Plan Your Career Using Your Three Centers of Intelligence

Plan Your Career Using Your Three Centers of Intelligence

Navigating Your Career as a Whole Leader

I recently started accepting applications for a new career development program called The Gathering.  In it, I share tools and practices that help women navigate career decisions with clarity and confidence.  What I found in my own professional journey was that my career planning became an authentic expression of my strengths and passions only after I listened to parts of myself that I had ignored.  Engaging Three Centers of Intelligence - showing up as a whole leader - is one of the most practical, easily accessible frameworks I know for making these big choices.

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Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Why does feedback hurt our feelings?  Here’s the image that often helps me identify what is being triggered.  Imagine yourself as a baby.  As you interacted with the world, you learned behaviors and strategies that helped get your needs met.  When you smiled, others smiled back at you.  When you fell and hurt yourself, adults rushed over to comfort you or gave you space to see how you felt or scolded you not to cry.  With each of these patterns of interactions, you started to create beliefs about yourself, about the world, and about how the world treats you.  Most of these beliefs are unconscious.  While we like to think of ourselves as highly adaptable people, always capable of learning new things, the truth is that our lives are simplified by having these beliefs to fall back on. And we have powerful enforcers like the superego (a.k.a. your inner critic) that are constantly looking for evidence that enforces these beliefs and ignoring information that contradicts them.  

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A Practice For Navigating Uncertainty

A Practice For Navigating Uncertainty

“Is this the right choice?”  “What will I do next?”  “What do I want to do with my life?”  These big questions frequently come up during sessions with my clients.  Sitting with this uncomfortable uncertainty can feel overwhelming.  Many of us want to reach an answer quickly or be told that a choice we’re making will turn out well.  I experienced this a lot over the past two years as I decided to start a coaching business.  "Is this my purpose?"  "Will someone please tell me I'm doing it right?"

There is one activity I have been introduced to that translates that inner journey of not-knowing into a physical contemplative practice: walking a labyrinth.  People have been building labyrinths for over 3500 years across multiple continents and cultures.  Moving along a labyrinth combines the mindful practice of walking meditation with a surrender to the twists and turns of the path.  There is only one way in and one way out.  You may find yourself trying to puzzle out how soon you will get to the center or what the overall design is.  Letting go of your need to predict the journey is a powerful metaphor for exploring uncertainty in life.  Another metaphor within the practice is that as you move towards the center it is as if you are coming closer to your Inner Knowing or True Essence or the Divine.  In this way, it is also a practice in developing trust.

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Finding The Gift In Your Experience

Finding The Gift In Your Experience

I consider myself a Spiritual Career Coach.  What that means to me is constantly evolving but if I were asked to describe it today, I would say that my coaching is based on these beliefs: 

  1. My work is part of my spiritual practice.  Being in deep presence with my clients is healing for them and me and we are constantly learning from each other. 
  2. No one needs fixing.  Truly transformative personal work is not about changing who you are; it is a process of loosening the grip of beliefs and habits that have obscured the real you.
  3. Each one of us has access to the intuition we need to expand and grow.  The paradox is that this highly personal work can often only take place when witnessed and supported by someone else. 
  4. Holding space for people to be seen in their wholeness - the aspects they love about themselves and those they don’t yet - is the privilege of my work.
  5. I see the world as an ally.  I believe that the people and experiences that come into our lives are invitations to become more conscious.
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Exceptional Interviews are a Balance Between Preparation and Presence

Exceptional Interviews are a Balance Between Preparation and Presence

I recently wrote about a formula for responding to interview questions in a compelling way.  Preparing specific anecdotes helps you illustrate why you’re a great fit and lessens the chance that you will draw a blank when searching your memory for a relevant story.  Some people prefer not to prepare because they are concerned they will sound overly polished.  I understand this concern.  We’ve all had the experience of talking to someone who feels too rehearsed.  They are attached to the way they planned to communicate and their body language and speech don’t seem natural.  It feels difficult to connect to them as a person and as a result, you subconsciously distrust what they’re saying.  That’s why the most powerful interviews are a balance between preparation and presence.  You can think of presence as the quality that gives life to the stories you have prepared.  Another way to visualize this is to imagine the preparation - your structure - as the riverbank and your presence as the flow that shares your stories and connects you to the interviewer.

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Back to School

Back to School

Yesterday, I took my daughter to an event at her elementary school where we could drop off supplies and spend time with other families.  In two days, she will start second grade and my family will transition from the rhythm of summer camp and travel back to 5:30 am alarms and remembering that it’s Wear Clothes From Your Favorite Sports Team Day, 5 minutes before we leave the house.

I love these kinds of occasions.  The first day of school.  New Years.  Birthdays.  Anniversaries.  These moments remind me to pause and reflect on what has changed over the course of a year.  What traditions do I want to maintain?  How have the four of us grown?  How can we make our routine easier? 

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Staying Present at the Playground

Staying Present at the Playground

“Are you ready to go to the slide?”  I ask.

“No!  More pushes!”  My 2-year-old daughter is in a swing phase.  And by swing phase, I mean she wants to do that activity with a single-minded focus that outlasts my interest by 15 minutes.  It’s beautiful that she’s learning and enjoying herself and smiling adorably but oh-my-gosh-why-can’t-we-switch-to-something-else?!  I’m crawling out of my skin with impatience, which is ironic because I’m helping both girls practice ways to be patient every day.  Remembering this, I try to flip my internal script.  I decide to ask the developing expert.

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