My Experience With Private Coaching: 3 Invaluable Benefits

My Experience With Private Coaching: 3 Invaluable Benefits

I’ve always loved the idea of private coaching, and have even entertained the thought that I might make a good coach myself. But before the spring, I had never experienced an actual coaching call. I consider myself a self-aware person. I have a nice life: I have a job, good health, solid faith, loving family and friends… what could I gain from private coaching? What would someone coach me on? It turns out I had a lot to learn! 

Why I Started Private Coaching

I started private coaching earlier this year after quitting a job I was extremely invested in. It took a lot of courage to quit, and I was proud of myself. I didn’t want to lose this suddenly realized self-empowerment. I wanted to dig deeper, to fully recognize my ability to control my own choices and behavior. I had attended Wholistic Coaching Coalition events for several years and appreciated that each event left me feeling encouraged and motivated, but I had never tried their private coaching service. I knew the best way I could continue moving forward on my journey towards self-growth was to receive expert help.

I began private coaching with Coach Carol, and through our conversations I have received invaluable input. The following are three things I appreciate most about our time together:

Expert observations 

Each of the Wholistic Women coaches offer their own unique expertise, such as positivity, leadership skills, parenting, finance, and more. Carol is trained in CliftonStrengths, an assessment that helps people discover their greatest talents and how to best use them. I shared my assessment results with Carol, and she references my report on our call. For example, she will point out when I’m using my empathy strength on my husband, or when I’m using my developer strength on myself. These insights have not only been empowering, but they’ve also given me a new perspective on my talents. 

Thoughtful questions 

One promise of private coaching is that recipients will be carefully listened to. I never have to wonder if Carol is actually listening to what I’m saying, because she asks thoughtful questions in response. Depending on the topic, her questions are designed to either help her understand me better, or make me dig deeper. I’ll admit, sometimes this aspect of private coaching can be difficult. It isn’t always easy to be vulnerable with someone. However, I’ve developed a trusting relationship with my coach and I feel fully comfortable being my true self with her. (It’s an incredible feeling!)

Action steps 

There’s more to private coaching than just talking — the process also involves taking action! Carol and I work together to create action steps based on what I’m struggling with or hoping to gain. These action steps motivate me to move forward, and I’m always excited to share my results with Carol. I keep a journal to record her questions, observations, and action steps, and I reference it often.

If you are looking for someone to listen, offer new perspectives, and help you grow, give private coaching a try. I highly recommend it! 

3 Ways to Maximize Your Professional Development

3 Ways to Maximize Your Professional Development

When was the last time you did something for yourself? We often think of self-care in terms of at-home activities such as reading a novel, taking a bath, or going for a run. But if the core purpose of self-care is to address our mental, emotional, and physical health, we need to learn how to weave it into our work, too. Enter professional development — the process of improving and increasing your capabilities in the workplace.

By learning new skills and ways of thinking, you are literally changing your brain. (How cool is that?) Consider how learning might bring you more satisfaction at work. Consider how getting outside of your comfort zone might open the door to opportunities you didn’t know existed. The great thing about professional development is there’s no graduation ceremony — you are a life-long learner!

Here are three ways to maximize your professional development, and in turn, take great care of yourself.

Embrace a growth mindset

Have you heard of a “fixed mindset” versus a “growth mindset?” If you believe your qualities are unchangeable and that you can’t change your intelligence over time, you have a fixed mindset. You likely avoid challenges because you’re afraid of failure, you strongly desire people to view you as smart, and you’re devastated by criticism. (Does this sound like you? That’s okay! The good news is, you can change your mindset.)

Those with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed, and they view failure as an opportunity to learn and try again. They see possibilities, rather than limitations.

The hard truth is you won’t get far in your professional development if you approach it with a fixed mindset. Check out the fascinating book “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck to learn more about how to foster a new way of thinking that promises a huge impact on not only your work but your relationships as well.

Invest in business coaching

Imagine being able to take yourself out of the equation and see your work life from an unbiased eye. You simply can’t do that alone — you need the help of someone with zero personal attachments to your work.

A business coach is a valuable asset for anyone wanting to maximize their professional development. He or she will listen to your concerns and help you create a path forward. You’ll receive helpful feedback, actionable steps, and accountability.

Spend more time on your hobbies

Yes, you read that correctly. Playing the guitar, cross-stitching, hiking… the list goes on. Engaging in hobbies has a positive impact on your professional development because satisfaction and enjoyment in your personal life can’t help but spill over into your work life.

