Lyn Gives Ellen DeGeneres A Run For Her Money!

spool headerI’m extending a standing ovation to Mary Miller of Spoollhardy Girl – a blogger who has documented her reinvention journey from empty nester to creator of oustanding quilted blankets.
Mary is a no nonsense Midwesterner who questioned the legitimacy of my “life coaching” when she first observed me shadowing a client last year at a sewing summit.
I don’t mind being questioned in this manner. There is merit in examining some of the practices used under the guise of “life coaching.” But, that’s the subject of a different blog.
Fast forward to today, and it is Mary’s humor and candor that has caught my eye now. I just read through two of her most recent post and I laughed out loud several times. Then I realized something about Mary: She’s a Bad Ass!

That’s what we call people who understand and then live in alignment with the following SoulSalt concepts:
A personal code of conduct – A.K.A. Be True
A personal set of strengths – A.K.A Be Strong
A personal system for managing focus – A.K.A. Be Focused.

Enjoy’s Mary’s style and honesty….Mary you’re on:

Be True. Be Strong. Be Focused. (Find Your Lula Recap Part II)

What are your core values? Do you know? Take a minute to think about it. Can you pick three words out of all the words in your language that sum up who you are? It’s not easy is it? Especially if you haven’t ever thought about it.  I hadn’t.

On day two of Lula we were introduced to Lyn Christian. Lyn was also at Sewing Summit with Amanda Herring last year. She stayed mostly in the back, videotaping Amanda’s talk. Amanda introduced her as her “life coach.” I have to be honest. I thought the term life coach was a little weird. Maybe it’s my no nonsense Midwestern upbringing. Maybe it was simply my own prejudices, but I didn’t really understand why a life would need coaching. I am pretty much a “just muddle through” kind of gal. Having somebody to coach one through one’s day seemed, well, self-indulgent.

When I woke up the morning of day two. I reminded myself of something I’d jotted down in my smash book in the midst of my near panic attack (thank you, Richard Nixon) the night before:

I knew there could be no room for my pre-conceived notions this day. I needed to stay open to everything that was given to me and assess later whether or not it was something I could use. To do anything else would mean that I was wasting everybody’s time especially my own.

The first thing we did that morning was some alignment exercises with Lyn’s partner, Susan McLaughlin. She showed us some really fantastic things that we can do on a daily basis to keep our bodies aligned. Proper alignment can help reduce inflammation in our joints and also reduces fatigue so we can work better, longer. I was stunned by the immediate results just a few short exercises produced. She also had us do a breathing exercise which felt like what I’ve imagined meditation to be like. I really liked how calm and focused this made me feel. I mean, really? Any chance to lie down on the floor and listen to my breathing, I’m in!

Now that we were all aligned and focused, we began working with Lyn. I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to describe Lyn in a way that will do her justice, and I didn’t take a single picture of her because from the moment she started talking, I was completely honed in on her message. This is no New Age, Kumbaya singing, false guru (did I mention I might have some pre-conceived notions?). This is a serious, accomplished business woman who has helped some really big hitters in the business world as well as the art world accomplish their goals in both their personal and their business lives. Chops, people. Lyn has chops. She is one of those rare people, you meet who are so comfortable in their own skin they exude a quiet confidence that makes you want to raise your game; to just be better. She also has a personal style that is so cool and so her very own and so uncontrived that, well, let’s just say Ellen Degeneres is jealous.

We began by going through stacks of cards with words on them finally narrowing them down to three words that were our top three values. Mine are Love, Gratitude, and Equilibrium.  Whenever we are faced with decisions that need to be made in our personal or our business life, we need to see if what we are being asked to do aligns with these core values. This exercise really helped me to recognize some very basic things that are so easy to lose sight of. I realized later that I had de-cluttered my inner workspace, just as I do in my sewing room before I start a new project, and I felt just as refreshed and ready to work after this inner de-cluttering as I do then.

Love: Nothing is possible without it.

Gratitude: An elixir, without which life is poisoned.

