Learning to "let go" is one of the most helpful things that we can ever learn to do for ourselves. Much of what I have achieved has happened when I release the control and anxiety and just let things work themselves out. It sounds so easy but it is so difficult to do. Have you ever racked your brain to figure out a solution only to realize later that it has resolved itself. You have to release the control and let it flow.
Learning to trust in what you can’t see is huge. You can feel the instinct in your gut but want to analyze it and think it through in a practical way. It’s a delicate dance. You have to first get really comfortable with your true and authentic self…and then you need to trust it. In order to really get to that level you need to start in a very quiet place. You cannot listen when you can't hear your inner message and instincts.
Guiding you through this difficult process is part of my pleasure and purpose in life. I have complete clarity on what my gifts are and love to help you explore and find yours. It’s a process…it takes time but it’s worth the investment to find your peace and happiness. We are all special and have wonderful things to contribute to the world. Take a deep breath and learn to be open to letting go.
“You will find your best flow when you learn to let go”...Christine Harriger
Good morning! At the appropriate time, I love to share my personal “Aha” moments with clients who are experiencing extreme confusion and distress. In counseling terms this is known as self-disclosure. There is great power in having somebody really listen and care and then sharing a moment of self-disclosure at the perfect time. It is not something that is planned but instead something that just happens. We are all here to help each other.
I can hardly wait for the dawn of a new morning to share this message with you so I am writing in the darkness. Actually, the dark of night leads to such peace which allows one to totally relax and gain clarity.
I always share the message of the importance of self-care with my clients who are job hunting and/or seeking to better their lives. Many of my fellow practitioners also realize the importance of a holistic approach. We are more alike than we are different. Pat Cheeks from National Transitions, an Integrative and Intuitive Approach to Healing, knows the importance about the holistic healing quality...especially during life transitions. Pat is an amazing professional and does terrific work so check her out at: http://patcheeks.com/life-mentoring-natural-transitions/.
My favorite thing in life is to help people become their best selves. I love to watch people in their element so I do anything I can to help make that happen. It starts with checking your ego! We are all here to help one another as we navigate this journey called life. We are more alike than we are different.
Somewhere along the way our world became extremely competitive and complicated. Children are now taught to compete, not cooperate. It starts at such an early age as children now graduate from kindergarten...no offense but what does that even mean? Is that really the best route for society to take? What I know for sure is that our college students are overwhelmed and stressed out before they even start day one of college. What are we doing to our kids? Is that hyper competitiveness really necessary for success in life? Isn’t the definition of “success” a very personal thing?
Many people are so busy working so hard only to reach the pinnacle of a high status position to find emptiness. They are merely getting more of what didn’t make them happy in the first place. Really think about that statement. Losing valuable time and energy that we could all use to really experience life and enjoy time with our loved ones and friends. How many times have you heard people say that they would like to do something but they are simply too busy and do not have the time or energy. We are more alike than we are different.
In this fast paced world it helps to learn to slow down. S-L-O-W down. Hit pause. Be in the moment. Take that long walk regardless of how busy you are and really look at the world. I did that yesterday and literally this gold leaf fell into my hand. I looked at it carefully and it had a hole in it in the shape of a heart. This leaf drifted down and landed directly in my hand. Have you ever had anything like that happen? We are more alike than we are different. One day this heart image just appeared on my deck. Symbols are all around us.
Now, many of you may say that you see what you look for and certainly our perception plays a role in what we see. However when you really relax and become more aware and intuitive you are in tune to your higher level of consciousness. What you think becomes the basis for your beliefs. I choose to operate out of love and cooperation, not competition. I choose to trust the source of the universe and believe my talents will be used for good. I believe this because after 20 years of working to help people find employment and create meaning in their lives I have seen how it always works out. The key is to learn release the energy and trust the source of the universe.
I have witnessed how the world becomes better when we help one another in life. Take the basic “pay it forward” process and you can easily see how it works. Focus on finding the common ground and do your part to make the world a better place. When you learn to cooperate, help others and spread a little love you will enrich your own life tenfold! We are more alike than we are different!
Scams. Do-it-yourself. Become an XYZ but subscribe to this first and give us money. You name it and it exists in this online world. As I attempt to sincerely counsel and help some people who have nowhere else to go, I have noticed the enormous preponderance of online scams. Helping my clients avoid such scams and gain valid information is more of a struggle than I thought it would be. Encouraging people to do their research and check credentials is the key.
For example, I have a client who desperately wants to be a writer. I have read some of his work and he’s a great writer and is seeking information about how to best get published. Sorting through all the lame advertisements and fake information is zapping his energy. I am encouraging him to contact individuals who have successfully published so if you have done so and are willing to participate in an informational interview please contact me so I can pass along your information to him.
