What the Babies Taught me About Leadership

(Cuteness alert!) Have you ever learned a life lesson from someone you least expected to?

I have spent the past three months learning lessons from my beautiful twin granddaughters, Morgan and Natalie, who were born on December 15, 2016.

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I was blessed to have my daughter and her newborns stay with me and my husband in our Tucson home. She wanted to be near family as she learned to navigate life with her new babies for the first 3 months of their lives.

Was life in our home crazy? 

Yes, especially night time feedings. She would take one baby and I would take the other…multiple times a night.

Yikes….talk about sleep deprivation!  

I learned so much about my self leadership while caring for these adorable babies.

Who would have thought that they would teach me?

This was the most rewarding and exhausting experience AND I feel so blessed that I could spend this most important time with all of them.

IMG_4217Here are the self leadership lessons these beautiful angels taught me:

1.  BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT.  These little ones are demanding and if I wasn’t present in my attention and my loving, they could feel it. One day I was trying to check emails on my phone, which was on my leg, while feeding Morgan.

She wanted my attention and in her beautiful innocence, kicked my phone off my leg sending it crashing to the tile floor….cracking the screen….ouch!  I heard you Morgan, loud and clear….pay attention when I’m feeding you!

2. MY SELF-CARE IS A MUST. I learned this quickly because sleep deprivation affects EVERYTHING. These babies needed 24/7 care, so we had to do what we could when they were sleeping, which wasn’t always at the same time. I ended up with a 3 week cold that wouldn’t go away. My immune system was taxed!

Both my daughter and I had to make sure that we each had a nap during the day.

My morning meditation practice was never the same. Some days I was rocking a baby to sleep while listening to my meditation recording.  It was even a challenge to get out and take a walk in the neighborhood just to move my body.

I needed to squeeze my self-care activities into the day so that I could fill my cup and continue to give to them. Some days were better than others.

3.  DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  This entire experience of co-caring for the babies was THE most important thing. I put all my networking meetings aside. I was VERY select about the clients I did business with during this time.

In the last month of their stay, I found myself focusing on my quality time with the babies. I would let them nap on me instead of rushing to get dishes or laundry done.  I would play on the floor with them instead rushing to check my email or social media.

4. LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART.  Babies are just bundles of love. They exude love, innocence and purity and you can see it in their eyes. All they want is love, security and to be cared for.

Isn’t that what you and I want today as adults….love, security and to be cared for? Looking into their eyes every day cracked my heart wide open AND it made me remember my own love, innocence and purity.

Loving them opened me up to even more loving of myself. Caring for them was an expression of love that I felt deep within my Soul.

Each day I cared for them, these lessons were brought in front of me and allowed me to make honoring choices for myself.IMG_0146

I see how easy it can be for new parents to forget about themselves and give themselves over to the babies or whomever someone might be caring for.

Have you ever forgotten about yourself when you get wrapped up in caring for someone or even a big project at work?

Each one of these lessons were brought to my attention at the perfect time. I didn’t always make the best choice at first, and that is where my learning came in.

The babies were just the beautiful experience for me to learn more about myself and how I lead my life. (more cuteness below!)

I invite you to look in your life right now and see where an experience is in front of you to learn some lessons. It may be disguised as exhaustion, suffering or lack of something.

Look deeper into the situation and see where you can make honoring choices in your life that support your total well being.

As always, if you need some support with what you discover, give me a call as I would love to support you in living your best life!

Much love,

 

 

 

 

PS….here is more cuteness of Morgan and Natalie to drink up!
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What can you do?

What can you do?

It seems like every day more chaos erupts in the world.

How does it make you feel? Angry, bitter, hateful? It might be easy to jump to these negative feelings.

But adding hate to hate does not solve the problem. And you can’t solve the world’s problems yourself.

What can you do in your world to make a difference?

First, you can send love and blessings to all the individuals connected with the violent situations. You can send this love and light to all concerned for their highest good.

Next, look to see where you might have chaos in your life. Where do you have judgements towards others?

Where do you create separation from others?

Then you can look to see if you are open to forgiving your judgments towards the other person or persons. This can be tricky as I suggest forgiving your judgments against the person, not forgiving the person.

This doesn’t condone their behavior, but it releases you from your suffering. This is your barrier to loving energy.

Then send love and light to the other person. They don’t even have to know. Have compassion for both of you. See the truth in whatever the situation might be.