Equilibrium: Necessary for good function.

Our next session Lyn brought us through some very specific, solid things we can do to make our lives function better.  I have printed out my Today/Not Today and my “This Week/ Not This Week” sheets and have filled them in with sticky notes containing all the things I must accomplish if not today, then soon. This includes everything from the mundane (laundry) to the fun stuff (work on Illustrator) She talked to us about personal integrity; if you tell yourself you’re going to do something, you need to do it. This is something I have always struggled with. I’m pretty good at doing things I tell other people I will do, but I am always happy to give myself a pass on the things I tell myself I’m going to do. Lyn calls that “shoulding on yourself.” Hehehe get? “shoulding?” Get it?

I think the biggest realization I had after two days of listening to Lyn is that being a “just muddle through” kind of gal wasn’t really working for me. I was wasting too much time, giving myself too many free passes, and making excuses for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be creatively. Integrity is really important to me, and I was letting myself down in that area, big time.

So, I highly recommend taking a minute to contemplate what your core values are and ask yourself if you are living by them. It does a body good! And if you want to know more about the incredible Lyn Christian and her coaching company, Soul Salt (coolest name ever, don’t you think?), you can find her HERE and HERE and HERE! It’s all great information and it’s all free.

And one last word on Find Your Lula 2013, and then this will morph back into a quilting blog. I hope that I have painted an adequate picture of just how special this retreat was. People use the phrase “life changing” all the time and it annoys the heck out of me………..(wait for it)………….BUT. But Lula really has changed the game for me. Amanda told us she would help us find our wings and she did. She really, truly did. There are going to be more Lula retreats in the future and I hope if you’re reading this you will consider attending one. Amanda is a natural connector, and she has a magical way of connecting with people and then connecting them with others, strengthening everyone in the process. I am honored to call her my friend.

Client-Centric

When I was a child I thought that Santa Claus had one of the best jobs in the world. He had one single focus: to make children happy.

Now that I’m older, I notice when other people are focused on making people happy. In fact, I am most interested in watching how entrepreneurs delight, surprise and intrigue their clients.  One fine example is Jesse Dobbs at the Iris Piercing Studios. With the installation of two i-Pads, the Iris client experience has increased more than ten-times.

Join me on a field trip to the Salt Lake City Iris Studio to see what I’m talking about.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/J7-D7cbOvGw[/youtube]

 

 

SHINE like Cindy

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“Happy People Are More Attractive”, stated a quote once taped on Stacy Soble’s refrigerator.  The notion was to constantly remind Stacy that beauty and grace run deeper than outward appearances. And it was this very quote that played in her mind as she looked for a seat during a session of Serious Business 2013 held in New Orleans. Now, as Editor-in-Chief of Salon Today, Soble was helping host the event and very much looking forward to Shawn Achor’s presentation on The Happiness Advantage.

Equally enthused about hearing Achor speak and already in her seat was SoulSalt client Cindy Feldman of Progressions Salon, Spa, and Store in Rockville, Maryland.  Cindy was attending as one of Salon Today’s Top 200 honorees.

As fate would have it, Stacey Soble picked her seat right next to Cindy Feldman and two of this planet’s bright spots met.  They struck up a conversation, exchanged business cards and took notes as Shawn provided five easy, daily steps to experiencing more happiness:

  • Upon waking each morning, jot down three things you are grateful for and pick three new items each day.
  • For two minutes each day, open a blank word document and write one meaningful experience you had that day. Include every detail.
  • Choose to do 15 minutes of a fun activity each day.
  • For two minutes simply watch your breath go in and out.
  • Choose someone in your life and send them praise by card or e-mail.

Later that evening when the session was over Soble noted that she was “extremely touched” by a sincere e-mail received from Cindy thanking her for making the event possible.

It was no surprise to me that Cindy immediately started practicing the daily steps for experiencing happiness on the very day she learned about them. It is also no surprise that she graciously and sincerely reached out and thanked Soble for her part in creating the event.