For example, imagine spending your weekend pulling weeds out of your yard, dead-heading your roses, and plotting out a vegetable garden. By the end of the night, you’re sweaty and exhausted, but you can see the visible fruit of your labor and you’re excited to get started on your vegetable garden. You wake up Monday morning sore but happy, and you’ve wired a message into your brain that hard work pays off. You’re ready to tackle the big project your boss has entrusted you with.

Are you ready to care for yourself well and maximize your professional development by changing the way you think, being open to feedback, and embracing a hobby you love? You can do this! We’re here to help.

What to Know About Attending a Virtual Retreat

What to Know About Attending a Virtual Retreat

Life looks a bit different these days, doesn’t it? Our calendars, once full of happy hours and networking events, now list Zoom call meeting reminders. Social groups are turning to virtual meet-ups — from business masterminds, book clubs, and trivia teams… even Wholistic Woman Retreats! 

I’ve been attending Wholistic Woman events in-person for the past 3.5 years, but I hesitated to join in when their events went virtual. I wondered how the meeting would translate online. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by my first virtual evening retreat experience, and thought I’d share some key things I noticed along the way: 

  1. You won’t feel out of the loop if you’re new – I think I would be especially hesitant to join in on a virtual retreat if I had never attended a Wholistic Woman event in the past. I assumed the call would start with a few “hellos” and then move right into the materials, but instead the coaches took time to introduce themselves. I was happy to note that the coaches’ warm and friendly nature (a big part of why I enjoy their events) came through despite the lack of in-person connection. Then, one coach shared the mission of the Wholistic Coaching Coalition. Though I’m very familiar with the group, starting out the call this way helped ground the evening in purpose. Then, at the end of the meeting, they briefly discussed their next event — Know Your Money Story with coach Jane Helm. I was relieved to know that if I were to invite a friend, she wouldn’t feel out of the loop as they made everyone feel included and in-the-know no matter how many events they’ve attended.
  2. You’ll receive quality teaching and helpful resources – I attended “Radical Love” with coach Kat Middleton, and was curious if listening to one speaker on Zoom would become tedious after a while. While Kat did teach during the majority of our 90-minute call, she used slides to illustrate her message, requested that attendees use the chat tool to answer questions, and lead everyone in a group activity. She also shared several resources that attendees could look more into on their own, should they want to further their knowledge of self-love. If you want to be able to focus and learn during a virtual meeting, I suggest turning on the “active speaker” setting on Zoom. This will allow you to give your full attention to the speaker. You can easily switch to the “gallery” layout during the portion of the meeting that involves the entire group. Do your part to help the other attendees focus, too! Keep yourself muted (unless told otherwise) and turn your camera off if you need to do anything that could potentially distract the rest of the group.
  3. You’ll have the opportunity to connect in small groups – If you’ve attended an in-person event with Wholistic Women, you know it’s typical to be split into groups or asked to turn to someone next to you in order to discuss the materials presented. My most-pressing question going into the virtual call was, “How will we have quality conversation about what we’re learning?”  Thankfully, Zoom has a feature I wasn’t aware of — separate chat rooms! After being given instructions on what to discuss, the call monitor split up the group and suddenly I went from looking at a grid of 28 people to only two other women. We all turned off our microphones and had a vulnerable conversation about the distorted thought processes we often find ourselves in. Then, we offered one another practical suggestions on how to love ourselves through those thoughts. This relatively short activity was incredibly impactful, and truthfully just as valuable as the in-person conversations I’ve had at previous events. 

Needless to say, it was a great event and I’m glad I attended! While I hope it won’t be too long before we can start meeting in-person again, I hope you’ll join us for our next virtual event, Know Your Money Story. Click here to register for this event, happening on June 24. 

6 Packing Tips for Sedona, Arizona

6 Packing Tips for Sedona, Arizona

Are you planning to travel to Sedona, Arizona with us in October? This city in the desert is a must visit for nature and/or art lovers, with its vibrant art culture and stunning red-rock formations. Today we’re sharing packing tips to help you make the most of your trip.

Pack proper skincare and makeup

If you’re traveling from a cooler or more humid climate, the dry heat of Sedona might be a shock to your system. Our best packing tips for your face and body include gentle facial cleansers, hydrating lip balm, and body lotion. Items that will moisturize and protect your skin and lips are a must. Sunscreen is a must!

One of the bonuses to traveling to a place known for its natural beauty is that you can embrace your own natural beauty. If you plan on spending time outdoors (which really is a must in Sedona), opt for a tinted moisturizer with SPF over heavy foundation. Swipe on some bronzer and lip balm, and you’re good to go!