Be the loving example.

I have asked myself this question recently, “What can I do?” I have taken a deep dive myself into what my chaos is. Yes, I still get triggered and upset at situations…I’m still human!

I easily found the person(s) whom I had judgements towards. I moved through the forgiveness process. I have sent the love. I actually send them love and light every day in my prayers.

What would it feel like for you to release your chaos?

Peaceful, free, expansive, open, and light.  I know because this is what I’m feeling now that I am in the process of healing the chaos in my heart.

What would the world be like if we all took responsibility for our chaos and took action to heal it?

This may only be an small step, yet the world is ready for many small steps of healing. This reminds me of the quote by my beloved mentor, Dr. Ron Hulnick from the University of Santa Monica;

vision1Every time one person resolves one issue, all of humanity evolves.”

I challenge you to take a look into your world. Maybe your chaos and judgment is towards another person, or maybe it is towards yourself.

How can you heal yourself and let it be part of the collective healing of humanity.

That’s what you can do. 

Sending you much love, light and healing,

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If you change nothing, then nothing will change.

On November 3rd I had the honor of facilitating a workshop at the YWCA Southern Arizona 27th Annual Leadership Conference.

It was such a powerful day inspiration, transformation and change opportunities for all the women who attended.sold out room YWCA

My workshop was about Emotional Intelligence at Work and I had room filled to capacity (and a few others snuck in and stood in the back of the room) with 87 women.

It was an awesome experience for me to fill a room!

What I heard from so many of these women was;

“I know I need to work on strengthening myself.”
“I know I need to work on my Emotional Intelligence skills.”
“I am always filled with anxiety and stress.”
“I want to learn how to connect with others better.”

Yet when I invited these women to a deeper conversation to support them, their fear kicked in and said, “no, not now.”

If not now, then when? If you change nothing, then nothing will change.

I know that it is not easy to take an honest look at your life. I know because I avoided taking a look at my life for a long time. In my busyaholic life, I didn’t have time to look at my life.

I denied that anything was wrong with me…..I was happy with my life……really, I was was happy with my life….really, every thing as ok. (You couldn’t see my pain inside from my mask on the outside!)

I was afraid of the truth, I knew it would hurt.

I was afraid of changing, I feared the unknown.

I was afraid of disappointing others, I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

Yet I do know that when I finally took an honest long look at my life, without judgement, I could see what wasn’t working. I could see what behaviors I needed to change. I could see that if I continued to deny my truth and my voice, than nothing would change.

If not now, then when? If you change nothing, then nothing will change.

If you know that some areas in your life need your attention, now is the time.  Not 10 years from now when your suffering has doubled (I’ve done that too!).

Today I live a radiant life.

I took 100% responsibility for my happiness and took the steps to create the life and work of my dreams. It took one step, and then another, and then another.

It begins with a commitment to a better life and the change inside that creates that.

Are you ready to stop thinking about change and ready to take action?

Is it time for you to step into your dream life?

NOW IS THE TIME.

Come join me to begin your New Year of 2016.
YOUR YEAR OF CHANGE!
I want to invite you say YES to yourself and join me at:

RADIANT LIVING INTENSIVE

Building Your Success Roadmap for 2016

Saturday January 23, 2016

Skyline Country Club, Tucson Arizona

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Registration begins next week, so get your name on the pre-registration list now!

Email me at christine@heartfeltworkforce.com 

I look forward to connecting with you and holding the sacred space for you to create your success roadmap for 2016!

Here’s to a radiant YOU in the New Year!

Much love and gratitude,

 

In the silence, they heard.

In September last year, a small group of courageous women joined me in the pines of Flagstaff to listen to the Whispers of their Soul.

They were stressed out, over worked busy professional women who knew that something was missing in their lives.

Business deadlineThey thought that working harder would be the answer.  It wasn’t.

They thought that making more money was the answer.  It wasn’t.

They thought that they didn’t have time for a retreat. They found the time.

In the silence, they heard.

They opened their eyes, minds and hearts and asked themselves these questions in the silence of the majestic forest:

Who am I?

What do I desire?IMG_0879

What does my soul want me to know?

What is in the way from me creating my desires?

What is my next step?

In the silence, they heard.

They were astonished with the profound messages they heard from the intelligence of their heart and soul.  They heard their truth from deep inside themselves.

