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Friday, November 23, 2007

Staying the Path

Sometimes we can get discouraged when things aren't happening as fast as we would like them to. It can be difficult to let go and let God when the only thing you can see is what you need here in the right now. When you open your eyes wider to let in the vision of the future the road becomes a little less rocky. Allow yourself to glide across the smooth pavement on the wings of His everlasting love. Remember, faith without works is dead so get moving and stay the path.

My action plan for the last two months has lead me to the blessings of:

*2 Chicago Tribune news articles featuring my "expert" opinions
*1 Red Eye news article pending
*1 speaking engagement for a major beverage corporation
*1 speaking engagement for a chamber of commerce association pending
*6 new coaching clients
*2 mediation requests
*1 consulting project
*an offer as a member of the Board of Directors for a great non-profit org

Think positive and let your light shine.

Happy Living!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

On This Day of Thanks

A cornucopia of prayers, blessings and well wishes will be extended to the heavens today. People who don't ordinarily take pause to reflect in appreciation of life's simple pleasures will offer powerful words of praise and thanksgiving. Why do we leave mountains of thanks to be expressed on just this one day? To live a balanced life we must feed our mind, body and spirit continually. Humility breeds faithfulness and the faithful are divinely inspired by grace. You should be thankful in all things because all that you have and every trial you go through is a blessing. You may have a horrendous job with a terrible boss but the fact of the matter is that without the blessing of that job, you may not have the financial means to take care of your responsibilities. Remember to give thanks in all things each and every day. Happy Thanksgiving for today, tomorrow and every day yet to come!

Verses for Meditation:
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalms 30:11-12

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1st Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holiday Shopping - Time Management Tip

This was an article that I contributed to last year.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I've been quoted in the Chicago Tribune again!

You can find the article in the Good Eating Section of the October 31, 2007's Chicago Tribune. You may also access it online at,1,2729881.story. Your comments are welcome.

Happy Living!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm mentioned in the Chicago Tribune!

In an article called "DEFINING IDENTITY" by Sue Ellen Christian published in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, October 28, 2007, there is a nice 3-4 paragraph piece in which she interviewed me regarding code-switching. Read the article here:,0,1105143.story

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Taking Pause

I wrote an article a while ago about "Purposeful Meditation" and why it is important. This morning, as I sit here reflecting quietly on the many blessings that have been recently bestowed upon me, I couldn't resist revisiting the subject. Meditative activities are so important to weave into our lives that I wanted to provide an even easier way to incorporate it.

Meditation doesn't take long hours of classes or workshops to learn how to do. It is a practice which means the more you do it the better you will become and the more benefits you can reap from it. To meditate, all you have to know how to do is to breathe, relax and think. Meditation is continuous and profound concentration on a single subject. It is to give something your complete, undivided attention. You don't need a quiet room or a special place to perform meditation. You don't need to be a student of Eastern Philosphy. You don't need to have an half hour of time devoted to it. You simply need to breathe, relax and think.

With breathe, relax and think as your criteria in mind, what activities do you enjoy that will allow you to incorporate these three elements? Almost anything! That is the great thing about meditation. There is no specified time or place. This means you can do it at work. You can do it at home. You can do it in the gym. It doesn't matter. Any time, any place and in any way you choose, you can breathe, relax and think.

Breathing is important because it is your life force. It is the way oxygen enters your body to be used by your blood cells for energy. When your blood cells don't have enough oxygen, they move sluggishly. If your cells are sluggish, they are slow to bring food to the many different areas of your body. If your body doesn't have enough nutrition, it can't work properly. The end result is that you feel fatigued, stressed, sick and often can't think straight. How many times have you felt that you can't concentrate until you get some food into your stomach? You have to breathe.

Relaxing involves allowing your body to calm itself down. It puts your mind, body and spirit at rest. Relaxing removes stress and allows your muscles to repair themselves. In this day and age, with so much hustle and bustle, we hardly ever give ourselves the permission to rest. Even after a grueling exercise regimen, experts suggest that you take off one day for every three to five to allow yourelf time to recuperate. We stretch and tear our muscles during activity. This is why so many people are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). We never take the time to just sit and relax. So relax and let your mind, body and spirit heal itself.

Thinking invites clarity and focus. We can solve problems, make decisions and hear what our bodies are telling us. We can concentrate on specific issues that may be plaguing us in the form of worries. That dedicated time yields resolutions because you are relaxed. Your mind is quieted from all other noise and distraction. Your complete attention is devoted to the problem at hand. You can be more creative and inspired to determine a solution.