Cindy Feldman has taught me many things during my seven-year association with her. One of the high-lights being: Live your life with a low word to action ratio. Meaning – make sure that what you say is, what you do.

Thank you Cindy for your example and thank you for making my life brighter. You are ever out there shining like a diamond.

Author’s Note

To hear this story from Stacy Soble’s vantage point, flip to page 10 of salontoday.com March 2013. Soble’s Editor’s Note tipped me off as to how Cindy touched her life.

 

 

Life and Death

A common strength running through all the SoulSalt employees is that of “relator”.

None of us exhibit this strength in quite the same manner. For example, Shannon is known for her uncanny ability to ignite conversation and good will almost immediately.

Such was the case recently when we left a voice message to purchase old barn wood for our office wall.

When the return call came in Shannon took it and started to explore our options with the owner of the barn wood. About three minutes into the call she excused herself and moved her conversation into an adjacent room away from our work area so we would not be disturbed.

Thirty minutes later Shannon returned to her desk with a huge smile and that delightful glow she emits when she’s made a new friend.

We still didn’t have any information on our ability to purchase the wood. However, Shannon had a few rich stories about the city of Herriman and an overview of this other woman’s family history there.

I thought nothing of the situation. This is business as usual for Shannon. She is fully trusted to take the time and energy she deems necessary to talk with our contacts: even those who will never book a coaching appointment.

I’m proud of Shannon for how she represents us and how she treats the people in our lives. I hope she is equally satisfied in how she conducts herself. And sometimes, in fact eventually when a person lives in alignment with their own code of conduct like Shannon does, that strand of “what’s right about us” gets mirrored back.

A few days had passed since this call and Shannon learned that the woman she’d spoken to had passed away.

The first insight Shannon shared was how glad she was that she had taken time to hear the family history.

Jessica and I agree with her insight. And I would add that Shannon’s example has reminded me to slow down a bit and take time to connect better with my heart and head to the people I come in contact with. I hope that my last conversation with those I love will be one of connection, peace and goodness.

Thanks Shannon.

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Creating Customer Evangelism Tenet #1: Customer + Delta

You have to believe that when a customer tells you
what’s not working, that’s as much of a customer
evangelist as one who tells you what is working.
Because if they care enough to tell you what to fix,
they’re evangelists – evangelists are people who take
their own time to help you make your business better.

In this audio clip, Jackie Huba and her former business
partner Ben McConnell explain to Lyn Christian the value
of listening to your complaining customers and tell
what “passionate persuasion” is.

 

 

 

 

Another Lesson From the Church of the Customer

Another Lesson From the Church of the Customer

Business associates Ben and Jackie have once again served up
compelling research on the power of WOM (word of mouth marketing).

Online content in the form of product or brand reviews is trusted by
70% of U. S. consumers. This speaks volumes about the fact that WOM is
the most trusted form of advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the research doesn’t say is that you should invest heavily in

Texting as your marketing strategy. Equally it doesn’t say to overly
invest in Facebook and Twitter feeds or to purchase online ads.

You can read the latest blog from Ben and Jackie here while I and Team
Bad Ass at Soul Salt Inc
get our buts in gear on google reviews and
yelp.

Benefits of Having a Coach or Mentor

Coaching and mentoring are processes designed to support you while realizing a single goal or your full potential.

However, not all coaches or mentors are created equal and picking the right fit for you may be much like finding a good pair of trusty shoes.

Regardless of whom you engage as your coach or mentor and aside from the specific “what” you determine to tackle, there are several outcomes you would do well to expect.

The following list is by no means a complete collection of these expectations. However, if you don’t find yourself reaping the benefits of at least 90% of this list, get a new coach/mentor.

