The Pebble in your Shoe is Having a Rock Party

“Want to go to a Rock Party?” was my Dad’s joke every spring. Being a farmer, as soon as the fields were dry enough to plow and plant, meant he spent long days outdoors preparing the fields. Over the winter, the freezing and thawing of the soil would push the rocks to the surface, and they would need to be cleared to create ideal growing conditions. The naïve would answer ‘yes’ to Dad’s question and end up following a tractor and wagon all day, throwing rocks onto the wagon. If you were smart, you jumped into the driver’s seat first.

Recently, in a blog post, I shared a story about two of my heroes, the artists Christo and his wife Jean- Claude. When Christo turned 80 he said, “I’m 80. I want to do something really hard.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve looked to my elders to show me the way. That post was all about challenging mountains to climb, and the small and large courageous acts it takes to scale them. But what if you’re having difficulty scaling the mountain?

Muhammad Ali was so clever with language that he inspired fans and non-fans alike. He said, “It isn’t the mountain ahead to climb that wears you out: it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Sometimes your particular ‘mountain’ and the problematic ‘pebble’ are not so obvious.

Here are six “shapes’ that pebble could take:

  1. Your mindset — Your underlying belief system is in conflict with your desires. Examples: “If I succeed my world will change dramatically” “I can’t have financial abundance AND healthy strong relationships” “I’ll lose control of my life if I take on a leadership role.”
  2. You have conflicting values.  “Professional ambition and kindness can’t co-exist” “Marketing myself feels like selling out” ” The needs of my family and personal achievement is a competition”
  3. You have conflicting ambitions. Are too many choices muddying the waters? Causing confusion — so you end up doing nothing?
  4. You are not all in. (Caused by: see above) To follow through on goals, you have to be 100% on board with your new goal. 70/30 will not cut it.
  5. You have a limiting narrative. “I have to take care of my family first — and their needs are never ending.” “I can’t ask for that much money, they will never pay it.” “I can’t say no, I can’t handle the consequences.”
  6. You are experiencing overwhelm. Too many things on your to do list? No clear plan on doing any of them?

By eliminating these ‘stones’ you clear the path to achievement. Want to go to a Rock Party?

Are You Ready?

Last week I shared three Hero stories, about people who have pushed themselves through that icky place called ‘discomfort’ and resisted the lure of that soft couch to stay safe. I shared a little bit of my own struggle around keeping a low profile. Which is my place of comfort. It’s about VISIBILITY.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve looked to my elders to show me the way. I really admire the artist Christo and his partner (wife) Jean-Claude. Christo (Jean-Claude passed away 10 years ago) create massive, temporary artworks that build community, create exalted experiences and start conversations. They take years, sometimes decades to come to be. Mainly because they work with a consortium of governments, politicians, citizens, and public and private landowners to get consensus and permission to create his temporary public works.

One thing he has said, is that he and Jean Claude have had to have courage.  On his 80th birthday, he said, “For my 80th birthday, I want to do something really hard.” So he created “Floating Pier”. I know some people who travelled to the ‘Floating Pier”, traversing a lake in Italy. They said it was an otherworldly experience.

Well, that is my mantra now. I want to keep meeting the next challenge, the next ‘hard thing’ — leave my place of low profile to embrace visibility. My own ‘hard things’, are smaller in scale than Christo’s, but they are my own personal version of courageous acts. What are the tough challenges that you’re ready to take on? That will make you stretch, and will take courage from you?

(If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here  )

Is Your Hero Hiding?

I grew up in a culture that revered humility. Doing good anonymously. Anyone who called attention to themselves with pride in their work was spoken of with scorn. The message was clear. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Do good, but keep a low profile.

