Living Well In Challenging Times

peace of lily pads

These are challenging times. Every day there is something in the news that I find upsetting. All month I’ve been wondering what to blog about and have felt at a loss as to what would be most useful to my clients and readers. I’ve considered the topic of the many faces of love, holding a positive vision no matter what, self-care, being a warrior, and no one topic seems big enough against the backdrop of the challenges we’re facing.

What impacted me the most this month was the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida. That had me put my pen down. First, was the impact of the event itself and then the insane response of arming teachers and basically turning our schools into prisons. I’ve been dumbfounded by the greed and insanity of it all. When I haven’t felt shocked, I’ve felt angry, sad and mad. I’ve written letters, made calls and signed petitions in line with my belief that we need to follow the example of Japan, Australia and other industrialized nations who have sane and effective gun laws. I am so proud of the students in Parkland who are speaking out and taking a stand. They are showing us what leadership and being a warrior looks like. I’m so grateful for their voice and the changes they have already inspired.

As I write this I know that no one thing is the answer to the challenges we face and its the simple wisdoms and practices that are the most powerful – having tea with a friend, taking a hot bath, writing a letter, making a phone call, turning to a meaningful spiritual practice, acknowledging feelings, going for a walk, playing with the dog, speaking up, taking a stand, attending to what is right in front of us whatever that might be, and being in integrity with ourselves.

Those topics I’ve been pondering all month are important – expressing love in all its many faces, holding a positive vision no matter what the circumstances, good self-care and being a warrior. Most importantly, holding on to what is good no matter what. During these times we all need an array of tools we can draw upon and a support system of people we love. So choose whatever resonates most for you. And remember, as my mentor Patrick O’Neill always says, we are never overmatched by our circumstances. We always have the skills, talents, and character qualities we need to meet any challenge.

Challenging times do offer the greatest opportunity for growth and transformation. If you are ready to reach for what these times are calling forth in you and want to move into a more authentic life, please contact me for a complimentary coaching and mentoring session.

Embrace the Gap

By Sabrina Robin

Gaps exist everywhere in our lives. They exist between our vision of what we want, and the
 reality of what is – in ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, and the world. In ourselves, it can be
 a skill we want to master and yet when we apply it we experience mediocrity and failure. Or a
 dream that we haven’t been able to manifest. With a spouse or friend it could be our vision of
 how an important conversation will go to resolve a misunderstanding that then goes wrong. In
 our work, it could be an employee in whom we see great potential who just isn’t stepping up to 
the plate. And it seems the gaps out there in the world are bigger than ever these days as
 evidenced by the polarity we see on important issues in the news. Gaps can be painful. Our 
human lives are full of them. The discomfort can challenge and scare us, or inspire us to action
 and positive change. Sometimes they do both.

I used to ask why all the gaps and how can I fix or change them so they all go away? Then it
 occurred to me that there are much more empowering questions to ask….

What would it be like to embrace the gap? 



What is available there? What would it take to bridge it? Who would I become if I embarked on that journey? As I started to ask those questions and led my clients to
 look for the answers, I realized that it’s in embracing the gap that we find the treasure – learning,
 new possibility, creativity, imagination, mystery, courage, rectification, connection and
 transformation.

Embracing the gap can be scary and uncomfortable. If we can do it with
 courage and curiosity, learning and transformation can occur.
 So when you feel that discomfort or longing in the gap, don’t be tempted to cover up the 
feelings with overworking, withdrawing or denial…embrace them instead.

If you want an
 experienced guide for the journey, hire a good coach. It’s what we do best.
 And remember, life isn’t just about closing the gap, it’s about who we become in the process.

Contact me for a complimentary sample session and start your journey of transformation.

ABC’s of Successful Goal Setting

success happiness

Traditionally January is the month for New Year’s Resolutions and often by the time the month has ended, they have been set aside or forgotten.  This can create a subtle hit to one’s self-trust and self-esteem and a ripple of self-recrimination.  As a coach, a good portion of my work with clients is around setting goals and intentions, and processing the resulting successes and failures along the way.  So how does one successfully set and achieve goals?

energetic squirrel

Here are some steps and tips to follow:

  1. Be clear about why the goal matters and how you will feel when you achieve it.
  2. Create a clear vision of the outcome.
    • These first two steps are the most important. Not only do you want to make sure you’re setting this goal for the right reasons, with these steps you create the foundation, clarity and energy for the steps that follow.
  1. Stay connected to the emotion and enthusiasm behind the goal to fuel your actions.
  2. Fully commit and align your heart, mind and will behind the goal.