Meditation does not have to be difficult. It does not have to be an intensive task. You can do it in as little as five minutes. Its purpose is to bring clarity, improve health and achieve balance. To this end, you should find it much easier to incorporate meditation into your life. Simply breathe, relax and think.

Happy Living!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Life Coach Support Network

As coaches, we need to have a forum where we can not only get the personal and professional development tools we need to flourish into great coaches but we also need a place where we can inexpensively showcase our practices. Most of the online forums for coaches have astronomical charges for membership. I have seen prices start at $250 for just the first month and $75 to $199 for each month thereafter. Lifetime memberships start at $600 and go up from there. Because of this, I decided to create my own inexpensive location where coaches can come together, share ideas, best business practices, give prospective clients a taste of our expertise and showcase our business profiles.

The Life Coach Support Network does just that. It is free to join the message boards which is the meat and potatoes of the site. To include your coaching practice in the directory is just $250 for a lifetime listing. Just $250! Membership includes the ability to add a bio or description of your coaching practice, a photo or your business logo, the ability to add your events or classes to the public Calendar and a subscription to the LCSN monthly newsletter that will include great tips, tools and techniques for coaches to use in their practice. All members, both free and paid, will also have the opportunity to submit their articles to the site.
Because this site is in its infancy stages, I have a special offer for the first 50 coaches to sign up. Lifetime membership is only $50 to the first 50 coaches. I already have 10 so hurry up as these slots are going fast. Once I reach 50 coaches, the membership fee will be $250, still a great bargain.

Another great resource for coaches, COMPLETELY FREE, is the Tools for Life forum. This is a great personal development site created by another coach. It is also in its Beta form so membership is completely free for a limited time. If you have ever struggled with getting a mentor coach then this may be just what you need to get going. Join today and add me as a friend. You can find my profile under coachniquenya.

Coaches need all the love and support we can get so take advantage of these great resources today.

Happy Living!

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mind, Body & Spirit Continued

I can't help but stay on this current thought pattern. I have been constantly reviewing in my mind how all relationships have to have a foundational connection of mind, body and spirit. It is a divine trinity inherent in all things. I see all of these examples in the universe of how if any one of these foundational parts falls away, the entire system gets broken. You can't have the Father without the Son & the Holy Ghost. You can't have the mind and body without the spirit.

What does this mean? Think about every relationship you have ever been in, whether it was a friend or a lover. What made the relationship work? If you are no longer in that relationship, what made it fall apart? If you truly examine these things, you will see that there could not be harmony if you did not intimately connect on all three levels. You had to receive some sort of stimulation by the other person's intellect (mind). You had to be in similar shape in order to enjoy the same activities (body). You had to feel enlightened or fulfilled by the other person's energy (spirit).

This could manifest in so many ways. Let me give a couple of examples. I will start with a friend since many people are confused on how a friend could possibly meet you in mind, body and spirit. You could have a college education and your friend could be a high school dropout. Where does your conversation go? Or you could be a great dreamer and your friend could be stuck in negativity or complacency? Where does your conversation go? You are not in the same place in your minds so conflict occurs. Similarly, you could be overweight and your friend could be average or skinny. You can't participate in many of the activities your friend could because of weight and there could be resentment there. Or your friend might egg you on to eat foods that they can metabolize faster than you can. You are not connected in body. Finally, you could strongly uphold Christian values while your friend is worshipping Satan. You do not connect in spirit and thus, conflict arises. You can use your imagination to think of examples of how mind, body and spirit connections could affect a sexual relationship.

The point is that when one of these things is missing, it negatively affects the other two. You can be connected in mind and body but if your spirit is not in the same place, your intellect tells you to move. You could be connected in mind and spirit but disconnect in body puts a drain on your spirit. You could be connected in body and spirit but disconnect in mind drains the body and dampens the spirit.

Think about how this has manifested in your life. Be conscious of how each of your relationships is affecting you in mind, body and spirit. Remove those people who do not connect with you on all three levels as only conflict can arise from this imbalance.

Happy Living!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mind, Body & Spirit

I am in a place in my life where I am starting to examine and reexamine all of my relationships. As I continue to grow on my own path to personal and professional development, it is becoming ever more pertinent that I cleanse my inner circle of toxic people. I can no longer afford to allow negative people to drain my time and energy or else I may and have become stagnated in this journey.

