What’s Important?

bookends2What’s Important?


Did Lucy Ricardo Stop to Ask?

Remember the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy worked in the candy factory wrapping chocolates? Remember how the conveyor belt shot so many chocolate candies out that Lucy couldn’t keep up and so she popped handfuls of them into her mouth? Even if you’re too young to have seen the original episode or never saw the rerun, can’t you just picture that scene in your mind’s eye?

Well, I remind you of this image not just for a trip down memory lane but to draw a comparison to our busy lives. With To Do lists a mile long, email messages and in-boxes filled to overflowing, we too struggle to keep up. And as we do we can lose sight of what’s important.

We all agree that it’s become more critical than ever for us to be clear and focused on what is important, but how do we do that? Well, it boils down to this: the trick is to take time each morning to set our intentions for the day…our intention around the values we want to embody and our intention around “right actions.” And it’s up to each of us to name our top values and determine what constitutes “right action.”

Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve taken time to clarify your values. Maybe it’s been awhile since you put together or revised your life plan, business plan, or marketing strategy. Maybe you’ve never put them together at all. Why not schedule an appointment with yourself to do so or at least to begin?

The appointment doesn’t have to be formal. It could even be an hour at a coffee shop or a few hours in the garden, where you spend time mulling over and identifying what’s important. Time for you to stop the chocolate conveyor-belt of life and regroup. The plans don’t have to be formal either, if that’s what’s stopping you. Just start somewhere.

I think it’s important to begin and end each day with regroup time. “Bookends” I call it. “Bookends” are comprised of two daily segments. First is a brief time in the morning where you name what is most important for the day—not just the Doing, but the Being. Second is a break before retiring for the night to check in and ask yourself: Was I able to focus on what’s important? What did I do that helped me do so? What got in the way? How can I change that in the future? What will I have to say “Yes” to and what will I have to say “No” to, so that I can keep on track?

Creating lives that reflect our values and top priorities takes “discipline.” I’ve found that this word makes some people shudder. Does it do so for you? If so, be your own coach here. Understand and embrace discipline for the gifts it brings. The roots of this wonderful word are found in the word “disciple.”

So I ask, are you willing to become a disciple of what is important to you? Beyond naming what’s important, are you acting on it? And if not now, then when?

Bookends™ Exercise

Try this: Try my Bookend exercise tomorrow. It only takes 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes before bed.

To prepare, put a pen and pad of paper on your nightstand or elsewhere beside your bed tonight, so it is waiting for you tomorrow morning. Set your alarm so that you awaken 10 minutes before your usual wake-up time.

Upon awakening:

  • Take a moment to sit up, stretch and greet the day. Now think about the attitude or state of Being that you want to bring forward into your day today. Examples: Appreciation, Confidence, Self-Compassion.
  • Write down that state of Being you want to focus on today.
  • Now think about the area of your life and/or business that is of most importance to you right now. Of all the To Do’s that are before you today, which action is going to further your progress in that area or deepen your learning? Example: writing or drafting a business plan.
  • Write that action on your notepad.
  • Take another moment to contemplate how you will integrate the Being and Doing focus that you have listed. Imagine that you are placing that value or state of Being right into your heart and will carry it with you as you take the important action(s) you need to take today.
  • Example of how this could look: Writing a business plan while Being in a state of Self-Compassion could mean I pour myself a cup of tea and sip it while I write the plan, extend self-compassion by not insisting the plan be perfect, and turn off the ringer on my phone so I am not disturbed.

Reminder: It is more important that you remember you can always return to that state of Being throughout the day, than it is that you give yourself a new mandate to try and stay in that state. Being mindful that you have let your focus slip from, say Self-Compassion, you can apply the 4-step centering process I use and teach my clients: Stop, Breathe, Notice, Choose ™ and gently bring yourself back to your desired state of Being as you Do the next important task in your day.

Upon retiring for the day:

  • Write a few sentences about the exercise for the day. How did it go? What worked well? Where were you able to stay in the state of Being you selected and/or return to that state when you veered off the path? What did you learn? What will you do differently if faced with similar circumstances?
  • Extend appreciation to yourself for your commitment to What’s Important.

Once you put this exercise into action, leave a comment and let me know how it went.

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What Can Wellness Coaches Learn From Black Widow Spiders?

black-widow-spiderI had big plans for getting you out a post this week to help you grow your wellness coaching business. Life had other plans it seemed.