But the paradox is, you can’t do your good work in the world unless people know. So I have worked on my discomfort around sharing my own accomplishments. And I encourage others to get comfortable there too. Which leads me to this…. Three stories. Of women who weren’t afraid of change. Who instinctively knew that change — upsetting the status quo, was exactly the thing to do. They were not afraid of hard work. Or the disappointment that might come with venturing out there into new territory. In our work together we had moments though, when it was hard for each of them to acknowledge their strengths, to feel good about their special skills, to confidently talk about their value in a job interview —  and to ask for more money. They grew into being confident in those areas.

Three Hero Stories

Kate was running a successful local business. Although it paid the bills, she knew it wasn’t a career. But because it paid the bills, she put up with it, for a while. There came a point when she knew the clock was ticking, and it was time to do a 360. After we worked together for a while, she uncovered her true passion, her life’s work, and with guidance began taking actions toward her dream. Today she is working in a job she loves, in a vibrant city that ‘feeds her’ and she is even taking on leadership roles. She answered the call to leave comfort behind for awhile, and seek adventure (because that’s what heroes do).

Megan had mad skills, but was working in a job that was not challenging. When she talked with me she described her role as ‘being a piece of the machinery’. After we dove in, she saw the shape of her desire, and it was not doing the work she thought she was supposed to do. We coupled that with her strengths, and she began designing her next career move. Megan is ambitious, and has already landed the first job up her career ladder. For her, the hero’s journey is just beginning, and she knows what will sustain her along the way.

Emily might call herself a ‘failure to launch’ statistic. After she graduated from college, she moved back to her hometown when no dream job offer came calling. She began working in the first job that came her way back home, and before she knew it she was very good at her job — AND miserable. Her dreams were being submerged, they looked farther and farther away. She was afraid they just might disappear. Within six weeks of our work together, Emily had connected her dreams to real actions, then actions into opportunities. After wrapping up her life here in the midwest, she’s enjoying success and happiness in Seattle.

All three of these women worked very hard. They were willing to say yes, and to be coached. They invested in themselves. I asked them tough questions, gave them assignments to explore deeper. I asked them to do things outside their comfort zones like asking for more money when job offers came in. They continued to show up and follow through. They kept going. Answering the call to adventure and going forward with perseverance is what hero’s all have in common.

Empowering people and connecting you to your dreams and desires is what coaching is all about. Helping you become the hero of your own story.

Can you be your own hero?

What are you waiting for?

What Are Your Results Telling You?

Connie said she wanted to explore new career options. She had long felt undervalued at work, unchallenged. She felt as though she was treading water. She said her boss was unwilling to help her reach her potential. But she was paid well, and couldn’t risk rocking the boat, so hadn’t budged on exploring further. Yet, this was what weighed on her mind when she woke up in the middle of the night.

Cole was a devoted family man, he would tell you every chance he got. Yet his behavior showed a man who put in long hours at work, and had little time to be the man he said he wanted to be. man-aloneHe believed this was what his career demanded of him. The years were ticking by with no shift in the balance while he longed for his life to change.

Shelly knew she was talented. She had an unsatisfied appetite for learning. She wondered what might have happened if she had continued her education, and felt bitterness about the obstacles that had kept her from reaching her true potential. If only things had been different.

All you need to do is look at the results to see what they are committed to.

It may surprise you to know that Connie, Cole and Shelly are committed to staying in their cycle of stuck. The sad thing is, they are unaware of this. If they understood what really is holding them back, they would be empowered to instigate change. But all three of them thought it was outside forces that kept them stuck. The real reason? The beliefs they held on to.

Are you stuck in a job you have been complaining about? In a relationship that isn’t satisfying? Are you still in debt despite having taken on another job to put money in the bank? Guess what. You have something deeper going on, more than what you think. There is a complex disconnect between what you say, and what you do. To understand and change this disconnect, first you have to uncover your unconscious mindset, revealing the ‘why’ behind your behavior. When you do this, you can let go of what is holding you back, and begin doing what you say you want to do.

Mindset and unconscious beliefs are powerful forces. When Connie, Cole and Shelly dig a little deeper, they can begin to peel back the layers and reveal the real purpose behind their behavior. Understanding that will give them the tools to make empowered choices. This awareness will free them to lead happier,  fulfilled lives. That’s what I want for them,

and for YOU.

