The Heart of Christmas

heart of christmas

Christmas ignites a whole mix of emotions from delight to disappointment and in some strong dislike due to its commercialization. In others disappointed expectations in past family interactions or the religious context is a turn off.  I remember one year when I had a Christmas eve party at my home, my neighbor’s daughter brought a birthday cake.  When I asked who’s birthday it was, she said, “the baby Jesus”.  It was a ‘duh’ moment for me.  In all the holiday preparations, I had completely forgotten.  With the media noise, busyness and expectation it’s easy to forget the heart and spirit-centered origins of the holiday.

father christmas

There is love, compassion and generosity at the heart of Christmas and whether you’ve lost that along the way, or just need a reminder, it is possible to find a way back to it through story, love and intention.

The true story of St. Nicholas is one I find especially inspiring and compelling.  Our modern day Christmas tradition in the United States and beyond began with his love and generosity.  He was a third century bishop from what is now the coast of Turkey.  He was a shy man who didn’t want his generosity noticed, so each year on the day Christ’s birth was celebrated, he dropped gold and gifts for children in need down the chimney or through an open window of their house, and they often fell in a shoe or stocking that was set by the fireplace to dry.  When he became too old to do the gift giving himself, the town decided to continue the tradition they had come to love, which spread to other towns and from country to country, eventually becoming the story of good old St. Nick or Santa Claus that we know today.

St. Nicholas’ expression of love, generosity and compassion was so compelling, his legacy spread around much of the world and continues today almost 2,000 years after his death, which is remarkable.

xmas barnSo whatever your Christmas past has been, claim the heart of your Christmas present and future through conscious intention and action.  What is the compelling expression of love, compassion and generosity that will have a lasting impact on your family, friends and community this holiday season?  Each act of kindness, love and generosity touches lives and makes a difference in ways that are beyond measure not only for the recipient but for you the giver as well.

It’s up to each of us to keep St. Nicholas’ legacy alive, through the difference we make this holiday season.  Create and enjoy beauty through decorations, lights, the stockings, and generosity of spirit. Take in a favorite holiday movie, or just tell someone you love how much they mean to you.  Your heart will be gladdened by it.

May your home and heart be filled with love and laughter this holiday season.

sabrina roblinSabrina Roblin, CPCC has been a professional coach, mentor, and trainer since 2004. She has worked for organizations that include Wells Fargo Bank, Broderbund Software, and The Coaches Training Institute. Contact her for more information and a sample session.

6 Tips for Successfully Navigating Change

change and transition

By Sabrina Roblin

Change = Transition and they are happening all the time in one or more of the following areas of our lives: work, health, finances, relationship and home.  Transitions present challenges that bring up fear, as well as opportunities to stretch into a more authentic and fulfilling expression of who we are.  They can also grow us into our next level of personal and professional leadership if we embrace them well. The most challenging transitions are the ones that are out of our control, such as when we have a health issue pop up suddenly, our partner leaves us, or we are let go from a job.  Life as we knew it is gone and we are thrown into a process of grief and loss at the same time that we must step up to redesign our lives.  Even the happy transitions such as marriage, buying a new home, and being promoted, hold both challenge and opportunity.

Attending to the following six areas will support you in successfully managing the challenges and living into the opportunities of your life transitions:

Self care- make self care a daily practice.  Choose what brings you the most comfort and peace.  This could include rest, journaling, meditation, music, time with a loved one or a hot bath.

Feelings- Remember you are a human BEing.  It’s important to feel what you feel, including joy and pain so they move through you.  They show you what needs to be attended to and help you stay connected to what’s true and alive in you.  When you stuff them they can turn toxic, keeping you from moving forward in your life and growing into a more authentic expression of yourself, which are two of the greatest opportunities of any change.

Fear- this feeling deserves its own category.  Letting fear run unmanaged can undermine your well-being and freeze you into inaction.  Getting out of your head and into your body through singing, dancing, walking and other forms of exercise are all effective ways of managing fear.  Also, gaps in information can create fear. Ask yourself, ‘what do I need to learn or know in order to make a more informed choice in the situation?’

Attitude/perspective- it has been proven through research that a positive attitude makes all the difference in making it through challenging circumstances.  Pay attention to your thoughts and create a positive story about who you are and how you are going to succeed.  Making a list of at least 20 and up to 100 qualities, strengths and blessings you have will assist with this.

An attitude of gratitude supported by a daily practice is an important source of comfort, encouragement and strength.  (Check out my blog, The Essential Practice of Giving Thanks.)

Action- take action that is both self supporting and moves you forward in your life.  Inform your action through creating a vision and plan for where you want to be on the other side of the transition.

Support- we are tribal creatures and thrive in community.  Gather the support you need based on your circumstances, whether it be friends, loved ones, work colleagues, a therapist or a coach.

Most coaching clients are in one or more transitions in their personal or professional lives, and through coaching have created breakthroughs, and stepped into a new level of fulfillment and leadership. You can too.

sabrina roblinSabrina Roblin, CPCC has been a professional coach, mentor, and trainer since 2004.  She has worked for organizations that include Wells Fargo Bank, Broderbund Software, and The Coaches Training Institute. Contact her for more information and a sample session.

Chrysalis image from Suzanne D. Williams

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.