Stop Walking On Eggshells

Stop Walking On Eggshells

There’s no way to start this one ‘right’ so I’ll just dive in. Time after time, I’ll be on the phone working with my clients, and I’ll hear some version of “I’m not sure what’s the right decision, if I do this, then that….” They go on to tell me some version of ‘I can’t rock the boat’ or ‘I have to go along to get along.’

This is not a post about decision making, it’s a post about decision framing. And yeah, that's Clint.

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Essays on the Journey: no. 1

Essays on the Journey: no. 1

Mr. Aberg, my 10th grade history teacher, said, “What makes you, you? And how do you know? That chair there, we know it’s a chair because it has chair-ness. What makes you have Kelli-ness?”

Mr. Aberg sadly has passed on; his legacy however has not. It is now a deep part of my life. Indeed, what is my Kelli-ness?

Ask yourself the same question. What is your Kathy-ness? Wes-ness? Tom-ness? Dianne-ness? Vera-ness?

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The Fun... we dread!

The Fun... we dread!

Recently I had a conversation with a client about taking a break.  She's a brilliant scientist who's dedicated her life to helping others achieve their goals despite unfair social and political obstacles. I admire her and want to do everything I can to help her achieve her dreams.

During this discussion, it became obvious that she needed a break, even if it meant a mini-break. We spoke about meditation and going for walks (take a look at this article on the lost art of walking). When I asked what she could do to have fun, she gave me a few examples of the things she'd like to do then paused and with a sigh, said, "yeah, the fun I dread."

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The Brutal Truth About Work

The Brutal Truth About Work

On Feb. 2nd, I will launch the course I wish I'd had 16 years ago, fresh out of Columbia with MBA in hand, switching from Wall Street to an executive position in a high tech company. Back then, if I'd known more about me (not the carefully crafted, socially acceptable me), I probably wouldn't have accepted that job, or have wasted so much time trying to fit into a broken economic system.

In a nutshell, the Brutal Truth is that. It is accepting what work has become for many, and what options we have to fix it.

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How To Stop Being Invisible

How To Stop Being Invisible

I want to talk about …shame.

Writing about it implies that it will be in the abstract. As in, that thing that is happening over there or to someone else.

What if we could be shifted into the expression of shame, the emotion of it, for only a few seconds and then we could be back here sharing thoughts and ideas about that experience?

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Digging Up Your Story.

Digging Up Your Story.

As I stood over the dirt and the filth, watching the big Earth movers do their stuff, my concentration was absolute. What was down there? What would we find?

Sure smelled horrific. Last night, we were told to put dye drops in our toilets; our house got the blue tabs, another red, still someone else green.  Now, talking quietly amongst our selves, my neighbors and I waited for the tell tale sign. I had to stifle a little giggle; it felt almost like the reading of a Last Will and Testament.

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No Plan Survives Contact

No Plan Survives Contact

I liked a Huff Post article today by Alena Hall explaining coping mechanisms for nurses. One of the great parts of the article is the explanation by the author of fractals and chaos theory.  Now you probably don't have time for mind bending theories of the universe, and frankly neither do I. We can save the true rocket science for another day and just pull out the stuff that works, whether or not you're a nurse.

Here's what works for all of us:  chaos theory by definition tells us things change. Duh!  We all shrug, and say, Knew that! What we don't know, or at least can't see as it's happening, is the process of chaos itself. Get this, the process itself is very predictable. Nothing stays the same. 

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Coaching vs. Mentoring?

Coaching vs. Mentoring?

“Oh, you’re a life coach.”

Cringe, sigh.

I’ve had a rough time with this labeling thing, so I decided to write down why. Before I start spewing, it’s important to set the groundwork.  Rather than rely on my biased opinions, I went out to a large network of colleagues and friends and asked them.  What is it about the term life coaching? Do we like it or no?

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Work that works: Semifreddis Bakery.

Work that works: Semifreddis Bakery.

Every morning I walk down to the coffee shop and order my cuppa joe.  It's a ritual. I love this ritual. I say hello to the folks there, it feels like my day is off to a great start. The people at the bakery, it's actually a bakery that serves coffee, are doing their job, with a smile, and all feels right in my world. Last week, I said to the guy I always see, whose name I now know to be Tony, "how come you guys are always so nice here? It's a pleasure just to come in." 

Tony said, "we have no reason to be mean." He started telling me about how much he liked working there, that he has a great job, and he's basically lovin' life right now.

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The White Wolf, Black Wolf Story, revisited

The White Wolf, Black Wolf Story, revisited

Getting it wrong, screwing it up, and the best story ever told on how to fix it! I'd like to share a story about the white and black wolf told from the perspective of the black wolf. This seems urgent and relevant to our times and the story goes like this. A young man with a family, working very hard to put food on the table and provide for his family's welfare, develops a landscaping business. One day, he cuts back a bush and removes a small stump on a client's property. He digs down deep and nicks the water supply line.  Water slowly trickles out and then the trickle becomes a steady stream. As more water gushes out and since the grounds are on a slope, dirt starts to move, then it starts to slide.

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The Frog: On Being Boiled

The Frog:  On Being Boiled

Recently you may have followed my writing on waiting, and how when we conspire to change and transform, we often get to a place that makes us come to a full stop.

Today we'll step back a few paces and look at what precipitated this stall point. I vaguely referred to it previously as an event, an incident. At one moment in time something happened that knocked the breathe from our bodies.  The impossible happened. We lost, we got fired, we broke up, we made a mistake. 

In hindsight, the event was probably a long time coming. However, it feels like it was a split second; one day all is fine, the next day, shazaam, not so fine. From that day forward, the frog is in the pot, the water is being heated, and we are given a choice. 

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A Deeper Look At Waiting...

A Deeper Look At Waiting...

When I wrote “When Nothing Happens” and circulated it to all of you, I had no idea what kind of a reaction it would generate. I received many personal notes telling me of the waiting place, the ‘nothing is happening’ place. Some shared a sad story about a friend, some were resigned, some impatient.  Everyone, though, was in pain.

It made me wonder about this special type of pain, the pain of changing, of waiting for something to happen. What is this unique kind of suffering that is relevant to the process of becoming who we really are? 

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When Nothing Happens

When Nothing Happens

Stories are fascinating; they entertain, they educate, they inspire, they commiserate, they nurture. We all, young and old, settle ourselves into a comfortable position when we hear the words:

“Once upon a time….

Today, as I was thinking about the narrative of my own life, I stumbled upon a variant of the story that is so common, and yet rarely articulated. As obvious and therefore almost silly as this will sound, I wondered how to tell the non-story story. It goes like this:

 

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