Sending Love,

Deborah 

A Question to Be Lived Into

Questions. The juicier the better

“……… be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”           — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

 

Asking the right questions.

 

Coaching is a partnership between equals, with the coach asking questions aimed at opening up thinking and opportunities for greater growth for the other. Rilke charges us to love the questions, and to live into them.

 

Asking questions to grow understanding has a long history. In 4th century BCE, Socrates was known as the gadfly of Athens. Gadflies bite the horse, provoking the horse to action.  Socrates approach — asking questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. Annoying the powers that be and disrupting the status quo.

 

Chavrusa is a 1st century CE Aramaic word meaning friendship. In contemporary meaning it is a rabbinic study partner. “A chavrusa helps the student sharpen his reasoning powers, develop his thoughts into words. This type of learning imparts precision and clarity into ideas that would otherwise remain vague. A back and forth, question and answer, question and answer.“ (Wikipedia)

 

Good teachers have a toolkit of great questions. Asking the right questions can “motivate learning and fuel curiosity, foster intellectual development and stimulate thinking.” (Brandon Cline, Chicago Center for Teaching, University of Chicago)

 

 

In coaching, the fundamental purpose in asking powerful questions is to move the coachee forward. Discovery is the foundational intention. A core guiding principle of coaching  —  “People are Inquisitive: Wonder, curiosity and inquiry are the source of all learning.” Like Rilke, Socrates, the Chavrusa, and any good leader, the question is a guide to opening up perception.

 

A powerful question is one free of a judgemental voice. For instance, the question, “Why did I fail” implies you are a failure, which is destructive and fundamentally not true.  It stops learning and growth. A more beneficial and constructive question would be: “What blocked me or got in my way there?” Or “How can I move forward now?”

 

Here is one vigorous question to ask yourself today:

 

“Who is in charge of my life? Me or other people?”

 

This is not a simple question with a definitive answer. This is a question to sit with. And like the gadfly, spur you to action. A question to be lived into.

Do you think “Not good enough”? and “I need to fix my flaws”?

Does your barbell have “not good enough’ on one end, and ‘fix my flaws’ on the other?

There’s body building. Then there’s this…

Sometimes we get caught up with forcing ourselves to get stronger in weak areas. Noble and worthwhile ambitions. But you will never be passionate here, and it won’t hold your focus. By investing in your strengths, this can be a powerful source for success.

It must be the educator and designer in me, but I love creating learning tools. Here is an easy three step process to concentrate on your most powerful areas. You can use this knowledge to elevate your success.

 

A little homework:

 

  1. Grab yourself an iced tea, relax in your lawn chair in the back yard and make a list. Take stock of your strengths. Answer these questions:
  • “In what areas of life do I feel naturally strong?”
  • “What am I already good at?”
  • “Given that this is a strength, what’s the next level of development with that?”

 

  1. Next, make a list of two to three goals, and the resources that are available to you right now.

 

  1. Then, weave these two lists together, do this in narrative form. This is positively reinforcing what you already have, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, or are striving to get.

 

Sarah’s Example:

Strengths:

  • I make rapid, easy connections with people
  • I have a large network
  • I have infectious positivity
  • I have great communication skills

 

Goals                                                                        

  1. Develop a part time marketing biz;

     With an eye toward taking it full time

  1. Develop a wider network, outside local area
  2. Health goals – start a regular work out routine

Resources

  1. Connections within Professional Business Community
  2. Use national platform I’m already a part of
  3. Connect within network with a health goal partner or workout buddy

 

Her Narrative

I view my strengths as being my soft skills – because I genuinely like people and am an extrovert, I make rapid, easy connections. Because of this, I have a large network. I have been blessed with infectious positivity, and tend to view the world as a friendly place.