In the sacredness of the container of this retreat, they were able to listen to the whispers of their soul.

They trusted these messages and knew that it was imperative to trust this sacred and wisdom filled part of themselves and to take action in their lives to bring the peace and happiness they so desired.

In the silence, they heard.

Each one of these women’s lives has completely transformed since this retreat. By listening to their soul, releasing their blocks, and taking they action steps they committed to.

“Awaken to the Whispers of Your Soul: A Women’s Mountain Retreat” was a life altering experience for me personally. It was an intimate, soul-revealing journey into the discovery of the riches we all hold within ourselves, riches that ofkaren mercereau 2ten remain hidden, buried beneath years of “life’s little traumas” and the immediacy of our work lives. I came away knowing that this is a journey I have just begun, ready to continue to explore.”

~ Karen Mercereau, Founder/Executive Director RN Patient Advocates, PLLC

Say YES to yourself and the sacredness of this magnificent retreat to listen to the whispers of your soul.

In the silence, you will hear. 

Come join me and a group of like-minded women in my mountain home, in the cool pines of Flagstaff Arizona, June 26, 27 & 28 for a life altering weekend to unplug from your busy life of “doing” and slow way down to listen.

2015-banner-awaken-mtn-retreatSpace is limited for this powerful retreat. Spots are filling quickly so get yours NOW so you can take advantage of the SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICING before  March 15!!!

If you have a desire to be one of these 6 magnificent women who are ready to slow down to listen to the whispers of their soul, call me today.

I don’t want you to miss out on this experience to listen to the whispers of your soul and transform your life.

Much love,

Your Energy. Are you Grounded or Scattered?

Ever feel like your energy is scattered in too many directions?  Ever feel like you have your energy in so many places that you are not effective at ANYTHING?

You are not alone in feeling this way.  Welcome to my world this past week! 

I spent most of the month of July focusing my energy on renewal and healing.  After an amazing visit to Miraval Resort, and then a week at the University of Santa Monica, assisting with one of their programs in Spiritual Psychology,  I felt renewed, recharged and ready to focus my energy on my expansion of my fall workshops.

Enter a family crisis.  Whoa, the whole centered piece went out the window!  I could tell each and every time I was giving away more and more of my energy.

I felt very ungrounded and scattered.

I lost track of time during the day.  I found myself looking at my laptop for long stretches and not getting anything done. I was at the beck and call of others who needed me.

If that wasn’t enough signs of  being scattered, I had a few minor mishaps.  On Tuesday I dropped a metal bar on my foot, causing much swelling and bruising.  On Saturday, I didn’t unclip at a stop on a bike ride and fell off my bike and landed into the post of a street sign, severely bruising my bicep muscle. Ouch!  Oh the signs were all there that I was NOT GROUNDED.  And I have the bruises to show for it!

Time for me to regroup and refocus my energy back to ME. 

Grounding can bring conscious awareness to your self and your body.   It can provide you with the strong anchor to center you again if you are ungrounded.

I quickly followed the steps that I suggest to my clients to regain their center.  Here are the steps I followed and are really very easy:

1.   Slow down. Find quiet meditative time and go inside and still your mind.

2.  Visualize yourself connecting to Mother Earth.

3.  Go barefoot and feel the ground, dirt and/or grass.

4.  Drink lots of water.

5.  Listen to your heart about where your energy should be focused.

6.  Say NO to things that don’t serve you or your well being.

7.  Let go of any negative energy and/or upsets with a quiet Free Form Writing session.

8.  Acknowledge your boundaries and honor them at all times.

Regaining your focus on YOU will bring you back to your center.  When you are feeling a bit out of sorts, for whatever reason, use these steps to assist you.  Life happens to all of us and it’s good to know that a few simple steps can help you shift to bring calmness and balance back into your life.

I’m sure you’ve had a time where you were scattered and felt the need to be grounded.   I’d love to hear from you and what works for you when you feel this way!

If you like this article, I’d love for you to share it and like it on FB and Twitter, so that it can help someone you love find that calmness and balance for themselves!

Much love and light,

 

Dealing with Airtime Hogs: Tips for Better Communication With Non Listeners

During my workshop this past weekend, I had questions about how to have a meaningful conversation with those that talk non-stop.  One woman, Kathy, cleverly referred to them as “airtime hogs” because that is, in fact, what they do!

