FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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This is one of my favorite times of the year.  A chance for me to purge the old and welcome new possibilities exists in this somewhat magical gap between one calendar year and the next.  We incorporate many rituals in my household, including those that are familiar like eating black-eyed peas and not putting up new calendars until after midnight. We also cleanse old energy from our home by lighting a smudge stick of sage and cedar and passing it through each room of the house. We put dimes under our threshold for prosperity and we open the windows in the East just before midnight to allow fresh, creative air to pass through our home, ensuring a successful and adventurous year. If our pantry is full at midnight, we believe we won’t hunger in the near year so grocery shopping is essential if our stores are low.

As 2011 comes to a close and 2012 begins, millions of us will take at least a few moments at some point or another to reflect on our accomplishments, our challenges and our hopes for the year ahead. Resolutions and intentions abound in the minds of those who strive to change old habits or create new ones. Fears about whether those resolutions will stick surface in our thoughts as we silently wonder if this will be the year we achieve our ideal weight or pay off debt. Self deprecating thoughts sneak in unbidden, yet familiar. Whether this review is something you enjoy or dread depends largely on the process and your state of mind going into the review.

This year, I used a process created by Rosetta Thurman, the Happy Black Woman. Her Review/Preview questions were similar to the ones I usually use and allowed me to feel complete about letting go of the old and embracing the new.  I value her work and hope you’ll take a look at her blog here.

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions. I do think an intentional practice of considering what’s working and what isn’t is important. Change isn’t always easy to maintain so don’t be hard on yourself.

I do know one thing for sure – if you do what you’ve been doing, you’ll get the same results. If you’re really happy where you are, you’ll be all set and probably don’t have need for a long list of resolutions.  If you want something better in your life, change something – even something small. Often, the mere fact that you take one baby step causes a momentum that will surprise you.

In my opinion, another really important piece about this process is the ability to see that there is possibility. I’d like to share a quote that closes one of my favorite novels – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The characters have both been on an incredible adventure that altered the course of their lives significantly. They overcame huge obstacles and found that they were completely in love and felt incredible hope for their future together. The author closes the book with this one very simple and yet powerful thought expressed by the narrator of their story.

“And the world was all around us, new with possibility.”

May the possibilities of 2012 be more than you could ever have imagined for yourself.

You see, I am going to live to be 103 so I’ve got a lot of living left to do! As a child, one of my favorite short films became a sort of mantra to live a long and healthy life. My mentor, Jiminy Cricket, showed me ‘How to Have Fun Safely’ and live to be 103. The lessons I learned from Jiminy as a child felt very different than they do today. I have definitely refined these principles! But here are a few kernels of Jiminy’s wisdom and a look at how I have incorporated this advice today.

I used my values when creating a mission and philosophy for 4 Elements Coaching and for my other business, Nonprofit Staff Success International. During the creation phase of my business foundation. I included my values in my business plan and posted them on one website. By communicating what I value most, I assist my clients in discovering more about me as a coach and as a business owner. And, whenever I come to a personal or business decision that feels heavy, I check in with my values to see whether the opportunity aligns with one or more of them.

This blog was posted originally on another site August 20, 2007. On May 7, 2011, we watched as our Megan crossed the stage to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University of Charlotte.

I’ll tell you about her four years of adventure in an upcoming post. For now, join me in remembering the day we parted, and celebrating the end of a journey that came to pass much more swiftly than we could have imagined.

This year, I have set off with an intention to simplify my life. It was my clear desire at the start of 2011 to let go of those things that were draining my energy and making me feel cranky, guilty, inadequate or used. I leaped into a critical examination of all the things I was involved with or attached to and considered what I could let go of without too much trauma or sadness for all involved.

Branding has a significant impact on sales by developing an awareness, then an affinity, and then a loyalty from the consumer. Asking others to provide honest, anonymous feedback about you requires a certain amount of courage. There’s also the fear that they won’t think enough of you take 10 minutes out of their day to complete the survey. I pushed the ‘send’ button after much deep breathing and a commitment to learn from the experience, come what may.

When I discovered coaching and decided I wanted to be a coach, it never occurred to me that I would also have to become a business owner. Looking back, I really think there are really 10 simple, not too left brain things I benefitted from or wish I would have known when I was a new entrepreneur.

I recently attended a leadership retreat where we opened the group event with an Ancestor’s Circle. Each participant lifted up someone who had made a significant impact on their life and work. The effect was phenomenal. A group of strangers who had barely introduced themselves become clearly and unexpectedly emotional as they described these amazing people who had believed in them, made them feel special or unique, or provided a foundational framework from which to live, work, and create community with others.

I stand on the shoulders of many amazing people who assisted me on the path I walk today.

Today is 10/10/10, a somewhat magical day in the world of numerology. I learned that a colleague got married today. In fact, many people decided to marry or do other exciting things on binary dates which are unique and memorable. You might not be planning something huge – maybe you didn’t plan anything at all. But it isn’t too late to consider a few things to make the day memorable.