Finding gold and Sandy Cote

For those of you that know me well, you may also have the pleasure of knowing my Mom, Sandy Cote.  Sandy Cote is a very special lady — kind, warm, loving and wonderfully open-hearted.  Everywhere she goes, people just love her.  From a yogic perspective, we believe we choose our parents. And I must say, I picked a winner.  A few months ago, my Mom was diagnosed with an aortic aneurism; a valve in her heart is getting bigger and it shouldn’t be.  Since her diagnosis, my Mom and I have been Skyping two mornings a week to meditate, share our feelings and pray together.  She also gets to see her grandaughter on these Skype sessions.  She and I together have found the gold in this diagnosis:  deeper connection and deeper appreciation for each other.  Tonight, I flew to Boston to join the rest of Team Sandy Cote to support my mother during her surgery tomorrow.  

This week I am asking for special prayers for my Mom, the AMAZING Sandy Cote.

Commitment and Birthday fun

Last weekend I did a great exercise that I’d love to share with you.  It takes about two minutes…

Grab a notebook and answer the following questions:  1) What are your highest and most noble commitments?  2) Now, what are you actually committed to (i.e. what do you spend your time and energy on daily)?

For me, my highest was Mirabelle, Matt & Myself.  In reality, Mirabelle, managing others and being busy were where I could honestly say my time and energy are spent.  My knee jerk reaction to this admission was to be upset with myself (“I’m a shallow awful person”).  And then, after a pause and a deep breath, I was able to get curious.  What has me choose busy-ness and managing others over my husband and myself?  What has me set my life up in this way?  It now becomes a place to look instead of some good-ol-fashioned self-berating.

Are your “lists” out of alignment with what you are looking to create in your life?  Willing to take a look?  Interested in having things go differently?  Email me here to get the conversation started.

Up in the air and more self care

Last Friday afternoon, I flew from Charlotte to Providence with my 15-month-old to visit family. What makes this trip noteworthy is that I was flying solo with my daughter. If you have never traveled on an airplane with a toddler, this story might be lost on you. However, if you know any toddlers or have ever seen one on the street, you might sympathize with some of my pre-trip feelings. This is my 4th flight with my daughter, but usually I have Daddy along for the ride — which is huge. This time, it was just me, my small friend and about 100 strangers, many of them armed with the “I hope you and your child are not sitting anywhere near me” look. I was excited and slightly nervous about the trip. Mirabelle is a really good traveler, but usually there is some major magic happening on the part of her father and me in orchestrating “ideal” travel conditions. In any case, I made it my job to be super-prepared and ready for this flight.

What does that look like? It actually started the night before with a great night’s sleep. The next morning, I meditated and took the time to get organized, packed and dressed — all in a way that would support ease on my travels (i.e. jeans with back pocket to hold ID and debit card for easy access). I made sure I had plenty of snacks for both of us so everyone would be happy and satiated. We arrived early at the airport so there would be no rushing or added stress. And everything went off without a hitch. Flight was great. Baby was great. But the biggest thing was…I was great. My being had been taken care of. And when we practice self-care, we are actually taking care of everyone else, because we are able to show up to the party of life as our best selves and allow and encourage others to do the same.

What is part of your non-negotiable self-care each day? How do you prioritize yourself? What would make putting yourself first worth it? Need some support in creating more self-care?  Email me here to get the conversation started.

Break time

I got hit with the flu last week. Wednesday afternoon, I was feeling off, and by the evening, it was game on. For two days, I went from my bed to the couch and back. No email, no work, no calls, no cleaning — for 48 hours. Everything just kind of stopped — because I really didn’t have a choice (there is obviously always a choice of some kind, but in my state, it was limited).

So, I gave in to it. I rested. I listened closely to what my body wanted — and I delivered. No food choice too “bad” or strange (Utz Sour Cream & Onion chips, anyone?). Really just being where I was, which it turns out is a really powerful thing to practice and cultivate. Because there is so much wisdom within us, what’s really missing is slowing down enough to listen to and truly hear the sweet, soft voice of our own intuition.