I refuse to accept less than what God has intended for me on this earth. With that being said, I have found the need to end a long-term relationship of over 8 years that is absolutely not going anywhere. Doing this will allow a door to be opened for true love and companionship to enter into my heart. So today as I reflect on my former needs and interests, realizing that many of my criteria for a mate were not much more than superficial, I am putting in a new request to God and the universe to send me what my heart most desires. I want someone who can meet me on my level in mind, body and spirit. Someone who can share my triumphs and comfort me in my trials. Someone who can support my dreams and stand with me in the lord. Someone who is physically fit and can partner with me in achieving health and longevity.

This is my new affirmation: to refuse any relationship, be it casual or intimate, friend or lover, that does not allow me continued fulfillment in my God-inspired purpose and to open my heart to those who are willing to bond with me fully in mind, body and spirit. I will say NO to toxic people and YES to God's love.

I put this challenge to you, my faithful readers, what types of toxic people and/or negative relationships are you allowing to fester on your soul and stagnate your hopes and dreams? Are you really getting what you need from the connections you have made? What will you do today to invite more positivity into your inner circle?

Happy Living!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Difficult Bosses

I just finished up a free public seminar on "Balancing Work & Home Life" this morning. One of the attendees was particularly frustrated with her present situation. She explained how boss was extremely difficult to deal with. "She nitpicks at every little thing I do and is always micromanaging. When I approach her, she doesn't bother to hear what I have to say. It's like she doesn't care what I think." Too often this sentiment is shared by employees all over the nation. How does one deal with a difficult and overbearing boss? This can be a challenge but it can be accomplished with your sanity left securely intact.

The first step is to determine where your boss is coming from. You have to separate the behavior from the person. Being a bad boss doesn't necessarily mean that they are a bad person. Understanding the reasoning behind the boss' actions can go a long way in helping you to determine how to deal with him/her appropriately. A lot of the time conflicts arise out of miscommunication so make sure that you are clear on what expectations your boss has of you and that you are meeting them fully. If you don't know, then ask. If there are always certain bells and whistles that will set your boss off on the rampage, determine solutions that go above and beyond meeting set expectations.

If your boss is reeling from an overall stressful day, then his/her behavior could just be a manifestation of that. Relay this information to your boss by showing concern and empathy. You can approach him/her by saying something like "It looks like you are being stretched to the limit today. Is there anything that I can do to help alleviate your workload?" Or you could just come right out and let them know what specific behaviors you were uncomfortable with and your reactive response. "When you _____, I felt like _______ so in the future could you ______?" Discuss your uneasiness with the situation rather than confront them with blame. Don't be confrontational or engage them in a verbal assault. A generally reasonable boss would readjust their behavior and appreciated your honesty. If your boss is a regularly abusive and negative person, then your chances are much slimmer for any positive interaction. In that case, you should seek the advice and help of another superior or the human resources department to intervene.

The second step is to monitor your own reactions to your boss. If you become consumed by the negative emotions your boss' actions may evoke, then it is easy to enter into self-effacing behaviors. Learn how to take a proactive approach rather than a reactive response. Also, recognize that some conflicts may present themselves simply because of different personality types. If you are an analytical, prioritizing type person then it would be hard to truly gel with a boss that is more creative and flighty. Both types of people are needed in every business so learn how to appreciate the differences and utilize them to the benefit of the company's mission. If your boss is more of a bully or a control-freak then sometimes it is best to just acknowledge their need for power by apologizing and walking away even if you know you are right. The key is in knowing you can't change them. You can only change the way you view their behavior. Generally speaking, most negative behaviors should be ignored.

If all else fails and the situation continues or worsens, make sure that you have a plan B. This could be an anonymous employee help line or as extreme as another job offer in hand. You can use your plan B as a bargaining chip or as a safeguard against any sort of retaliatory actions. These steps should only be used as a very last resort such as if attempts to go through the chain of command have been futile. In these extreme cases, document everything and build a support team. Find others who share similar experiences and use a collective approach to make a change. After all, businesses suffer when employees are not engaged in their positions so it is in the management's best interest to work things out.

These are just a few tips on how to deal with difficult bosses. There are many more techniques that can be used but the primary tool you have available is choosing how you respond. For more information on dealing with bosses and other difficult people, Click Here

Happy Living!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Calculated Ignorance & Educated Fools

I have been talking with a few of my clients and seminar attendees lately about education and its perceived value in American culture. I hear so many stories of folks with years and years worth of experience who are at the top of their game being let go from jobs in lieu of younger, more technologly-savvy, fresh college graduates. There is a problem rising. Many of these eager youth have little to no real life experience and are only armed with textbook theories in their approach to touchy business situations. They seem to be simply fillers in newly created executive titles with no real input to the future of business.

