Knowing What You Love: Part 2

March-2012-Inner-SparkCreative Excursions to Keep You Connected to Your Inner Spark

Seek not outside yourself, heaven is within. – Mary Lou Cook

With the heaviness of soggy March weather weighing many of us down into states of lethargy, unexplained sadness and illness, what’s a Seattle woman to do to rekindle her energy and focus? Start with recognizing the advantages of slowing down, which is necessary to recharge and regain our passion and purpose in life and work.  Slowing down gives us time to care for ourselves, our souls, and shake up our day-to-day routine to re-connect with our inner spark or ‘heaven’ as Mary Lou Cook suggests.

Because we can’t control the weather or when we’ll get sick it’s important not to get too sidetracked by them. As Stephen Covey would remind us in his work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, these situations are outside of our Circle of Influence.  Rather, remember that the power of your own inner spark – comprised of your unique creativity, energy, passion, and resourcefulness – can provide an instant pick-me-up and get us going again.

One sure-fire way I’ve found that helps me re-connect with my inner spark and kick my doldrums to the curb is to take a Creative Excursion.  Creative excursions, as explained by author Sarah Ban Breathnach in her indispensable book Simple Abundance, are “solo rendezvous with your authentic self designed for [the purpose of getting to know yourself better]”.  In my language, these excursions are also for the purpose of connecting with what I love, my inner spark, and to remind me of who I am. To design the desired experience for this type of activity you follow two simple guidelines:

1) Go alone – no girlfriends, boyfriends, family members, etc. This is about YOU connecting with yourself and       remembering what delights you so having company only creates distraction.

2) Do something FUN and out of the ordinary that makes your heart sing and your spirits rise.

Many of my favorite Creative Excursions involved a minimal investment, but had a maximum effect on my energy, perspective and well-being so go into this knowing it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money.  Think of a few of your favorite pastimes or something that’s been tickling your mind to go try and start there.  A few of my excursions were: Taking a long walk in my old Green Lake neighborhood where I lived as a young single woman when I first moved to Seattle a decade ago; Spontaneously taking myself out to a funny matinee in the middle of the day and enjoying a box of Junior Mints like I did as a kid; Strolling through a new tea shop to taste and smell different international teas, buying my favorite blend in pretty packaging and going home to create my own tea party with finger sandwiches and tea cookies.  Now it’s your turn to ignite your spark and chase the clouds away:

  • What do you love?
  • What lifts your spirits?
  • What turns on your creative juices?
  • What will you do today to treat yourself to a Creative Excursion that gives you the chance to experience all three of those things?

Feel free to share what excursions you went on with me and to open up more inspiration for all of us.

Happy Excursions! ~Samia

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Knowing What You Love: Part 1 – That Inner Spark

Girl Power Hour

Thanks to Darnell, the GPH crew, the Neiman Marcus team and the 10 amazing women who graced the pink carpet with their confidence and sparkle as they showcased their remarkable makeovers at the fabulous February event! The “Love You – Boost Your Wardrobe, Boost Your Biz” event inspired this month’s post – Knowing What You Love: Part 1 – That Inner Spark.

Each of the 10 women chosen for the makeover and fashion show was selected for their passion, courage and dedication to making a positive impact in the world. As each nominee took their walk down the pink carpet, we heard their brief bio and got a sense of what inspired their work and nomination. As they passed me, I admired the artistry of their new look…but what struck me most was each woman’s unique radiance. Every woman had an inner spark that was blazing brilliantly that night – it was glorious to experience it! Thank you ladies for owning your beauty and being such an inspiration in the work you do!

Like these 10 ladies, we all have the opportunity with each day to harness our passion and courage and then dedicate ourselves to something worthwhile in our work and our lives. However, to do this and do it well, a woman must know what she loves and let that love shine through. This starts with loving ourselves. Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish writer, playwright, and poet shares, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Loving ourselves wholly – quirks, mistakes and all – ignites our inner spark and allows us to live a life we love thus paving the way for our unique contribution to the world to count for something! Like the title of the event suggests, making time to take good care of ourselves by investing in things like stunning wardrobes that highlight our best features and actions like giving back that boost our spirits, can in fact boost our business and work in the world. Why? Because they make us feel good about ourselves which lifts our confidence. Clothed in our own confidence – that Inner Spark – we have the courage to step up, reach out and share what makes us unique, give voice to our ideas, offer our services and make a difference.

What inspires your Inner Spark? How do you reach out to show your spark to the world? Feel free to share your thoughts in my comment box.