You can’t get a get a WORD in edgewise!

Here are some valuable tips to help you have a healthy dialog (yes, that means 2 people!) with those who may not even realize how they can overwhelm a conversation.

 

Step 1 – As the conversation begins, LET THEM KNOW that you really want to understand them and you may reflect back information, just to make sure you got it right.

Step 2FOCUS your attention on the content of what they are saying. Listen for the deeper meaning of what they are saying.

Step 3 – REPEAT what they have shared in segment as the conversation moves along.  Allow them to create forced pauses in the dialog.

Step 4 – FIND A GOLDEN NUGGET in what they are saying and PRAISE them.  We can all use some affirmation!

Own your personal power (NOT ego!) as you converse.  When you can take an active role in directing the conversation, AND LISTEN, you will surely see the difference.  You be the role model of open and meaningful conversations!

And for those of YOU WHO ARE AIRTIME HOGS……

…..learn to stop and listen to the the people you are in a conversation with.  You can acknowledge your behavior and change yourself in YOUR NEXT CONVERSATION!!

I hope you have found these suggestions to be valuable and I would LOVE to hear from you!! Leave a comment below…and share it…let me know what you think!

 

Extreme Self Care: 10 Steps to an Exceptional YOU!

Are you wishy washy about the things you want to change in your life?  Do you just talk about “some day” you want to take care of yourself better?  Are you so busy that you are at the bottom of your “to do” list?  Do you not think you are “worthy” of the time and effort to spend taking care of all parts of your SELF?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, and you are ready to make some serious changes in your life…..read on!   Remember that YOU are what you take to every relationship in your life. YOU are at the center of your life. YOU are the most important person in your life. You have been given the special gift of life….and your opportunity is to make it the best you can. When you start by taking your care seriously, everything else lines up to support you.  And in referencing “taking care of  you”, I am talking about all dimensions of your SELF.  Perhaps some levels you have never given any attention to.

Extreme Self Care is….

1..…caring for all dimensions of you: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual.

2……about taking a truthful and honest look at your current life.

3……about not beating yourself up by what you see.

4……accepting yourself exactly where you are.

5……about committing to small steps to nurture yourself EACH AND EVERY DAY.

6……about acknowledging yourself for each self nurturing action you take.

7……making you the most important project in your life.

8……continuing to make honorable and loving choices in your life that support YOU.

9……continuing to enhance your well being and live the balanced life of your dreams.

10….making these changes part of your new joy filled, healthy and balanced SELF.

Commit to YOU.  These are changes that only you can make.  Have the courage to step into your fear of change.  Embrace all your beauty and divinity and make YOU the best you can be.

EXTREME SELF CARE + LOVE =  EXCEPTIONAL YOU

A Year in Review….with Loving Gratitude

What was the year 2011 like for you?  Is it easier to remember the bad times and difficult to even find the good ones?  After the busyness of the holidays, it can be a challenge to even remember what we did at the beginning of December!

As an active and positive practice, I go through an activity each year end to acknowledge all the things I am grateful for from the prior year.  I actually go through my appointment calendar and it helps me reflect what I did on a monthly basis.  Work achievements, personal achievements, vacations, goals met, ah ha moments, first time activities….. they were all there.  It even sparked some creative thoughts and wonderful memories as well.

This activity gave me the opportunity to see the good in this past year. That’s the key here….I was looking for the good.  Believe me, there were some challenging times, but this activity has me shift to positive thinking.   It seems that with each year of life, I gain so much more wisdom.  I believe that is the part of learning lessons from the difficult times.

Here are some suggestions to move through this activity yourself and review your year, as you embark on a new 2012:

1. Go through a calendar or planner for 2011.  Walk your steps again. Write down your experiences and activities and what you accomplished and are grateful for.

2. Acknowledge yourself for the experiences.  Look for the good.  If something was difficult, ask yourself what was the lesson learned.

3. Close your eyes and relive the positive experiences.  You can feel the warm positive feelings again and again.

4. Feel the loving gratitude for all your experiences.  You were blessed with an amazing life and the more grateful you are, the more blessings that will come your way.

I ended up with three pages when I did this activity.  It made me feel good.  It also gave me a feeling of closure for the year of 2011.  As I move into the New Year, I can now take this feeling with me as I embark on all the new experiences ahead of me for 2012!

