Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Am I Over Reacting Over Oprah?

Okay, in case the content of my past blogs hasn't tipped you off, I am an Oprah watcher.  I watch almost no live TV, but record Oprah daily and watch the recordings when the little ones are asleep and my husband is otherwise occupied. I'm not a crazy die-hard fan, but I enjoy the show, and have since I was a little girl.

If you haven't already heard, this is Oprah's last season.  After 25 years on the Oprah Show, she is moving on and forming her own network (OWN). I know that it is just a TV show, and that my life will surely go on. And yet...  And yet I find myself increasingly sentimental and sad about the show ending. I'll miss my time with Oprah.  She has a way of uplifting, inspiring, and connecting that I so admire and appreciate.  I aspire to be like her in so many ways, and feel more than a little let down that my daily dose of Oprah perspective will be taken away.

Well, I suppose I am over-reacting just a bit... and yet I know that I am not alone. Literally millions of men and women around the globe are feeling what I am.  I will savor these last few episodes, and mourn the end of an era once they are all done.  I know that I will shed a tear or several, as I have done hundreds of times watching the show.  

So, there you have it.  The Oprah Show is ending, and I am way more affected by it than I thought I would be. Am I over-reacting?  My husband will undoubtedly say "yes," despite the fact that he is still mourning the end of the Laker's season..  Maybe I am.  nonetheless, I am affected.  Oprah has had an impact on my life.  I am grateful for that. She is a piece of our culture, and part of my experience of growing into adulthood.I owe more than a little bit of who I have become to what I learned watching Oprah. 

Farewell Oprah Show.  I'll miss ya!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Know Thyself

As many of you know, I am currently running a group for recent college graduates who want to get clearer about their purpose, and feel confident about the next step on their path.  I am so inspired (already) by their incredible potential, and am honored to help them to reach it.

One of the common themes in this group is, "I know what I'm good at, but I don't know what I love."  As I was pondering how to address this, I came across a great blog post by Angela Charles.  She is currently doing a series on relationships, and this article, entitled Don't Lose Yourself really speaks to the importance of knowing what you love as a means to better know who you are. After you read Angela's article, take a minute to get reacquainted wit the things you love.  Make a list.  If you can't think of anything from your current set of circumstances, write down what you loved as a child.  Just taking the time to make a list will help to move you closer to your true purpose. Enjoy:

Don't Lose Yourself

By Angela Charles

So often we throw ourselves in to our relationships only to find that when they end, it’s like WE have ended too! “Who am I without (insert ex’s name)?” You are still YOU! With out without him/her!

This applies to marriage too. It’s a fine line. On the one hand you want to give it your “all” (this does not mean sell yourself like a slave to your spouse - it does mean be ”all in” emotionally though). On the other hand, you still need to have boundaries and interests outside the marriage.

As mentioned previously in the series (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3), guys and girls are just different! (Can I get an amen?)! We have different needs and it is crucial to continuing getting our needs met in the best way possible, despite being madly in love.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately… My brilliant hubby is in law school at Duke. Right now he’s in the middle of finals, before that he was in the middle of moot court competition and after finals he’ll be involved in the big writing competition on campus. It never ends! We just moved out to North Carolina in August and have been pretty dependent on each other for a while now as we’re just getting to know our new community here. But now with school in full swing, he constantly has stuff going on (and he’s actually the introverted one between us)! I am craving contact with people! So here’s my other dilemma: I met some fabulous girlfriends from the law school who I would love to hang out with while my husband is busy… but the problem is, they are all busy with the exact same things! It’s a pickle.

So it’s gotten me thinking… I need to reacquaint myself with… myself! I actually do have hobbies and interests outside of just hanging out with him (although that’s my favorite extra curricular activity)! My husband’s crazy schedule would never have hit me as hard as it has, if I had more of my own stuff going on!

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to turn over a new leaf and remember all of the things I love doing apart from my husband. I didn’t marry him till I turned 30 for crying out loud, so I had plenty of time to figure out me first! Here is what I am remembering about myself:

* I love to workout! I just feel better when I exercise and now that I have more time, I am trying to work out 3-5 days a week.
* I love to cook. One of my goals for the summer is to perfect a salsa/pico de gallo recipe.
* I love to read. After grad school I could hardly bring myself to pick up a book and read it for fun… I was so over it! But now, some time has passed and I am rediscovering my love of reading.
* I love God, friends and family. While my friends here are busy I can focus on maintaining my relationships from home, skype with the fam and spend quiet times with God.
* I love to volunteer. Recently I have been volunteering some coaching hours and I’d like to add some more volunteering to my schedule as well.