 

Because my goal is to develop a part time marketing business, I will need to use my large network of people to begin getting the word out and start creating clients. I know I’ll have to throw the net wider if I’m going to make it a full time business. I realize now I could take on a leadership role with the state chapter of the professional business community that I am now a member of locally. My connections there will be great resources.

 

I realize now that my strengths as a people person might help with my health goals too. I will commit to connect with people who can support me with diet and regular exercise. A personal trainer or workout buddy?

 

P.S.  If you are curious about what your strengths might be, the University of Pennsylvania has a survey you can take. You’ll need to register. ( Look for QUESTIONNAIRES. They offer many surveys, the strengths survey is called VIA Survey of Character Strengths. There is also a shorter version available, Brief Strengths test.) https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

Onward and Upward!

 

 

 

 

How do you cope?

Life can certainly confound you. Whether it is the nightly news, cantankerous relatives or incompetent bosses, you feel your blood pressure rise with each episode. Could you use some simple tools to use when you’re feeling stressed, discouraged or angry about something you have no power to change?

Try the 1-2-3 method using R-R-C. Remember these 3 steps to shift ‘consciousness’ — to move your mind through mental quicksand toward empowered uplifting thoughts. Getting stuck in the anger and stress is not productive. Paying attention to stress, discouragement or anger responses is important information to prompt you toward action. Here are three steps. R.R.C. Easy because you already have this.

  1. Reframe. Pause and ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?” “What is good about this?” There is something to be grateful for in every moment, in every situation. There are things to learn within every challenge.Buddhist’s call it ‘Beginner’s mind.’   “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
  2. Revive. Remember past success, past happiness. Feel what that was like, and transfer that feeling to this moment.
  3. Compose. What is the version of your best self in this situation? Who do you want to be right now? Then re-calibrate into the best you.  Consummate professional. Loving individual. Empathic co-inhabitant of planet earth. Courageous human. You’ve got this.

RE-INVENTORS ON THE RISE

 I’m drawn to stories of re-invention. Imaginative people who have either turned a bad situation that was thrust upon them into a win, or have intentionally redrawn their life maps. People with audacity and nerve.

I love meeting and talking to courageous people, with adventurous spirits. This weeks article is part two in an ongoing series of interviews seeking to capture these inspiring stories …….. I have known Heather Suffron for over ten years. In 2016 she became a client of mine, as she began to seek answers to, “What is my next adventure?” Here is a little bit of her story. She is a fabulous writer, so our interview took a written shape. I sent her my questions, and she sat with them, reflecting and then sending her response back to me.

DC: What prompted the re-invention?

Heather: “Well, according to the lovely Debbie Campbell, I’ve had two re-inventions (that she knows about) – one when I quit my job and packed myself off to volunteer overseas and one right now, as I begin a new chapter by getting certified to teach English as a foreign language and see where that takes me.

I guess I would not characterize them as re-inventions as much as new dimensions (or directions) just waiting to be explored and allowing those passions to shine for a while.

1 – Identifying what prompted the first adventure is a long story (and can found in my yet-to-be- published book!), but it was a combination of factors: both of my grandparents passed away, my parents retired and moved to their “cabin in the woods,” and I had a decent job, but not one that I was passionate about or considered a career. I was gifted a small inheritance from my grandparents’ estate, and I didn’t want to just stay put and watch life float past. I wanted to see the world, but I didn’t want to simply be a tourist. I also wanted to make a positive impact on the places I visited. I came up with the concept of combining my desire to travel the world while volunteering along the way long before I got on the plane and did so, but the idea sang in my heart, and it didn’t stop, so when the closest people in my life were called away, it was time for me to follow this dream.