Tune in next month for “Knowing What You Love: Part 2 – Creative Excursions to Keep You Connected to Your Inner Spark”

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January Follow Up: Last month I shared my four step process for creating authentic and achievable resolutions:
1) Be Clear 2) Be Honest 3) Be Realistic and 4) Be Committed.
How did it go for you? Where did you get stuck? What motivated you to get back on track? I’m all ears and available to answer questions – just send me a comment.

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Creating Successful Resolutions: ‘Be Committed’

In my last blog, Be Honest, we covered one of four concepts to help you steer clear of common pitfalls in creating successful resolutions. I’m sharing a method which has been successful for me. It’s built on four ‘Be’ concepts – Be Clear, Be Honest, Be Realistic and Be Committed.

Let’s do this together! This weeks focus is Be Committed.

Be Committed: The final step before inspired action on my resolution is to make a decision to really go for it!  No messing around, it’s time to make a firm, articulated commitment to what I’m about to do.  So I say my resolution out loud and put it in writing so my resolution is clearly spelled out and then I post it in front of my computer so I can reference it often to check in on my progress as well as ensure I’m staying on track.  This exercise gives me a simple, structured way to know the meaning behind my resolution, the benefits of taking action and the general destination I want to arrive at so I stay focused and motivated to making it real.

What’s your commitment? How will you articulate your decision so it means something to you and keeps you motivated?  What will you do if your commitment falters? How will you restore your conviction to see this resolution through to a successful outcome?

Now for the juicy proof that shows you this process REALLY works:  Literally one week after I finished this exercise I found out about a 6 month business building training program that’s led by a coach who’s been running a successful business for over 12 years helping small business owners consciously grow their businesses.  The program starts with looking at the business owner’s fears, beliefs and level of conviction about their success as a business owner and teaches you how to build your confidence from a strong foundation of courage, faith and determination. The coach lays out a road map for understanding how to market, budget and increase revenue so you can attract clients in a conscious, focused manner.  The program even covers how to extend your services into additional offerings so you gain more visibility and credibility as a professional in your field.  It’s a weekly class of 10 entrepreneurs coming together, like a mastermind group, to learn, share ideas and offer support as we go through the program together.

Isn’t this INCREDIBLE?!? An amazing program comes into my path touching on all the areas I articulated in my resolution creating process about building my confidence and my business!  So I signed up last month and we started last week – I’m now well on my way to seeing my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 come true!  This is the power of being clear, honest, realistic and committed!  Give it a try and let me know how it works out for YOU!

I also recommend reading Megan Munroe’s GPH blog post on 12/30 regarding Making New Year’s Revelations vs. Resolutions for additional perspective.  As she suggests sometimes all it takes is changing your language and your approach to make a huge difference in how you see your successful progress through the year. Great ideas, Megan, thanks for sharing!

Here’s wishing you all your best year yet!
Samia Kornweibel
Certified Professional Coach
LifeLens Coaching

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Creating Successful Resolutions: ‘Be Realistic’

In my last blog, Be Honest, we covered one of four concepts to help you steer clear of common pitfalls in creating successful resolutions. I’m sharing a method which has been successful for me. It’s built on four ‘Be’ concepts – Be Clear, Be Honest, Be Realistic and Be Committed.

Let’s do this together! This weeks focus is Be Realistic.

Be Realistic: Having mapped out my priorities and the benefits of taking this action, I then think through what a realistic timeline and approach would be to achieve this desired outcome.  Depending on the size and scale of my resolution, I need to be thoughtful about what additional time, resources and support I’ll need when challenges arise in order to make a realistic plan for it to truly happen.  I believe it’s often this aspect of being realistic about what it will take in time, resources or support that doesn’t get enough attention from people when they first make their resolution so it is the common culprit of unraveling a resolution.

In 2012 to examine my lack of confidence and consciously build more confidence as a business owner, I will likely need a few coaching sessions to get to the bottom of what’s blocking me and decide what actions will help me build my confidence back up again. I could also benefit from connecting with other entrepreneurs to ask questions and get support for facing my fears and challenges. With the help of my coach and fellow entrepreneurs, I’ll gain access to more resources that will support my emotions, point me in the direction of more information on finance, accounting and marketing and next steps for my professional development.  Hmm, this will be quite a journey so I plan to give myself 12 months to attain this new level of confidence.  Therefore the step-by-step timeline looks like this:

  • January – February: Weekly coaching sessions to explore lack of confidence and design confidence building exercises.
  • Each month: 1-2 dates with my entrepreneurial network to ask for additional ideas, support and encouragement to give me a boost, help me feel connected and access more information on how they manage their finance, accounting and marketing.
  • Each month: Research and try one new activity to extend my professional growth plan and visibility.
    • An example that comes to mind for January is to partner up with another coach to co-lead an area coach association meeting and get feedback from the group and fellow coach on what I did well and what I could improve upon as a presenter.

