What If You Don’t Really Want What You Think You Want?

How can you tell if you really want somethingThis is for those of you out there who are contemplating some change, be it big, little, or something in between.

It’s about the secret reason why you might still be in contemplating mode (instead of moving-forward mode).

I’m not talking about the dime-a-dozen doubts that will invariably show up. Such as: What if it doesn’t work out? What if you mess up and lose something—respect, confidence, money? What if you’re not any good at it? What if it ends up being a waste of time?

These are all variations on garden-variety resistance—which is generally produced by your ego in an effort to try and keep you “safe.”

But there’s one reason that runs a little deeper. It’s this: “What if I get what I want and I don’t like it?” This is bigger, because it doesn’t mean that you’re listening to your ego. It means you’re not trusting your gut.

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Your Mess Is Your Message

mess is your messageWhen we moved to Providence four years ago, I was nervous to tell the people I met what I did. What would happen if I told them I was a coach and the author of a book on reducing your stress, and they saw me losing my patience with my kids at the playground?

Wouldn’t they think I was a sham?!

The horror!

This was seriously a very big concern for me. I, like so many other people, felt I had to be above reproach in order to do what I wanted to do. I had to be perfect.

No pressure there, right?

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A Tale of Two Augusts

BeachLast August, I made a conscious decision to work as little as possible. I still had coaching calls with existing clients, but pretty much everything else I let slide. I wanted to do a deep dive with my kids. I wanted us to get tan and dirty, and spend days making mud pies (or whatever random thing caught our fancy).

I didn’t worry about making sure my first-grader was reading regularly—I honestly wanted her to be able to forget about school as much as possible and just be a kid.

It seemed like a great idea, until September came along. We had all lost so much momentum. After having my best month ever financially in July, I had my one of my worst months ever in September. I hadn’t been marketing myself, or booking speaking events, or doing anything to make the ideas I had in my head a reality. It felt like I was starting from zero.

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Adventures in Time-Tracking

July13Who here feels they have all the time they need to do everything they want?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. I know it is possible to feel this way, but I also know that most people don’t.

I’ve been unspooling my subconscious thoughts and beliefs about time for a while now, which you can see in these posts:

So You Think You Don’t Have Time for You
Make Time for Your Soul Work, Protect It With All You’ve Got
There Is No Such Thing as Too Late
What If You Stopped Squeezing Things In?
What If You Stopped Rushing?

It all started when I read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, with a seemingly random chapter tacked on to the end titled “Einstein Time.” I then read some other time management books that honestly didn’t strike me as particularly illuminating or helpful, and then I discovered Laura Vanderkam’s books—168 Hours and I Know How She Does It.

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What My Peri-Menopause Has to Do With You

the author withinI sat down today to write an utterly compelling post designed to inspire the handful of you reading this who have been thinking of writing a book for months (or years) (or decades) to check out the cool new book writing program that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for these last few weeks.

But all I really want to say is: Hi, I’m Kate, and I’m peri-menopausal.

So what does the status of my reproductive years have to do with it?

Well, hear me out.

For years now, my mom has been telling me that both she and my grandmother were done with menopause by the time they were 45. I understand that she’s trying to help me manage my expectations and that she wants to share valuable information about our family medical history. But I felt like she was trying to tell me how my own experience with menopause was going to go down. (Isn’t it hard to be a mom to a daughter? You try and be helpful and they basically tell you to talk to the hand.) Also, it made me think, I’m a yogi and eat really healthy and there is no way it is going to happen to me that early. And, a little bit, I’ll worry about that when I’m 45.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Mixing It Up

Kate - necklaceThis past December, when I was at our local bookstore picking some things up for the folks on my list, I left with something for me, too. I knew as soon as I read the title The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up* that it was going under the tree for me –to Kate, love Kate.

I don’t really enjoy cleaning—which to me says scrubbing, vacuuming and getting dirty. But I really get in to tidying—putting things back where they go, clearing a crowded counter so we can use it again, restoring order to chaotic room. And life-changing magic—who’s not intrigued by that?

You’ve probably read about the approach the book takes – that you should systematically go through everything you own and get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy”—perhaps you’re even one of the 8 million people who have read the book! I’m not going to tell you about how I rearranged my t-shirt drawer or fit all my jeans in one boot-box sized storage container.

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What’s Available If You Just Keep Going

Sam&DaveI read a great book with the kids (technically, they read it to me, which has been a really cool thing to witness—but that’s a subject for another post) and it has such a great lesson in it, I had to share.

It’s called Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, about two friends who decide they want something spectacular to happen today. So they decide to dig a hole until something cool occurs.

This is what happens (spoiler alert, kind of): Read more…

The Universe Told Me to Do It

waiting for a signIf you’ve been following me a while, you know that in addition to coaching I am also a writer. I covered wellness for national magazines for years (before the recession), and I have written a few books, including one coming out at Christmas time from National Geographic Books, called A Year of Daily Calm (whee!).

As a coach, a topic I cover a lot with folks is this idea of de-compartmentalizing, or finding ways to unite parts of your life that feel separate in your mind—whether that’s parenting and being a business owner, or finding ways to bring your artistic talents in to your day job.

(I wrote more about de-compartmentalizing here.)

There’s a saying in the coaching world—that we teach what we need to learn. Turns out, I had some more de-compartmentalizing to do.

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Life is Like A… Maze or Labyrinth? Where Do You Stand?

Teddy - labyrinthApologies for not writing last week—we were on our annual family pilgrimage to Block Island, aka “Bermuda of the North,” a gorgeous, sweet-smelling place located 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island.

While there we mostly went to the beach (six out of seven days—not bad!). But one day, we needed a break from sandy suits and sunscreen. So we went to the labyrinth.

Set on a hilltop with 180-degree views of the ocean, this labyrinth is gorgeous, but bare bones. The path is dirt, outlined by rocks, with a pile of rocks in the center. It doesn’t seem that big when you look at it, but the path takes a very roundabout route to the center.

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The Busier You Are, the More You Need This

“The degree to which you do not believe you have time to spend ten minutes sitting quietly is the degree to which you desperately need to spend ten minutes sitting quietly.”

 — Donna Farhi, in Bringing Yoga to Life

officemeditatorIt’s so tempting to tell yourself that you’re too busy to do anything quiet and contemplative. It seems to make so much sense—there are only so many hours in a day. And you already have so many things you need to do on any given day. So every minute you spend not getting things done would be a waste.

I get the logic there, I really do. It’s what got me to quit a 10-year mind-body practice cold turkey after I had my second child in two years. I thought it was the responsible thing to do. I thought I would be able to get so much more done! (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.)

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