Last week, I went for a walk at Montrose Harbor. I love the harbor, It’s sunny and peaceful and a nice place to sit and unwind after a day of thinking and working and creating space for my clients.

I particularly love the Magic Hedge, a point of land that makes up the east side of the harbor and has hills and trees and an open stretch of restored prairie. I was walking the dirt path between prairie and trees when I saw them: hundreds and hundreds of dragonflies.

small but necessaryIt was magical.

I love dragonflies. The very sight of them lifts my spirits and makes me feel free. I would have stood watching them forever if stinging bugs hadn’t kept biting my ankles. I had to walk. So I did, right along the edge of that meadow of dragonflies.

They kept leaping from plants, darting across my path, zipping and buzzing through the air around me, sometimes almost forcing me to duck out of their way before they turned sharply and just missed me.

What an amazing afternoon.

Here’s what I love about dragonflies:

They’re constant. Like sharks, cockroaches and magnolias, they’ve changed very little since dim pre-history. (The main change for dragonflies is that they’ve gotten smaller.) They found a space in the world that worked for them, a shape that supported it, and through all the shifts and changes that have rocked the planet since, they’ve remained true to themselves.

Ever since I learned that, I’ve been in love with dragonflies. So perfectly adapted to their purpose that they don’t need to become anything else. They’re just them. Perfect and beautiful. They’re a reminder to me that I, too, am enough.

August? Already? How the Hell Did THAT Happen?

Whoosh! Reveal 05082015

June and July just FLEW by, followed by the first week and a half of August, and suddenly here I am, not ready for my summer to be this far along.

So many changes, to my life, to my business… It’s been quite a summer.

I’ve got a lot of new ideas for how I want to be working with clients, as well as classes and other stuff. All of that will be showing up here in the next few weeks. So get ready for the Big Reveal.

In the meantime, there’s still lots of summer to be stored up, treasured and enjoyed. I challenge you to get out there and make the most of it; the heat, the long, lazy days, the opportunities to be outside and comfortable at the same time…

Who Are You Again?

Spending the morning getting reacquainted with myself. The last few weeks have been so crazy, I’ve let my morning routine go completely. Now, I get to rediscover what it is, and decide again what I want it to be.

What do you need to remember about yourself? Morning of Rediscovery 05292015

The Goddess of Never Not Broken

goddessofnevernotbroken-ejWhile talking with a friend this morning, I was reminded of this article. Every time I read it, I learn something new about what it means to be intentional and whole and flexible and open. Today, these were the words that reached out and grabbed me:

The thing about going through sudden or scary or sad transitions (like a breakup) is that one of the things you lose is your future: your expectations of what the story of your life so far was going to become. When you lose that partner or that job or that person, your futuredissolves in front of you.

And of course, this is terrifying.

But look, Akhilanda says, now you get to make a choice. In pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless. Your stories about the past do not apply. You are in flux, you are changing, you are flowing in a new way,and this is an incredibly powerful opportunity to become new again: to choose how you want to put yourself back together.

How do you choose to put yourself back together today?

Re-Focus Tuesdays – Next One is April 14

I am so happy to be a part of this. Heidi and I have discovered that acupuncture and coaching work together to help clients get more from both healing modalities. Or, if you just want to try one, either acupuncture or coaching, you can do that too!

From the Wellness Initiative:

Has your week started off stressful, sluggish, or just not how you wanted it to? Let us help you refocus to get the most out of your week! Come try Perfect Momentmini acupuncture and coaching sessions with TWI’s very own Heidi Shimko and Sally Eames. On April 14 from 6-9pm on the third floor of Luther Memorial Church, these two talented healers will be offering 20 minute acupuncture and 15 minute coaching sessions. Individual services are $25 each or try both for $40.

You’ll be surprised by how much you can walk away with after just a few minutes of self-care.

PLEASE RSPV at info@wellnessinchicago,com to secure your spot!