2 – The current prompt is both practical and idealistic (an unlikely possibility, I’ll admit) in nature. I’ve been running my own pet care business for the past 13-14 years, and it has been my sole source of income since returning from my overseas adventure 3.5 years ago. I appreciate so many things about it: the flexibility and autonomy; the variations in locations, situations, responsibilities, and pets; my wonderful clients; and of course, the awesome pets. However, it was never my intention for that to serve as my career, and while I’ve been blessed with a wonderful word-of-mouth referral system, my schedule – and therefore, my income – has been inconsistent (some months I’m booked stem to stern, while other months are slim-pickings, so to speak), and I have to cover all expenses (health care, social security, taxes, supplies, gas, etc.). Furthermore, although I adore the pets I care for, it isn’t the most intellectually stimulating job in the world, so I find that it is time for a new challenge and a new adventure. What is so great about this one is that I’m really excited about pursuing it! I don’t think the importance of education can be emphasized enough, and in today’s world, it is especially beneficial to know English. Top that off with my love of adventure and experiencing new places, and the fit resonated loudly in the rare quiet moments. The increasing urgency to find something more self- sufficient that would also allow me to save money and the possibility of fulfilling career-oriented desires for this non-conventional gal propelled me in this direction.

* I think the overriding drive in both cases was the sense of necessity, for lack of a better word – like if I didn’t pursue this dream, I would regret it and always wish that I had. There is a great quote (often attributed to Anaïs Nin, but research indicates it was most likely from Elizabeth Appell) that hits this at its core: “And then the day came when the risk to remain tight, in a bud, became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Yes, there are challenges, and growing pains and scary moments, but that is part of learning and growing and becoming more of who you are capable of being, and it is so worth it!

DC: How did you go about it?

HS: 1 – “There was a ton of research, logistics, decisions, and preparations for my one woman’s journey to save the world (again, see forthcoming memoir) : ). I had to decide where and when I wanted to go, what kind of volunteer work I wanted to do, and which organizations fit my criteria (socially- responsible, locally-driven, environmentally-oriented, etc.). I had to raise some money to subsidize my expenses, obtain the proper visas and research clearances, get the required vaccinations, shop for the proper clothing and gear, purchase my transportation tickets, formulate my itinerary, sort out my finances and credit cards while traveling, fill an EpiPen prescription… You get the picture. There was a lot involved in making this happen, but although there were so many plates spinning, it hostly never really felt like work, because I knew it was serving the bigger picture of fulfilling my dream.

2 – I’ve entertained the idea of teaching English as a foreign language for quite a while, and it kept resurfacing over the years. When it became clear that sticking sole to pet care was not going to be sustainable for much longer, I returned once again to this possibility. I did not want to settle for any job just to have a job (like a place-holder), and some of my work with Debbie highlighted this frustration and certainty. I wanted to be truly excited about the path I chose to take, and ESL, by virtue of its focus on education and helping others, as well as the possibility of travel and adventure resonated with me. I wanted to get certified to teach ESL so that I would have that important credential and feel prepared with knowledge and tools at my disposal to be an excellent teacher for my students, and I wanted to go through a school with a reputation for graduating promising teachers who found good jobs quickly. There are plenty of fly-by-night certification programs, but I did not want to take a certification course and be let loose on the job market only to find out that my program lacked certain credentials or respect in the community, so I did a lot of research and found a third- party source for reviews of former students, as well. The application and interview process was a titch more difficult than and thorough than I expected, but I wasn’t deterred, and I like to think that that’s a good sign that I’m on the right path!

DC: Challenges/hardest part

HS: 1 – “There were lots of hard parts. See above, because all of the work that went into taking my overseas adventure was challenging, but the great thing about finding that path and heeding that call is that the work (even when it isn’t glamorous or easy) doesn’t really feel like work. It’s all part of the process of realizing your goal or dream. There were plenty of obstacles, but if you know in your heart that you’re doing the right thing, those road blocks won’t matter.

The biggest challenge for me with this trip was easily my fear of flying. It’s not simply that I don’t like to fly. It’s that I get seriously anxious and have a full-on panic attack from time to time. Sometimes even just thinking about getting on a plane and flying is enough for my body to start responding physiologically with a racing heartbeat and sense of claustrophobia. So for me to undertake a trip that involved multiple plane rides was downright terrifying to me, but I would never have forgiven myself if I let my fear stop me from doing what I really knew I needed to do. So I got a few referrals, and I went to see a couple therapists for the first time in my life. Apparently, there is a therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) that is extremely successful for people with similar phobias. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for me to receive the proper protocol of treatments, so that left us with other strategies in the cognitive behavioral discipline, and they left me with enough knowledge, insight, and tools that I was able to manage my symptoms enough to get from here to there and back again.