Take a break. Slow down. What part of you could really use some love and attention? Where is your well being at — right in this very moment?  Interested in having a new relationship with your well-being?  Email me here to get the conversation started.

Soul train

On Saturday night, my dinner plans got cancelled.  I decided to “clean up” my computer, which involves going through all the open tabs in my browser from the week and looking at videos/articles I may have put off and what-have-you.  

In coaching (and in yoga), we look at shifting our old “stories” and limiting contexts.  I have a few favorites that show up for me again and again.  “In and out” is a favorite context of mine (I love a good escape route — i.e., thanks-but-no-thanks on the ‘ol accountability/responsibility thing), as well as a solid “right/wrong.”  My own amazing, amazing coach, Christine Sachs, supports me in taking on new, empowering contexts.  They can be anything, as long as they are not a “fix” for the old one.  The thing about our contexts, is that they aren’t “wrong” — they simply are, however extremely limiting and disempowering they may be.  Over the seven months I have been working with Christine, I have tried on many new contexts:  discovery, ease, compassion and most recently, Luscious Mother.  But one of my favorite contexts to try on is Soul Train.  I remember the conversation I had with Christine where I mentioned my context of Soul Train.  She asked me to explain.  For me, life in the context of Soul Train is a groove, a flow, an energy that moves fluidly, like music.  I love gospel and soul music, and when I listen to that music it inspires me and moves me deeply.  SOUL TRAIN.  Earlier this week (and currently one of my open tabs), Christine sent me this YouTube Video in honor of my fave context, Soul Train.

So, your old “stories” about who you are and who you are not — where are they showing up?  What is getting in your way?  Interested in having a conversation about getting on your own personal Soul Train?  Email me here.

I’ve missed you and Mirabelle hugged me

I’ve missed you!  It has been over a month since my last post and I have been busy working, playing, coaching and getting hugged.  That’s right, hugged.  My 14-month-old daughter Mirabelle HUGGED me last week and it was easily one of the most magical experiences of my life (and I am blessed to have seen considerable magic in my time). Have you ever had a “baby hug” before? HIGHLY recommended. Maybe part of the magic is that she smells like heaven. Or her smile has enough wattage to power Manhattan. In any case, that hug transformed me and made my soul smile.  

I had an experience a few weeks ago with a member on my NY Coaching Team that I wanted to share here. It seems like I have considerable airport stories, but I travel alot, so bear with me.

I was on a call (at the airport) following an intense training weekend. I was tired and pretty drained. My teammate needed some support and wanted to get complete on a few things. No problem. And as I was sharing some feedback for her (which was solicited), she began reflecting some things about me that had already been addressed earlier in the day. I became extremely pissed off. Frustrated, resigned, silent (a very unusual choice for me). She knew I was upset and wanted to work through it. I just wanted to call my husband and complain about her. I sat with it for several uncomfortable moments. My automatic is to hold onto the upset, making the other person wrong and not expressing in the moment what is really going on for me. I can then in turn go and share with others about how I have been “wronged” and what a jerk the “wrongdoer” is. And what this old pattern does is take up valuable mental real estate that could be used serving others or thinking creatively about my job or being excited about my relationships. Anything other than what I am choosing. Yes, CHOOSING. Since I have been looking to create a breakthrough in authentic communication, I decided to give it a whirl, despite my extreme discomfort (mentally, my inner little girl was having a fit. . . and physically, I was flushed and my heart was racing). I took a deep breath and said what there was to say. From my heart, without blame. And something truly amazing happened. I felt instantly better. No more energy around the subject — mental or physical — and no more significant than what I had for breakfast. It was fantastic, for her and me. We hung up, complete.

What haven’t you said that needs to be said? What’s getting in the way for you? What’s possible for you in your life when you choose to come from love rather than from fear?  Interested in having things go differently?  Email me here to get the conversation started.

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