What’s a realistic timeline for you to achieve what you want? What resources and support will you likely need to help you get there?  Create a timeline to reference so you have a step by step structure to follow, which makes this larger goal seems far more achievable because you can see that giving yourself time to do one thing at a time can get you where you want to go.

Coming up next: ’Be Honest’.

Here’s wishing you all your best year yet!
Samia Kornweibel
Certified Professional Coach
LifeLens Coaching

This blog series also appeared in full at the Girl Power Hour Website, where I am honored to be a guest blogger.

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Creating Successful Resolutions: ‘Be Honest’

In my last blog, Be Clear, we covered one of four concepts to help you steer clear of common pitfalls in creating successful resolutions. I’m sharing a method which has been successful for me. It’s built on four ‘Be’ concepts – Be Clear, Be Honest, Be Realistic and Be Committed.

Let’s do this together! This weeks focus is Be Honest.

Be Honest: As I gain the clarity of what I’ve learned and what’s next, I think through what’s honestly important to me and why it benefits my life to pursue this next level of action.

As I thought about my business, I realized my priorities were to:

1) Continue attracting more great clients so I’m even more financially viable.

2) Learn more about the finance, accounting and marketing aspects of business.

3) Be more visible in the market to open up new opportunities for professional growth.

Now WHY does it benefit me to work on my confidence?  By taking action to examine what’s blocking my confidence as a business owner and choosing activities that build my confidence in new ways I can see how it benefits all my priorities:

1) I will be able to attract new clients with ease because confidence helps sell my services.

2) Learning more finance, accounting and marketing will help me be more proactive about how I’m investing in and running my business, which gives me confidence that my business will not only survive, but thrive in this next year.

3) I will be able to build new streams of revenue like workshops and speaking engagements while I take my professional development to the next level because confidence will inspire new ideas and encourage me to get out there and get noticed.

What’s truly important to you this year?  How does your clarity statement above connect with your priorities? Why does it benefit you to take action with your statement?

Coming up next: ’Be Honest’.

Here’s wishing you all your best year yet!
Samia Kornweibel
Certified Professional Coach
LifeLens Coaching

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Creating Successful Resolutions: ‘Be Clear’

We all know the tradition of creating New Year’s Resolutions and that frighteningly common phenomenon of watching them fade, fall apart or fizzle well before the desired outcome is achieved.  So what starts out as a fun, inspiring activity to help us express how we’d like to create more joy, action, health and well-being in the New Year quickly becomes a disappointing, failed attempt. It often leaves us feeling down on ourselves, unmotivated and wanting to slink back into familiar habits that don’t lead us into inspiring new directions for our life or career, but it feels safer this way.  Hence, many people have decided not to partake in the tradition any longer and I was one of them for awhile…until three years ago when I decided to examine tweaking my resolution-creating process to see if I could experience a different, more successful result.

After all, there is something tempting about crafting a personal statement that focuses on what we wish to create for ourselves to benefit our lives, reinvigorate our energy and refresh our outlook, right?  It gives us hope, direction, a purpose and something interesting to pursue.  So for anyone who’s been disappointed, disenchanted or disengaged by a negative experience with a New Year’s Resolution, I invite you to try a four step process I’ve used to keep the inspiring essence of resolutions intact and steer clear of common pitfalls that lead to failure, disappointment and getting stuck in the same old groove. My method is built on four ‘Be’ concepts – Be Clear, Be Honest, Be Realistic and Be Committed.

Let’s do this together! This weeks focus is Be Clear.

Be Clear: In my experience successful resolutions begin with being very clear about what I want to experience, achieve, learn or become in the next 12 months.  So I start with a reflection on what I’ve learned this past year and what I want to learn next to keep building on that foundation for continued growth.  This approach helps me take the next natural step based on my current learning curve versus getting distracted by numerous creative ideas that bubble up due to my enthusiastic approach to trying new things.  For my 2012 resolution, I spent time journaling in December about what I’d learned in 2011.  From that reflection I discovered I still wasn’t feeling completely confident about how I was going to keep building my business.  So clearly my next step would be to create a resolution around understanding my lack of confidence and then building more confidence as a business owner so I could keep building a successful and fun business in 2012.