2 – I’m not quite sure what the hardest part will be with this new adventure, though I will say that the Pre-Course Task was challenging in and of itself! I was a decent student, but I’ve been out of academia for a while, so I assume returning to that kind of discipline will present its own challenges, and I’m introverted by nature and prefer to get know people naturally over time and without having the spotlight on me, so the thought of standing in front of a classroom of students while being evaluated by fellow trainees and instructors is WAY outside of my comfort zone. But again, I cannot let that fear stop me from pursuing something so important to me.

DC: What did you learn from the experience?

HS: 1 – Gosh… That’s a broad question, because of course, I learned a ton – everything from specifics, like the operation of a hydrophone and the kinds of vegetation that grow in the tundra and techniques for de-escalating anxiety and where the train stations are located in Birmingham, England to intangibles, like if I put my mind to something, I can accomplish it and what I would do similarly and differently when I go on my next overseas volunteer adventure.

2 – It’s a little early to say at this point, and I’m sure many lessons are chomping at the bit to reveal themselves. So far, though, I’ve learned how much I’ve forgotten about the English grammar rules I learned in 7th grade! I’ve also learned that this definitely feels like the right path for me at this time.

DC: What are you most proud of?

HS 1 – “I’m most proud of actually doing it. It wasn’t easy. A lot of effort and time and resources went into it, and anytime you travel – especially internationally and alone – there is uncertainty and risk involved. But I did it. I researched my options. I created my own criteria. I contacted the organizations. I planned the itinerary. I scheduled my appointments and shopped for the things I’d need and set up my blog and raised the additional funds and submitted the applications and got on that plane and found my way from destination to destination and had an amazing time along the way!

2 – Early stages yet, so I’m most proud of getting accepted to the program and completing the 50-task workbook ahead of time. Lots more ahead of me, so stay tuned! : )”

DC: Any advice for others contemplating re-invention

HS: “Again, I really don’t look at it as a reinvention, but simply different aspects of who I am. I see it as learning more about myself by listening to my inner voice and pursuing those dreams that might otherwise be silenced.

I would say: Go for it! There are things I’d do differently in the future, but I’m so glad I took that leap, and it has made me more confident about taking further leaps and embracing new adventures. Be true to yourself by honoring your dreams and goals. You will make mistakes, and it may not turn out the way you expect, but that is also part of the joy of the journey. I don’t think enough people try something new because they are afraid, and they come up with a million excuses not to follow their own dream, and that is what is heartbreaking to me – not that someone doesn’t accomplish what they hope to do, but that they might not even try. They end up being their own worst obstacle. Get out of the way, and embrace your own adventure! And speak to Debbie. She will help you find your path!”

Expectations have unexpected consequences

Behind every story of disappointment, lurks a failed expectation. Expectations are outcomes that arise out of assumptions, a way of exerting control over life – people mostly but also experiences. And as we all know, life rarely agrees to meet our expectations.

There is another way though.

Janet had a fledgling commercial photography business. She got a new client, a referral from a good friend. Since the referral (we’ll call her Irene) was a friend of a friend, Janet decided to sidestep her usual written agreement (that felt too formal). Janet also decided to give her new client a significant discount on her services, as this new client was ‘a friend of a friend’.

Irene turned out to be a demanding and difficult client. She cancelled their first meeting at the last minute, then, after re-scheduling, she showed up at the planning meeting unprepared and unprofessional. Janet had to work within these limiting conditions to do her job. When Janet delivered her photos, Irene was critical of the results, and asked Janet to reshoot the photos.

