November 2008 Vol 1, Issue 5

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 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter


blue bulb
As you read this I will be enjoying the fabulous Island hospitality of Oahu (and yes, maybe a Mai Tai or two).  I am excited to be staying at the Hawaii Five-0 Hotel - you know the one with the famous opening balcony shot of Jack Lord with a wisp of hair in his eyes looking out over Waikiki beach.   click here for some retro nostalgia! 
I will be thick into the excitement of the Sweet Adeline International Competition Nov 5 - 8 in Honolulu and cheering on the choruses and quartets that I have worked with in my role as the "Inner Coach of Barbershop". Check out my new website as I blog from Hawaii
The more I delve into this "inner game" stuff...the more I realize that it applies to our whole life, not just competitive pursuits.  I encourage you to reflect on the external interferences that negatively influence your "inner game" and take some steps to "positive-ize" your life in November!
'Okole maluna!                                  blue bulb 
 Jan Carley ACC
 Certified Executive Coach                                                     
                              and CEO of Creative Coaching Group 604 873-1763    
It struck me recently, as I have been coaching competition-bound a cappella choruses on creating a positive "mental default", that the same principles could be applied to and benefit any person or group.

We generally spend our lives playing the "outer game" - letting our lives and our moods be governed and run by things outside of us - the "externals".  External interferences can affect our internal "Joy Factor" and take us away from who we really are and what we are really on this earth to do and be. 
How can you possibly not be affected by what is happening around you? Am I suggesting that we live in some sort of sheltered and unrealistic "positivity bubble"?
No - ignoring a problem does not make it go away. At best, it reduces it to an even more insidious place in our sub-conscious, leaving us with a vague sense of unease but "nothing we can put our finger on". 

As the Zen Buddhists advise when confronted with "external interference",
"Turn your head to it, nod in its direction and then turn your head and ignore it".
The main point is that you need to first acknowledge something in order to truly be able to "ignore it" or "let it go".
I encourage you to give a collective big NOD to all of the stuff that is currently interfering with your joy and happiness quotient: the economy, money woes, illness, crime, politics, relationship issues, exhaustion, stress...
...and when your head stops 'nodding", try adopting some of the following strategies to add some positivity into your life in November.


  1. Remove yourself from all negative conversations and/or situations as quickly as possible   (when your co-worker starts to whine about the wrongs of the world, do not engage - change the subject, reframe, say something positive, walk away - whiners and complainers will usually shut up if they are not getting you to buy into their complaints).
  2. Notice when you are the one who initiates the negative conversation.  Ask yourself daily "Where's my Focus?  Is it on what I have and what I want, or on what I don't have and don't want?"
  3. Enlist the support of your family and co-workers - tell them that you are trying an experiment for the month of November to keep yourself mentally positive. (Hey, ya never know, it might be contagious!)
  4. Turn off the TV news - definitely do not listen to the news before bedtime - those grim messages you receive right before sleeping will stay with you and amplify through the night. Instead, spend the last few moments before sleep writing a list of what you are grateful for, and what of value happened that day (could be as simple as having a good conversation with a friend, or the sun coming out, or getting a smile from the cute Starbucks barista).
  5. Give yourself structured "obsessing time". Is something really bothering you? Give it a BIG NOD...on purpose.  Plan stuctured time (30 minutes to start) into your day where you MUST obsess about this particular problem.  Set the timer, and don't allow yourself to stop obsessing until the time is up.  The hitch?  Once the time is up, you cannot allow yourself to obsess about it until your structured "obsessing time" on the following day.
  6. Surround yourself with reminders of your fabulous-ness. Fill your home, your office, your car with positive messaging - photos of people you love, of things you love doing, with inspirational quotes. 
  7. Put aside AT LEAST 15 minutes per day for mindful self-care  - do something to SLOW YOUR THINKING MIND (the place where all of your fear or negative thoughts exist) What do you like to do that takes you out of your "thinking mind"?  Consciously ADD in those activities at LEAST once a day.    (eg/ playing an instrument, laughing, meditating, reciting a personal affirmation, gardening, going for a walk on the beach or in the park, doing some gratitude journaling, calling a friend who replenishes your energy, listening to music - you choose!)  
 blue bulb                                   
          "Mai iloko mai" - Hawaiian expression
           translation: "That which is within matters"
SOUL SERIES AT THE SPA - a workshop series for women
wine and chocolate   
WORKSHOP # 2    Wed. Nov. 19   7 - 9:30 pm
Do you ever lie in bed listening to your inner voice berate you as you recap your day?
Does that voice in your head ever talk you out of pursuing potential opportunities?
Has anyone ever said to you: "You are way too hard on yourself"?
Imagine what could happen if you learned how to turn your inner critic, who judges your every move, into a loving and supportive inner "coach" who will encourage you and give you confidence as you face new situations and risks.
Join us for this fun-filled, interactive workshop and discover how to transform your thinking as you learn strategies to quell the inner voice that is standing in the way of your personal and professional success.
You will leave the workshop with:
1/ an awareness of your inner obstacles that create interference
2/ practical skills for addressing your inner critic
3/ strategies to turn your inner voice into your most caring ally for life
4/ quick fix techniques to shut your inner critic up IN THE MOMENT
7 - 7:30 pm Wine and Chocolate Reception
7:30 - 9:30 pm  Workshop 
Workshop Location:  Le Petit Spa, 3701 W. Broadway (at Alma)
Registration Fee: $47
(includes wine and chocolate reception and workshop)
TURNING YOUR INNER CRITIC INTO AN INNER COACH is the second in the SOUL SERIES AT THE SPA - a series of workshops designed "to celebrate and enhance the fabulous in every woman" and presented by Creative Coaching Group and Le Petit Spa (voted one of Vancouver's best day spas for 3 years in a row).  Workshops are facilitated by Internationally credentialed executive coach Jan Carley, and include wine, chocolate and connecting with a bunch of fabulous women in the beautiful atmosphere of Le Petit Spa.