Now, what did YOU learn last year and what’s your next natural step?  What is a clear and simple statement that reflects what you want to do next?

Coming up next: ‘Be Honest’.

Here’s wishing you all your best year yet!
Samia Kornweibel
Certified Professional Coach
LifeLens Coaching

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Holiday Hope for the Job Seeker

Here we are in the second week of December, can you believe it?!  I can’t because it seems   like just yesterday we were preparing for Thanksgiving and now the holiday season is in full swing!  So as we all continue to prepare for our holiday celebrations and wrapping up 2011, I wanted to offer helpful tips to any of you who are job-seekers wishing for a new job for the holidays.  Guess what?!?  It’s not too late to still make an impact on your search as employers are eager to connect with talented people like yourself to fill their positions before the New Year. So given that you are not alone in your motivation to maximize these final weeks of 2011, how can you take advantage of the time?

Take a peek at this recent article called “Why the Holidays are the Best Time to Job Hunt,” with insights from career coach and author, Ford R. Myers to see what strikes you as a fun and actionable next step for your search to get noticed and hired before its time to ring in 2012!

“Why the Holidays are the Best Time to Job Hunt”

Think the holidays are time for kicking back and relaxing? Not if you’re looking for a job. In spite of what you may think, the holidays are a great time to look for a job, according to Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).

In fact, while the rest of the job-hunters are taking the holidays off to celebrate and recreate, you could be gaining a competitive advantage by putting your job search into high, holiday gear.

“Many job-seekers don’t realize how important it is to perform a search during these months,” Myers said. “There is little to no competition. Companies are completing their budget planning for the next fiscal year, so it’s a great time to get in front of hiring managers.  And, many executives have to fill openings early in the year or they may lose the budget for that position.”

“There really couldn’t be a better time than November or December for a job search. Those in the position to hire are ‘out of their normal environment’ and more willing to talk about work in a more relaxed setting,” said Myers.

Myers offers the following tips to help job-seekers make the most of the holiday job hunting season.

Get out and network

There are many social and community networking events in November and December, including charity fundraisers and holiday events. Most professional associations have a party for their December meetings, and those parties have a different spirit than the more formal presentations offered throughout the rest of the year.

“Do not bring a resume to these events,” Myers cautioned. “Rather, create a simple, tasteful business card with your name, phone number and email address to give to people. A business card will leave a better impression than a resume at these events, which are more social in nature at this time of year.”


There are many volunteer opportunities around the holidays. This is a good way to help other people, to feel good when you need a boost, to have a renewed sense of purpose during your search and to meet other professionals.

Call people

“I have a colleague who was starting a business who used the day after Thanksgiving to make both follow-up calls and cold calls,” Myers said. “She found that whoever was at work that day was not only available for a conversation, but was grateful to speak to someone.” Even if many people are away for the holidays, those who are at work may have more time to speak with you.

Send holiday cards

This is the time to send cards to everyone on your list, including search firms, human resource executives and hiring managers with whom you have spoken or met over the past year. Whether you choose to send paper cards or electronic cards, don’t let these people forget you.

“When choosing a holiday card, pick a seasonal, nondenominational theme that works well with people of all religions. If you’re using paper cards, put a return address on the card so the person can reach you. Don’t write about your job search in the card. And, mail the cards early in December so yours will be received in time for people to invite you to their holiday get-togethers,” added Myers.

Work the holiday

Pursue a temporary, part-time, or contract position. Volunteer or provide pro bono work. These tactics are especially useful during the holidays, because there are so many short-term opportunities available. “It’s a great way to earn some extra money, make new contacts, feel productive, and “get your foot in the door,” Myers said.

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Giving Thanks!

In honor of this month’s holiday of Thanksgiving, I want to share a recent experience I am thankful for and what it’s taught me in the hopes that it inspires you to share what you are grateful for too. Let’s take a moment out of our busy lives to connect on what gives us the gift of true appreciation.  This act of ‘stopping’ to articulate our gratitude opens up a space to feel more alive, gain a fresh perspective and to honor ourselves and/or others for helping us not take things for granted.

