Retirement is a Journey

Retirement is a Journey

I’ve been retired for 6 ½ years. From the first day that I didn’t have an office to go to, to today, a lot has changed in my life and a lot has changed in me. Looking back, I wish I had kept a journal of my retirement days. I was not much of a writer back then, so no record. Writing is one of those changes.

I was having a difficult time accepting certain things at work, so the decision to retire was not that difficult. I also had concrete plans for the next few months so I didn’t feel the “what now” phase until much, much later. I was very, very lucky and grateful that I was able to get away from a source of stress and frustration and embrace a much more peaceful place where I would get to hangout with my granddaughter.

This more peaceful place was Chicago, Illinois, a four-hour drive from my home in Muncie, Indiana. This meant packing up a home I had lived in for 24 years and moving. It meant selling the home where my kids grew up. It meant saying good-bye to the city I called home for 28 years to my; to the campus where I had offices in seven different building throughout my career; to the colleagues with whom I had worked for 28 years and to my dear friends with whom I had shared countless meals, drinks, stories…

Retirement is more than stopping going to work. It is a major life change. In this section of my blog, I want to share with you my experiences in retirement. It will, hopefully, help ease your apprehensions (if you have any) about retirement and let you know that you are not alone.

Self Love

Self Love

Today’s theme seems to be love.

This morning, I met my sweetie for a walk around his neighborhood. I love early morning walks for many reasons. Being out in the cooler weather, beating Chicago rush hour traffic, getting my 10,000 steps in are just some of those reasons. After my walk, my meditation centered around love as well. Specifically, the centering thought of the Chopra meditation I followed was “The source of love is here in me.”

Many of us look to other people and things to find love in our lives, while we ignore ourselves in the process. Self love seems indulgent or undeserved. I know this first hand. But, I also know that I have much more love to give now that I practice self love regularly. Call it “filling your own cup” or “putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others” or some other metaphor…

I struggled with self love for many years. Honestly, I didn’t even know I was struggling with it. I didn’t even know that it was a thing. I did, however, recognize that there was something missing in my life and I couldn’t find it in my relationships with others.

This lack manifested itself as a warped body image, as intense self criticism, as shame, and as a whole bunch of other negative stuff. I was just too busy doing stuff, living, to take the time to investigate what it was that I was missing.

One day, my coach asked me how I could practice self love. I allowed myself to think about it and came up with a silly little practice of winking at myself in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. At first it felt weird, of course. But, I forced myself to do it every day and kept it as my little secret. Over time, I started seeing a different, a happier person in the mirror. Because it made such a difference in my life, I started sharing this practice with my friends. I was overwhelmed with the positive feedback I received from those who took on the same practice. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who needed it. Who knew?

What is self love to you and how, if at all, do you practice it?

Be The Cause of Your Success

Be The Cause of Your Success

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts” Buddha

“Our life is what our thoughts make it” Marcus Aurelius

“Change your thoughts, change your life” Wayne W. Dyer

From East to West, from thousands of years ago to today, sages tell us that our thoughts become our words, and our words turn into our deeds. Isn’t it imperative then that we notice what we are thinking? Are we giving more mind space to our limiting beliefs and thoughts or are we exploring different possibilities? Our limiting thoughts cause us to live in perpetual victim-hood with dis-empowered choices. In order to be the cause of our own success, we need to cultivate a responsibility mindset; an empowered choice mindset.

So, how do we go about doing all that? Simply by noticing our thoughts, and changing them if they don’t serve our higher self! The next time you find yourself being carried away in your thoughts, stop and notice whether these thoughts are based on limits and judgments or if they are based on possibilities. If you’d like, use a little chart to plot what you notice so that you have evidence of your thought patterns.

ROI of Coaching

ROI of Coaching

For those of us who value the bottom line and love quantitative analyses, let me offer a formula:

ROI of coaching= (Benefits of coaching-Cost to hire a coach)*100 / Cost to hire a coach

What are the benefits of coaching?

Self realization
Looking to the future with clarity
Living a more fulfilling life
Having an accountability buddy for your goals
Speed and power with which to achieve your goals
Bouncing ideas of possibilities
What other benefits can you think of?



My cousin is a better cook than I. My friend Elizabeth is thinner than I. My brother is smarter than I. My daughter is a better driver than I…

The list goes on and on!

Somehow, we get conditioned into comparing ourselves to others through the media, our parents, our culture. (Have you been keeping up with the Jones’?) It’s a wonder we do not end up in fetal position unable to lift a finger, at least on the outside.

As a coach, I’m more interested in what this fetal position looks like on the inside though.

Does “My cousin is a better cook” turn into “I’m not a good cook” and as a result I eat out every meal and go broke, and possibly unhealthy?

Does “My daughter is a better driver” turn into “I’m a lousy driver” and I end up taking public transit or a cab everywhere, or totally opt out of going places?

Where does this end?

Attaching a meaning to the results of the comparison is what gets us.

When I compare my cooking skills to my cousin’s and realize she is better, I have the following options:

I can ask her to teach me how to be a better cook
I can ask her for recommendations on recipes to practice
I can look for cooking classes to strengthen my skills
I can go into a negative space in my head and determine that I’m a lousy cook. Not only that but I’m also fat and a terrible driver. I am a lousy person!

As Teddy Roosevelt suggested, comparison can be the thief of joy, if I make the result of this comparison mean something about me.

Without that attached meaning, comparison may actually turn out to be a good thing because it may create an opportunity to learn and grow.