Those of you who truly know me realize how positive I always am regardless of the circumstances. I seldom voice anything negative but feel the need to warn people to carefully check credentials as they sort through all the online information. As I have “set up shop” I am in a position to really notice what others are doing and am really appalled by what I have seen. The fight for your 2 minutes of attention in lieu of the overwhelming information is just that…a fight!
Nonetheless, I feel the need even more to shine a positive light into this world. Offering insight and valid career tips is both my passion and my purpose. I come from a background of over 20 years’ of experience watching how the hiring process has evolved. I’ve worked in a variety of environments and realize that the process is different for various fields. It’s a tricky process now. As a result of the booming social media and web 2.0 technology it is becoming even harder to find the needle in the haystack. I know there are people out there who need my help so I will not give up. I will continue to shine my light into the world to help a few lost souls navigate through the darkness.
I am literally writing today from the top of a mountain. It is one of those picture perfect weather days so I decided to drive up to the mountain top to do a little writing outside. One of my colleagues was picking on me about having my “head in the clouds” but actually that can be a good thing. It’s amazing how ideas come to you when you are really relaxed and enjoying life. It is easier to think outside the box when you are not even in the box!
Think about it. I wonder why we feel that we have to be seated in an office or cubicle in order to produce good work. As many of my good friends could attest to, I do some of my best career coaching on the top of a mountain. The location has nothing to do with the quality of the work – especially when one operates from the depth of the heart and soul and connects well with people.
In my work with students it is really hard for them to figure out what to do in life since they have had limited experience. Higher education is now placing the emphasis on experiential learning so students can do internships, externships and volunteer work to gain a better understanding about the world of work. I recently worked with a group of young adults and they kept emphasizing how they felt so much pressure from society to have their major and career field selected at such an early point in life. Several of the students mentioned how they wished that they had a career counselor who really helped them explore and process all the options. Unfortunately, our educational systems are now structured in such a way that students often have to make decisions before they are developmentally ready.
When I speak with people one of the most difficult things for them to do is to really relax and imagine what they want to do in life. As a society we have become such linear thinkers that we can’t even imagine all the possibilities. People are too easily swayed by others opinions about the world of work. Often the opinions are based on incomplete information so are not even valid. In addition, we are often our own worst enemy as we talk ourselves out of options before we have even explored if they are viable. The great Pablo Picasso stated that “everything you can imagine is real.”
Many of our best entrepreneurs are people who can think broadly and dream big. I just read an article about one who actually has a business where he sends the autumn colored leaves to people who live in an area of the country where the leaves don’t turn colors. Hmm, I am currently in the middle of the woods…Hold on, I’ll be right back…Okay, I won’t give you more information on that particular entrepreneur but keep your eye on my website for updates. But seriously, many employers are seeking individuals who are creative and have good problem solving skills. Many of the problems in life could be solved by people with those skills.
So, go ahead and give yourself permission to dream and to work outside. Think big. If you don’t come up with the unique idea then somebody else just might. As one of our best thinkers once said, “Logic will get your from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
I love great events! Last night all of the hard work and effort from a group of fellow entrepreneurs and educators culminated in a wonderful event which benefited members of the local Harrisonburg community! I was excited to be part of the 24-member planning team as I knew from its inception that it would be a special event. The collaborative efforts between outstanding event planners throughout the community, such as Kevin Gibson from VA Momentum, Michael Davis and Misty Newman from JMU, among others ensured a successful event!
Ideas2Inspire was the brainchild of the energetic and dynamic Dr. Dave Urso, a Dean at Blue Ridge Community College. Dave’s idea was to develop a TED-type storytelling event for the local area that would be “local stories…local impact”. He casually put the idea out on social media and immediately had some talented entrepreneurs and local leaders offer to help make the event a reality!
The wonderful part about an event like Ideas2Inspire is that it directly benefits the community listeners. Structured like the popular TED talks, it consisted of a series of seven speakers who briefly spoke on a variety of interesting and important topics. Don Taylor, a local professor and trainer, inspired the audience with his message about overcoming failure after being unemployed for three years. Three years…could you imagine how it would feel to be out of work for three years? As the owner of Career View, a career and life coaching practice, I was pleased to help sponsor the event as it is extremely important to get that sort of message out in the community. A big part of my work with clients is dealing with the emotional and mental torture that accompanies job loss or transition. Witnessing how successful people have redefined challenges and moved forward in life inspires and encourages others to do the same.