I am grateful for my life and my health.  I always have been, but this year the gratitude runs deeper because I survived a life threatening health situation just three months ago.  I experienced fear as my body was wracked with severe pain for a very long seven weeks.  I felt relief upon learning the diagnosis as my pain was explained and nervousness as I embarked on the treatment plan.  I found a gentle, other-worldly space to drift in as I stepped away from demanding projects and running my business to focus on recovering. I encountered a resilience and inner strength that kept me alive and proactive when the treatments failed and I was rushed into an emergency surgery.  I discovered a profound stillness, startling clarity and immense joy in prayer and small, daily rituals re-confirming that I was indeed still alive…and dedicated to my healing process.  I saw everything around me and inside of me with such a deep awareness of grace that I was often brought to tears.  Like when my husband lovingly tucked me in bed post-surgery when my surgical scars and pain made it difficult to move. Or when, after driving through the night from Montana to be by my side, my mom cooked me breakfast and stayed for nearly 2 weeks to help me physically and emotionally recover.  And when I acknowledge that it was my inner knowing and my ability to rally the help I needed that saved my life.  This wisdom, this clarity and this chance to not take anyone or anything for granted is the gift I will carry with me for the rest of my life…what a blessing!

In reflection on my lessons, I learned to slow down my whirlwind lifestyle to truly listen to my body so I could get the medical care I needed to heal and make a full recovery.  I also learned how life can change in an instant and by staying conscious to what is happening under the surface I stayed centered, communicated my need for assistance and appreciated how fortunate I was to have such a loving husband, family, friends and health care community ready to care for me and support my recovery.  This was an awakening of what’s truly important and the awesome beauty of my life!  For this profoundly transformational experience and the daily gift of being alive, I give thanks!

What are you grateful for?   What do you learn from reflecting on what you appreciate?  Who does your heart go out to in thanks-giving?  How will you share and express this gratitude with others?

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!

Samia Kornweibel
Certified Professional Coach
LifeLens Coaching

This blog also appeared in full at the Girl Power Hour Website, where I am honored to be a guest blogger.

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An Invitation for Reflection

October is a great time of year to check in on your career/business goals and work satisfaction as the season has shifted from summer’s external adventures to autumn’s internal reflections.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to take a deep breath and connect with how you are really feeling about about your work in the world.  You now have 9 months perspective under your belt from 2011.  What have you learned? What have you accomplished? What remains incomplete? There’s still time to make it happen before the holiday flurry begins.  So whether you have your own business or you’re building your career within an organization, I invite you to do a quick check-in exercise to guide your reflection process and help you create a career trajectory plan to finish your 2011 strong and sail into 2012 with clarity and confidence.

  • How passionate and engaged are you in your current work? (scale of 1-10; 10 being really passionate & engaged)
  • What aspects of your work are going really well and why?
  • What is not going well and why?
  • What’s one change you want to make in the next 2 weeks to increase your energy and finish October on a high note?
  • What are 2-3 things you can do by the end of the year to increase your passion and/or engagement?
  • What timeline will you dedicate yourself to in order to accomplish these 2- 3 things before December 31, 2011?
  • What resources and support will help you be successful with these activities?
  • Who will hold you accountable and help you stay on track?
  • How will you celebrate achieving these 2-3 things?

Now step back and reflect on how achieving these 2-3 things to finish out the year can open up more space for you to excel in 2012.

  • What’s your next learning edge or goal in 2012 to move your business or career to the next level?
  • What resources or support will you need to activate and maintain this next growth spurt?
  • What will you do to engage these resources and support to be proactive with your plan?
  • How does this new learning or goal connect with your long term business or career goal?

To be successful in achieving your short-, mid- or long-term goals you’ll need three things:

1) An articulate map of your goals or ideas for growth.

By ‘articulate’ I mean you are as descriptive as possible – name the goal or idea, outline its meaning and importance    to you, how you want to take action, then set up a timeline to track and maintain your steady progress. Be realistic with what you set out to do and then challenge yourself to take 1-2 things to a bigger or higher level to stretch your possibilities    as there’s a good  chance you could surprise yourself!

2) An understanding of how these goals are related to your overarching career/business goal.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind helps us when we get distracted or discouraged – it reminds us what we’re striving  for!  It also shows us the interconnectedness between our current actions and decisions with our future outcomes.

3) A support system to encourage, inform and hold you accountable for doing what you set out to do.

Any time you set out to change things up it’s important to have support to stay motivated, address the questions and challenges that inevitably come up, make progress and celebrate your successes.  Surround yourself with people who support your growth and can relate to what you are aiming to accomplish.  Share the highlights of your plan with 1- 2 people you trust and who will be positive influences in your process by checking in with you regularly regarding your progress and who can offer advice if you get stuck.

Let me know if you have questions and I invite you to share your ideas, feedback and progress with me by posting a comment.  Here’s to your success!

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