Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On Loss and Losing a Pet

Late at night a few Saturdays ago I let my three cats get some air out on the balcony. Then I heard the noise: the familiar sound of my cat jumping onto the railing. He'd practiced it many times before, and I'd ordered him down and into the house, not allowed out for a day or so. But this time was different. Boo Boo fell or jumped off the second-floor balcony railing and was nowhere in the dark. I got dressed and with flashlight and Temptations cat treats in hand, began my first of many nightly searches.

It's been just over three weeks...three weeks of near sightings, telephone calls from people thinking they'd seen him and my own late night prowling and yowling "Boo Boo" through dark streets and creeping behind buildings. I have chased all manner of outdoor cats to their terraces, meeting confused owners face to face. I can attest to the truth behind the Temptations TV commercial, a string of cats following me as I walked shaking the treat bag, calling "Boo Boo" at the dark witching hour when all cats come out--all except mine.

Ironically, I found myself at the neighboring building checking into the sighting of a female cat the same charcoal color as my own...and bearing the same name. Her owner is a little flapped and unnerved. I seem like a cat stalker!

Put in perspective by someone at a backyard BBQ I recently attended: "Face it: he wanted his freedom. He'd probably been planning his escape for some time!" Is that why he kept jumping up on the railing despite my admonishments? Certainly life must have been boring as an indoor cat, with nothing to do but groom his shiny fur all day. Oh, how good he had it: meals, clean litter, affection! Why would he give that up for the unknown of dodging cars and people and micing for his meals? It's summertime now, but what about when the cold weather comes? What price might he pay for his freedom then? Or maybe he's sitting pretty with a new owner--one who lets him out so he can have the best of both worlds.

I am reminded that we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. Boo Boo is in his place in the world now. We had a good three years together. He has gone back from where he came as I remember him coming out of the hedge three years ago, a mere 4-month old kitten. Back into the wild now--neutered at least--one less cat to propagate the feline species! Yet I still cling to the thought that one day, he'll show up in the parking lot as if he'd merely gone on vacation. Miss you, Boo Boo!

Have you ever had to accept a loss of anything, the loss of a pet or someone, something that you wanted back and realized that the Universe had other plans?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Inner Voice

Humans have this amazing resiliency--this ability to reach within--at times during their darkest hour, to pull out such beauty and insight in order to move forward. We know exactly what we need at any given moment. Our clarity may get waylaid by events going on around us or strong feelings inside us. Yet we all have that ability to go back to baseline--start over--and see through the fog toward what we know is true, best for us, and what we really want.

No one stays mired in the muck for too long. Perhaps all we must do is take a step back. I've done this: stepped out of a situation, taking my space, and lo and behold, the path cleared. I knew what I had to do. The murkiness starts only when I second-guess myself and balk, letting that little Doubter's voice rise above that of my my own Intuition--my inner voice or knowing. It is when I let the path clear that I can hear this voice and move into positive action.

Many of us simultaneously hear the voices of the Doubter and the Intuiter. Sometimes one sits on each shoulder and they argue loudly, squabbling like rival siblings. Sometimes we simply need let them duke it out, keeping our head out of the way as we listen with and to our heart. The heart connects with the Inner Voice, and the heart often triumphs.

How do you identify messages from your Intuition versus messages from the Doubter when faced with a professional or personal challenge? And how do you take the space to listen?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Co-Creating the Infinite YOU

Are you sandwiched between two different work or life priorities and want to make a change? Are you seeking your starting point for making that change? Consider that professional and personal coaching can empower you to do this by helping you align with your values and find greater meaning in your life!

Coaching is not counseling, nor therapy; rather, coaching is a partnership whereby your Professional and Personal Coach walks alongside you on that very sacred journey of the self through transition. Your coach helps you break your goals down into manageable steps, lending you their perspective as you collaborate to change your own. Your coach remains present to you while listening to the unsaid. And your coach holds you accountable as you set attainable goals for your success.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dialing Down

A week ago, a dear coaching colleague stated her decision to dial down. It seems that we had somehow gotten into this spin around "What's next?" having finished up our coaching certification process and moved right into coaching and building our coaching practices. I could relate! Here was July, hot and full of restful possibility, and I was chomping at the bit to get moving on promoting my coaching and speaking. But where was everyone? Out playing, that's where!

There is something about summer that speaks to the soul, whispers, in fact, like the gentle breeze that blows on a humid day. It whispers summer reading, time with family and friends at pool, lakeside, cottage and the like. It speaks to the notion of taking it slower and making life simpler. For those of us who toil in cold winter climes the slower pace is mandated by the heat and humidity as we may feel lower energy.

How do you dial down? What does that look like, feel like? And more importantly, how can you make yourself okay with the slower pace? I tell myself that this brief respite only happens here and now--this one time of year when I get to take a true break from the routine. Mid-August comes soon enough with all the hustle and bustle of fall preparations. I simply give myself permission to just BE.

How are YOU dialing down this summer?