Retreat to Advance with Honor, Ease and Bliss

Mountain Rainbow

My theme for 2011 is… the year of Honor, Ease and Bliss. I’m writing from Sun Mountain Lodge.  So far so good! Here’s where I’m going with these 3 attributes for 2011:

Honor: Honoring my Self as in honoring the great Divine energy that dwells within me, others and everything. This means treating my physical self, as the container of this Divine light, worthy of respect and love. Am I leading in a way that honors the people, places and things that surround me? Am I honoring them? Are we honoring each other? It’s a great word, honor.

Ease: Approaching everything with ease. Being a student of ease in the midst of activity. Breathing easy. Yes, even in business, EASE is the watchword.

Bliss: Great joy, perfect happiness. A state of spiritual blessedness. Bliss as in “follow your bliss” or “Blissed out.” I have a hunch that bliss will have me show up as a turned on leader who draws from a wellspring of vibrant energy and enthusiasm. Bliss as in genuinely existing, for the most part, in a heart flowing with love

So, these are my 3 words. It’s only been 2 weeks and I stand amazed. Just last night, after a perfect day of skiing, I watched the moon rise over the mountains while lying in bed by a roaring fire, looking out over a snow covered valley…in an exquisitely beautiful lodge room wrapped in a soft cashmere shawl…eating chocolate. (That’s the truth, I swear.) Although the quest has been challenging at times and it’s already required great discipline…it is reaping splendid rewards.

What are your 3 attributes of 2011? Don’t miss out on the synchronicity and growth that leading from this clarity will bring.

Click here to register for: “An Opening to 2011” Reflection & Intention Sessions and Download the FREE “An Opening to 2011” Worksheet. Registration closes Jan 31 so now is the time.

Retreat to Transform

Photo Courtesy of Mai Vu


A friend was speaking to me about the difference between Transformational and Incremental Change last night.
Incremental Change is the step by step achievement of a goal.  Transformational Change is the inner transformation in our mind, body, spirit and heart that fashions us into one who can naturally and easily fulfill our goals and purpose.  When I heard this distinction, I realized that I am an agent of Transformational Change, utterly devoted to the mastery of this process within myself and others. 

While Transformational Change is facilitated mightily by private coaching, retreat and reflection are also essential elements.  I have learned that Transformational Change is readily available in the grace drenched splendor of nature, in beautiful physical surroundings away from the day to day, in sacred silent circles of individuals who are asking similar questions. 

Oh, and it really does help to have: 

  • fresh, delicious nourishing food ready and waiting,
  • yoga that will get you present to your body’s wisdom,
  • a bit of irrepressible laughter and
  • a soft pillow to lay your head on at the end of the day.

Hint, Hint…time to retreat my friend!  Will you book some retreat time on your calendar today?  Oh, all right, you can still register for the Sept 25 Retreat to Advance day here.  Registration closes on Sept 11. 

Retreat, Assimilate & then…Advance

Jeaneen on log strewn beach

Assimilate.  Sounds like a word from a science fiction movie doesn’t it?  As in…YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!   It actually means to absorb into the system or to take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend. 

In order to live Consciously (i.e. avoid overwhelm) it’s important to include assimilation time in our schedules.  Especially after we have taken in something new and transformative.  Without assimilation we risk having all our attainments scattered around like the logs on the beach in the photo above. 

If you are attending the Sept 25, Retreat to Advance Day,  notice that I have added an overnight option at the conclusion of the day.  Why, you might ask?  To assimilate.  To take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend the retreat experience for the sake of sustaining its impact. 

Assimilation can look like quiet meditation, a walk or journaling.  In this retreat,  I’ve labeled it ” Music, Stories & Laughter“…time to spend with other participants unpacking  learning’s and celebrating new patterns. 

This week,  try scheduling bits of  assimilation time as you transition from one activity to the next and simply notice the wisdom it brings to your journey.

Advancing with Patience and Faith

S'Marie and Jeaneen at Vasjeshwari

For many years I have gone on Spiritual Retreat during the month of August.   The photo above, taken at a sacred pilgrimage site in India with my roommate, coach and poet S’Marie Young, captures the radiant inner light that being on retreat unfailingly brings.  This year, August is quite different.  It’s a time of vigorous business advance and fierce (yes, I used the word fierce) commitment to stepping up to offer the wisdom I have nurtured.  August is filled with timelines and action items. 