It is CRUCIAL to maintain a sense of self even while in relationship! Remember all the things you love to do, remember your close friends and family and just know… if things ever go downhill with your special someone (either a nasty fight or a even breakup), your friends are gonna be the ones there to comfort you!

For more information on coaching groups or finding your purpose,  please join my mailing list at www.coach-carrie.com

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's Wrong With Being a "Realist"?

"Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity." -Will Smith 

So what's wrong with being a "realist?"  Well, nothing, if you're willing to settle for average.   
Let that sink in for a minute.  If you'd rather not settle for mediocre, you've got to be willing to be unrealistic.  If you want a better than average life, you've got to have a bigger than average vision of what's possible, a stronger than average desire to make it a reality, and a harder than average work ethic.  I know plenty of people with great work ethic and strong desire to live a better than average life.  They work exceptionally hard.  Unfortunately, though, they're working hard at what feels realistic for them.  They're afraid to commit to a strong belief in what's possible.  They're afraid  to believe in a possibility without knowing HOW to get from point A to point B.  But nothing great happens without someone first choosing to believe that it is possible... no matter how improbable. 

Did you know that Will Smith got into MIT, but decided not to go in order to pursue his rap/TV career?   Is this the choice of a realist? People thought he was CRAZY to choose Hollywood over an education that could offer him the hope of a high paying job.  But Will had a strong belief in what was possible for him, coupled with the desire and the work ethic to make it possible. What would his life be like today had he chosen to be a realist?

Believing in what's possible is a choice.  Think about the life you desire for yourself.  Take a minute to breathe in that vision of your dream life and allow it to bring a smile to your face.  Got it?  Now CHOOSE to believe that it is possible for you.  You don't have to know HOW, but choose to believe that this vision you hold for your life is a forgone conclusion. Belief alone is not enough, but it is absolutely essential.

Without belief in what's possible (no matter how improbable), work ethic and desire will only take you to what's "realistic."  And  that's what's wrong with being a realist!

Here's the youtube video that inspired this post.  I hope it helps you to choose something "unrealistic" to believe in for yourself!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

When I Grow Up...

I have a six year old, a four year old, and a six month old.  The older two are often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I love their answers!  Quinn usually says that she wants to be a singer.  Brady wants to be a rock star... and work at Sea World.  I love their answers because they speak to my kids' passions.  They spend most of the evening putting on rock shows (Quinn sings while Brady drums), and reading about whales and other sea creatures. It seems natural to them that they would earn a living doing what they love to do most.

I wanted to be a mom.  I remember answering this way.  I also remember being prodded for more.  The adults who asked wanted me to answer with a profession.  Maybe that is why I struggled so much when I chose to be "just a mom," and while I still have trouble remembering that I am valuable, important and worthy in my Mom role. I also remember feeling completely let down by my higher education when I graduated college still not knowing what it was that I wanted to be.  I had been a 4.0 student my entire life, and there I was, an educated 22 year old without a clue about what to do next.  I wanted to earn a living doing what I loved to do most... but I wasn't really sure what that was anymore.  Ten years later, I rediscovered what I love and found my life's purpose.  I am here to inspire, uplift, and to help free others from their self-imposed prisons. 

What about you?  What did you want to be when you grew up?  Do you remember your childhood answer to that question?  And where are you now?  Does your current life mirror the one you imagined as a child?  Do you know what your life's purpose is? Are you earning a living doing what you love to do most?

I am offering a 5 week intensive for women in their twenties who are in search of their life's purpose.  If this is of interest to you, please email me at carrie@coach-carrie.com.  This will be an "in person" group offered in Thursday nights in Huntington Beach, CA. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feeling Feelings

As I write this, I feel a bit anxious and sad.  I suppose I have felt this way for about two days now.  Yesterday I wanted to cry for no good reason, and today, I had the same feeling of deep, heavy saddness paired with gut twisting anxiety.  Not exactly fun stuff.