I am not saying that education is not important. It very much is. I am saying that experience is equally as important. There should be a happy mix of experience and education in every business. Without experience, education can only take you so far. Would you be a willing patient to a surgeon whom had never conducted a surgery but had graduated at the top of his class? I doubt it. Why then would you allow your business to be run solely by an army of the inexperienced? Not only is this a poor business decision it is an incredible risk to your livelihood. There are certain issues that will arise that can only benefit from known best practices. It will save a lot of time, and often money, if you do not have to reinvent the wheel but rather rely on existing information. In essence, what was done in the past that can help you in the current situation?

The bottom line is that in order to protect your bottom line, you have to have a strong knowledge base supported by a strong experience pool. Purposely allowing a bunch of educated fools to run rampant in your business is simply reckless and ignorant.

Happy Living!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How Do You Define Success?

So many of my clients, friends, family and colleagues find themselves unhappy dealing with expectations placed on them by family, friends, and society as a whole. Many of them have high-paying jobs, gorgeous families and seemingly nothing to be depressed about and yet they feel unsuccessful.

The problem is that we typically do not live our lives according to our own success definition. Instead we are governed by environmental influences that include family, especially parents and spouses; friends, culture and society. We make decisions based more upon what we believe is expected of us than what we truly want and desire. This brings upon stress and imbalance because when we live in other's expectations rather than in our own, we begin to move outside of our intended purpose. Without purpose, we can not feel truly passionate or fully committed to the journey.

To really be successful, you must first define what success means to you. Everyone has a very different definition of success. To some, success may mean a six-figure income. Others are simply fulfilled by living the American dream of the home, a white picket fence, a spouse, 2.5 kids and a dog. Still others feel successful even in the midst of daily financial trials and tribulations. The secret to success is determining what your purpose is and then to make every decision based upon this purpose. Success really equates to what makes you happy and fulfilled...your purpose.

"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." ~ Christopher Morley

Happy Living!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Be a Life-Long Learner

Have you read a good book lately? You know the old saying "use it or lose it"? This is very true of our minds. If you don't use your mind, it loses some of its primary cognitive function. You need to continually "sharpen the saw" as Stephen Covey points out in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". There has been an increase in the number of Alzheimer's cases and other cognitively debiliatating conditions. One of the most frequently prescribed treatments has little to do with prescription medications. More physicians are suggesting exercises specifically designed to enhance brain power. These include puzzles, reading, memory games and any number of other intellectually stimulating activities.

Start out by reading subjects that you are interested in or find some great educational games. You don't have to pick the typical personal development guruish pieces either. What genres do you like? Whether it's science fiction or pulp fiction, there is learning to be had. Regardless of the subject matter, the author probably performed some good research to use along with a great imagination to bring the story to life. The point is to just start reading.

There are so many benefits of keeping the brain strong and healthy. In addition to maintaining your memory, you are also developing strengths in effective communication. The more you know, the more you can speak about. The more you are familiar with, the better questions you can formulate. The better questions you ask, the more knowledge you will gain. You can become an active participant in almost any subject matter. Better yet, you can become an expert, write a book and share your knowledge with others.

The bottom line is don't stagnate your intellectual growth. Be a life-long learner.

Happy Living!

Dealing With Helicopter Parents

I am the victim of a hovering parent. At times, it seems that almost nothing I do is right according to my mother. My decision-making is questioned in regards to my parenting skills, my relationships and even how I keep my home. She means well but she can be a bit overbearing at times. I used to get rather frustrated and resentful of her constant nitpicking but through continual personal development, I have learned how to deal with her. Our relationship has drastically improved since I have changed the way I respond to her. Since I know I am not alone, I thought I would share how I manage her helicopter parenting.

The first thing I did was to realize that she has good intentions. From the time we are conceived our parents begin to map out our lives. They dream about what we will look like, how we will act, what we will be when we grow up, who we will marry, where we will live and how many children we will have. Everything they do from that point out is geared toward molding us into the people they want us to be. Unfortunately, mixed in with genuine love and concern comes a variety of other influences that shapes the parent's expectations of their children. What a parent wants for their child has a lot to do with their own upbringing, education, exposure, limiting beliefs, fears and insecurities. Our society teaches us to go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a job, save money, get married and raise a family. Once you have accomplished that then you can be considered successful. Most of our parents buy into that definition and have no example of someone doing otherwise. Stray from the formula and you are thought to be crazy.

