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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I am here to be seen.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to be invisible so no one can see you? Where it is easier to blend into the woodwork and hide?

“I am here to be seen.”  I could hear those words coming from my own mouth, but my voice cracked and got real small.

One of the first activities Robert Holden shared with me and 87 other coaches this past July at the University of Santa Monica Soul-Centered Coaching Lab, was to partner with someone and say these words.  And their response was, “I see you.” Each morning we spent about 5 minutes partnering with different people to speak both of these messages and show that we were present and open to be seen.

Robert guided us each of our 5 days through this activity to begin our day of learning with him.

“I am here to be seen” and “I see you.”

Here is 7 year old Chrissy 🙂

After realizing how “small” my voice became, I focused and shifted my energy to be strong, confident and present. I felt a powerful shift inside myself. And yet……

…….this small voice was not to be ignored.  Whose small voice was this?  Whose voice was struggling with being seen?

It was my little girl. It was little Chrissy.  She was hesitant about being seen. Her belief was that if you are seen, then people will make fun of you.

With the help of my coach and doing some self-inquiries, I discovered that my sweet 7 year old experienced a little trauma that shut  her down and created a fear about “being seen.”

I remember being in the 2nd grade and our teacher was introducing us to oral reports. I was so excited about this experience that I raised my hand and said I wanted to go first the next day.

Right away I knew that I wanted to do a report on a flower that intrigued me.  I went home with so much energy inside to find out facts about this flower so I could share in my report.

So the next day, I was loaded with enthusiasm and excitement.

I was first to share and then sat down with a huge smile on my face.  However, after I listened to each report by the other students, my excitement diminished.

Everyone else’s reports were better than mine.  Mine was boring in comparison.

Yes, I compared their reports to mine and it was no longer special and exciting. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my work.

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Sweet little Chrissy 🙂

In my 7 year old mind, I compared my work to others and it wasn’t good enough.

In my 7 year old mind, I created separation.

In my 7 year old mind, the other kids were better and smarter than me.

I experienced comparison and then separation.

The message I created in my 7 year old mind was, “Don’t raise your hand, you will embarrass yourself; Your work isn’t as good at the other kids; It’s better to not be seen than be embarrassed”

This stuck with me for a long time. I learned how to hide in the woodwork  and not be seen. That was easier and safe.

Isn’t it interesting to see how the perception of a small child can create a belief that stays with them through their adult life?

Can you relate to judging yourself as not being good enough and comparing yourself to others?

Fast forward to the present:

I’ve spent the past 6 years growing my coaching/consulting practice and “being seen” in front of many groups.  I still get squeamish and nervous when I get in front of a crowd.  And yes, my voice cracks sometimes.

I have been working on healing those little wounds and changing my beliefs around being seen.

I have done some inner work with little Chrissy to let her know that its ok to been seen.  There is nothing to fear or be embarrassed about.

I let her know that what she has to say and share with the world, matters.

I let her know that she is learning and sometimes that means failing and trying again.

I let her know that she is loved and she doesn’t have anything to fear.

I’m the adult and I will be seen for both of us.

She is part of me, and as I’m healing this part of me, I can own my power and my grace to be seen.

Sometimes it is the little traumas that we don’t realize are getting in our way.

When your little one gets in the way of your success, it is time to take a look at who is really showing up in your life.

Ask yourself this question…….Is it your adult, or your little one, who is blocking your success? 

Here I am posing on the big stage at the eWomenNetwork Conference!

Here I am posing on the big stage at the eWomenNetwork Conference!

Fast forward to today:

I am being guided to make a bigger presence and bigger impact to share my message to bigger groups. I met an amazing speaker coach at the eWomenNetwork International Conference in August who is helping me strengthen my skills as a professional speaker and messenger.

I am standing in MY truth and sharing with the world my message about living consciously and creating more peace, love and equanimity in our lives.

I am standing in MY truth and teaching practical tools to women and men, about how to eliminate their self imposed suffering with worry, anxiety, fear and anger.

I am standing in MY truth and doing my own inner work and be the change I want to see in the world.

I am standing in MY truth to learn, grow and evolve as a professional coach, trainer AND speaker to share my message  with the world.

Can you relate to my story either as a child or an adult? Where are you hiding in your life?

I am here to be seen. And I see you.

With much love and gratitude,

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Loving Yourself. Is it in Your Blind Spot?

Wow, what a question. Have you taken an honest look at your life recently to see if loving yourself is in your blind spot?blind spot

What you don’t see are the obstacles in the way from you truly loving and honoring yourself in your life.  That’s why it’s in your blind spot.

You might think that going to the gym, getting your mani and pedi and shopping might be acts of self-love.  But those are just the surface levels of love. Those are external forms of self-love.

The obstacles that are in the way might be a belief that you are unlovable, that came from your childhood.  Another obstacle might be your critical self that always sees what’s wrong with you. Perhaps one of your parents treated you that way.  And now you treat yourself that way.

