Running with Mountain Lions

We hear stories about mountain lions at Cougar Mountain, but I’ve never seen one. Nevertheless, the stories are highly motivating. I’ve been running with a women’s trail running group early Saturday mornings at Cougar Mountain. It’s a bit far for me and my nearly bare feet – 8 miles up and down the cold, rocky trails of the mountain. It’s ...

Finding Flow

Several (well, many) years ago, I said I wanted to learn how to play the piano before I turned 40. The piano has always seemed like one of those impossible mysteries, like speaking French. Or dancing. As my 43rd year looms, I’ve started piano lessons. I got a free ($200 to move + $200 to tune = free, my partner ...

The Wet Blanket

I have a favorite coaching client who wakes up to dread every morning. She wakes up dreading her day. I asked her what the dread felt like. “Like a warm, wet blanket,” she said. “A gray, wet, stifling blanket.” She can feel it heavy around her shoulders. “Does it find you, or do you seek it out?” I asked. “I ...

Pebbles

My approach to coaching is to keep it simple. I look for the small, incremental changes that will make a difference in my clients’ lives. The thing about living the kind of life you want is that it needs to be sustainable. Otherwise, any goal is just a set up for feeling bad. As a coach, I listen for warmth, ...

Lockdown Frugality

Everyone’s going skiing. “See you on the mountain,” someone called after the last soccer game of the season. We won’t be there. We’ve been in lockdown frugality since I quit my full-time job last year. The answer is now “No!” to things like skiing. I’ve been surprised to discover an odd thing about our newfound frugality: It’s a lot easier. ...

GTD Meets Zen

I’ve discovered something cool. Maybe everybody does this already. But I thought I’d write about it in case it could be helpful to you. I try to meditate a couple of mornings a week. I do it in a way that I don’t think the abbess at the monastery I occasionally visit would approve of. I sit with a legal ...

Fired Up

A favorite coaching client sent me an email: “I’ve just been fired.” I emailed her right back and the email bounced. I called her and listened to the shock and hurt at the other end of the line. I wondered what our next coaching session would be like. It wasn’t what I expected. My client looked radiant when I next ...

The Whisper

A favorite coaching client wondered recently why she can’t be content with her job. She works for a good company, enjoys her coworkers, has an accommodating schedule. Sounds great, right? She wondered why she is so restless. So bored. Why can’t she just buckle down and be happy. Particularly in this shitty economy. Listening to her, I was reminded of ...

Mess or Music

I’ve been thinking about mess. Messy rooms; messy corners of life. I have a coaching client who is trying to turn down the noise in her life. Too many demands, too much complexity, too much chaos. She doesn’t have room to think or breath. We started with the literal. She cleaned up some messes that had been distracting her: the ...

The Running Group

I had a random idea awhile back. What if I started a running group and invited people who had never run before to come with me? Running is all well and good, but I only do it for that clear, calm, washed clean feeling afterwards. There’s a lot of spaciousness in that feeling. A lot of power. What if I ...

It’s Not About You

A favorite coaching client recently received a troubling performance review. He feels paranoid: his colleagues seem to be distancing themselves, as if they somehow know. He described a coworker who used to be friendly. Now she never stops to chat. “Does she know something I don’t?” he wondered. I challenged him to ask her. That way he’d know. The next ...

Name Neurosis

I never remember names. I can know people for years and not have a clue what their name is. This has developed into a pretty rich neurosis, where I won’t say someone’s name even if I’m sure what it is, because what if it’s wrong? This is ridiculous. It inhibits my ability to connect with people. I’m distracted by an ...

Coffee Breath

I was kissing awake my 5-year-old daughter the other morning, my heart filled with love for that sweet, sleepy, warm body. From under the pillows, the most offended little voice said, “Your breath stinks.” And then, with utter disgust, “Gross.” Z keeps it real. I could feel myself flipping through the available emotions. I picked up “hurt.” I picked up ...

Museum Happiness

I have a new favorite, quiet place in Seattle. Stuck downtown by a three-hour break between coaching clients, I headed to the downtown library. On the way there, I happened to see a sign for the Frye Museum. On a whim, I changed my plan and drove to the Frye. I’d always meant to go. Opening the doors to the museum, ...

Being Zilly

We went camping and forgot the dog. We were 30 minutes on our way when I realized. “Any other children you’ve forgotten?” my partner asked as we turned around and drove back to the house. And there was Zilly curled up quietly in his crate. Zilly is a very polite, appreciative, quiet little dog. He’s well behaved, does what he’s ...