Once I realized that my mother needed me to succeed where she thought she had failed in her life, I was in a better place to understand her reasoning so it didn't bother me so much. I used these new revelations to assert my dreams. First, I developed a well-thought out plan to back me up. A good, detailed plan makes your dream seem less like fantasy and more like reality. You will also be able to speak more confidently about your dreams which will help your parents see your vision easier. Next, I enlisted an expert for additional support. This could be an uncle, a friend or just someone who is where you want to be. Your parents are more likely to believe a third party than they are to hear it coming from you. Third, when met by parental objections, remember to remain calm and take time to think about your response. Based on what you know about your parent's ideas of success, how can you explain your reasoning to make them understand it better? Then say no to anything your parent or others suggest that take you outside of your plan. You may have to compromise to ease your parents into your new direction especially if you are young and/or still living in your parent's home. This is all about building and maintaining a great relationship. You don't want your choices to be so difficult to digest that it completely severs your parental ties.

If you have followed this advice and you still find that your parent is hovering too much, it may be time to check yourself. Are you enabling your helicopter parent? Do you allow him/her to intervene in your life? Do you run to them whenever you have a problem? Do you complain about bills, husband, wife, kids, etc? If the answer to any of these is yes, then you have created a codependent situation. You may need to respectfully distance yourself from your parent. Have a long conversation with them to let them know your concerns. Explain that you appreciate their help but you don't want to burden them any further with your issues. Resolve to handle your own adult responsibilities and then stick to your guns.

Helicopter parents can be particularly difficult to deal with but the sooner you get the situation under control, the sooner you can move on to a happy, healthy life. The choices you make today can have lasting effects on your tomorrow. Get concrete with your purpose and intend to live each day more fully.

Happy Living!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Value in Volunteering

This year has been an extremely blessed one for me thus far. I think that I can contribute my happiness to how fulfilling it is to be responsible for so many other people's happiness. I spend a good deal of my time working in non-profit organizations dedicating my time and expertise as a volunteer. The experiences that volunteering has brought me have been indispensable.

When I first started coaching, I found it difficult to maintain a steady stream of clients from a marketing standpoint. I wasn't completely sure how to get in front of my target audience. That all changed once I began volunteering. I aligned myself with quality organizations that had a mission and values very close to my own. Social organizations that aimed to satisfy specific goals for the betterment of one's financial status were at the top of my list, followed by those that catered to the business world. Very soon I was given the opportunity to showcase my talents to potential clients. It wasn't long before I had built a solid clientele along with a great referral database. Additionally, the diverse backgrounds of my fellow volunteers allowed me to build a valuable list of resources.

Volunteering not only played a part in building my business but it also opened my eyes to a wealth of unusual philanthropic ventures. One unique opportunity presented itself in the form of playing a part as an extra in a major motion film. Rather than collecting the standard hourly fee, the whole of my paycheck was donated on my behalf to a local charity. I enjoyed the excitement of being on set so much that I signed up with the casting company for future projects and was called back for a paid gig. I would never have known about the movie had it not been for my avid seeking of new volunteer projects.

Chicago Public Schools now require all high school students to perform a minimum of forty hours worth of service learning hours to graduate. This is one of the best criterion ever suggested. My own daughter, who is currently a freshman, embarked on her volunteer journey this past weekend. She desires to become a professional singer and so when we came across a posting for live entertainers, we jumped on the opportunity. Her very first service learning hour was earned doing something she loved, singing, while serving a community who badly needed some fun, our senior citizens. The seniors were delighted to hear her sing.

Volunteering is valuable for so many reasons. You can try new things, gain new resources, develop and hone skills and help lighten the load for others. Whether you are a student or a retired baby boomer, volunteering can be a great way to remain active and keep in tune with the world around you. How can you pay it forward today?

Happy Living!

Good morning!

It's a beautiful late summer day in Chicago and the wind is blowing sweet aromas from the last flower blooms mixed with the light saltiness from the lake front just steps from my front door. Living in such a big city with so many architectural gems and other metro area activities to occupy the eager tourist, it is quite easy to miss the real beauty of Chicago's natural elements. There is Lake Michigan with its many beaches running along the eastern border of the city, several forest preserves, the natural wild life that includes crows, eagles, bats, raccoons, skunk, deer, rabbits and much more; and there are numerous private and community gardens scattered throughout almost every city block with rich offerings of roses, gardenias, chrysanthemums, hibiscus and many other exotic names I can't quite spell or pronounce. Even our mayor has jumped on the "green" bandwagon by restructuring highway meridians to include lush foliage and creating incentive programs to even further beautify the city.