Outcomes to Expect from Working with a Coach or Mentor

  • When you have someone in your corner you get results quicker than if you were on your own.
  • You add a preventative layer to your plans and actions which can assist you to avoid silly errors.
  • Experience is a wonderful thing. You get your coach’s experience poured into yours and in effect you stand on their shoulders while reaching for your dreams.
  • Inborn talent is a good thing. However, without a strong coach/mentor your inborn talent is never, ever, ever enough.
  • You gain peace of mind knowing that someone with expertise is “there” for you.
  • You have a tempering voice of wisdom playing inside your head.
  • When things get tough you have everything from a supportive cheerleader to a much needed boot in the butt.
  • Your chances of giving your best efforts increase when you have a coach on your sideline.
  • Personal commitment to your own goal increases when you have someone holding you accountable for taking action.
  • Your mentor or coach probably paid a price for their knowledge. You hire them so you don’t have to pay as much for this information.
  • We tend to use our time, energy, mind and resources more efficiently with a coach.
  • The process of having a mentor or coach can shift your paradigms so you get unstuck or remove barriers more quickly.
  • When you trust this other person, they can call you on your bullshit in a manner that you hear and understand.
  • Coaches and mentors often know the “next step” toward your desired outcome.
  • They also know the micro-adjustments that you can take to shave off rough spots and become a champion.
  • Encouragement from a trusted source such as a coach/mentor is often the most valuable of all sorts of praise.
  • A coach can see things inside and outside of you that often you cannot see for yourself.

Should you be looking for a coach or if you want to become a coach, email SoulSalt Inc. at info@soulsalt.com

Resources:

I’ve been coaching since 1998. During this time I’ve collected comments noting the benefits my clients said they gained from our coaching.
In addition, I consistently have a coach for myself.  The benefits I have gained from being coached were incorporated in this list.
Finally, the articles below were also consulted while compiling the list above.

The Importance of Having a Mentor, by Cori Pasinetti, Director of Marketing

The Importance of Having a Mentor, by Larry Denis

Mentoring Programs for Entrepreneurs, by Chukwuma Asalla for Gaebler Ventures

The Importance of Having a Coach, by Felipe Bastos for Trifuel

The Benefits of Having a Coach, by Pete Turner 

The Benefits of Having a Coach, by Mark Hofmaier 

 

Reversing the Aging Process

I hold so much tension in my back,” I’d hear her say.

My back is stiff this morning,” she’d comment upon rising.

My muscles are far tenser than they should be,” frequently escaped her lips as we took evening walks through our local neighborhood.

I didn’t think much about how these comments might be a reflection point for me. I simply took them as she offered them – descriptions of how my partner physically experienced certain moments in her life.

And then one day as I was bending down to get something from a drawer, the light went on inside my mind. “Hmmm, that familiar sensation in my lower back warning me about how I’m moving might be the sort of tension Susan talks about.

Almost like feeling a “hitch” coming on, I would tense up when my mind perceived that I needed to move more carefully in a certain position. It wasn’t like I didn’t know how to bend over and move correctly either. But when Susan’s words played back within my thoughts I realized that I must have muscle tension as well.

For me, the birth of three children before the age of 30 left me with less lower-back strength and a touch of incontinence when I jumped for a basketball. (TMI – too much information? Trust me, it is much worse to live through this than to read about it)

By age 40 I had experienced a hernia repair, more cautious movement when using my lower-back and no improvement with my bladder as I played sports.

Like most folks, I took the incremental loss of freedom while moving as a process of age. Until, now.

What has changed is that through the dynamics of teaching Restorative Exercise™ classes and practicing Physical Therapy my partner has reversed most of her lower-back pain. The “tension” she talked about has diminished by 75%.

I wanted my body back. I wanted to enjoy jumping and chasing a basketball again without pain or the fear of leaking in my gym trunks.

So I began a quest the day after Thanksgiving 2012. I started a test, if you will, all I did was to add one single stretch to my daily routine – the piriformis stretch.  I determined to do this stretch 3 times a day for no less than 60 seconds on each side.

It might help to know that prior to this test; I had spent no less than 20 minutes each morning doing a routine of various exercises from the Restorative Exercise™ classes I had taken. I also work out regularly at Gym Jones, and the past three summers have found me involved in competitive Sprint Triathlons.  So getting exercise was not the point of my “test“. Releasing the tension and subsequent caution with my lower-back was my focus.

