Sit down. Are you resting comfortably? Now let me tell you a story.
I love how storytellers of old would capture our attention from the first lines of their story. In this article, Jane Brunette captured my attention immediately when she said, "The Buddha had self-doubt, too!" I highly recommend the read.
April, as a whole, was a mess of activity and learning. I was in DC, then flew to Portland, OR, then took a weekend up in the mountains. An old friend passed away, my neighbor lost his grandson to gang violence. The highs were high, the lows so very low. The whole of the month, I talked, listened, reflected, got swamped by some feelings, recovered, and so on. In the end, the experiences can be summed up as a series of open-hearted communications, preceded by moments of self-doubt, something that's common when I'm irritated or tired.
Many times during the month I was masterful with communicating and relating. When I was with folks who were also intent on invoking their own mastery, bringing their best, it was a sweet exchange and brought happiness. What tripped me up were the times when I felt overwhelmed by someone, when I experienced an interaction that seemed to suggest I was 'less than' or 'put me in my place' or even tried to establish 'dominance.' Those interactions weakened me, my normal buoyancy dissipated, I felt unsure of myself, and unbearably tempted to blame the other person. The 'less than', 'put me in my place', etc., these were the stories I told myself about what the other person was doing. A bit childish, and akin to, 'sit down my children and let me tell you a tale' - all of it fantasy and entertainment.
What was needed when I first felt those pangs of 'power over' was a simple and clear statement, not pretending, not diminishing, just "say what is so, without blame or judgment". (Angeles Arrien, The Four Fold Way). Open hearted communication is masterful communication when it balances timing, content, and context.
So speak. Speak! It's ok to take a moment to reflect, allow a little self doubt to open your mind and your heart. Then, say what you need to say, in the moment that you need to say it. Don't wait for the 'right moment,' as I discovered, you may be waiting a long time.
Timing is not a strategy, it's just a tool.
If you are new to the website, welcome. Have a look around. I work with individual clients and with leadership teams using the Enneagram personality assessment. Call me or send an email, telling me what's on your mind. My first consult is free, and can last up to an hour as we get to know each other. Go to the contact page - here!
"I have achieved greater work/life balance through my conversations with Kelleen. With Kelleen’s guidance, I’ve reframed my work and work habits so they fit within both my professional goals and my personal value set. I now prioritize what is important for me, and put my energy first into those things. I have restructured my day, my job, and my personal life in a way that energizes me, and gives me focus. Kelleen has helped me to confidently use my inner strengths, many of which I had tempered over the years. As a goal driven person, I have been able increase my authentic living, and shape my goals to give me the true inner fulfillment that I seek."
- Tenea Watson Nelson, PhD, Asst. Dean, School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences, Stanford EARTH, Spring, 2018
"I have come across many smart, strategic, capable, articulate, empathetic, energetic leaders and advisers over the course of my career. While Kelleen has all of those qualities, she has one that is particularly rare and desirable in a mentor/coach: wisdom. It is her wisdom that truly sets her apart from the crowd and it is one of the qualities that inspires my trust in her counsel. She was instrumental in helping me create my business and will no doubt play a role in its growth and success. She will challenge you, inspire you, and ultimately be by your side as you discover your best path forward. The results are undeniable."
- Sirish Prabhu, Founder & Principal, The Policy Matrix, Winter, 2018
"When I was selected to do a TEDx talk, I felt pretty confident in my ability to write a concise, funny, detailed and representative presentation on the subjects allotted to me. As a cartoonist, that is basically what I do, only in a different form. The organizers suggested that we use mentor/coaches to help us, if we felt that we needed help. Kelleen was a Facebook fan of my work, and I knew that she was a mentor and coach. I thought, "What do I have to lose? I can always NOT use her advice if I don't find it helpful. It turns out that engaging Kelleen was the best thing I could have done. She helped me whittle down my talk to the essences of the subjects, she listened to my presentation multiple times and had great advice on how to make it better. She offered lots of encouragement, and sat in the audience grinning and laughing along with the rest of the crowd. And perhaps the best thing was that she always came back to the idea that I knew what I was doing; I just needed a little outside perspective to make it the best it could be. I highly recommend her services and I highly recommend her!"
- David Cohen, National cartoonist and musician, Asheville, NC, Fall, 2016