I can't tell you how excited I am about "A Morning with Brené Brown" tomorrow, presented by ICF Vancouver.
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston. She studies, writes about, and speaks about vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame (two of which -- vulnerability and authenticity -- are values in which my coaching is rooted
Ever since I first saw Brené's TED Talk
and started reading her blog, Ordinary Courage
, I've been completely addicted. I don't know if she's the "in thing" these days, or if it's just because of my addiction, but I've been hearing about her everywhere I turn. Especially since her latest book, The Gifts of Imperfection
, made it to the top of two of Amazon's bestsellers lists
So when I heard that the International Coaching Federation's Vancouver Chapter was bringing her here to speak, how could I not buy a ticket?
I'll happily share everything I learn from her with you, my loyal blog readers, in my next blog post. As an extra bonus, one of you will win two of Brené Brown's books: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be & Embrace Who You Are
And if I can get them signed by Brené tomorrow, they'll even be autographed!
How to Enter
Simply sign up for my newsletter. In order to be eligible for Ripple Effect's prize drawings, you must be subscribed to my newsletter. (Note: If you are not subscribed to my newsletter when the winner is chosen, you will not be eligible to win. As they say, you have to be in it to win it!)
So, if you want to win, just enter your email in the box below, then comment below that you did.
You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Just know that you must be subscribed in order to be eligible to win the prizes.
Please note: If your email is not validated, your entry will not be counted.
Want even more entries?
Here are some ways to get more entries…
Please note: You must comment a separate time for every entry.
1. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this page on your blog. Comment below with the link. (1 extra entry)
2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Be sure to include the URL to this page in your tweet– or just click the tweet button at the bottom of the post. Leave a comment telling me that you followed & tweeted. (1 extra entry)
3. Like my page on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you “liked” my page. If you are already a fan, you’ll still get credit, as long as you leave a comment below. (1 extra entry)
4. Email 5 friends about the giveaway, with a link to the page. Leave a comment below telling me that you did. (1 extra entry)
There are a total of 5 possible entries.
This contest will end October 20 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be chosen via random.org. The winner will be announced by the end of October on my blog and in the Ripple Effect newsletter. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me with his or her full name, address, and phone number. No purchase necessary to win.
Watching the "In Memoriam
" segment of the Emmys tonight made me sad and reflective. It's not just because I had a glass of wine (okay, two) that I'm feeling a bit emotional. Or that many of the actors listed reminded me of my childhood and adolescence (Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Falk, Leslie Nielsen, Tom Bosley...). It's that it's hard to watch videos of people at the height of their acting careers, knowing that their careers (and lives) are complete.
It made me think about what I would like to have on my life's "highlights reel" (and by "highlights reel, I do NOT mean this
. Or this
I mean - what do I want to look back on, and be proud of, in my life?
Obviously, the "big events". My wedding day. The births of my kids. Their first steps, and their first words. And of course all the big stuff still to come: my kids' wedding days, the births of my grandchildren...
I imagine work stuff will come into it too. A new client? A promotion? A great performance review from my boss? I know these things make my day (even my month), but will they really be included in my life's "highlights reel"? Probably not. But what might
make my reel is the enjoyable moments
I have at work. Going for lunch with a few colleagues and talking work politics. Someone telling me my coaching made a big difference in their life. Telling my mentor how much she means to me, how much I admire her, and seeing this strong, amazing woman with tears in her eyes because no-one's ever said that to her before.
It's the same with my family. It's the little moments that will be my favourite highlights. Playing peek-a-boo and giving (and receiving) zerberts. Tickle-fights. The silly songs my son makes up. I know there will be many more of these moments, and I wish I could record them so I could play them back later.
