Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do What You Were Born To Do

I was listening to a song the other day. We all know that inspiration comes from countless sources. Music often inspires me, but this time I was touched by one line in particular. From a song called, Wagon Wheel, written by Bob Dylan with additional lyrics by Ketch Secor and performed by the Old Crow Medicine Show comes this verse:

Runnin' from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time stringband
My baby plays the guitar
I pick a banjo now

The line that struck me was: I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time stringband

This is not your ordinary dream.

I would be willing to bet that quite often we have thoughts about what we would like to be, or do, or be known for. And then we push them aside for a more conventional path. What would you do if you didn't have to get paid? What dreams have you buried instead of owning up to?

Being a fiddler in an old-time stringband is neither lucrative, nor highly accepted (unless you are in a well-known band). This artist writes about someone who has followed their dream because deep down they felt that burning desire to do so. It is said with such a matter-of-fact tone.

Entertain your deepest, wildest, most outlandish dreams. Even if it's just for a moment. Talk about them, invite them back into your life. What do feel you were born to do?

Live in that certainty today,
Coach Katie

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Take A Step, Move a Mile

Thousands of writers have written about it, thousands of friends have advised with it, thousands of inspirational speakers have promoted it...

IT is the theory that if you do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to move towards a goal you have, you will be closer to it. Why?

Makes sense right? Martha Beck, author of Leaving the Saints, and contributor for O! The Oprah Magazine writes, "Your frustration comes not from a difficult choice but from the way you think you have to choose." Her first piece of advise about being happy is to do something. She says if that doesn't work, go do something else.

It kind of makes you laugh doesn't it? It seems so simple. To be something. Huh. That's not so hard. Our fears, our doubts and our inability to remain focused can be amazingly painful to our momentum. Do something today. Take that first scary step forward. Find that little twinge of excitement that comes from movement. Use that twinge to eventually create a flood of happiness into your life because you are actively pursuing what you WANT.

Start your momentum today,
Coach Katie

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sense-Sational Living

I think life can be quite pleasing to the appetite if we’re willing to experiment with the ingredients a little bit. Instead of following the traditional recipe – go to college, study hard, get married, start a family, maintain a career – Spice it up a bit! Add a pinch of thyme, a dash of old sage and a little hot “sass.”

I don’t know about you, but my senses demand to be used and appreciated. To me, living is not simply an act of getting up day after day and earning money to support my lifestyle. I like to nourish the little moments in between. Indulging in all of my senses makes me feel alive and aware. Allowing my attention to focus on what I am experiencing gives me a renewed sense of balance. Sometimes that involves a touchstone of some sort, sometimes a need to get away and yet other times it’s enough just to drum up a good memory.

Growing up I always wanted the toys that smelled good. My Mom always recalls how from the time I was 3 until I was 7, our house smelled like strawberry shortcake. Now, my house is filled with candles, though admittedly, none of them smell like strawberries. I crave candles with scents of eucalyptus, bergamot or sage. Something about those scents transport me into another place. One with history, wisdom and a story all it's own. Why is it that certain smells can propel you into the past? For me, it’s the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking. Instantly, I’m back in my mother’s kitchen, adding the flour and measuring out the brown sugar. Naturally, I make a point to bake cookies as much as possible.

When it comes to food, I’m a mixer. I mix my meat with the mashed potatoes and I spill gravy over onto my vegetables. I appreciate the combination of different tastes. Confusing my palate with different types of ethnic foods, or a new wine is actually quite a rush for me. Some flavors become habit, while others are a momentary treat. Personally, I savor the mornings when the coffee is measured out so perfectly I could drink 10 cups in spite of the uncontrollable foot shake that would result. Tasting food and drink, instead of rushing to finish is very important to me. Combining good food with good friends is the perfect recipe for a very satisfying meal.

With good friends always comes sincere touch. Have you ever encountered a stiff armed hugger? They hug you like suddenly their arms have turned to lead – cold and unable to bend. I like a good hug. So much can be said between two people without a word being exchanged. I cherish the hugs shared between good friends. Touch goes beyond physicality between two people though. Everyday we encounter millions of textures. How often do we notice? Nature cooks up the best texture in my opinion. Some of my favorites are grass between my toes, cool water racing over my skin and rough rock beneath my fingertips.

Nature also offers beautiful sounds. Listening to the bugs start their evening serenade as the day winds down and the evening begins is therapeutic for me. Sitting beside a river bed, I let my mind race with the sounds of the water flowing by. Also calming for me is hearing the wind blow over an open field on a spring day or howl through the trees during a gusty evening. Deafening thunderclaps from a passing storm remind me how safe I am in my home. Other sounds evoke emotions within me as well. Different types of music make my mood dance with rage, love or energy. To agree with Maya Angelou, the human voice is perhaps the most beautiful instrument of all. Laughter seasons my heart and sweet words drain stress from my day.