Janet was resentful of Irene’s demands, and angry that she was being paid far short of her usual fee for a lot of aggravation and extra work. She only had herself to blame, so she was silent and took the criticism without comment. She ended up feeling both used and discouraged. Since Janet had given Irene a discount, she had expected her to be easy to work with, and abide by the ‘rules’. Except that Irene had different expectations for this business transaction.

 

Dashed expectations have consequences. They don’t feel very good.

 

A clear agreement in the beginning of the relationship, laying out the framework of expectation, would have helped Janet begin this business relationship. If (when) problems arose Janet could refer to this agreement, and get buy in from her client. This is an assertive policy and could have salvaged Janet’s self esteem, and her bottom line. Mutual agreements are so important to any relationship, whether they are business or personal. Knowing that everyone has a unique perspective on expectations is important. Being aware of your own expectations are vital, to avoid disappointment and broken relationships.

 

 

I like to share stories. Most of the articles I share here are taken from my own life. Those are true. I also write about other people, and their learning experiences. All the people I write about here are fictionalized, to protect confidentiality. 

 

What Can a Fresh Box of Crayons Tell You?

Remember how the sight of a fresh box of crayons in September signaled the excitement of a new school year?  The glimmer cool of a newly minted notebook? A new backpack stocked with school supplies? Did they represent renewed purpose after a hot summer? Knowing wonder — new classes, new friends, and the thrill of diving into a new school year?


Seeing the yellow bus on the road and the first glimpse of gold colored leaves reminded me of the school year thrill. The promise of widening horizons, learning
new concepts and tackling absorbing projects  (yes I was a nerdy kid) — all part of the autumn experience.
Yet, it didn’t end with graduation. We’ve been learning all along. What’s the next thing you want to explore?

 


That yellow bus inspired me to design a “Back to School”program. Why should kids have all the fun?!! I love offering freebies — so I came up with a 14 day program that is the equivalent of your own backpack full of new school supplies.

This program will help you:

  • Start a new project or determine a new direction.

When you sign up you’ll get:

  1. Fun and insightful exercises

  2. Weekly inspirational e-mails

  3. Two telephone coaching sessions

  4. With the bonus of my “Speed Bumps: What’s Slowing You Down” assessment

All this only if you sign up by October 1. There are only 10 spots available, so don’t wait to get started! Sign up here

 


Burnell was our school bus driver. I loved school, but it was so hard to get out to the bus on time. We lived in the country on a farm. With seven of us getting ready in the morning, from senior on down to a first grader, mornings were a race. Mom helped us find shoes, pestered us to sit down to eat a hot breakfast (she insisted that we had to eat something hot for breakfast), signed permission slips and yelled up the stairs that it was time. to. GO. Still, we didn’t all make it out there on time. So we had this agreement. Who ever was ready first would begin walking out as the bus approached. Then the next would walk out there. Then the next. So it was a long parade of McNeilly kids. Burnell would stretch the bus door open, wait patiently, laugh at us and always make some wisecrack.
I loved school.

“Deborah challenges me

to identify barriers and confront obstacles so I am more productive and aligned with my deepest goals. Her insights along my journey are invaluable.”

Rosemary Collins, Business Owner

“Deborah is an energetic, engaging and skillful listener.

“Deborah is an energetic, engaging and skillful listener who is always fully present when we meet. She challenges me to confront obstacles and identify barriers in my practice so that I am more productive and aligned with my deepest goals. Her insights along my journey are invaluable.” ”

Amy | Project Manager at the University of Michigan and Professional Artist

“Deborah listens carefully to my short-term and long-term goals

and sets a course of strategy including time-tables to carry out my plans and keep it within a structure and focus.”

Nancy Wolfe | Educator, Professional Artist

“She challenges me to recognize my worth

I love Debbie! She is kind, insightful and honest. She challenges me to recognize my worth, identify obstacles and pursue my goals. She treats me as if I am already the person I hope to be. She is a rare find and a joy!”

Heather Suffron, Business Owner and aspiring ESL Specialist