Layers are a must

While you might find yourself sweating in the sun during a day-time hike, evenings in Sedona are comfortably cool. The best time to visit Sedona is in the fall, when temperatures range from the 50’s to high 70’s. 

Layers are always a great addition to your suitcase, because of how versatile they are. You won’t need a heavy winter coat for Sedona — a light sweater or jacket will see you through the crisp nights. And don’t forget a bathing suit if your accommodations have a pool, or if you wish to visit a spa! 

Select sturdy footwear

Sedona is known for having excellent trails, so plan to pack sturdy shoes if your plans include hiking. If you don’t typically hike much, look for a pair of quality walking sneakers that have good grip. Two to three pairs of shoes should be plenty for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes and sandals are a must, but throw in a pair of dressier shoes if you wish. Some brands we love: Merrells, Chacos, Keens, and Tevas. Want more direction? Check out this list of 20 best hiking boots and shoes from Travel + Leisure!

Travel in style

Don’t forget to think about what you’ll wear on the plane! Consider items that are both comfortable and stylish, such as a maxi dress layered with a soft sweater. If your goal is to pack light, plan to wear your travel outfit twice — both to and from Sedona.

A carry-on suitcase should be plenty big enough for a weekend in Sedona, but plan to use a larger suitcase for an extended trip. Stash a foldable travel backpack in the front of your suitcase to use on your hike or to bring purchases home in. 

Don’t forget travel accessories! 

Be sure to pack a camera (or use your cell phone for pictures), charging cords, and a journal. You’ll also want to pack sunglasses, and perhaps a hat if you want extra sun protection. Leave your laptop at home if you can — Sedona is too beautiful of a place to spend your visit distracted by work. A collapsible water bottle is convenient for both your plane ride and exploring the sights.

Need more packing tips? Check out this extensive list of items to remember on your trip to Sedona!

Seeker of Truth

Seeker of Truth

“Just start writing”

That’s the voice I heard inside my head as I lay in bed this morning trying to mentally figure out what this blog was going to be about.  I was struggling, as I often do when it comes to my turn in the blog rotation schedule, to figure out what I wanted to write about. My mind was swirling with topics and ideas of how the structure would be laid out when I very clearly heard…  Just start writing… so here I am doing just that.

Let’s see where this goes!

I’m currently listening to We Are The Luckiest by Laura McKowen on Audible and the chapter I just finished was titled ‘Find a House Where the Truth is Told’.  YES!!!!  Oh, how I resonate with that title.  I’ve been looking for these types of houses my entire life.  My big vision is to find a world where the truth is told.  

I want this and it scares me at the same time.

I want it because I’ve always been a seeker of truth… my truth AND your truth, which I know will be different.  I want to know and understand myself at the deepest levels and I want you to feel comfortable sharing your truth with me because you know I’m a safe space and will not judge you.  I want to be a house where the truth is told.  

It scares me because what if I can’t handle my truth OR what if you can’t handle my truth.  Will I internally beat myself up? Will you think I’m weird or crazy?

When I picture in my mind’s eye this house where the truth is told ( which by the way isn’t really a house, but rather a community of people that I surround myself with) I see teachers and students working together to support one another.  When I look around I see how I am sometimes in the role of student and sometimes in the role of teacher… and you are too!  

My teachers are those people who are unapologetically speaking/living their truth and are trusting that in their vulnerable sharing they will be setting an example for others to follow.  Some of them are public figures like Brené Brown, Byron Katie and Laura McKowen, the author I’m currently reading, but many of them are not. They are everyday people who just happen to be within my sphere of influence.  

My students are those of you who are learning from me in some way.  Maybe you are reading this blog and resonating with it… maybe you are following me on FaceBook… Maybe we run in some of the same circles… Some of you I know are students because you’ve told me so, but many of you I don’t know.  I am trusting that by showing up as authentically as I can each day, I am reaching the people I am meant to whether I know them or not.

I know I am always both a teacher and a student.  The same is true for you! Do you get that?!? As one of my favorite teachers and poets, Rumi says, “We’re all just walking each other home”.

My One Word for this year is UNVEILED.  If you aren’t familiar with the One Word process, I invite you to read about it here. This word has me thinking that there are layers to the truth.  For me, my superficial truths are easy to share. They are always on the surface where they are easy for everyone to see, including me. However, we all have deeper truths, as well, that aren’t as easy to see.  My suspicion is that some of my truths are so veiled right now that even I can’t see them. I’ve covered them up to protect them and to protect myself. Here again, I find myself both excited and scared at the same time.  