The kicker is that things in my life seem to be going really well.  On the surface of my life, there is no good reason to be feeling this way and I am only vaguely aware of where these feelings are coming from.  However, I know that I am wise to pay attention to them, and to allow myself to feel my feelings.  I mean really feel them.  Just sit here and consciously feel my feelings.

Sometimes, allowing a feeling that we'd rather not feel is the best way to release it. Resisting feelings, talking ourselves out of them, or merely pushing them aside and "powering through" is not the solution (although it tends to be my M.O.).  But, what we resist persists. The more we try to ignore, or overcome feelings we'd rather not have, the stronger they get.  Feelings are indicators.  They help us to understand if our current thoughts, words, and actions are in alignment with our values and our purpose.

So here I sit.  I allow my feelings.  I blog.  I journal.  I meditate.  I wait.  I know that clarity will come as I allow myself to explore my feelings without judgment.  Ultimately, I know that listening to my gut (where my anxiety currently resides) and my heart (where the sadness is sitting) are smart choices.  And, while I would rather not feel sad and anxious right now, I know that it's all part of my personal growth and development. There is a lesson here for me to learn... and it may very well be what I regularly tell my clients... "Slow down, and listen". 

My to-do list can wait.  Right now, I choose to honor the needs of my soul and nurture my feelings.  I know they are here to teach me.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


Today is St. Patrick's Day, and as I sit here, I feel pretty darn lucky.  I have three healthy children who continually challenge me to grow into the person I am meant to become.  I have a husband who loves and supports me in my journey, and I live in a country with a "you can dream it, you can do it" culture. Sure, there are days that go by when I forget just how good I have it, but for the most part, I feel fortunate.

Having said that, I don't really believe in luck.  Or, at leas not in "dumb luck," "good luck," or "bad luck."  I believe that, for the most part, we create our own circumstances, and that even "lucky breaks" are the result of years of preparation.  I have a friend who is one of the hardest working people I know.  He is very well off financially, but has gotten to where he is through working hard, saving carefully, risking, failing, taking responsibility, learning, and risking again.  He has spent his entire adulthood learning from life and creating the circumstances that he desires.  That is not to say that he hasn't had his fair share of failures.  He's just the kind of guy who always manages to find the silver lining.  He fails forward. I have an uncle like this too.  He finds a way to turn just about any circumstance into a win-win.  Last year his house burned down, and although it was devastating, it didn't take long for him to find the opportunity. He now has a newly re-built dream home, a few extra dollars in his pocket, and an intensified gratitude for the things in life that really matter.

Both my friend and my uncle share similar mindsets.  They are good, hardworking people who simply refuse to blame anyone else for their circumstances.  They take responsibility and they look for opportunity.  Yet, I've often heard each of  them described as "lucky."  I think that people who are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives tend to see those who do as "lucky".  Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. 

So, what about you?  Do you feel lucky?  Are you focused on what you want?  Or on the lack of it?  Are you preparing for your moment of opportunity?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Email me at carrie@coach-carrie.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prepare, Position, RISK!

I came across this video on Facebook today.  I'd never seen it.  I watched it this morning, and it completely changed my agenda for the day.  It inspired me, and helped me remember to prepare well, put myself in position to achieve my goals, and then... take a risk.

So let's talk about the back story on this video.  Chris Solinsky set the American Record for the 10k and became the first American under 27 minutes in his VERY FIRST professional 10k!  But this did not happen merely because he is extremely talented, or because he was in a world class field (although bot happen to be true).  It happened because he prepared well, put himself in a good position, and then took the big risk! 

This video opens up just moments before Chris' big risk, his leap of faith, if you will.  He was not used to racing such a long distance, and  he was surrounded by some of the best long distance runners in the world.  He had experience in the past of taking the lead a bit too early in the race and losing it down the stretch... but he took the risk anyway.  He felt the moment, and he seized it.  He ignored the voice of doubt and listened to his body and his gut.  Every cell in his body said "go for it" and he did!  The result was a place in American distance running history!

Naturally, he could not have gotten to this moment without a strong belief in himself and his ability, and a LOT of hard work in preparation for a moment just like this.  But how many of us prepare and prepare, but fail to seize the moment to be great?  How many of us let fear keep us "in the pack" ? 

My goal for the day:  Prepare well, and be open to life's opportunities!