Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Breakfast Club

".....And these children
That you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They are quite aware
of what they are going through...."
~David Bowie

The teenage years. I'm sure every one of us looks back both loving and hating that time of life. It's the most complicated ages, combining a new found freedom mixed with trying to figure out who you want to be as a person.

I've had the truly fantastic opportunity to work with, teach, and now coach some amazing teenagers over the last decade. They are, for the most part, my favorite age group. If you connect with them they will let you into their world and that, in my opinion, is a cool privilege.

But if you happen to be the parent of one of these teenager people you may be watching them struggle with so many issues with little ability to really help them. That is where coaching can be an amazing tool.

Unlike counseling or psychology coaching is for the mentally stable teen just working through time management, college decisions, peer issues or relationship questions as only a few of the multitude of areas a teenager deals with, the most relevant one being just figuring themselves out a bit.

One of my teenage clients recently shared a great story. She was having a bit of a panic attack surrounding an event she was attending. Her mother, trying to calm her down, simply stated, "What would Marilu suggest you try to do?" So she began to think about our discussions and the many ways we've worked on her confidence and self-awareness. She immediately felt better and faced her challenge with grace.

Coaching can be so cool.

Just imagine, as a teenager, having the gift of someone who will listen to you completely, without judgment or opinion, and guide you, center you and acknowledge what a good person you are or how well you are doing when you reach your goals. It's a trusted friend, their best listener and their constant support system.

How might it have helped you both then and maybe now?

Do you know of or are you a teen whose life could truly be altered by coaching? There is an alternative to all day Saturday detention for self-discovery.

"You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain....and an athlete....and a basket case....a princess....and a criminal. Does that answer your question?"
~The Breakfast Club

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Story

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
 And next year's words await another voice.
 And to make an end is to make a beginning."
~T.S. Eliot

January. The month where every gym and diet plan is excessively pushing to get your business. A month when resolutions are made and changes, goals, and motivation drive us. Forbes claims that just 8% of New Years resolutions are accomplished. That sounds about right.

But why even make a resolution? You can change your life on any day, in any month of the year. You can start a new story at any time.

I made a decision last year to essentially practice what I preach. I often try to push my clients to try something new, especially if it's outside of their comfort zone. Trying new things can educate, enlighten, and even empower us at times. We may meet new people, experience a different culture, find a new hobby or skill, or at the very least discover something about ourselves.

One recent change I've made is bikram yoga ( which is hot yoga. I mean HOT. I have a wonderful friend who is the ultimate energizer bunny (except she would carry knitting needles instead of drumsticks). She runs, bikes, takes classes at every gym she can get to and never passes up an opportunity to try something new. She has a friend who just opened an amazing studio that I should surely check out with her.

Why not?

The first class was rough. The second class was better. Every class after that I felt more in tune with what I was doing and more comfortable with the heat. My goal is to gain back the flexibility I had years ago when I taught martial arts. And if you ever thought yoga was too slow or too easy I dare you to join me for a class.

Last year I also took some online classes, finished my book and started training a very large four hooved baby among so many small things I had never experienced. If I can't accomplish my goals how can I expect my clients to have any faith in me? They help me stay motivated every bit as much as I help them.

So write a new story now if you're ready. Fill it with new experiences and adventures. Find things you never even thought of trying. Groupon is a great way to look for such things. Start an instrument, take a class in archery, cooking, art, riding, fencing, knitting, or any of the multitude of things someone can learn how to do. Meet new people and maybe even get to know yourself better.

You might just discover something great.

"New Year - a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours."
~Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Be Better

"Worry is a misuse of the imagination."
~Dan Zadra

Worry, we all do it. We worry about our family, our bills, our jobs, what our friends think or what we may have said, texted, posted or tweeted that could have been taken the wrong way (and most likely nobody cared). We worry about the future in countless large and small ways.

But the future will come, or it won't, despite our worry.

I hear about worry a lot in my job and it's often a tricky subject.

What are you accomplishing by worrying about (fill in the blank)?

How would it change you to let go and live in the moment?

Because that's what we lose in the worry, the moment, today.

My husband and I just had a similar conversation because he never worried about a future until recently. And I, unfortunately, had too many years living with someone who only worried about the future and never enjoyed the present.

I understand having a concern and following up. Whether it's financial and rethinking some savings ideas or refinancing, or medical and having a regular checkup or trying to eat better and move more. But it's when you play the "What if" game that life becomes about hypothetical scenarios and we lose the ability to enjoy what is tangible now.

So my advice (if you care) for the new year from a Life and Wellness coach is simple.

1) Worrying about what is out of your control is as useful as painting a cat blue. It takes a lot of energy, possibly some pain, and useless in the end. Put that energy instead towards something you want to do now. Try a new hobby or exercise class, plan a future vacation, explore your own hometown, visit friends you've missed or simply read a book.

2) Be better. I mean that in the simplest way. Find a way to be better. Whether it's a better parent, spouse, lover, friend, employee or a basically more decent person, do that. Or it could be a better person to yourself. Take better care of you, be nicer to you, do things that will help you live a more fulfilling life. Discover what you need to do and do that. We make our dreams, goals and desires often so much more complicated than they need to be. In my job, it's all about finding the simplest answer to often overcomplicated questions.

So that is my simple answer for a better 2016:

                                                          Stop worrying and be better.

"I'm reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating."
~E.B. White

"Dream as if you will live forever; Live as if you will die today."
~James Dean