The Wellness Initiative is located inside Luther Memorial Church
2500 W. Wilson (at the corner of Wilson and Cambell in Lincoln Square) in Chicago
2 blocks from the Rockwell Brown Line.

The Ride of Your Life

NYTimes Rock&RollCasualty

A friend of mine recently shared this New York Times Magazine article, The Rock and Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero, saying, “I saw him play in both bands.” “Both bands” means Nirvana and Soundgarden, bands of my young adulthood, though I didn’t see them live until long after Everman was gone. So that’s why I read the piece.

I’m linking to it now because Everman’s story has been echoing in my head ever since. His experience echoes that of myself and my clients. He had the dream. TWICE. He was living the rock and roll lifestyle, the one every kid is fantasizes about, and yet, both times, once he had the thing he thought he wanted, the thing everybody said was the height of success, the darkness overwhelmed him and he retreated and lost it.

But when things ended the second time, he didn’t give up. He didn’t decide it was game over and descend into numbness and death. He didn’t let the darkness win. He did what I did when my entire life fell apart 5 ½ years ago, he did what I work with my clients to do: he finally listened to the promptings of his heart and followed another dream. HIS dream.

It wasn’t an easy dream to follow. It sounds like it was really, REALLY fucking hard to go that route. But he put himself into it 100%, and he let nothing get in his way. Something about being an elite professional soldier fed him and fulfilled him in a way being a famous professional musician never did.

Here’s the thing: for many of us, the dream we pursue isn’t our own. Frequently, the dream we pursue is the thing everyone’s told us we want. Society, parents, our peer group, people who matter have led us to believe that if we follow THIS dream, we’ll be happy because of x, y, z. Often, we follow that dream because we think the thing we pursue will give us something else that we’re longing for: money will give us security, fame will bring us love, authority will give us protection from doubt and fear. But then we achieve the dream, we grab that brass ring, and that’s when we realize that we didn’t really even want to be on the merry-go-round at all. Because we’re not happy on that ride. We feel trapped and scared, and the darkness is so, so present and we’re despairing because we don’t want to live the rest of our lives on this dizzy circle.

But for so many reasons, we’re committed. We’ve worked so hard, and there are people depending on us, and to move to something else now would be to betray something or someone and we’d have to completely reinvent ourselves and it’s too late to start over, so we’re going to stay on the carousel and hang on tightly, even though we hate the ride and have always secretly wanted to be on the bumper cars.

Here’s what I do with my clients (and what I did for myself when my world fell apart in 2010), and what it sounds like Everman did when he decided to join the Army:

We get quiet. We listen for what’s under the loud music of what everybody else says. We pay attention to those things that speak to us, that small voice of truth that says, “Yes. This. I want this.” And we move in that direction.

This is not an easy process. In fact, sometimes it’s really, REALLY fucking hard. It’s scary to admit and go after what you want. It’s painful to say good-bye to the things you’ve held onto to keep you safe. It feels unshelled and vulnerable and so, so risky.

My job as your coach is to help you hear those quiet yeses. I help you face the hard things and remind you you don’t need the stuff that’s holding you back. I ask the questions that help you clarify your vision and figure out what you need to do to get there, both in getting off the merry-go-round safely and in finding your way to the ride you actually want to be on. I hold your hand and have your back as you step out into the New and the Wanted and the Fulfilling.

I don’t let you run away from yourself. I help you remember how much your dream means to you. I point out where you’re succeeding when you aren’t able to see it yourself. I sit beside you in the bumper car while you figure out how it works and what you can do.

If you can do this on your own, AWESOME. That’s absolutely fantastic, and I am cheering wildly for you. Because I know it can be done without a coach; I’ve done the serious work of self-exploration and rebuilding without one. But I had the tools in my toolkit already. For those people who need someone beside them, I’m here. I’ll help you find your direction and then build the skills and the confidence so you can do it on your own, too. Even if it’s navigating something as tricky as the road from rock star to career soldier.