My husband was bitten by a black widow spider this week…in more than one place on his ankle. It’s not pretty. It’s not been an easy week. Initially, I struggled against the change in plans. Then I surrendered. Now, my commitment to making the most of what’s presented to me brings me here to the page. So here’s a post after all.

Those of you who’ve read my blog for ages, know that I’m a big fan of using metaphor. Those of you who are new here will see that trend soon enough. Today, I’m using the blessed black widow spider to help you thrive in and grow your business as a Wellness Coach. It’s not a long post, and it’s certainly not complicated. It’s simple really. It’s meant to spark your thinking, to invite you to consider…to stop just for a moment and take stock.

Business Lessons Wellness Coaches Can Learn from Black Widows & Their Bites:

Practices To Emulate:

1.   Be committed to your territory. (Be committed to your brand.)

2.   Be prepared to defend it. (Speak strongly about what you offer.)

3.   Build a web. (Network like crazy.)

4.   Create offspring. (Create products to carry on the business when you’re elsewhere.)

Practices to Adopt & Avoid:

1.   Step out into the world. (Avoid: being a recluse & hiding out.)

2.   Forgive others, forgive yourself, play fair. (Avoid: Resentment, retaliation & biting in general.)

3.   Team up with other Wellness Coaches & form joint ventures. (Avoid: Fear of competition, being overly territorial.)

Additional Business Lessons From Spider Bites:

1.   Sometimes you just can’t plan it all. Surrender. Be flexible and open. Often what’s presented to you turns out better than what you’d planned.

2.   Deal with what’s right in front of you.

3.   Breathe. Just breathe.

4.   You are much more creative and resourceful than you realize. You can trust this.

We’ve been busy looking at ways we’ll put these lessons to work for us here in the WellnessCoach.com community. We’ve got lots to think about and lots we’re excited about doing. (To name a few: Simpler posts now and then, networking more, and building our web:)

How will you put these “lessons from spiders” to work in your business? Let us know!

To Your Wellth,


Wellness Coaches: Time To Form An Entity? The Importance Of Protecting Your Business

protect-your-biz3We’re big fans of doing whatever you can to protect your business. One of the ways you can do this is to form a legal structure or entity. Now before you click off the page, run away, or give in to the voice of well-meaning but uninformed friends and even misinformed professionals who’ve mistakenly said, “Corporate structures and other entities are not for you”, please take a breath and keep reading.

Since going into business for yourself was one of the most important decisions you’ve ever made, and assuming you want your Wellness Coaching Business to be a profitable, growing asset and not just a hobby, then it makes sense you’ll want to protect it.

As business owners ourselves, we know first-hand that having a properly formed corporation (or limited-liability company or partnership) is the foundation of a healthy enterprise. We’ve seen our business grow and thrive because we took the time to protect it. We hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Here in the U.S., an entity will help your business take advantage of the government’s intention to support entrepreneurship. Without such a structure, you’ll pay more in taxes and expose your well-earned assets to the IRS, to creditor attacks, and frankly anybody who’s adamant about slapping you with a fat and unfounded lawsuit. Most importantly, setting up an entity will help your business do what a business is intended to do – retain more income so that it can further serve its purpose in the world.

You can go to your state government’s website and find the filing papers and instructions for setting up all types of partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies (LLC’s). But before you go that route, we strongly encourage you to get professional advice and help with this vital step in establishing your Wellness Coaching Business. Deciding when to set up an entity, which type of entity to establish given your services and products, which state your entity should be in, and sorting through the paperwork all by yourself can be a recipe for disaster or at the least, a good deal of confusion.

The right advice and direction will save you tons of time, get you going in the right direction, prevent headaches and set a solid foundation for your business. We’ve got great advisors for our business, and we’d like to open our roll-a-dex to you. We’re not saying there aren’t other entity specialists out there, but we’ve been around the block and couldn’t be happier with our advisors.

We use Sage International, Inc.*, located in Reno, Nevada. They’ve been a part of our business life for more than 12 years and know their stuff. They can set up entities in all 50 states (plus Guam, I hear). You can visit their website at http://www.sageintl.com and read about the various advantages and disadvantages of each entity type or visit their store and pick up a copy of their best-selling book Incorporate and Get Rich. And the coolest thing is you can call Sage to schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation at 1-800-254-5779.

Deciding to form your Wellness Coaching Business was a giant step. Now take the next step and call an entity expert. It’s time to protect and assure the wellness of your business.

