Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nurture Your Soul.. and Go Outside!

Yesterday, I was one with nature! And what a feeling it was.

A few weeks ago some good friends, Bruce and Ellen Fagan asked us to join them for a picnic and some horseback riding in Geneva Florida scheduled for Sat. Oct. 27. They invited another super fun couple and their kids as well, Chad and Christy Crawford. We all planned on meeting up around 1 and having a day in the sun.

Unfortunately for us, the sunny Florida day was more like a typical day in Seattle. It was rainy and cloudy and a bit chilly. Still, we got a bit of riding in after our delicious lunch of Sloppy Joes and fruit salad. Everyone got a turn in the ring with the owner Renee teaching and coaching.

The kids were walked around in a small corral and most everyone got on one docile white horse that didn't t have a lot of "kick". She was tame and sweet and it took everything for the adults to get her to get up to a trot. She was perfect for a first time rider.

(Of course, when I arrived, I had on my “Coyote Ugly” tank shirt, jeans and my cutest cowboy boots. I walked and talked like I was some sort of western wrangler and told Renee, the owner that I had ridden a lot in my life but I still needed some direction. Okay, I have to say, that I FEEL like I’m a cowgirl inside.. I KNOW I love and relate to animals and they mostly love me, and I know that I ADORE being in the wild outdoors more than anything besides being in NYC. But the REALITY is.. is that I’ve been stuck in the “BURBS” for the past 7 years and haven’t explored much of the outdoors besides my own back yard, and a few parks here and there. And, those cute cowboy boots? Well, they’re about 15 years old and look like they’re brand new. So, while I know who I am on the inside, the reality hasn’t fit that picture for many years. But, after yesterday, I’m bound and determined to get back to my true, authentic self, and get back to riding and being comfortable on a feisty horse.)

So, Renee, seeing my ol’ comfortable horsy looking self, she saddled up JACK, a beautiful chestnut horse, with the most beautiful brown eyes. I told Jack that I was just getting comfortable again and to be easy on me, but he decided to test me anyway. I did a few boring circles around the small corral and then took it out to the larger ring. That’s where we did a little trotting, some cantering..and wwwwwhhhhhhhooooooaaa…. Oh my gosh.. some very intense galloping for about 5.2 seconds before I told ol’ Jack to HOE.

Which he did. Whew. I survived that little intense gallop that Jack threw at me to test my will to stay on him while he exploded in a fast gallop underneath me.

Okay, so I was a tad bit nervous, but I also felt the saddle under my legs, and the rain pouring on my wet jeans and water rolling down my face and bare arms and I felt FREE, FREE, FREE. It was the most incredible knowing that I just have to be out with the animals. I love rubbing them down and talking with them and telling them how beautiful they are. I love looking in their eyes and seeing them talk back to me through their eyes and how they respond to me.

Then, I loved seeing my son play in the dirt with the other kids, and climb the fence to pet the horses. He loves the animals too and feels 100% comfortable in their presence. I know that I have to get him out there more, and let him roam around and feel the breeze and the dirt and what it feels like to be one with a horse when you’re riding and you move together as you roam the countryside. Ahhhh.. it’s a beautiful experience.

No wonder I always loved cowboy movies! They’re doing what I want to do!

After we all brought the horses in because of the rain, I set myself up on an old tractor acting like I owned the place. I kicked back and relaxed and looked around the barn and thought, I am at home. I love it here. This is apart of who I am, and a part of me that I want to see more of. I want to nurture that ol’ wild girl in me… the one who wants to go on trail rides and explore the earth up close. This is a part of old Florida, and not one this suburban mommy gets to explore often. It was just incredible and I expect to be there more especially since Renee has tempted me with the thought of some off country trial rides!

Renee’s place is Court Ranch in Geneva Florida, next to Sanford. It’s straight up 17-92, and then East on 46 until Cochran road. Then it’s 1 ½ miles of paved road and 1 ½ miles of a dirt road until you arrive. She boards horses and she has room for 21 horses. She’s got 10 of her own and will board more horses now that she’s sold some. She’ll take couples on romantic trail rides and entertain kids in smaller birthday parties. Her favorite is to host adults who want to get back to nature a bit and just want to be around horses. Ranches like hers always need ranch hands, so helping out is also a fun way to be around the horses.

Boarding a horse is about $500 a month and Renee says that the horses “get fed before she does”. She’s been known to stay up all night taking care of a sick horse, and she treats them just like family. Her stables are beautiful and there are incredible trails available to go out and explore. Renee, who is Kansas born and bred, is a lot of fun and was incredibly patient with each of us, even me.. as we got reacquainted with the horses. She showed me how to take off the bridle and put on the one for the stall. She was great to hang with, and I believe, is sitting on a gold mine. I’d love to share this experience with my friends.