So today I am focused on enjoying the simple pleasures that nature affords us. Even in a huge epicenter like Chicago, there is so much to take pause to reflect in. No matter where you are today, remember to take the time to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Sincerest Apologies

Hello all,

I have been away for the past week or so as I have had so many different things on my plate that it has been very difficult to prioritize blogging. It is my intention to add something meaningful at least once per day. I had intended to do quite a few things that have been left to fall to the wayside, so to speak. That's the thing about intentions. They mean absolutely nothing without action. What can you do to ensure that all of your responsibilities and commitments get attended to? Define your goals, create a plan and stick to it.

This is a lot easier than it actually sounds. I am guilty of not always following through on my intentions but if you are truly dedicated to your goals, then it should not be such a daunting task to get back on track. When you are overwhelmed with tasks or those moments of laziness and irresponsibility come in to steal your thunder, the best thing you can do is to forgive yourself, reassess and recommit.

Forgiveness is key because it removes all of those negative feelings of guilt and the anxiety that many of us feel behind being a disappointment to ourselves as well as others. Realizing that you are human and can occasionally falter is a healthy approach to any sidetrack. If you find yourself spiraling out of control with a seemingly endless list of to-dos, then perhaps a reassessment is in order. Take the time to reevaluate your priorities. Perhaps there is something you can delegate or drop from your responsibilities altogether. You do not have to do it all. Finally, recommit. Renew your promises to yourself and to those affected by your commitments. This involves acknowledging the problem if there was one and then asserting your faith that you can follow through in the future.

Time does not have to be your enemy. Know your purpose, define goals and plan accordingly to achieve them. Be realistic in your commitments and only accept those tasks that you are able to follow through on. If you follow these simple steps you will find that it will be a lot easier to fulfill intentions.

Happy Living!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Declutter Your Home & Your Mind

It's Saturday afternoon and I am EXHAUSTED! Typically when I am feeling so drained it is either because I have stayed up all night with one of my kid's ailments or I couldn't sleep because I needed to get a great idea I didn't want to lose down on paper. But today, neither is the case. The source of my unrest comes from clutter. Clutter translates into chaos and I simply can not function in chaos. It completely wipes me out.

I am looking at a stack of mail that I either opened and tossed on my desk to look over later or that is unopened junk that I neglected to file in the circular bin. This is an old bad habit that I have been struggling with. All things should have their proper place and be put in them as soon as possible. Junk mail should be immediately trashed and whatever I wish to save should either go in my reading bin or be filed away in its designated location for future use. Furthermore, I did my laundry twice this past week but did not complete the task of folding and putting away my clothing. My home is in disarray. My home is in a state of incompletion.

Incompletion leads to unrest. It is dissettling to allow clutter to build up. It literally sucks the energy out of you and halts progress. A clean home is more inviting. The more comfortable you are in your own hoome, the more at ease you are to get the proper rest.

So what do I do now? I have recognized the source of my fatigue which is the most important part but also the easiest. To tackle the situation, first I will allow myself to take a short nap, no longer than an hour. Studies have shown that a midday rest, or siesta as some of my South American friends refer to it as, can drastically boost the energy levels and increase overall mental and physical health if practiced routinely. When I awake, I will perform a simple meditation along with a few stretching exercises to help bring my mind and body back in balance. Finally, I will tackle this mess. I will start in one room and gradually work my way through my home until it is 100% clean. Once I have completed this task I will have achieved balance in my home. This will remove the stress that feeling so tired has put on my mind and body as well as allow me to be more productive going forward.

If you are feeling exhausted or a bit off your center, perhaps this feeling has its roots in the midst of chaos. Declutter your home and mind by following these simple guidelines:

  1. Rec0gnize that you are feeling this way. If you do not take the responsibility for your well-being, who will? Don't just overlook these feelings. Neglecting your emotions and physical reactions is not the answer. You will only become more drained by the energy it takes to fight it.
  2. Forgive yourself and tackle the feeling. If you are tired, rest. If you are depressed, talk to someobody or pray. Pay attention to your mind and body and give them what they need to be refocused.
  3. Remove the source of chaos. Most negative feelings are directly caused by some sort of incompletion. Find what is not complete (clutter, a conversation that ended in anger, etc.) and complete it. You may need to do this in several steps or repeat the process several times before completion is attained but you must restore it.
  4. Set up a routine and make a conscious effort to keep balance in your life. You must continue working at this on a daily basis until it becomes habit.