To Your Wellth,


*We are not affiliates of Sage, Intnl, nor are we paid in any way to promote their business. We simply believe they are the best at what they do and want to share our resources:)

Top Ten Mistakes Wellness Coaches Make When Growing Their Businesses

istock_000001654461xsmall1Growing a strong, healthy Wellness Coaching business is not all that different from growing a strong healthy crop. A good farmer knows to prepare the soil, choose the right seeds, provide the best fertilizer, manage the irrigation, and harvest when it’s time. A good farmer also knows to avoid mistakes that will compromise a good harvest. Do you know the mistakes to avoid as you grow your Wellness Coaching Business?

• Part I: The Top Ten Mistakes

Most of the Wellness Coaches we’ve worked with through the years make one or more of the following mistakes and wonder why they have trouble growing their businesses. Do you need to correct any of these mistakes in your own business? First identify which mistakes you’ve made, then find out how to correct those mistakes in Part II.

1. Failure to define market or niche: This mistake is made by the Wellness Coach who’s trying to be all things to all people and fears choosing a specialty or target market. No target market means no one knows who to send your way.

2. No vision, mission, goals or revenue model: The coach making this error has no direction or business plan and hasn’t defined success in personal terms…there’s been no decision as to whether to grow a business that can run itself when you’re away (a “B” as Robert Kiyosaki describes in his book Cash Flow Quadrant) or to stay as a self-employed solo-preneur (an “S” in the Kiyosaki model).

3. Guilty of the “Lone Ranger” syndrome: In this case, the Wellness Coach tries to do everything without help. There is no team – no bookkeeper, attorney, CPA, assistant, and no business coach. Feel stretched in too many directions wearing too many hats? Yup, that’d be this mistake.

4. No wellness plan for the Wellness Coach: This mistake finds you consistently not walking your talk, overworking, not living in “wellness” as you define it and thinking that you’ll get to it for yourself “someday”. What does this have to do with growing a business? Everything! Watch how long Wellness Coaching (and all) businesses last when owners fail here!

5. Fear and avoid the competition: Wellness Coaches making this mistake stay far away from the competition, wouldn’t consider partnering with others and have no clue how to pursue joint ventures.

6. Failure to leverage content: Wellness Coaches making this error work “hard” not “smart” and keep reinventing the wheel. (i.e. give presentations but fail to record them with audio or visual to “repurpose” later on.) They forget to think continuously about leveraging all content provided to clients.

7. Non-effective website or blog: This mistake includes websites or blogs that are “brochures” only, non-interactive sites, and sites not converting traffic to leads or sales. It also includes the error of simply not having a website or blog at all.

8. No social media presence: Wellness Coaches not visible in the social media world are making a giant mistake. The error includes not having a Twitter, Facebook, and/or Linkedin account and/or having only inactive accounts and not regularly participating.

9. Not providing your market what it wants: Assuming you have targeted a market, this mistake finds Wellness Coaches providing services and products that they want to produce and provide, rather than offering what the market wants. There’s been no market research or interaction, and focus is more on getting clients than it is on giving.

10. Undervalued services and products: This mistake stems from a fundamental lack of belief in what you offer. It includes viewing yourself as a “starving artist”, being afraid to ask for money, fearing clients will jump ship if you ever raise prices and not charging top dollar for your products and services.

Part II: How to Correct the Top Ten Mistakes

Inherent in any error, mistake or oversight is an opportunity waiting to be taken. This premise underlies our belief that it’s a good idea to take a quarterly S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) inventory of your Wellness Coaching Business. Consider any of the 10 mistakes above as a current weakness in your business AND a key to a future opportunity as described below.

Which of the following opportunities await your business right now?

1. Define your market or niche. Identify exactly whom you serve. Describe your ideal client, the top problems they face that you address, what they have tried before that hasn’t worked and any traits and characteristics that you will target. Write out the description, keeping in mind one or two specific people who you would love to have as clients, or who are already clients. (example: stressed-out business men age 40+ who have traded success for their own well-being and now want to create balanced lives.)

2. Get clear on your business strategy. Write an overall business plan. Read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Cash Flow Quadrant and decide which business direction you want to go…a solo-preneur Wellness Coach practice, a Business that can run itself, something in between. Spend time writing your mission, vision, values and goals. Use our FREE planning and action calendar to help guide you in your Wellness Coaching business success.

3. Get a team…now! Even if you choose the self-employed solo-preneur business model and don’t hire other coaches to work for you, you do need a team. Rally your colleagues and get a mastermind group together, making them your Board of Directors. Immediately hire a business coach, preferably one who knows the Wellness Coach business well. Hire a part-time bookkeeper, virtual assistant for a few hours a week, and a CPA to do your taxes. If you think you can’t take this opportunity yet, think again. It is critical to your business success.

