Archive | leadership RSS feed for this section

all dressed up and no place to go

21 Apr

rainy day


Today was supposed to be the day. Transformative, all about me and pushing through discomfort day.

My day with In Her Image ( photographers Heidi and Tara. These talented women believe in women. They see their work as a transformational tool they use to do good in the world. As a fellow do good in the world through my work person, I have been pretty excited about this day. And kind of intimidated and anxious.

I need some new images for my website. And I hate having my picture taken. I can tell you all the reasons why I’m not photogenic, and I have many years of data to prove it.

And I have friends who have had sessions with Heidi and Tara. And there is something about these talented women who take such a clear stand for women that resonates deeply with me. They’re in Petaluma, California, and travel often to meet women where they are. They call their sessions Goddess Sessions.

Now’s about when I become really really uncomfortable. Goddess? And me? In the same sentence? (Notice the two words are not in the same sentence. At least not yet). And for this woman who spent almost all of her life in the corporate world, the idea of a Goddess Session is kind of … well, damn uncomfortable.

And as uncomfortable as it feels, I am ready to be with this discomfort and see what opens up. So today was supposed to be the day. I even hired a make up artist to do my face. (Am I really telling you this … what will you think of me?)

Heidi and Tara work outdoors. Almost exclusively. My photo shoot was scheduled in Oakland, California, where I’m working with a client. I love the idea of outside and a city vibe. We chose Temecula Alley in Oakland. Looked like it would be perfect. Except it wasn’t. Because it rained. Hair, make up, 3 outfit changes, check. Sunny skies, or at least no rain … nope. Rain. Misty, drippy, rainy, gray, overcast. I met Heidi and Tara in our agreed upon spot. We had a coffee while scanning the sky for even a tiny bit of blue. It didn’t show up.

We rescheduled for July when I’m back in Oakland. I have to admit that I considered cancelling the whole thing. This is too uncomfortable.

Instead I went back to my little airbnb, took a few selfies (which I hated. see, I told you I’m not photogenic!), changed into my jeans and wandered into this coffee shop. I’ll do more walking around today (because of course the rain stopped, and I see a bunch of blue in the sky) and will notice what I notice about myself in the world with my make up done professionally while wearing my favorite jeans and sneakers.

And I’ll be back. And we’ll try again. It’s time to lean into this discomfort.

Where in your life is it time to lean in to some big area of discomfort? And what will you do if when you seriously leaning, and feel like you might tip over, you have no choice but to pull back – at least for a moment or a maybe a few months?

Joyfully, with professionally done smokey eyes,




Accounted for, but not Present

24 Mar

sugarmaplegreen-lowIt’s been an interesting 15 hours for me. Last night I was part of a panel at an event for women called “Reinvent your Future with Confidence” hosted by NEWS4Women Delaware. I was very excited to be included on the panel, and was energized by the opportunity to hear what others had to say on this topic, and to share my experience. To kick off the panel, we heard from Valerie Biden Owens, sister of Joe Biden, mom, wife and pretty damn amazing woman all on her own. I was inspired by Valerie and held on to her words as I listened to the 3 women before me on the panel.When the evening started I was excited. I felt confident that I had something to share, and I love the energy in a room full of women who have come together to support and learn from each other.

And I was the last speaker on the panel. To be clear, I requested to be last. I’m still not sure if I made that request out of fear or from a place of power, but I did make the request. I knew that each of the women would be brilliant, and believed that I could do the best job as the person who shared my own thoughts woven in with those of the others. I’m pretty sure I made that request from my confident self.

The evening happened. It was fun. We got lots of good feedback. I was right – my fellow panelists were brilliant. I could feel the energy in the room humming as each panelist touched on something that made the room come even more alive. Adina, the panelist before me, talked about courage. I started by admitting that it was taking a whole lot of courage to follow all that had already been shared. I laughed and did my thing. It was fine. Probably more than fine. I felt alive and aligned with my ‘why’.

Then I went home. And it started. The voices in my head. The ones critiquing every word I said. The ones that started with, “why didn’t you say ….” and “you forgot to say ….” and on and on. I dreamed about a do-over. One where I was brilliant and articulate and didn’t stumble over the word caricature. I woke up still evaluating and comparing. (If you don’t remember, I love the quote “comparison is the thief of joy”). I was shoulding all over myself and joy was nowhere in sight.

I found that while doing my morning meditation I got lost in thinking about my talk and comparing myself to the others. Interesting, right. It happens. And I forgave myself and gave myself a gift – a hot yoga class. On my way to class I drove past the studio and had to turn around and go back. Then I walked past the door into the studio and had to backtrack. In class I was embarrassed when the teacher came over and whispered, “when you have a chance, please turn the other way”, since the rest of the room had their heads toward the mirror and my feet were facing that way. When I left class I went down the wrong stairway and had to walk around the building to find my car. Even as I type this I’m wondering if I’ll hit the publish button cause my words are feeling clumsy.

I’m here. Accounted for. And so not present. And practicing noticing my thoughts and not being my thoughts and still not fully present. Here. Now.

My goal is to release these thoughts in the next five minutes. They have chased me around since 8pm last night. That’s long enough to feel this pain. I notice over and over again that my work does not end. It’s part of the journey. And in this moment, I can smile about it.

The truth. I shared from my heart last night. I was clear that I was there in service of our growth. I spoke my truth and shared what has worked for me, and for many of my clients. I was not perfect. Sometimes it was clunky. And there were things I forgot to say. No one knows that but me, and now you.

And today is a new day. I don’t want to miss it.

What do you do when the critical voices in your head don’t seem to want to stop? How much time do you spend beating yourself up? Where do you turn for support?

And how’s it workin for you?


of vampires and superheroes

10 Mar


This morning I spoke to an old client. Every now and then, when he needs support, he calls me.

Today our conversation was about a situation at work. He was prepared. He had the topic clearly defined and had 3 possible options he was considering.

And, he knows himself pretty well, cause he’s done that work too. In the end, he chose an option that empowered everyone.

We laughed about how he loves to be the hero (don’t we all?). And how, in his option 3 – the one he chose that empowers everyone – not only is he a superhero, but his boss gets to be one, and the employee he wants to help gets to stand for herself in her own superhero-ness.

He is a vampire of super heroes. Through his actions he makes more superheroes.   Soon, all around him will be an army of super heroes. And his organization changes. And he changes. And the world changes.

And no blood is shed or sucked.   He’s like a sparkly vampire – sorta (but not really )like Edward Cullin in Twilight (yes, I read them all AND watched the movies).

How are you using your super hero powers to help others find theirs??

And how’s that workin for you?