Paying Attention

It is hard to decide what to pay attention to these days. Even as you glance as this post, you may be checking Facebook, jotting your “to-do” list, or otherwise splitting your thoughts and intentions with numerous competing forces – many, perhaps, of the technology-driven kind. I get it. Despite my firm belief that “show up and be present” leads to better relationships and a more fulfilling life, I find myself struggling daily with the blurring of boundaries and ample competing noise that interferes with my intent to live more mindfully. This blog is called “inCourage Reflections” for a reason. It serves as a weekly marker—perhaps selfishly—for me as much as you, dear reader. A reminder each week that pausing and thinking upon something different, something that might even be worthy of dinner table conversation or a chat with your best friend, is important. Important enough for us both to stop and breathe and well, reflect. Tom Chatfield’s “The Attention Economy,” stopped me in my twitter-feed-checking-tracks this morning. He asks two questions: What kind of attention do we deserve from those around us, or owe to them in return?” What kind of attention do we ourselves … [Read more...]

Stop Fixing, Coach

  "The world is awash in fixers,” writes Jill Geisler in her deceptively simple book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know. Fixer defined: people bring you problems and you offer solutions. Does this sound familiar in your professional or personal life? It smacked me in the face. I pride myself in being empathetic. I hate seeing someone else painfully struggle. Go ahead and giggle with me, I literally dream of having a magic wand that solves most of the world’s problems. And, truth is, I’m pretty darned great at solving hairy problems. The Downside of Fixing Fixing can often feel good. Fixing might help us feel competent, give us the spotlight, make us feel worthy or even indispensable. But whether it is our personal or professional lives, being a fixer can be harmful to us and to those around us. Fixers flame out fast:   fixing is exhausting. Fixers stunt others growth because there’s no point in learning, hey why even think, if someone will fix the problem for you. Fixers get to embrace being a victim as they work harder, do more, and literally soak up problems like sponges. From my place in Fixer recovery, it’s still painful to admit that I’ve gained energy and … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: What We’re Proud Of & Wish Every Girl in America Could Experience Too

I want girls to feel fearless and have hopes and dreams that they can change the world in any way they want to. Rather than self-loathing, I want them to have self-love. If so many girls hate themselves, feel fat, don’t like their noses – all those messages they get from the media – if girls could be self-accepting and have self-love as a core, girls could rule the world." Beth, MS As 2012 comes to a close, ask yourself:  What would happen if you made it a priority to share with girls one thing you’re really proud of and want them to experience too? How would you feel if you reflected on your accomplishments every week? (How about on a walk, in a bubble bath, or with female friends?)  Mainstreet Women don’t readily toot their own horns. Whether it is Main Street modesty or something more (cultural messages that it is NOT okay for us to shout out our accomplishments), voicing wishes for girls was easier. Because most women interviewed also said that girls need more positive role models, this is worth paying attention to. Are you the one role model who will make a difference in a girl's life? Here’s an appetizer of some of my favorite quotes from Mainstreet Women and the top … [Read more...]

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