– Being half-hearted about your goal, allowing negative self-talk, and a lack of willpower will all undermine your success.

  1. Make it specific, measurable, and positively stated.

– For example: I weigh XX pounds by March 1st.

  1. Outline a plan for success and break it down into achievable steps.
  2. Be accountable. Write your goals down, keep them in front of you on a daily basis, and track your progress.
  3. Make it fun and celebrate the successes.
  4. Gather the learning objectively when you fail and either recommit or change your goal based on your learning.

 

Each success will strengthen your self-trust and self-esteem.  Perspective and a positive mind set are important.  If you fail it doesn’t mean you are a failure.  Any time you fail it is an opportunity for learning and growth.  And sometimes who you become in the process of going for the goal is more important than achieving it.

goal success

Having a coach who will hold you accountable, champion you, help you through the challenges, and point you to the learning on the journey can make all the difference.  Contact me for a complimentary sample session to kick off your goal setting journey to success.

Love, Hope and Renewal

peace dove

The holidays are a time cross-culturally for love, hope, renewal, generosity and celebration. Through the expression of these values, we are reminded of the best in ourselves and others, and the difference that we can make through kind and loving gestures.  I hope you have been blessed by both the giving and receiving of love and generosity with friends and family this holiday season and that renewed hope has made a home in your heart that will shape your days throughout the coming year.

The Essential Practice of Giving Thanks

giving and receiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s a favorite holiday.  It’s core premise of gratitude for all our blessings and the yearly tradition of friends and family sharing good food around a table is comforting and heart-warming.  There’s the enjoyment of the traditional dishes, new recipes, the memories of Thanksgivings past, and the making of new memories around the table this year.  If we take the opportunity to look deeper, the holiday points us to a cross-cultural perennial wisdom of daily thanksgiving or gratitude which can transform every area of our lives.

Gratitude opens the heart of the giver and receiver.  Its practices are part of all cultures and religions around the world, including gift giving, verbal acknowledgement, prayer, offering food, thank you notes, and celebratory traditions such as anniversaries and birthdays.  What wisdom and history have shown us is that not only is gratitude transformative, it’s essential.   In the words of Angeles Arrien, from her book, Living in Gratitude, “…the expression of gratitude continues to be the glue that consistently holds society and relationships together..(it) is essential to humankind’s sustainability and survival. Gratitude’s stabilizing and healing effects, which have been researched from multiple standpoints – cultural, psychological, physical, spiritual, even financial – have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of living a grateful life are irrefutable.”

So, a daily gratitude practice is both practical and essential medicine in the current climate of disruption, judgement, and breakdown of human decency that we read and see in the news on a daily basis.  It heals the division, separation and despair we can feel both inside and outside ourselves.

One of my favorite gratitude practices is my gratitude jar.  At the end of the day, I write down something I’m grateful for on a colored piece of paper – an unexpected gift, experience I had or a person I connected with – and I put it in my glass jar.  It sits on my desk as a daily reminder of the good in my life.  As the year goes by, the jar fills up and every time I look at it, I can feel my heart smile.  It reminds me of the good, true and beautiful that is present daily in my life.

Create your own daily practice of gratitude. A good resource for ideas and inspiration is Brother David Steindl-Rast’s website, gratefulness.org.

 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. Take the opportunity to look past the challenging people and experiences you may encounter.  Acknowledge a loved one for the difference they make in your life and be open to the unexpected blessings that day and every day.  It will change your life and the lives of those around you for the better.

gratitude attitude

 

sabrina roblinSabrina Roblin is an experienced executive, mentor, trainer, and coach who “walks a spiritual path with practical feet”, and incorporates perennial wisdom in her practice. She has worked for organizations that include Wells Fargo Bank, Broderbund Software, and The Coaches Training Institute. Contact her for coaching. A sample session is complementary.