One way I know that I will be continuing to build my House Where the Truth is Told is through FaceBook live videos.  I’ve been using this platform to share from a place of authenticity.  It has been a practice in unveiling for me and I plan to continue this when the spirit moves me.  

Another way I love to connect is face-to-face.  If our paths cross in any way in the future and you want to dig deep with me, yes please, let’s have a vulnerable, truth unveiling conversation!   Sure, it might feel scary but I promise it will be exciting too!  

Finally, I want to let you know about an upcoming opportunity…At the end of this month, I will be facilitating a safe space in-person group discussion where we can share our truths together.  At this event, we will focus our truth-telling on our spiritual beliefs. We will explore questions such as: How do you define God?  Are you clear about what you really believe or don’t believe?  How do you put your spiritual beliefs into practice?  These are some of the truths I will invite you to uncover and share during our time together at that event.

You’re invited to join this evening retreat titled Sacred Practices on Feb 26th with the Wholistic Woman community.  You can read more about it here.

As always, if you would like to connect or have questions for me, please feel free to reach out!  If we aren’t already FB friends and my videos sound like something you’d like witness, please friend request me and let me know you read this blog.  

~ Laura

Declutter Your Life!

Declutter Your Life!

I’ve been on a bit of a personal quest to find ways to increase my energy and focus this year.  I’ve gotten on a better track with exercising and eating healthier foods.  I’ve started taking yoga classes at least once a week. I’ve tried to be more intentional about scheduling some downtime so I could recharge.  And, I’ve been reading some great books like Micro-Resilience, by Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines.  And then as a follow-up,  hosted a virtual book club to engage with several of you in a conversation about how the book’s numerous strategies could be put into practice in our everyday life.  All of these strategies combined have really served to elevate my personal energy and focus!

Recently,  I spent the better part of a weekend decluttering my home. And, unexpectedly realized that the decluttering process itself also brought with it a huge focus and energy boost for me.  My home isn’t messy but it seems that when I get busy, my house sometimes looks like it could use a little organization love.  And the change of the seasons always feels like an especially good time to figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay in closets and drawers, etc.  As I got more organized, my focus and energy also increased, making me feel happier overall.  Releasing that clutter, even though it was not an overwhelming amount, really brought such a sense of peacefulness to my life.  I am no longer trying to get something done while also being distracted by a pile of paperwork on the side of a desk, wondering what all is in there!  I bet some of you may be able to relate to that feeling of being distracted by uncompleted projects sabotaging the things you really need to focus on right now.

As I decluttered, I thought about how this process of decluttering can be applied to my whole life, not just my physical surroundings.  Perhaps I could “declutter” my thoughts, my words, my relationships, my schedule – you get the idea!   I like to look at my life as as a design project, the same way an interior designer views a renovation project with a client.  And, just as it’s usually not practical to renovate your entire home at one time, it’s also not reasonable to think we could declutter our whole life overnight.  Here are a few observations I made about decluttering my physical surroundings.  I believe that the same thoughts can be applied to decluttering one’s whole life.

Make sure that you are ready to dive into the process so you can give it the time and energy it needs.

Decluttering takes time, but it always feels worth it to me when I see the end result.

Start decluttering with clear intention.

Before I started decluttering in my home, I walked around from room to room and decided where my focus was needed.   I set clear intentions of what I was going to tackle first, and when, and then gave that my full attention to that, even though other areas were also crying out for some help as well.

Be willing to make some tough choices.

I probably have a few things in my home, whether it’s clothing or something else, that probably does not really serve me well any longer. And, yet, year after year, I continue to hold onto it.  Sometimes keeping it is just a habit.  Many of those things, I decided to donate,  so someone else could benefit from them more.

Celebrate the small successes rather than focus on all that still needs to be done.

I told myself I was going to celebrate each small step of progress in each room, rather than allow myself to get distracted or frustrated by the work that still needed to be done.

Put some new practices in place to support the newly organized space.

Once I felt satisfied with the decluttering process, I decided I needed to revise some of my day-to-day habits to ensure that I could keep those areas decluttered with minimal upkeep.

If you are also in the fall clean out mode, perhaps you may want to give some thought to whether there could be areas of your life, other than your physical surroundings, that could benefit from some decluttering.   Here’s to more focus, energy, and the true sense of calm that comes from the process!

Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell.  Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).