For more information about her ranch and boarding a horse or weekend daily riding fees with Renee, contact her at (407)468-2783 or email her at She’s 560 S. Cochran Road, Geneva, FL, or “God’s country” as I call it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Do One Thing Right

Yesterday I was driving in the car with my 7 year old son. These are the times when we have some of the most interesting conversations. He comes up with such richness that sometimes I am just blown away. Are all kids this smart? Where does he get this stuff? Are kids naturally wired to have wisdom and the world somehow takes it away as they grow older?

Yesterday I was talking with Jeremy and we got onto the topic of success. We discussed how he was “naturally gifted” at several things. I shared with him what I knew about him. I do it to naturally reinforce his strengths, and to show him areas where he needs work. I told him that he is naturally a good builder and a good designer. He’s good with coloring and with drawing and creating things. He’s a great communicator and has a lot of friends, both boys and girls. He’s a really good athlete and can do every sport well such as golf, soccer, swimming, basketball, skateboarding and probably every other sport he’ll try. I told him that he’s really smart in math, and a really good writer and he’s becoming a good reader. He’s a really great cleaner and makes his bed better than I could ever dream of doing. Things like that.

Then I said that he needed work on a few areas. Like when it’s time to finish something, he needs to get better at putting it away immediately and coming back to it later. He needs to work on obeying his mom and dad better when we ask him to do something. And he needs to work on healthy eating again like he used to do.

Then I said that he’s really fortunate that he’s naturally good at things, but what is really important is that when he’s NOT good at something, that he needs to work to try to do better. That might be frustrating and he might want to give up, but that the harder he works, the better he’ll get at it. I told him that being smart is good, but that it doesn’t mean ANYTHING if he’s not able to work hard on things.

And what Jeremy said surprised me. He said.. right mom. It’s important that you work hard, and only on one thing. Because if you work on this and this and this and this and this, than nothing is going to be very good. But if you work on one thing and keep working on it, you’ll make that one thing good and then you can go on to the next thing that you want to work on.

BINGO. He got a huge high five from me.. and although I know that I need to focus on one thing, it’s increasingly hard in these days where there are so many distractions. But out of the mouths of babes!!! He is absolutely right. Pick out a priority and keep working at it until it’s done.

Back to my ONE THING. But this was so special, I had to post it. Hope it is a good reminder to you today as well.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Finding your Purpose will Light you Up

This week I had a coaching client who called me about helping him get direction in his career, and to figure out a strategy to market his business. He just sent his son off to college and was now redirecting his energies from the constant role of father to the role of entrepreneur. This individual has great opportunities as a high level professional, however, every single time he talked about it, it was if the light in his face went out.

In my program, the Intensive Executive Workout, I spend several hours with my client hearing about their career and their vast experience. We identify their strengths and their weaknesses through assessment tests before hand, and set a goal of what we’d like to accomplish. When we talk, I ask questions that open up a lot of discussion around topics that really seem to light up the client. In this particular case, the client had spent many years traveling in a network marketing company as an executive. He was able to deliver speeches all over about the company and loved the aspect of sharing the message of the company.

Constantly, he’d come back to stories about his son or about things he learned about being a father. Throughout the day, we bounced around from professional marketing plans, to public relations to his experience. It was so evident by the end of the day, that the best way for him to increase his business was through speaking. I helped him identify some of his values that were consistent throughout his life of teaching, inspiring, learning, motivating and transformation. We then applied these values to different groups that he could inspire from kids to church to professional. The last idea that I had that came at the very end of the day, was that he’d be a great leader to other fathers, to teach them about how to be a dad.

At that moment, this man’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. He grinned so big and said, “I’m just a dad who loves his son.” His words were so sincere and so beautiful and I could just see him at that moment on stage ready to deliver a message to thousands of people and how they’d love him for his humbleness and his pure and authentic heart. At that moment, I got tears in my eyes and knew, that we were on to something special.

Since our coaching, my client has said that he hasn’t had this much hope in his career for the past many years. He’s excited about the opportunities for what lies ahead. I’m so thrilled that together, we partnered to find a new purpose for his life, and one that lights him up.

What about you, does your purpose get you out of bed early in the morning and ever keep your head buzzing? Do you know that you’d do this even if you couldn’t make money at it, that you know that you have a special gift to share with the world?

My client admitted he could go get a job making great money, but inside he’d be dead. He knew that he was here to do something different but just didn’t know what it was. He’s now on his way. Are you?