4. Draft or revisit your own wellness plan. Change is constant. Priorities change, circumstances change, goals change. Bring your own wellness plan up to date, recommit to what is important. Be sure you walk your talk. This doesn’t mean being the perfect model of perfect wellness. It means being human, embracing the very things you hoipe for your clients and following some form of wellness plan that has meaning to you. Don’t have one? Ahh…what a great opportunity before youJ

5. Form partnerships. Embrace the idea of joint ventures. Step forward to your competitors and form alliances. There is more than enough business for everyone who wants it. Contact another Wellness Coach and brainstorm ways you can partner. (example: do a joint live presentation or teleclass and each take a different aspect of the topic. Each of you invites people. Give discounts on services or products for those attending. Offer something else the two of you provide together.)

6. Leverage your content. Repurpose something you have already produced. Transcribe an audi0-taped talk you gave and turn it into a pdf document you give away for free on your website. Have a friend do a video of your next presentation and put it up on YouTube. Write an article and submit it to an association and also post it on your blog. Pull together your past blog posts into an e-book. Make everything count. Haven’t produced anything to leverage? Hmm…when would now be a good time to start?

7. Update that website or blog. Be sure your website has a client-capturing element…a place where visitors give you a name and email in exchange for a free article or other product. (In the spirit of transparency, this is an opportunity we have missed and will need to address right away!) Hire a great web wizard to help you do this. Update your content, clear out irrelevant links, update your profile, add an audio welcome. Remember the goal of the site is not just to look great – it needs to work for you…it needs to welcome clients, give them many resources and reasons to return, and many reasons for them to tell others about the community you have created. Make your website sing. Make it interactive. Make it effective.

8. Develop a social media presence. We won’t go into the how to’s here. We think the bigger picture and important stuff’s covered in The New Relationship Marketing book by Mari Smith. Read it. Do your homework and take a step. Get a Twitter account. Join Linkedin. Step into the Facebook world. Overwhelmed? Take baby steps. Start small and be consistent. If it’s too much for your plate, hire someone for a few hours to begin the journey for you. Give us a shout and we’ll give you some names of social media rockstars who can help.

9. Give ‘em what they want. Time to do some market research. Start giving those in your market what they want and need, not what you think they should want or assume that they need. Put a poll on your website. Make calls. Engage in conversations and ask questions. Listen more than talk during your next interaction with a potential client. Give free content in exchange for someone taking a short survey. It’s all in the giving…and you need to give away the right stuff.

10. Step up and charge what you’re worth. Are you undercharging for the incredible Wellness Coaching and results you know you deliver? Are you afraid to ask for what you want? Are you trading your time for money but haven’t a clue how to put together an information product? There are wonderful resources out there to help you with all of this. You can work with someone who’s skilled at helping you do the inner work that has you getting in your own way. You can read a book, take a class, take a teleclass or attend a retreat to help you create your first product. Browse the web, check out your favorite on-line or live bookstore or give us a call and we’ll get you referrals for any or all of it. Just take the first step today!

Okay, we’ll stop here so you can get started! Opportunity awaits!

To Your Wellthy Business,


P.S. This post focuses on Furthering the Action of the business side of your business. Next up will be a post featuring advanced tools for your practice itself – to help you grow the inside of your Wellness Coaching business! Be on the lookout:)

Wellness Coaches: What’s YOUR Brand of Overwhelm?

overwhelmed businesswoman

A Head-On Look at Overwhelm

If you follow the trends of “focusing on the positive”, it may seem odd to you that I’m illustrating this post with a photo of a business woman literally hitting her head against the wall and experiencing (what I imagine is) overwhelm. Instead, you might have expected that I’d use a photo of someone in a zen-like state and then hoped I’d go on to tell you how to attract that state. Nope.

Even though I incorporate the Law of Attraction into my work and life, I’m not much for skipping over what’s so and I’m really not much for trends. I’m more about what works and as far as I know, what works is always about first looking squarely in the eye of what’s so. So let’s talk Overwhelm.

What’s So

It’s a new year. You’ve got big plans for your Wellness Coaching business. You’ve printed out my 2011 Wellness Coaches planning calendar, looked through all 16 pages, seen the year’s worth of to do’s and gotten right down to it. You set your 2011 business vision, outlined your Q1 plans, started in on a huge list of marketing calls you’re committed to making, and you’re already juggling client work, writing blog posts and have outlined plans to develop new mp3 downloads.