How do we bring the energy and lessons of retreat into a time of advance?  One answer is cultivating the virtue of Patience.  Patience with ourselves as we engage full out.   Patience with outcomes and goals.  Patience with emergence of creative insight.  Patience as we allow things to unfold in a more magnificent way than we are able to foresee and faith that this will indeed happen.  Deep faith that there is enough time.  The physical embodiment of Patience requires breathing deeply and allowing  time to become comfortable before proceeding with any action. 

That is the essence of the Retreat to Advance stamp imagery below.  Performing the actions that make us available for the sunrise, patiently waiting with full faith and then, when it does rise, drinking in its beauty. 

Sparking Boldness

My new bracelet with designer Kathy Sparkman

I met Kathy Sparkman the day she was done doing things the way she had always done them.  That day she became a private coaching client and stepped boldly and courageously forward.   Kathy now creates jewelry that inspires fresh energy and confident presence.  I’m stepping into a bolder vision  and Kathy designed a new bracelet to remind me of who I need to be to get where I’m going.  It looks nothing like what I’ve worn in the past.  I do believe that is the essence of boldness!  My question for you is   How will you boldly step forward and claim your vision?   For a limited time,  I’m offering Summer private mini retreats .  Is today your day to remove your golden hand cuffs (that chain you to the way things are) and put on a new bold and beautiful bracelet?

Advancing Successfully

I recently saw Malcolm Galdwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and his latest, Outliers-The story of Success.  Here’s what I gleaned from hearing him and reading his fascinating new book.

First a little context: The theme of Outliers is: What makes Successful people successful?  (Hint:  It’s not simply intelligence and ambition.) 

 Here’s what Malcolm said about his new book:

“My wish with Outliers is that it makes us understand how much of a group project success is. When outliers become outliers it is not just because of their own efforts. It’s because of the contributions of lots of different people and lots of different circumstances— and that means that we, as a society, have more control about who succeeds—and how many of us succeed—than we think. That’s an amazingly hopeful and uplifting idea.”

Here are three of the theme’s in Outliers that I found compelling:

1.  Meaningful work must have 3 elements:  autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward.    In the end it’s not the amount of money we make that makes us happy.  Hard work is only a prison sentence if it doesn’t have meaning, which as a coach, I often refer to as fulfillment. 

2.  Extraordinary Achievement is less about talent than it is about opportunity.  For achievement to happen, it is beneficial to diagnose what opportunities are naturally occurring that we can take advantage of.  It’s not enough to have talent; it has to be matched to opportunity.  These opportunities are often random in that they relate to timing….like the year or month we were born.  They also are a product of our legacy..The culture from which we come from and how it shapes how we communicate, think or learn.

3.   Mastery:  10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert—in anything.  That boils down to practicing 4 hours a day for 10 years.  To master anything it better be something that you love and something you are willing to commit to practicing 10,000 hours.  To me this resonates with the idea of committing to focusing on strengths, niche and passion.  Zeroing in on those things we can spend enough time on to master….or the things we have been practicing long enough to achieve mastery.  Now that I’ve been a coach for 8 years, I resonate with this in that I notice the power of hours and hours of practice.

Ok, thanks for reading my book report.  Let me know your ideas and impressions.

Retreat to Advance Spring 2009
Retreat to Advance Spring 2009

The Retreat is the pause in between

Beyond Balance

Today I am retreating by focusing on the still space in between vs. where I usually focus…the intense pursuit of shapes, thoughts, actions and words.  I yearn to access the Heart that resides in this quiet space and it’s all a big HUGE mystery.    I know that all the good stuff lies in between.  All the peace is in the pause.  All the joy, compassion, wisdom and creativity arises in the transition zone.   I want to integrate this remembrance throughout my day AND it’s a bit elusive.  If there are no thoughts in the pause, how do I recognize I’m in it?  

In my leadership, I’m learning that if I focus on attending to the space, (the feeling or energy that surrounds us) the particles (actions) flow more easily.  In my speech, if I pause, breathe and wait…the words I speak arise from a deeper place.  The thoughts and emotions will always be there. I’m not trying to eliminate them to get to the space.  I’m just lightly, secretly shifting my attention to the pause in between.    

Here’s to slowing it all down and entering into the power of the pause!   Here’s to remembering to celebrate the completion points!  Here’s to taking the time we need to acknowledge, honor and grieve our losses.   Perhaps this is why daily meditation is so essential.  It gets us good at entering the pause.  What’s your tip?  Is this one of those secret mysteries we’re not supposed to be talking about?