My mind often works in photographs and text. I am a creative soul, so I’ve always been visual. By the minute, my mind describes to me what my eyes soak in, almost like poetry. I have countless photographs stored away in my psyche. I can equally appreciate the gentle details of a tree trunk and a sweet moment observed between a loving couple. I relish the details. I notice the way a drop of rain hits a puddle rather than the amount of it falling from the sky. I see the look exchanged between two people instead of the event that is taking place in front of me. I favor my visual awareness more than any of my other four senses.

I consider myself rather adventurous in spirit, so I visit my senses quite often. I pause to understand how my surroundings feed each of my five senses. When I’m hiking, I slowly soak in the scenery that my eyes fall upon. As I climb up the side of a mountain, my sense of touch is the most acute as I search for my next hold. When I sit in my kayak during a moonlit paddle, I listen to the sound of the water gliding gently under my paddle.

Everyday our senses are overwhelmed with the experiences we put ourselves into. Each message we receive as a result evokes an emotion and each emotion determines an outcome. We’re hardly aware of it though. I prefer to slow things down, understand the ingredients of my surroundings and savor the delicious feast I can cook up in my everyday encounters.

Be aware today,
Coach Katie

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lost in search of a new job?

If you're reading this post it probably means you are either:
a. Unhappy with your job and yes, looking for a new one OR
b. Know someone who is unhappy with their job and looking for a new one OR
c. Just curious what I have to say in case something should happen and you might look for a new job

Either way, read on.

In this day of fast paced, "gotta make it," growing up too fast attitudes...we tend to find ourselves lost in choices. I talk a lot about choices, but this is particularly about career choices. You want the world, but you need two years experience. No one will hire you without it. does that work?? You were forced to choose a major in college and studied hard for four, five...maybe six years. Now you are miserable in a job you hate, but feel stuck because that is your only degree. You've been working for years and are simply burned out and needing a change. BUT where do you go? What's next on your path?

If any of this resonates with you, I understand. Let's explore it.

CAREER BOOST is my next group coaching series. For two months, or 6 sessions, we will explore what an ideal career means to you. Each week will be filled with new exercises and tools to help you clarify your vision of what's important and what's not to you in your career.

No matter where you are located, you can participate! I am holding these one hour sessions on a telephone bridge line, so you can call in from anywhere. Each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. (EST), we will meet for one hour. You'll walk away with more passion, awareness and focus in regards to the type of career that best suits you.

This series begins on October 12, 2006. Cost is $100.

For more information, contact Katie at: 704.552.2419 or

I'd love to see you there...

Enjoy the journey,
Coach Katie

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Run Toward Your Dreams, Not Away

My biggest life lesson to date is that I am in control of my life. If things aren't going right, if I'm not happy with my friends, if I'm not content with my's on me. My responsibility. My fault. Most importantly, those frustrating circumstances stem from MY CHOICES.

I choose to stay. I choose to go. I choose to keep certain people around. Why is there comfort in misery? If you're not careful, it can start to feel like home. My inspiration today is measured by my happiness. Small steps turn to big steps, and soon you are running at a full pace toward your dreams. It's trite, but practice makes perfect. Taking small steps to ask for what you need, going after what you want and really seeking the answers to your questions becomes habit. Settling for less is not an option.

If someone does something to bother you, tastefully confront them about it. No need to say 'yes' to everything and overextend yourself. Accept the invitations that you truly want. Surround yourself with friends that you want to be around, who challenge you and who inspire you. Make a living at a job that fulfills you. Chose to release yourself from the comfort of stability and take a chance.

Someone once told me that the hardest part of running is the first two miles. Beyond that your body is adjusted to the physical strain, your breathing has become regular and your energy is up. Creating energy in your lifestyle is very much the same. When you first begin to make a change, to question, it's exhilirating but exhausting. Your brain wants to convince itself that it's too tired, or too hard. Keep pushing forward and slowly it becomes easier.

At some point, you can even enjoy the brisk air that surrounds you and the constant movement of your body and mind. Your scenery is of your choosing and your pace is your own. How far you run and how fast is up to you.

Choose for yourself this week. Clear your mind and find your vision.
-Coach Katie

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dollars and Sense!

80% of lottery winners in the United States file bankruptcy within 5 years.

Soak that in for a moment. 80%! Jack Canfield cited this fact in his book, The Success Principles before he went on to introduce a theory that completely changed how I thought about money. I hope it has the same effect on you and your own self limiting beliefs.

According to Jack's theory, those lottery winners became accustomed to having a certain amount of money. Have you ever gotten a big bonus from work only to blow it on a lot of expensive clothes, a car, some new gadget? You, too, were accustomed to a certain level of prosperity. We settle into a financial comfort zone.