Chances are, you have a ton of unread email in your in-box, a stack of juicy but unopened mail on your desk you’re dying to get to, and between it all you’re trying to fit in your own fitness routine!

(By the way, how’s your breathing right now? Just checking.)

You want to join a new networking group, spend more time on social media, order products, and sign up as an affiliate of your favorite big cheese. You also plan to hire a virtual assistant so you’ll be more efficient and work less hours. Of course you also have to place ads, read resumes and interview people… Whew!

How’d You Get Here?

Overwhelm. We’ve all been here. Some of us tend to hang around the place longer than others, but even the infrequent visitors know it well.  And while your brand of overwhelm is as unique as your thumbprint, it’s just about as likely as the sun coming up tomorrow that your version of overwhelm contains some element where you’ve lost your focus.

In fact, I’d bet on it. You probably arrived here at Overwhelm by trying to get your arms around the whole enchilada of your Wellness Coaching business all at once. So, slow down. Breathe. Focus in on just this post for now. We have work to do.

What You’ve Tried

When it comes to “Managing Overwhelm,” you’ve likely tried many ways of rearranging the external circumstances in your business and life to get “it” (as if Overwhelm were an entity) under control. Guess what?

You’re not overwhelmed because you need to work harder to manage your current activities. And we know you’re not overwhelmed because you’re slacking in your effort to try to get “Overwhelm” under control. You do plenty of both.

Neither task works because they’ve both got a faulty premise…they both assume that the content and circumstances of your life cause “Overwhelm.” Not so. “Out there” is not where you need to look.

Where the Work Needs to Be

You don’t “manage Overwhelm” by manipulating the external things in your life. Actually, you don’t “manage” Overwhelm at all, and you can’t “catch Overwhelm” from your To Do list. It’s not a virusas my friend, mentor, founder of The Gremlin Taming Institute and author of Taming Your Gremlin®, Rick Carson is fond of saying. Rick also says, Balance and Pleasure are primarily an inside job. This is key, as Balance and Pleasure are the opposite states of Overwhelm as far as I’ve experienced. Balance and Pleasure are the Big Kahuna of life. So let’s look more closely at that “inside job” of yours.

A Trip Inside You

The question is, what is your brand of Overwhelm? What’s involved when you do it? No, I’m not interested in those things outside of you that you consider to cause you Overwhelm. Those things could look the same or absolutely different for each one of us and some of us would or wouldn’t Overwhelm ourselves in response to them. I am interested in what you do on the inside of you. How do you overwhelm you? What do you do to you?

Actually, I’m inviting you to participate right here in one small component of Rick Carson’s powerful Gremlin-Taming® Method. I’ve studied and practiced the full method for years and teach it to my clients. Here, I’m inviting you to do as Rick taught me and Simply Notice.  Yes, I want you to Simply Notice how you Overwhelm you.

The Exercise (To be done when you’re alone and not driving.)

I’d like you to take a break right now and give yourself some time to do this exercise. Get comfortable to start. Turn the phone ringer off, put the cell phone away, and hang a privacy sign on the door. Great.

Let’s begin. Imagine I’m there with you right now.  I want you to Teach me how you Overwhelm yourself. Yes, teach me. Only you know how you do it. And until now, you probably haven’t been aware of how you do it. We’re going to shine a light on the whole mess right here, right now.

Notice every detail of you and your experience of overwhelm one by one. Do so as if you were writing a guidebook on how to create your brand of Overwhelm. Take big time to notice. Get into your best Overwhelm state. What are you doing to you? What are you doing with your neck? Your shoulders? Your jaw? Your eyes? What pray tell is going on in that mind of yours? What messages of exasperation are you chanting over and over again to yourself?

Notice I’m not asking you what the external circumstances are that you’re using as a reason to overwhelm yourself. Nor am I asking you what you think “causes” your overwhelmed state.  I’m asking you how you are overwhelming yourself. Only you do that to you. Exactly how, step by step, do you do this to you?

Go slowly. Play up, highlight, and exaggerate every smidgeon of the routine you go through.  Don’t judge, just Simply Notice.

Stay with it and see what happens.

Need an example?