Of course I would also include the time spent with my husband, extended family, or good friends. Enjoying a glass of wine after we've put the kids down to bed. A romantic getaway to Whistler while my mom kindly looks after the kids. Surprising my friend at the nail spa so we could squeeze some time together into our busy lives. Camping trips, beach days, aquarium visits, living-room dancing, cottage weekends... these will all be on there. Having a clean house? Probably not. Fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans? Nope. Don't get me wrong - it's a good feeling. But it won't make my reel.
So... what's on your "highlights reel"?
I just finished listening to the audiobook "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - And Other Things I've Learned" by Alan Alda. He's a gifted writer and he has some insightful observations and advice. I actually had to pause during my walk and send myself an email when I heard this quote:
"Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you."
The full quote is: "The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change me, something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues."
But it was that one sentence that really hit home with me: "Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you". I experience that all the time in my coaching. When I'm truly listening to a client, I am completely affected by our coaching session. I get off the phone and feel energized – excited for them and what I see as possible for them.
But more importantly, my "Real Listening" really serves my client. I often pick up on things they're conveying that they don't even hear themselves saying. When I repeat it back to them, it awakens them. And they're changed.
I'll give you an example based on a theme that often comes up:
A Stay-At-Home Mom is complaining that she doesn't feel appreciated by her family. She puts everyone ahead of herself – she drives her kids everywhere, provides three healthy meals a day, keeps their home clean and organized, pays the bills... and does all this at the expense of her own hobbies and time to herself. "I never ask them to do anything for me. It's like I'm invisible."
When I repeat this back to her, it hits her hard: "It's like you're invisible, even to yourself." She's forgotten to include herself in her list of priorities. If she doesn't pay attention to her own needs; if she doesn't provide care for herself, how can she possibly expect the rest of her family to do so?
If you don't have a coach, try tuning into your own words. It's amazing what you hear when you really listen to yourself.
I'm going to leave you with another quote by Alan Alda (because I googled "Alan Alda quotes" and found a few that I loved!):
"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself."
— Alan Alda
When you are asked to describe yourself, what do you say? Do you list:
- What you do for a living?
- How many kids you have?
- Where you grew up?
- Where you went to school?
- Your hobbies?
Do these bits and pieces truly describe who you are? Of course, they're all accurate. They describe aspects of who you are, but they only scratch the surface. What about your values? Your passions? Your life priorities? Your "essence"?
If you've worked with a coach, a mentor, a therapist, or another professional, you may have had the opportunity to dive deeper and define your values and purpose. If you haven't spent the time to do this, you probably aren't living your "ideal life".Why?
Because to map out your "Big A" Agenda - the path you want your life to take, your life's purpose - you need to be clear on what you're passionate about, what truly makes you tick, your values, and your priorities.
Because then, for each decision you need to make (from "what should I have for lunch?" to "should I apply for that promotion?"), you can ask yourself how well each choice aligns with your Agenda.
Because then you can prevent yourself from getting sidetracked, becoming lost, or "falling off the wagon".
Because then, one day, you'll wake up and realize that life's pretty great. You wake up and are excited to start your day. You've got more on your "accomplishment list" than on your "to-do list", you're proud of who you've become, and you LOVE your life!
Photo by Ava Lowery.
So now you're probably thinking, "Where do I start?"Well, of course I'm going to say, "Start with a free sample coaching session"!
I can work with you to discover your values, your passions, and your priorities, and to map out your "Big A" Agenda.
You can also start with this simple, but enlightening, exercise:Reflecting Back on Life
Imagine you are very old (whatever "old" means to you) and you are sitting at home relaxing in your rocking chair. You are looking back on your life, reflecting on everything you've achieved. Write down your answers to these questions:
- What have you accomplished?
- What are the highlights that you enjoy re-living?
- Whose lives have you touched?
- What difference have you made?
- What are you most proud of?
What are the main themes that emerge? These give you an indication of your core values and priorities, and can help you define your life's purpose, or "Big A" Agenda.
Once you've done that, contact me for your free sample coaching session
, and together we can use this information to map out the path you want your life to take, and take the first few steps along that path.