Friday, October 3, 2008

Natural Beauty and Grace

Have you ever looked at a horse close up? Have you ever really taken in the immense beauty and strength and natural power this animal possesses?

Now, before I elaborate on my horse theme, I want to be clear I am not a horse owner nor do I have any personal history with horses. My admiration and inspiration simply comes to me by imagining how horses must feel.....what it must be like to be a horse.

So, picture this.....a beautiful sleek, muscled horse running in a full gallop. When I see this image in my mind I see a confident animal that is running as fast as it can for the sheer joy of it. It is graceful and powerful at the same time. It is simply being and doing what comes naturally.

What I don't see is this beautiful animal looking over its shoulder to see what is behind it. It doesn't look to the sides, but straight ahead. It may hold a vision farther ahead, but I bet whatever step it is in the process of taking is the only important step on its mind.

I doubt when a horse is in a race, it is comparing itself to the other horses. I bet it is not judging or idolizing the other horses. I also imagine it runs its best race and feels good when it's done, just because he/she did it. I'm pretty sure self put downs are not part of its process.

What I do imagine is that the more it runs, the more it learns about what is possible for it to accomplish. I imagine the enjoyment is true for it whether the horse is in a gallop, a canter, or a trot, or whether it comes in first or last.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Watch Out!

The title of this post may have misled you. It is not intended as a warning of what someone else may do that can affect's a warning of something you may do to you.

For the purpose of this post I invite you to think of "Watch Out" as a reminder to pay attention to your thoughts, your hooks and your emotions. It is not meant to create fear as this command may typically create. The intention is for you to pay attention to what is going on in you at any given moment.

For instance, watching out for hooks means you notice what creates a reaction within you. What ticks you off or creates impatience, resentment or even anger. Once you notice, I'm not suggesting you then punish yourself, but rather take note of how you feel. What may have frightened you or upset you or just plain pulled you like a fish on a hook out of calm waters?

Another great place to watch is of the impact you are having in any given moment. Are you creating a calm space by your attention and care, or are you creating some agitation by your abruptness? Once you notice, be curious what emotions are present in the moment. Is this a common impact you have? What do you need to change in your life and relationships to have the impact you prefer?

One more example to watch for is when you feel small or unimportant or just plain wrong. Rather than just going down a dark hole of sadness and creating a story of how you are always messing up and no one respects you, get curious about your reaction. Is there something being said by someone that you need to clear up? Did anyone really do or say anything to put you down, or did you make an assumption about what someone else thinks or the situation that just occurred?

My suggestion is you consider this game of "Watch Out" to be one that makes that which you fear easier to be with. Remembering this game will help you to be more in-tune in your own life and to live in a way that is more fulfilling. Every time you notice a default way of being, you are one move ahead on the big game board of life. Of course, as always, I recommend you enjoy your process along the way.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Wink of a Sunrise

Early yesterday morning I took off for my usual walk, hoping to catch the sunrise in action. As I focused my attention to the east as I walked along the ridge of my street, I noticed the rising sun was partially obscured by some trees in my view. My immediate thought was that it made it look like the sun was winking at me. Of course, I was completely amused by my noticing and then began to wonder what it meant.

As I thought about what the message was for me in the winking sunrise, I realized what it was immediately. I had noticed when I first got out of bed, I was a little bit draggy and not in a very happy mood. I didn't have a good reason. There was nothing to blame it on, it was just how I felt. Naturally since I started my day in this blah mood, things were not looking very good to me....that was until I saw my winking sunrise.

The wink of the sunrise was telling me to lighten up. It was reminding me to notice the unexpected and delight in it. It was telling me to wake up and enjoy this day by getting out of my own head. The wink was also telling me I was okay and that I was loved. It told me things are never as bad as they seem. It told me what is important will get done.....and most of all the winking sunrise said, I'm with you all the way, Kate. You'll never be alone.

So, I took my messages and went on my way....and you know what? The winking sunrise was right. I lightened up, delighted in my day, felt loved, saw the positive in the negative and felt connected to all, all day!

The "I" of the Storm

If you can imagine a terrible storm howling around you. There are high winds, rain, sleet, hail and snow falling from the sky. Windows shake and sometimes tree limbs, or even trees fall to the ground. Now imagine in the center of that storm, there is the eye, the calm place that is not associated with the chaos and damage that is present around the periphery.

This image of the storm described above is the same for us personally. I suggest you use the storm and eye description as a metaphor for life by remembering who we really are is the "I" of the storm. The chaos surrounding us represents the stuff of life. Much of the time our lives may be within the realm of manageable, yet there are times that it feels like we are being tossed about amongst the never ending list of challenges. These challenges may be family, financial, work related or may be physical. Many times we take on problems that are in other people's lives having their storms, intersect with ours. When we identify with the "stuff of life", it is easy to feel like a rag doll being tossed in the storm and unable to find peace. In fact, we just hope to survive whatever that current storm happens to be.

Now, take a deep breath and imagine experiencing life from the "I" where you feel strong, centered and balanced. This is the place where all of your gifts, strengths and inner knowing are being fully integrated as you interact and respond to the issues of life. You still make decisions, pay bills, handle family issues and work through conflicts, but without the feeling of helplessness or overwhelm. You respond to life's issues, rather than react to them. This calm, centered "I" of the storm is possible when you own and identify what is true about you.