Okay, I’ll do the same exercise I’m asking you to do, right here. This is risky because you might be tempted to try out my exact method for “Overwhelm.” Please don’t. You have your own way. That’s enough for one lifetime. So read “my way of Overwhelming me” at your own risk. Then be sure to do the exercise for yourself. Meantime, here’s a description of “my brand” of Overwhelm:

My No-Fail Step-by-Step Guide to Overwhelming Myself:

1. First look at every detail on my new 2011 business plan.

2. Now scan my entire To Do list for the week.

2. Be sure to open my eyes really wide. Then wider still.

3. Alternate this with a frown, squinted eyes & a wrinkled brow as I…

4. Dart my eyes around the room from one thing to the next. (Tricky, but heck, I’ve been practicing for 54 years.)

5. Make my focus go rather fuzzy so I don’t see any one thing very clearly.

6. Make my breathing very shallow or even better, hold my breath.

7. Scrunch up my shoulders.

8. Keep staring at the clock and internally remind myself how little time I have to do “it” all, whatever “it” is.

9. Keep telling myself I’ll never get to “it” all and that others are going to get “there” before I do.

10. Say aloud how overwhelmed I am. Repeat 10+ times per hour.

What Happens?

Once I’m aware of my brand of overwhelming myself, and I exaggerate it just a bit, until I really see how I’m making myself miserable, 99% of the time magic happens. The other 1% of the time I just have to stick with it a bit longer. But the magic always happens. It will for you too. More on this when you come back from doing the exercise.

Now It’s Your Turn

Go ahead. Head on back and do the exercise. Really. I’ll wait.

About the Magic

Good job. If you took the time to do this, and played it up big time, something happened after awhile. You likely noticed that, like magic, things shifted. Rick calls this phenomenon The Zen Theory of Change which he describes on page 10 of Taming Your Gremlin as: “I free myself, not by trying to free myself but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment in which I am imprisoning myself.” It’s magic indeed.

Now What?

My number one recommendation for Wellness Coaches, and anyone else experiencing Overwhelm, is to take a breath, and Simply Notice how you overwhelm you right in the very moment you are overwhelming you.

It’s as simple, and yet as challenging, as that.

After You’re Centered Again…

The exercise above, truly a life-long practice, will take you quite far when next you Overwhelm yourself. When you come back to Balance, consider some of these tips for staying a bit longer in that Balanced state:

1. Breathe. Do it often:)

2. Put your focus on just one thing. Stay with that one thing for an extended period of time. Even if it’s 30 minutes. Just the one thing though. No distractions. No fuzzy focus on a million things at once (which is impossible anyway.)

3. Phone a colleague or shoot a quick email and declare that one thing you’ll be doing for the next half hour, hour, or more. (Make it short and sweet. Don’t get distracted with the call.) Tell them you’ll be leaving another message when you’re done. Or hire an accountability coach and do the same.

4. Take some time to re-look at your priorities. Frequently. Ask yourself: What’s important? Perhaps it’s time to revisit this, right now.

5. Get a copy of Crazy Busy by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Take your time and read it. (Jane Massengill, LCSW MCC, Director of the Gremlin-Taming Institute, told me of this book just days ago. I ran off and got a copy. I’m drinking it up. Thanks, Jane!)

6. Remember that “NO.” is a complete sentence. You can use it whenever you want to. Doing so makes saying “YES” to your priorities all the more delicious.

7. I’ll say this one again: Get Rick Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin®. Go slow. Read it for just 15 minutes a night before sleep. Go ahead. I dare ya. And if you already have it, re-read it, or grab the sequel, A Master Class in Gremlin Taming. Seriously. Read or re-read either one or both. Don’t let your Gremlin tell you this isn’t important. It is.

‘Til Soon,



This post was born from your ideas. Many thanks for the requests and suggestions you sent or left in the comments on the We’re Refurbishing and Haven’t a Clue post. I appreciate you and your presence in the WellnessCoach.com community.

As you can tell, I ask you to bring your whole being, body, mind and spirit to the party when reading my posts or working with me. It’s a physical experience that you and I and all the other travelers on the planet have this go-round, and I make sure we work with that physical experience. My approach was first  built on years of study and practice of the Bio-Energetic work of Stanley Keleman at the Center For Energetic Studies in Berkeley, CA.

I have grown since then and my work has been deepened tremendously by the year-long studies I did at Rick Carson’s Gremlin Taming Institute in Dallas, Texas. My work and writing continue to evolve through the on-going studies I do with Rick to this day. As you can see in many of my posts, as well as when you work with me, I fully embrace Rick’s Gremlin-Taming Method®, weave it into all I do, and am honored to be doing this work in the world.