The event was kicked off by the energetic millennial, Gordon Weirich, the Youth Director at Grace Covenant Church, who used his humor and energy in his message about the millennial generation. In my own experience of working with the college students I couldn’t agree more that their infectious energy and creativity will serve them well as they find their way in the world of work. As I viewed the members of Ideas2Inspire audience one could see that it ranged from millennials to boomers so there were stories and messages that would appeal to the wide range of listeners.
Meade Hines shared her very personal crusade of rebounding back after her bout with job loss, divorce and death of a loved one. Her message of the importance for others to be always be kind and empathic as we all deal with life’s struggles was not lost on deaf ears. What made Meade’s story especially poignant is that she is still recovering but was courageous enough to bare her soul on stage in an attempt to help others. Her shirt was emblazed with the word “hope” as she bravely spoke to the audience about her challenges.
The program was hosted and moderated by the humorous and delightful local talent of J.R. Snow whose clothing changes and antics in itself were something to observe! Not a stranger to the stage himself, J.R. masterfully facilitated the speakers and he wove together the fabric of the event! Stories ranged from Indigo Eriksen’s message of living and serving in Guatemala and Mexico to L. Miguel Wells courageous tale of successful enculturating into the Shenandoah Valley from his native country.
It was obvious to me that one thing that makes the Shenandoah Valley unique is how endearing the area is to its people. A community is only as good as its collective members. This message was reiterated by the husband/wife team of Brent and Laura Toni-Holsinger as they shared their tag team story of adjustment to life in the valley while staying true to their strong ideals of serving the community! As a native of Harrisonburg, I have always felt that the entire Shenandoah Valley area has a very strong sense of community and hope that events of this nature continue to help area residents and strengthen the community. As a Career and Life Coach, I hope that other localities will attempt to offer similar events as we all strive to make this world a better place!
Ideas2Inspire would like to thank all of our sponsors and community partners to include: AnyGivenChild, Bluehub Coworking, Career View, Dynamic Consulting, Funkhouser Real Estate Group, JMU Debate, OntheRoad Collaborative and VA Momentum. For more information on the event please view our website at http://www.valleyi2i.com/.
Day after day I continue to share some special thoughts and visuals to aid you in your own journey of life. My hope is that you are taking the time to enjoy them and reflect about how they may be relevant in your life. I feel compelled to offer up help as a result of my own impersonal self or soul.
As clients contact me for assistance it dawns on me how many of us are living on a very surface level and thus missing the entire point of our existence. We easily buy into the collective thought that we are what our resume and the outward world says we have become. My concern, obviously, is that our existence goes much deeper than all of that.
Tonight I am excited to join the Ideas 2 Inspire group as we share our personal stories and reflect upon how they might be of help to one another. While I am not speaking tonight, I have enjoyed being involved in the planning and preparation for this unique event for over six months. I think it’s really important for people to really listen and learn from one another. The take away from the event is whatever you personally decide it means to you.
Career View has sponsored this event as I believe it is important to exchange knowledge with one another. One of the primary things that I have my clients do is to speak with others about careers and life. A recent client went above and beyond my request and spoke to a half dozen people and it has resulted in a lot of clarity. So much in life can be learned through our experiences, introspection and evaluation of such events. Therefore, for any of you who are seeking answers consider the importance of sharing from soul to soul and start participating in some of these events. I hope you can join us tonight!
Storytelling is very powerful and inspirational...Join us on 10/20/15 in downtown Harrisonburg at the Court Square Theatre...We are local leaders trying to create positive change in your community! Tickets are only $10 and available at the door or at valleyi2i.com.
I wanted to share with you one of my greatest concerns. That you either do not think it’s possible to have a career that excites or interests you or that you do not think you’re worthy. In the process of working with clients and students for my entire 30 year career, I have often heard the following comments:
“I could also use career counseling like little “Johnny” as I never have figured out my own career” - from hundreds (or thousands) of parents who are getting their students launched in college
“Sure, I wish I could do something that I enjoy but it just won’t pay the bills” – from most people
“I wish I wouldn’t have listened to “some random person” who gave them faulty career advice” – many other people
“ABC is my hobby and I’m afraid that I could not make a living off of it “ – somebody speaking from fear
“I love my work and am refreshed and I can’t wait to wake up every morning to get started” – said way too few people
Examine the above statements to see if you know somebody who could relate to any of them. Chances are you do know somebody as I have heard the above statements continually throughout my entire career as a Career Counselor, Advisor and Recruiter. It makes me very sad to think that over 78% or more of our population are just going through the motions in the world of work and not excited or enjoying their work. That is also not good for our society.