Blessings to you for a heartfelt review of your 2011 and an enlightening 2012!

Owning Your Personal Power

Just the thought of the word “power” can bring many different perceptions to your mind.  To one person, it can mean energy, force, action, strength and drive.  To another person it can be viewed from a victim standpoint as dominance, ego, rule, authority or control.  It all depends upon how your perception of the world is viewed.

However, you have your own personal power that resides within you.  You also have the responsibility of how YOU show up in the world.  Do you have victim mentality or ownership mentality?  Are you reactive to what happens in your life?  Or are you proactive and own your power.

Your personal power can be tapped in to by looking inside yourself, not outside.  When you own your power, you can create your life how you want it.  No longer do you need to give your power to others or expect them to give it to you.  Here are some simple tips about how to activate your power and use it responsibly, wisely and lovingly.

1.  Activate you energy within you.  You can do this by focusing your thoughts and energy on your Third Chakra, in your Solar Plexus area (stomach, upper intestines, pancreas, liver area).  This is the area of your energy data bank that focuses on self worth, self esteem, self appreciation and how you show up in the world.

2.  Be aware of your power of choice.   In every moment you have choices of how you will be.  Someone asks you to do something that violates you personal values, what do you do?  State your self honoring choice out loud and allow it to activate within your consciousness.  Remember, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be a complete sentence!

3.  Love yourself, inside and out.  Use the power of your self love to make honoring choices in your life.  Don’t expect others to love you if you don’t love yourself first.  Loving yourself is about making self honoring choices every day in your life for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being.

4.  Speak your truth.  When you are in tune with the wisdom and power of your heart and gut, you will know what your truth is.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.   It may be difficult for others to hear your truth, but it is YOUR truth.  Make sure you honor that.  Use affirmations to speak your truth to yourself.  Tell yourself positive things about yourself and how you want your life to be.

5.  Connect with the power of your Spirit.  Having faith that there is a power greater than you can bring you to a place of loving confidence that you are not alone in this life.  Allowing the power of your Spirit within you to guide you, can assist you in seeing the Divine in you and the world around you.

Practicing these steps can be very empowering, enlightening and frightening at the same time.  If you are not used to using your personal power, take small baby steps.  You will see that when you are mindful about your personal power, you show up differently in the world.  And remember, it all begins from within.

Remember to Care for Yourself First

Have you ever been on a plane before and heard the flight attendant give you directions about oxygen masks? Remember that the instructions are for you to put your mask on first before you assist others?  This is the perfect metaphor about how to live your life.  But how often do we forget this and end up at the bottom of our list, or simply forgotten about?

You can’t take care of anyone else, unless you can take care of yourself first.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when others need us and we need to be there for them.  But the key to caring for others is to make sure that you mindfully nurture yourself first.  Here are some steps to make sure you keep yourself at the top of the list:

1. Plan for your SELF time. 

This might be something as simple as plugging your nurturing activities into your calendar.  If it is in your schedule, you have made time for the activity…..and you.

2. Nurture all dimensions of your life.

You have mental, physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of your SELF.  It is most beneficial if you acknowledge these parts to create wholeness within you.  Spending 5 minutes a day in quiet reflection can do so much to support your spiritual and emotional self.  Your activities don’t need to be big to be effective.

3. Acknowledge yourself when you take the time for you.

We often forget to find the good in ourselves. This is usually blocked the with cognitive part of our mental self that  is looking for what is bad or not right.  Be kind, loving and gentle with yourself.

4. Pay attention to where you spend your energy.

You might be unconscious of where you spend your energy.  It’s a good idea to evaluate your life and let go of what takes away your positive energy.  Consciously focus on renewing your energy to fill YOUR cup.

5. Remember to bring Joy into your life.

Joy is the feeling of happiness and warmth inside of your heart.  Joy filled activities can activate endorphins, the feel good hormones.  Remember what brings you joy in your heart and try to do a simple joy filled activity each day.  It can be a simple as closing your eyes and reliving an wonderful memory.

Caring for your SELF and managing your energy can be the key to optimal health and well being. Spend some time quiet time reflecting on your life.  What can you let go of in your life?  What can you do to enhance your life?   Remember that your are the only one who can change how you are.   Care for yourself first and see what a difference it makes in your life.  Love and honor yourself with this gift….you are worth it!