Spring Wellness – Time Out for Pondering

contemplation-photo.jpgOnly We Know What’s Best for Us
The best wellness advice I ever received came in the form of questions for me to ponder…questions that helped me uncover my own truths.

As a wellness coach, there is no input I can provide here for you that is more appropriate than the wisdom you’ll receive by checking in with your own body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you. I believe this is true regardless of the source of any external advice.

Take Time to Go Within
In the spirit of quiet contemplation that the peaceful image above inspires, take some time out to look at your current level of wellness. Explore what you really need in each area mentioned below and let that information gently direct you to take appropriate action or non-action. Allow your body, mind, spirit and heart to speak to you.

I like to go through this gentle process of self-exploration each spring and let the natural healing forces and wisdom within go to work. Enjoy!



What areas of you need my attention?
Which foods would nourish you?
What forms of rest, recreation or replenishment do you want today, this week, this month, this year?
Do you need additional tools for rest and relaxation?
What activities would you enjoy at this time?
Are there any new healing/wellness modalities you want to experience?


What is intellectually stimulating and engaging for you?
Do you get enough of this?
How can I give you more of what you need?
Do I need to provide you with more rest?


What helps me feel connected with my source?
What is my spiritual anchor, compass or rudder in life?
What daily/weekly practices serve my spiritual life?
What things make my soul sing with appreciation for Life?


Who do I consider to be my “tribe”?
Who is in my closest inner circle?
Who do I love?
Who do I count on?
Who knows my heart?
Where am I expressing love?


What can I do to further your greatest expression?
Where have I abandoned you?
What am I pretending not to know about you?
How can I love you?

Hope the pondering leads you to new layers of awareness. Love to hear what you discover!

Wellness Made Simple

open-your-heart-stretch.jpgI simply wanted to write a quick blog post about wellness. I’d been writing lengthy posts lately (as you know) and just wanted to break them up with something short and powerful.

I thumbed through pages of notes of “good ideas” I keep in a folder. I chose one topic after another. I started and stopped ten times. I just couldn’t land on something simple. No matter what I tackled the post grew larger, longer and more complicated. Frustrated, I took a  break and headed over to Twitter, vowing I’d make it a short visit.

Keeping that vow was simple. At the top of my Twitter stream was a wonderful Swedish Proverb, shared by  “Escape from Cubicle Nation” blog writer Pam Slim (@pamslim on Twitter). Pam received the gift of the proverb from her friend @desireeadaway. When I read it, I knew it held every piece of wellness advice I could ever hope to live by or to share. Thanks, Pam. And now, dear readers, I joyfully pass the proverb on to you:

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours”

What are some simple words of wellness wisdom that you’ve recieved lately?

A Cornucopia of Wellness Resources – Part 1

cornucopia.jpgThose of us committed to deepening ourselves and learning all we can from our life journeys, are using this passage of time right now to say “Yes we can.” Yes, we can focus on all we have in our lives, all we aspire to, and all we have to share and give.

In this spirit of abundance and plenty, I’ll be sharing some of my 2008 harvest in the next few posts. I’ve gathered together some resources that have contributed to my own Well-Being this year. So feel free to dig around in the next few posts. Find just the right something within the bounty of quotes, websites, blogs, stories and snippets of thought I’ll share, that will contribute to your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season.

I give thanks for your readership, your comments, your inspiring progress you’ve made through our coaching sessions and teleclasses and wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving…

Today’s Harvest brings this Snippet of Thought that meandered through my mind just the other day:

Simply Enough

I sat at my desk, facing my computer, navigating around the internet in total physical tension and mental overwhelm. With lightening speed, thoughts racing through my head screamed, “So much to do. So much information coming at me. So many email messages to read. So many new e-books to read, CDs to listen to, tele-events to attend, marketing actions to take. Other people are out there making giant headway…will I ever get enough new and useful information and get it fast enough?”

I did what I know to do when I hit this stage. I pushed away from my desk, took a breath, left the room, got a glass of water, and went outside.

The crisp autumn air greeted me. A sudden glimpse of a hummingbird, dancing in our red-flowering bushes, helped me forget my tension and brought an ear-to-ear grin to my face. I took a deep breath, looked up at the wide blue sky, grabbed another deep breath and stood there just Being.

Gently, a thought floated into the space of my refreshed mind…

“Wait a minute, Erica. What is the rush at your computer? You take a deep lung-filling breath of air here, not worrying about whether you grabbed enough, or worrying if there won’t be enough air for you, or that someone else will get to it first, or hurrying to grab the next breath. All the air you need is right here. All around you. Why not approach the internet and information the same way. In fact, why not approach life this way?”