The type of work that you do creates your lifestyle and we build our lives around it. Doesn’t it make sense to step back and figure out what excites you and interests you and build your life around it instead of building your life around something you do not even enjoy! Perhaps you do not feel it is possible to achieve so do not even try to determine otherwise.
Is it possible that somewhere deep down inside you do not feel you deserve to really be that happy? I can tell you that I have many colleagues who love their work. They believe in passionately being fulfilled and leading a life of meaning and purpose. I do agree that can be a difficult thing to find - especially if you don’t look for it in the first place. Often people just fall into a work situation and then continue to stay even after realizing that it is not what they want to do.
If this article sounds critical I want you to know the reverse is true. I believe in you. I believe that you deserve to do something meaningful and fulfilling in life. I have watched people get jobs that they love. I personally have had many positions that I love and want the same for you!
Everyone has different circumstances but it is certainly worth examining your situation as it is not too late to develop purpose and meaning in your life. I have helped mid-level career changers transition to a more fulfilling role. I have helped college freshmen, sophomores and juniors figure out their major and career path. I have helped college seniors and alumni of all ages secure employment. I have helped former military enlisted and officers (as well as spouses) transition to civilian sector careers. I have helped federal employees transition to new roles with the government. I have helped downsized employees in an outplacement situation find a new job.
Regardless of your situation it is worth examining. You are worth it. You are worthy. You are capable of finding your niche in the world. There are sacrifices and drawbacks to every single job so you need to consider everything very carefully but it often comes down to the choices that we make.
I am passionate and purposeful about helping you or your student. I have seen the results and helped people build great careers. Many of the people who have endorsed me on LinkedIn have done so as I have personally assisted them with their careers. Is convenience or location a problem for you? I work virtually using all our great technology via Skype, telephone, e-mail and instant chat so location is not a barrier. I can help you regardless of where you live and have effectively helped people secure new jobs in numerous locations.
If money is your concern, I am offering a FREE initial consultation during the fall season until 11/25/15.
I would love to help as I believe in making the world better one person at a time. It is both my passion and my purpose!
As I am rejoicing with a client who secured a new job this morning, I wanted to speak with my clients more about courage. A good, solid job hunt requires immense courage. The courage to wake up and start with a fresh, positive perspective every morning. It’s not easy after you have been rejected or displaced and need to start again.
It is not enough to simply update your resume/cover letter and learn how to do an effective job search with the new technology of today’s world. You also have to refresh your attitude and gain perspective.
I have observed that the clients who are successful are the ones who can release the anger, disappointment and frustration and accept change. Change is required for growth and development. We actually grow the most when we are challenged. To move forward in life you have to become fearless and move out of your own way. Hence, the need for the counseling part of career counseling as we can often be our own worst enemy. I am here to coach you through the entire process just as a coach would encourage and inspire an athlete.
So, do not give up as often you are so close to reaching your goal! The key is to have the courage to release your fear and trust that things will work out. I’ve said it before but will say it again to try to operate out of love, not fear. When you free the glory of your own soul you will find that amazing things start to happen. However, it is a work in progress so you have to be patient and work through the process.
As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living somebody else’s life…Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.”
Through the slight gap in the bedroom curtains I can see a couple lights from a neighboring home. My neighborhood has been on my mind a lot lately since I am now working from home and have spent more time in my neighborhood than I ever did when I was working at the university. Funny how that works…one works to live and spends more time at the workplace and comes home just to rest it seems. I love how I now have the time to spend with my neighbors as I interact with them more during my daily walks and actually take the time to participate and enjoy the block parties.
If you have been following my blog, my encounters with my lovely British lady have increased. In fact, yesterday morning I barely got outside of the radius of my immediate rancher when I ran into her and another neighbor with a similar dog. Both of them were owners of cute Lhasa Apso breeds, who obviously knew each other as they sniffed and nuzzled one another on the street (the dogs not the neighbors). Warm thoughts vibrated through my entire body as I could feel the true meaning of neighbors. The other individual had once worked at my same university and had transitioned to working at home and is now retired. In addition to learning quite a bit more about the proper tea, I learned more interesting facts about my British friend.
On this day we walked together. It started as more of a stroll while we engaged in heavy conversation. As a self-professed extravert, I thoroughly enjoy the process of meeting new people. I love to learn all about their lives and what they stand for in life. At this stage in my life I have found older folks to be especially fascinating as you hear stories from their past and can piece together what life in the world might have been like at that point in time. More people should take the time to really talk with older folks and hear their stories.