For some, having a few thousand dollars in the bank is enough of a cushion. If that number jumps significantly in any direction, they adjust their lifestyle to return to their comfort zone. Be it spending or saving, we try hard not to stray from what we have become accustomed to.

If you can step outside of your own perspective, you can see that someone who has $50,000 in the bank can be just as comfortable living as someone who has $50,000 in debt. Each of those people are comfortable with their status because they have learned to live that way. Each lives in a way to maintain that standard.

Someone who doesn't have money is most likely uncomfortable driving through a rich neighborhood, or going to a fancy restaurant since it is such a stretch for them to do so. Their brains send messages of "I don't deserve to be here, I don't feel welcome here, I don't fit in here." Someone who has money probably doesn't think twice because they are so used to experiencing such wealth.

Those who have money will pinch, save and cut back in order to maintain a wealthy status if they've taken some sort of blow monetarily. Building reserves back up to that comfortable level becomes a serious goal. So why aren't we all rich?

We limit ourselves with our beliefs. Our silent messages rule what we feel we "deserve." Instead of stretching our monetary boundaries to experience a richer side of life, we would prefer to keep things the way they are. So...we blow our savings and repeat the same old stories in our heads. We also surround ourselves with others who can reinforce this "normal" income in our lives.

Jack Canfield had a boss and mentor who asked him to set a goal higher than he thought he could achieve. He set a goal to make $100,000 the next year. It took him five years to take that goal seriously, but once he did, he made $92,000. He used action, motivation and positive affirmation to remind himself of his goal and to work toward achieving it. Every year since then, he's made over a million. How's that for pushing boundaries?

Where is your comfort zone? How willing are you to stretch? If you're like me, you've begun making excuses: "Jack Canfield already had a name for himself to be able to reach such a goal. I bet he didn't have debt to pay off first. I'm married. I have children. I have a steady job." Whatever your story, let it go for the time being. Play with this principle. See what happens.

Pick any number that seems like "too" much in your head. Write it down, put a future date next to it and get to work. Just see what happens, see what doors open up for you, follow the flow of inspiration that begins. Begin to get comfortable with that number and revisit it every day. More than once if you can.

Dream big and expect more of yourself. You've made it happen before and your inner power for success is even greater than you are aware of. Stretch what you know and ask for what you want, even if it seems rediculous. Live with intent.

Create your reality,
Coach Katie

Friday, September 08, 2006

Learning to Live in Patience

I've finally taken control over a friend's computer in order to jump on the internet. My computer is currently ill and subsequently has been put in time out because I'm rather angry with it. Nothing can garble my brain waves more than computers, cars or pets being out of of commission for a while. It's been a week since I successfully used my computer for any length of time.

As a coach, I should know there is a lesson in this and that it's not worth getting worked up over. My brain, however, is trying to convince me otherwise. In any case, I'm learning to live with patience until I can again be a free internet loving woman. I am trying to have fun with this newly found time. I've caught up on old phone calls, a little bit of reading and even done some tidying around the office. I think it has been good for me. I move in stealth mode to catch a snapshot of my e-mail while there is a free computer around. All in all, I'd like to say I don't miss the internet one bit, but I really do.

Life can be challenging. A friend of mine once said that he thought challenges were the Universe's way of making sure we were on the right path. If we can't stand up to the challenge (or rather choose not to), then perhaps we really didn't want to go down that road afterall.

Think of any relationship you have been in. Some have worked out, some have not. For those of you that are married, or have had a friend for years, you know that it takes work. Through the challenges, your partnership becomes stronger. You choose to endure those hard times because you know deep in your heart that your two feet are planted firmly where they are meant to be.

While being without a computer for a week is hardly a serious challenge, I found wisdom in the brief reminder that this was just a small pebble in the road. Bigger boulders will find me in the future. Sometimes, when I'm really living authentically, the road ahead of me is straight and easy to navigate. I try to notice the little moments, find my lesson, right my path and move on to that straight road. I encourage you to try it.

Viewing our challenges as gifts of direction, motivation and support can do a world of good for the nerves. My family always used to ask me if I would remember whatever I worked up over in 10 years. Usually my answer was no. Is it worth our energy, stress, anxiety and anger if we are without our cars for two days? If someone cuts us off in traffic? If we fail to turn in a report on time? If we have a fight with our spouse? Not usually.

In the long haul, those aren't the moments we remember. They simply serve as reminders for us. I can't begin to describe to you, though I think you understand, how much I appreciate my car when I get it back after it's been in the shop. I'll feel the same way when my part comes in for my computer and I am happily lauching programs and surfing the internet. These moments teach me patience and appreciation.

Have a great weekend and give this a try: appreciate things before they are taken away. We all have so many gifts to share, friends to support us and peripheral "stuff" to help us along the way. Gratitude is a very becoming quality.

In gratitude and patience,
Coach Katie