I stood still and appreciated this short but life-altering moment. I had a deep visceral understanding that, in this age of information, our job is to discern what we need, take it in, use it, and gently let the rest go. And just like it’s not ours to worry if we get the right bite of air, or worry if we’ll run out of air, or fret that someone else is getting better or more air than we are, it’s not ours to try to take in every drop of information. Ahh.

I took another deep lung-full of air, stretched toward the sun, and headed back inside…forever touched by what I’d breathed in.

Are you “taking in all the air you need?” My friend, Gremlin-Tamer, and coach, Rick Carson, is fond of asking this question. When I’m not breathing, or I’ve squelched my breath in a moment of worry , he reminds me to take in all the air I need. How is your breath at this moment? Are you taking in all the air you need? Are you remembering that there is plenty of it available?

Grab a bite of holiday coaching with Erica this holiday season. Call for an individual session or join others for the December Teleclasses, “Why Weight?” and “Sacred Attitudes for Stress-Free Holidays“. Space is limited. Offices: 925-933-7445

Fitness at 50 and Beyond – Seven Sacred Attitudes® for Baby Boomers

Immediately after publishing my post, Fitness at 50 and Beyond, I was interviewed on her BlogTalkRadio show by FeistySideofFifty™’s powerhouse, Eileen Williams. In 15 minutes we covered everything from the highlights of this blog to Seven Sacred Attitudes for Baby Boomers. Take a wellness break, have some soothing tea, and listen in. Enjoy!

FITNESS AT 50 AND BEYOND – Overcoming Resistance and Songs of Appreciation for Club50 and NuStep!

people-jumping-sunset.jpgLooking Ahead
For the past month, I’ve been looking ahead at the winter and realizing that, after decades of year-round outdoor swimming, doing so in the rain each year is getting a bit old for me.

True, the pool is heated, I live in California, and I don’t have to worry about snow where I live. And, yes, I could probably find an indoor pool around here if I looked for one. But that still small voice inside has been getting louder and urging me to find a nice whole-body regime to do during the winter – a regime that will supplement yoga, take the place of swimming, and be available for me at home or somewhere other than a traditional gym.

Buried Treasure
Well, I recently found the answer…but it was located way beneath my resistance.

You see, I’d done some research on the internet and found an incredible piece of equipment made by the company NuStep. Easy-on-the-joints, a full-body workout, and transforming lives, NuStep is a wonderful machine. It also comes with a hefty price tag, so I wanted to try it out first.

NuStep does have a 30-day at-home trial period, but rather than have it shipped here, set it up, and possibly not like it, I asked where I might give the machine a test ride. I found out that a commercially-owned NuStep machine was located at a gym near me called Club50. And not only could I try the machine out, but the salesperson at NuStep told me I could possibly join Club50 and not have to purchase the machine myself. “Club50?” I thought, “This probably means it’s really a senior center and there are tired seniors playing bingo.” So I resisted going. For weeks.

The Other Side of Resistance
But after a month of grumbling, I gave myself a self-coaching session and figured, “Heck, it’s only to check the machine out. I don‘t have to sign up and play bingo.” So I went. And I was oh so wrong about what I’d find.

Club50 Fitness Centers® were created for those of us age 50 and above and it is anything but a place for bingo. It’s for those of us who want a great workout, aren’t training for body-building competitions, choose cotton t-shirts instead of binding lycra and spandex and prefer to use exercise equipment that is highly efficient yet easy on our bodies.

I met the energetic owner of the franchise near me, Mark, and grinned from ear to ear when I looked around. I found an inspiring environment, fabulous equipment, yoga classes, and, what’s become my very favorite, the NuStep machine. As I tend to like to get in and get down to business, I was also happy to see the efficiency of the circuit system and the lack of crowds at the equipment. I adore the place, look forward to going, get a great workout, and feel right at home!

If you are a baby-boomer at age 50 or beyond, want a fun and engaging way to keep fit, I encourage you to try a Club50 near you and/or also try the NuStep machine. Like me, you’ll be glad you did.

Sometimes, what we want is right behind the resistance we cling to.

Love to hear your comments about fitness at 50, swimming in the rain, overcoming resistance or anything else this post brings to mind:)


P.S. Join me on my FREE monthly WellnessCoach teleclasses. Call me to register: 925-933-7445