As we passed other neighbors, whom I had never met before because I was too busy working or preparing to go to work…or recuperating at home after work…we got invited to a block party in a slightly different portion of the neighborhood. Now to backtrack, when I arrived in the neighborhood 11 years ago our newly added road was the add-on to the neighborhood and we quickly met our immediate group of neighbors on my single street. I knew it was a terrific neighborhood from the start as I was greeted by a busy stay-at-home mother who brought me peach cobbler and others who were preparing for the annual block party (which I hosted the following year or so). I also enjoy the antics of my next door neighbor as she refers to the construction guy who is building her garage as "pool boy". Especially since there is no pool and he is actually building a garage! Unlike the busy metropolitan area where many of us formerly lived, we were all content to rotate to various houses to observe the view of the mountains over a glass of wine.
So, I have loved my neighborhood ever since! However, I now feel an even stronger sense of neighbors as I have the luxury to wander outside and join in on the casual sidewalk conversations at any point in the day or evening. I have learned that my husband is a popular figure as he routinely volunteers to plow about a half dozen older neighbors’ driveways each winter. I have noticed in the past that he is not alone in this activity as about six neighborhood men congregate in the middle of the street on various types of vehicles with plows on front. Yet, I have always observed this from the warmth of my home as I enjoyed the fruits of his labor from the homemade baked goods that accumulate to thank him for his kind deeds.
A hidden gem in my new virtual entrepreneur venture has been the gift of time and greater connectivity with my neighbors. I love to wake up early and head out to my back deck to plan my day and launch into some writing and technical work in solitude but routinely break for my morning exercise. I have gotten to know this cast of characters even more and feel that I am now really living my actual life. Funny. I have been so dedicated to my incoming students and academic work for twenty years that I did not even really realize that I seldom spent quality time with this wonderful group of neighbors.
I feel like I am now living a 70's show such as, "The Waltons". I must say it feels good. I feel calm and happy. My life is simple and I am living it on my own terms. I am thankful that I found the courage to forge ahead with my counseling business and have developed a well-rounded new lifestyle where I am continuing to educate myself on new things while enjoying the simple things in life. My only hope is that others will come to understand the beauty of how simplifying life can enhance their world. Oh, and as I glanced out into the early morning sky just now, I viewed the most amazing glimpse of a huge, twinkling, bright planet against the dark Autumn sky and the dim glow of my oldest neighbor’s kitchen light.
LOVE is the answer…so what’s the question? Does it really matter? It all boils down to spreading the positive energy of love. There are so many problems in the world today that you could pick one and trace it back to the core of the issue. Then determine whether it is based out of love...or fear. What do I mean by this? Obviously, I am not taking about romantic love here…but I do mean love and tolerance for one another within the community and society at-large.
Examine the pay-it-forward principle where you do something extremely nice and random for a stranger and it multiplies in a positive way and ripples throughout the world. Just think about it. The power of love is amazing! Love can turn lives around. As a counselor I have seen it time and time again when working with students or clients. As a friend, I have witnessed how a true friendship can affect lives. As a wife, I have experienced how it can turn around an argument. A simple sincere hug or gesture can change a life or help to change society at-large.
Several of my colleagues also believe that love is at the root of the solution. Tony Robinson posted this on his site the other day and I couldn’t agree more. Love is the most powerful emotion! Think about what you get when you boil things down to the true base of either love or fear. Boil it down…boil it down and what lies at the foundation? Are you operating from a place of love…or fear?
Unfortunately, we live in such a competitive society that everyone jumps into the rat race of the world of work trying to stake their claim. What would happen if everyone operated from a sincere foundation of love? Instead of competing with one another we really tried to help one another. That’s what I’ve always done. I have helped my students figure things out to find their best “fit” in the world. The best major that matches and complements who they sincerely are as a person. Then to examine the world of work to find a good place to start. I do the same with my clients now.
I have always tried to help my colleagues maneuver into positions where they continue to find fulfillment and challenge so they operate as their “best” self. What would happen if we all sincerely did the same thing? What if we cooperated instead of competing? Just give it all some thought. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Do you operate from a foundation of love or fear?
It might be helpful for us to really examine how we operate and try it out. Start off with your circle of close friends and family and build out from there. Use the same concept of networking but keep a positive spin on it. I realize that some may feel threatened thinking perhaps that they may lose their competitive edge in life but much of the world already functions successfully this way. I know that my true network of people function this way just fine.
So, start with yourself. Love yourself. Forgive yourself for whatever might be holding you back from successfully contributing to society. Unlock the gate to your heart and send out positive vibrations. Do something kind and unexpected for a total stranger today. Listen to others…really listen to them. Contact somebody you have not spoken with in a while and let them know you care. Be kind. Help make this country a place you are proud to be a part of again. Come together, not apart. Then let love ripple throughout the rest of the world. Choose to operate from love, not fear.