Many of us are not accustomed to identifying and owning our natural gifts. We often tend to focus on our weaknesses or compare ourselves to others and wish we had their gifts. The truth is, we all have what we need to live life in the "I" of the Storm. When we learn to identify with who we really are then life seems more manageable and more enjoyable.

Who we really are is love, joy, freedom, compassion, passion and understanding. We are not our credit card balance. We are not the perpetual conflicts at work. We are not the gas prices or the stock market. We are not our aging bodies. We are not our children's grades. As long as we identify with that which challenges us, then we will feel helpless and scared. When we learn to focus on the truth of who we really are, we gradually feel more peace, joy, balance and harmony in our lives.

If this metaphor sounds like something you would be interested in tapping into, join me and fellow life coach, David Larson on November 15th in Wellsboro for a full day "hands on" workshop. Early registration discount available for those that register by October 15th. Contact me to register or for more information at 570-723-1020. (Registration limited, 10 openings remain)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I made a quick stop in Wal Mart. As I was standing in line at the check-out, a young blond woman with an adorable toddler in her cart, smiled at me. I returned the smile and made a comment about how cute her little girl was. She then asked if I recognized her. Although she looked vaguely familiar as though I might have known her in some other life, I admitted I was really drawing a blank on how I might have known her. The strange thing was, the little girl looked more familiar to me.

The blond Mom then informed me I worked with her Mom in the late 1970's in the local hospital emergency room. That little reminder opened a trap door in my mind which led many memories flood in. I remembered when this Mom was born and her early years as an infant and toddler. Once I knew the connection, I understood why the little girl looked familiar.....she looked just like her Mom did at that age.

Somehow through the years, she stayed aware of who I was, while I lost track of her. I moved on to another job when she was still very little and only saw her mother occasionally.

So here we were 30 years into the future. The sweet blond baby I used to cuddle and rock was now an adult, with one of her own.

This encounter was a flashback and a flash-forward. I'm sure the years that flew by since blond Mom was a toddler will not be any slower than the years until blond baby will be pushing her child in Wal Mart. I hope to run into them at the check out line.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good-bye, Aunt Mary

I just learned today that my Aunt Mary, my Mom's oldest sister, passed away this afternoon. My Aunt was 94 and although physically incapacitated, she was mentally sharp right up to the end.

Although my Aunt was not an integral part of my life, she showed up enough to leave an imprint. My clearest memories of Aunt Mary come from my childhood. She owned a skating rink in Bloomsburg, Pa, called "Dixie's Starlight Gardens". Dixie was her husband who was later killed in an auto accident when I was a teenager. Although I was scared to death to get on skates and struggle around the rink when my family paid a visit, I loved to watch my aunt in action.

Aunt Mary had a poise and presence typically only seen in beautiful movie stars of the 1950's. She was confident, artistic and theatrical. She dressed with a flair and was very outgoing. Seeing her through the eyes of a little girl that came from a regular household with a Mom who was a homemaker (which holds a ton of great memories for me), a Dad who worked hard all day in a blue collar job, and a hectic household with three siblings, Aunt Mary held a bit of glamour and intrigue.

I was most impressed with how she dealt with her teen skaters. She coached many of them in their routines for competitions. Although I never saw her on skates, she obviously knew what she was doing. The kids loved her and did their best to please her.

I never remember her chastising anyone for making a mistake, although I do remember her praising them for their successes. Aunt Mary had only one child that died soon after birth, so she never really got to parent. I believe she saw her instruction and care for her skaters the same as raising a family.

A few years ago I was a speaker at a Women's Conference in Bloomsburg. During lunch I met some women who grew up in the Bloomsburg area. I happened to mention my Aunt Mary's name and Dixie Starlight Gardens. One women gasped when she heard this and then explained that she was one of the teens that my Aunt took under her wing as a skater. She was thrilled to know she was alive, and later visited her at the nursing home where she has spent the past few years.

When I was a young girl, my Aunt's friends would always comment that I was the "spitting image" of her. Just like my Mom, we share the same eyes and smile. I'd like to think I picked up a bit of her other gifts as well. In fact, I think I will gratefully take on a combo of gifts from this previous generation. My Aunt's poise and intrigue and my Mom's humor and joy of life.
So, I say Good-bye to Aunt Mary and thank you. I'm grateful for her showing me that breaking the rules and living a life that is not necessarily within the mold for a woman, is always an option.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dream Within A Dream

When I awoke this morning I was at a very exciting point in a dream. In my dream state, I was creating a dream. I was in a large building similar to the type you would see at Warner Brothers or Universal Studios. I was walking about, choosing the various components that would go into my dream. I had just chosen a site, which was a hilly landscape. I chose a building which was a cottage-style home, and I was in the midst of looking at a cardboard cut-out of some people to add to my dream. There were four or five silhouettes of people, all grouped together, but their faces were not filled in. The cut-out was blank. At the point that I awakened, I was just about to define who these people would be. Unfortunately, I awoke before that piece of my dream configuration was complete.

Although the faces were still blank in my mind, I did lie in my bed for awhile imagining the faces that would have been filled in. If my sub-conscious mind, where dreams are produced, is anything like my conscious mind, the faces would have likely been people I don't yet know. It's not that I'm tired of being around my old friends and family, it's just that I get excited about adding to my circle of loved-ones.

I laughed at myself as I became more alert. Even in a dream, creating the perfect experience, I was interested in adventure....a surprise. Meeting new people is one of my favorite surprises. I never know when or where they will appear. I am always alert....since they may play a starring role in my next dream on earth.