special days will be a “pick me up” on the days are not so “perfect”.Word of the Year:This activity will help if you feel the need for focus and clarity. Frequently, if you make a list or complete a very open-ended journaling activity about what you do want in your life, you will see themes and patterns emerging. Once the theme or overarching pattern can be identified, “boil it down” to the one powerful word that encapsulates it to serve as your foundation for the year. Write the word down and have it in places where you can connect with it throughout the day as needed for decision making and grounding.
Possible word choices that may emerge are:
Nikki Stansfield is trained as a professional coach and loves to support anyone who wants to intentionally create something meaningful within their professional lives.