So whether you are fatigued, depressed or just having an off day, remember to take the time to examine yourself and give your body what it needs to feel back in balance. As an additional tip, if the source is clutter, I advise you to always start in your bedroom first. This is your castle and should be kept up as such. How can you enjoy your rest when your bed is covered in laundry?

Well I'm off to fold some towels so I can take a nice long siesta.

Happy Living!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Appreciation & Acceptance

Do you know the power of giving thanks? There is something magnificent in the ability to accept your present circumstances and appreciate the blessings you do have. Regardless of your financial position, your employment status or the condition of your relationships; giving thanks for all that is good and right in your life can be an invitation for greater things to come. If you can not appreciate the blessings you have already received, you can not be open to receive more.

This is why the "Serenity Prayer" is such a powerful tool in recovery programs. Change is difficult and bad habits are especially hard to overcome. Asking God to grant the serenity to accept the things you cannot change; courage to change the things you can; and wisdom to know the difference can put you in a position to recognize opportunity. Being grateful generates hope. Hope is synomynous with expectation and therefore hope feeds desire. Desire motivates action. These are the basic principles behind the laws of attraction. When your thoughts are proactively positive, you can dream bigger. Your fears dissipate as your faith and confidence grows. You are no longer immobilized by the possibility of failure but are instead inspired to take hold of your future.

I like to start my day off by giving thanks for all things big and small. When I awake, I make a point to be thankful for every thing my eyes rest upon for at least five minutes before I get out of bed. It doesn't matter what the things are. So, if I open my eyes to see a fly, I say "thank you for the flies" or if I see my alarm clock, I say "thank you for clocks". This may seem a little silly but it accomplishes several things. First, everything on this earth is connected. If one piece of the puzzle is missing, the entire ecosystem (life as we know it) can go awry. For example, there has been a great deal of discussion behind the sudden demise of honeybees. It is speculated that cell phone usage and satellite transmissions could be interfering with their flight patterns thereby altering their life cycles. If there are no honey bees, what will be the impact on the world? How will the flowers get pollinated? What animals will be affected by no longer having a food source in honey? So yes, thank you for the flies. Another reason I give thanks in this manner is to make sure that I get up on the "right" side of the bed. If I have to say thank you for my socks, this will put me in quite a jovial mood. A smile will instantly appear on my face and I may even break out in a fit of laughter. I will definitely be ready to take on my day on a positive note. Furthermore, if I didn't have socks, my feet would be awfully smelly by day's end.

The bottom line is to be grateful for all things. Try to start your day off by giving thanks. It does not have to be a religious experience either. Just learn to be appreciative of whatever your circumstances are and you will find that you will live a happier, more fulfilling life.

Happy Living!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pay It Forward

Last night I watched the new television show "i-Caught" that is airing on ABC. At the end of the show, a campaign was highlighted in which individuals wrote a single life-changing word or phrase on the palm of their hands and filmed it in silence. Some of the words were "peace", "love", "stop war", "give hugs" and "altruism".

After viewing the show, I began to think of some really great simple and inexpensive ways to pay it forward. So I am inviting all of my friends and colleagues to participate in a nationwide "Love Call". At 8 PM (any time zone), call a random stranger. It could be from a business card you happened to pick up or a name you pulled out of the phonebook. Call that person and simply say "Just wanted to let you know someone loves you" or any variation of that phrase and then hang up. If you their voicemail, definitely leave a message. Feel free to call anonymously using the *67 feature on your phone. Come back here to post your feelings and responses after you do it.

Let's see how we can change the world with a simple gesture of love!

What is a Life Coach?

As a home-based business owner and avid network marketer, I am always finding myself at various meet-and-greets throughout Chicagoland. Like a good little schoolgirl, my 30-second elevator speech is well-prepared to roll off my tongue at every introduction. My new acquaintances have a knack for exchanging quizzical looks at the end of my spiel before asking, "yeah, um, so what is a life coach?" Exasperated that my prepared speech is never enough, I began researching the definition of life coach in order to develop a more refined explanation to have at the ready. The following is what I have come up with.