Here I am on the first day of 2013 writing this article.  I’m well beyond my 30 day test and I’m delighted to say that it feels as if I’ve reversed the aging process. My lower back no longer “chides” me with warnings when I bend and move to put on my socks in the morning or retrieve something from a bottom drawer.

In fact, I have been able to shave off a minute in a regular (non competitive) 5K run. I have lifted 15 pounds more than my double-body dead lift at the gym (245 lbs.). I have had zero back pain while shoveling over 500 pounds of  the snow that has fallen in our driveway so far. I have no lower-back pain as I climb out of the pool each week.

I FEEL YOUNGER as I move inside my body all day long… most especially I feel more freedom within my hips and lower back!

It’s almost as if I hear my mind saying over and over, “Oh yeah, that’s how it used to feel to move around inside these muscles and bones. It is actually fun shoveling snow!

I’m also looking forward to an increase in freedom during my summer activities when the winter begins to thaw here in the next couple of months. Yet, most of all let me say this again:

I FEEL YOUNGER!

You can feel younger too. Try the piriformis stretch found above or look into taking a Restorative Exercise™ class. Align Integration and Movement has been key to my success. They offer Skype sessions if you can’t find a class in your immediate area.

There’s a lot to look forward to this coming year. Growing younger can be one of them.

Reinventing Your Career

Have you been downsized?

Has your industry changed drastically leaving you feeling irrelevant?

Do you need/want work that holds meaning?

Are you unable to leverage your strengths in your job and accomplish things you love doing with your talent?

A powerful set of tools, models and strategies are available for anyone who answered yes to these three questions.

Common wisdom may tell you:

  • decide what you need to do next, then craft a plan and execute it
  • go back to school and get more training

Both are MYTHS that often only work for a tiny percent of individuals.

Career reinvention is not a straight path. It is a crooked journey of experimenting and trying out a variety of options before settling into the perfect spot. It can be filled with fear, vulnerability, excitement and opportunity.

 

In this interview, Lyn Christian of SoulSalt Inc. discusses a reinvention journey in process with one of her clients. See for yourself how the reality of crafting a whole new career can look.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJdwRZjuHZo[/youtube]

The next Reinvention Group begins January 14th @ 5:30, there are only a couple spots left so make sure to sign up asap! Contact info@soulsalt.com, or call Shannon at 801-631-8572

 

Professional and Busines Alignment

Making sure that the wheels on your car are in alignment is standard automobile maintenance. The objective is twofold:

  • Reduce tire wear
  • Ensure that your vehicle travels straight and true without “pulling” to one side or another

 

Making sure that your company’s actions are congruent with a deliberate set of core values is standard for maintaining an effective business code of integrity. The objectives of a business set of core values include:

  • Stating what you stand for
  • Expressing where and how your company fits into the world
  • A statement that infers actions which always place your business within its definition of integrity
  • Telling others what you are about

One of my favorite activities to do at SoulSalt Inc. is to take individuals and businesses through a process of clarifying and defining their core value systems.
In particular I find it fascinating when entrepreneurs discover their core value systems because, without knowing it, their unique values often comprise the DNA that makes up the value system of their company.

One such case occurred with I was working with Jason Olsen, founder of Image Studio Salons. As his final three value cards were sorted out and defined he looked at the results and said:
“That’s cool. These somehow seem familiar.”
I walked over to my desk where I had a fresh new copy of his company brochure and handed it to him.
He laughed out loud. The same three core values sitting on his work station were same three that made up the core ideology of his business.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta1BobwtPJo&list=UULBgG5HzihVjgXFGg_Qk-gQ&index=4[/youtube]

What’s even more exciting for me is when a culture “gets” the business core value system and lives it.
If you’d support in clarifying your business core values, let us know at info@soulsalt.com or purchase our self-help e-book on the topic.