Only you can change the behavior or pattern that is blocking your deep authentic love for yourself.

Yesterday I was in conversation with a woman about her experience around self-love.  She recently went to an event that allowed her to see her resentments in her life.  Unbeknownst to her, those resentments were an obstacle in her life.

She had an opportunity to look at her life and release the obstacles.  She was amazed at this awareness and then how she felt so much love for herself!  She felt a powerful shift from surviving to thriving in her life.  And then she asked me:

“Do you think we naturally love ourselves?”

I believe that at our core we are love. I believe that as we come into the world as beautiful precious babies we know that love. As we grow older and experience life’s pains and trauma, that innocence is lost and we forget that love.

Then what happens is that we consciously or unconsciously choose unloving behaviors towards ourselves.

inner critic messagesWe speak to ourselves with critical statements. That is unloving.

We look externally for love. The next relationship. The next car. That is unloving.

We make choices to please other people, even though we know inside its not a self honoring choice. That is unloving.

We fill our lives and calendars with so many activities. We say YES to everything. Then we over extend ourselves to exhaustion. That is unloving.

So the key to loving yourself is to become consciously aware of your relationship you have with yourself. Slow down. Spend some time with yourself and reflect inside.

The more you unlearn the unloving behaviors, patterns and actions, then you can learn to create a more loving relationship with yourself, with behaviors that are self-honoring and self-loving.

The love is naturally there. The key is to move into that loving that is always there.

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.” ~ Margo Anand

If you are ready to take a look at your life, call me.  You deserve to be the most honored guest in your own heart!

Much love,

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All Roads Lead Back to Self-Love

I spent this past month working with some amazing women, first at my Mountain Retreat in Flagstaff and secondly as a workshop facilitator at the 26th Annual YWCA Leadership Conference in Tucson.

The women at my retreat put aside 3 days to “Listen to the Whispers of their Soul” and every one of them came away with the awareness that every dream they had in their busy lives was missing one important piece.  Their deep and intimate love for themselves.

ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO SELF-LOVE.

At the YWCA Leadership Conference, 400+ women honored themselves by committing a full day to learn how to design their own lives, do good business and IMG_1044 (2)create a smarter world. In my workshop I spoke to a standing room only crowd of women who wanted to know how to “Build themselves from the Inside Out”.

What they learned was that making self-honoring choices in their lives was the foundation for their self-mastery and self-love.

ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO SELF-LOVE.

In my experience as a coach working with my clients, no matter what challenge they might be facing or journey they might be stepping into …all roads lead back to their self-love.

It could be the busy professional who doesn’t know how to slow down to make time for her self care. She is still hearing the old tape in her head that “it’s not good enough” so she keeps working harder and harder.

SELF-LOVE IS CHANGING THE WAY SHE SPEAKS TO HERSELF TO BE LOVING, KIND AND SUPPORTIVE, AND CREATING WHITE SPACE IN HER DAY FOR REJUVENATION.

It could be the Mom who has given her whole life for her family and continues to give, and she is exhausted and running on empty. And she is bitter and anger and her perception is that her family doesn’t appreciate all she does for them.

SELF-LOVE IS LEARNING TO SAY NO TO OTHERS IN A COMPLETE SENTENCE AND LETTING GO OF CODEPENDENT AND CARE-TAKING BEHAVIORS.

It could be the woman who doesn’t like the woman she sees in the mirror each day. She loathes to even look at herself. She judges her lookspositive-self-talk as not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not enough, not enough etc.

SELF-LOVE IS SEEING HER BEAUTY DEEP INSIDE OF HERSELF, LOVING AND APPRECIATING HERSELF EXACTLY AS SHE IS IN HER OWN MAGNIFICENCE.

It could be the entrepreneur who is stepping into her true calling of serving others and she holds herself back because she has an old tape from her childhood that says, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that!”

i-thought loving younger selfSELF-LOVE IS LOVING THAT YOUNG ONE INSIDE OF HER WHO KEPT HERSELF SMALL, AND LETTING HER KNOW THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL, SWEET, PURE AND INTEGRATING HER BACK INSIDE INSTEAD OF REJECTING HER.

I believe that Self-Love is the foundation for all well being and healing. I have experienced the lack of self-love myself. When I finally learned the baby steps of loving myself, I saw how strong I became from the inside out. This is the strength I brought to my world to create my life and career as I desired.

ALL ROADS TO HEALING AND WELL BEING LEAD BACK TO SELF-LOVE.

i-thought love myself

The theme of the YWCA Leadership Conference was about being a changemaker. All of the women who attended where challenged by Kelly Fryer, the Executive Director of YWCA Tucson, to see where they can be a changemaker in their world. It really made me think about how I could be a changemaker.  Then I realized that I already am a changemaker.

My mission is to help people become more self-aware of their lives and to strengthen in their Self-Love.

Have you taken some sacred time to look at your life and evaluate how you love yourself?  It is necessary to your wholeness and well being in your life.  All roads lead back to self-love.

Much love,

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