A life coach is a person who partners with you to ensure your success. They act as your personal cheerleader in helping you to set goals and create a plan to achieve them. A life coach aids you in identifying your strengths and opportunities for greater personal and professional development. A life coach also works with you in developing a system of accountability to realize your intended objectives. Unlike a therapist or counselor, a life coach is very forward-thinking. Life coaches bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be in the future. Life coaches have a mission to help ordinary people fulfill extraordinary dreams.

Life coaches come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have backgrounds in psychology or social work. Some are former business professionals. Many life coaches have no formal education or professional experience at all. People become life coaches because they have a very real desire to motivate others to be successful and have a natural gift for doing so. Good coaches use a combination of education and life experience to meet the needs of their clients. Coaches can choose to specialize in business, careers, parenting, dating, relationships, disabilities or general life. Most life coaches have been coaching unofficially for the greater part of their lives and just didn't know it.

The life coaching industry is still relatively new, having only been officially recognized for approximately the past thirty years. Because of this, coaching is still very much an unregulated practice. There are two major certifying boards attempting to change this: the International Association of Coaches (IAC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF). Both organizations have been around for about 15 years and each have rigorous qualification standards and testing that must be achieved prior to certification. There are many coach training schools available that offer training programs geared toward meeting the requirements of these certifying bodies. It is still a widely debated issue as to whether or not professional life coaches should be certified or not. As it currently stands, certification can definitely help to legitimize an aspiring coach but formal education and life experience can still be just as valuable depending on the target customer.

As for the coaching process itself, most coaching is conducted primarily by telephone or even email. Sessions typically last from 30 minutes to an hour. Life coaches practice effective listening skills to mirror client concerns and act as a sounding board for ideas. Life coaches use intuitive questioning skills to lead their clients onto a journey of self-discovery and growth. Most coaching relationships average about 6 months. Fees for coaching can vary greatly from coach to coach and are based heavily on the type of client being served. Most coaches, including myself, do offer a complimentary session to all first time clients.

Life coaching can be a very fulfilling career for the right personalities. If you are already a person who loves to reach out to others, is a great listener and you often find yourself in the center of everyone's problems, then you probably have what it takes to be a coach. And if you are a big dreamer but don't know quite how to turn them into reality, then a life coach is most likely the perfect answer for you.

Official Launch & First Post

Welcome to Chicago Life Coach!

My name is Niquenya D. Fulbright. I am a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer specializing in motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams. I use the principles of the laws of attraction, the teachings of the Bible and the theories behind client-centered therapy to guide me as I partner with my clients to build a bridge between their dreams and ultimate reality.

A little more about me:

  • Currently pursuing M.A. in Clinical Psychology
  • B.S. in Technical Management with concentration in Small Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Professional Diploma in Network Administration

Industry Experience

  • Over 10 years in office administration, customer service and sales
  • 8 years in information technology, consulting and management
  • 5 years in retail, accounting and human resources
  • 1-5 years in alternative dispute resolution, corporate training, marketing, product development, project management, airline and other hospitality industries

Presentation Experience

Articles & Other Publications

  • "Purposeful Meditation"
  • "Are You Living Within Your Own Purpose or Under Your Parents' Passion?"
  • "Battling the Bet-Nots: Overcoming the Noise of Negative Naysayers"
  • "Choosing a Career"
  • "Turn the Table on Your Interviewer"
  • "LEAD Your Customers Away From Returns & Exchanges"
  • "Keys to Effective Leadership"
  • "Simple Savings Suggestions for the Beginning Investor"
  • "The Truth About the Forty-Dollar Government Grant Game"
  • "10 Crucial Steps to Create an Online Presence"
  • "The Positive Power of Saying NO"
  • "Top 10 First Date Blunders"
  • "The Nuts & Bolts of Networking"
  • "Where Did My Money Go?"

Family & Home Life

  • 2 children, Kimaya (age 14) and Kahari (age 5)
  • Favorite food is chocolate
  • Favorite color is purple
  • Hobbies include reading, writing (poetry), singing, foreign language, ethnic cooking and travel

Now that you know a little about me and my background, I hope to provide you with enriching tips, tools, techniques and advice on how to succeed in business, love and life. Feel free to subscribe and leave any comments or questions you might have for me. Also, make sure you visit my coaching site at Besides coaching, I also offer mediation and other management consulting services. A complimentary coaching session is available to all first time clients. Coaching is performed primarily via telephone.

I look forward to connecting with you in the days to come.

Happy Living!