Archive for December, 2008

Reflection before resolution

Many professions have a time of year or season that they are associated with and I am wondering if the period around the new year is our profession’s time. Not that one couldn’t enter a coaching relationship at any time during the year, it just seems that the majority of folk consider a new year as a fresh page and along with that blank sheet of paper come the resolutions, the desire to strategize and the requests for accountability. Now while it is really tempting to write about how you might be most successful in keeping your 2009 resolutions and to talk about the significant differences between goals and commitments I am instead going to acknowledge the importance of looking back at the year that was.

It is very difficult to sustain our goals, dreams and creations unless we pause to appreciate what we have accomplished, learn from our mistakes and soak in those special moments. It may sound like a cliché but our lives are about the journey so taking it in along the way is pretty key to our happiness and fulfillment. For those of us that don’t journal taking a ‘snapshot’ of the year is a great way to capture the activities of the last 12 months, this can be manifested in many different ways; make a 2008 best of/worst of list a la VH1, write a summary of the year in letter format as if you were updating someone on the developments of the past 12 months, post your 2008 highlights in the comments section of this blog (we would love to hear about your year!), go out with your close gal pals or guy pals and talk about your 2008 highlights and laugh about the stuff that didn’t go so well, review your journals or for the more visual of you pull together photos and images that best represent the year you experienced.

Which ever route you choose, when you are compiling your accomplishments (INCLUDE THEM ALL!!! Potty trained the kids? – note it!!), disappointments and special memories just be with them for a while, see and feel what comes up for you, what new information might be there for you? I request that we all look at our personal journeys and unfold the valuable learnings before dashing off into 2009.

Your life is worth noticing.
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Growing potential

This year Christmas brings even more than a yummy meal and stockings full of giggles. This year Dec 25th also brings a list of must see films and I am particularly looking forward to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards.

It is indeed a curious and intriguing story and in a society where we somewhat stereotype age with wisdom the idea of a full life lived backwards has me wondering how we might all treat one another if this were the case. In some cultures youthful looks are such a prize so I am sure that at first glance the concept of aging in reverse may seem like a dream come true; gaining wisdom and youth in parallel, but what happens when the clock keeps on ticking (backwards) and having youth on your side actually becomes detrimental?

Today our fundamental assumptions about aging are changing and along with the challenges come opportunities. More children will know their grandparents and even their great-grandparents, especially their great-grandmothers; parental advice more often than not just offers up another opportunity to rebel but rolling our eyes at our grandparents has never really cut it. There is a palpable point where grandparents and grandchildren bond, respect and are in cahoots and life lessons are learned without effort. Interestingly human nature seems to dictate that the majority of the mothers and fathers of said grandchildren don’t actually ever give up their own rebelling ‘inner child’ so the power of this relationship is not always appreciated!

It seems to me that there is that ‘bit in the middle’ of life, whether you perceive yourself as growing old or growing young, where you begin to appreciate just where you are at. For me it is when I am able to hold true that my life is not about what I do, it’s about how I choose to show up in the world. I know I am on track when I am able to string more of these moments of truth together and have a greater sense of serenity in my life.

So assuming (given our aging population) that there are many more people on our planet today who have had their personal ‘ah ha’ moments about who they are in the world, I am fascinated by what could be created. We have many people in our communities who have incredible life experiences, are still fundamentally young at heart and are not yet ready to quietly retire as prior generations felt it polite to do and I think the world’s leaders should harness the power of this immediately and instigate an buddy scheme between generations!

Through a scheme such as this we could all glean more knowledge on a completely different level, discover some stuff-of-life golden gems and probably learn to sweat the small stuff less, my only request is that my 80 year old buddy could look a little like Brad Pitt.

Wishing you all a wonderful multi generational holiday.
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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2 Hens and a Rooster

In the spirit of giving at this time of year I’d like to tell you about what might seem like some unusual gifts and how we can have a part in giving them.

Chickens are tremendous blessings for a family in need. Two hens and a rooster can produce up to 150 eggs a year. The eggs can produce more chickens—great for food, hatching and sale at market. Raising flocks of chickens is an easy and profitable small business that’s ideal for single moms and children.

Piglets, these fast-growing animals can plump up to 42 kilos in 3 months, are simple to raise, a great source of protein and provide “natural” fertilizer for gardens. One breeding sow can produce a litter of piglets per year—which can be sold for additional income.

A Latrine for a community, lack of proper sanitation makes children sick, keeps them from school and contributes to thousands of preventable deaths each year. Properly built and installed latrines and hygiene education can improve health for a community.

Then there are:
Guinea Pigs
Bicycle and Repair Kit
Fishing Kit
Greenhouse for a Family
HIV and AIDS Care Kit
Hygiene Kit for a Child
Irrigation Foot Pump
Olive Trees
Ox and Plough
School Learning Aids
Sprinkles Nutritional Supplement

and
Water Buffalo

These are just a few of the gifts that are possible to buy for a family or community,
visit www.worldvision.ca and click on ‘gift catalogue’ to see what’s possible.

If animals are not your gift of choice perhaps clean drinking water is. Every day more than 4000 children in developing countries die, simply because they don’t have clean drinking water. More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery, than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.

Visit www.csdw.org ( Children’s Safe Drinking Water) and see how $1.00 can provide a child with clean drinking water for 50 days, $7.50 can provide a child with clean drinking water for a year and $30.00 can provide a family with clean water for a year.

There are countless organizations who’s work makes it possible for us to give on behalf of and in the name of our friends and family, www.allthingschristmas.com is a great resource for many different Christmas related charity programs.

Simple ways to truly give a gift that keeps on giving.
Happy Holidays
Penny

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Climate Protection

I receive a lot of emails from Cathy Zoi. I have never met her and yet she sends me a couple of emails a week which I tend to glance at and then cast aside. Today however on the day that Barack Obama has named physics Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu as his energy secretary and tasked him with finding alternatives to fossil fuels. I feel that I should be giving Cathy a little more air time than I have to date.

Cathy is the CEO of RepowerAmerica.org the organization that has a bold plan to Repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years and in fact she doesn’t just email me, she sends me petitions regularly too through the ‘we can solve it’ campaign, a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. The goal of the Alliance being to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis.

So if you feel that you need a quick recap or 101 on energy efficiency, renewable power or existing carbon-free electricity then I would like to introduce you to Cathy too by visiting Wecansolveit.org

The US president-elect said today that the administration’s priorities are to end US dependence on foreign oil and fight climate change and while I know Steven got the key job today I also know that Cathy has our back.

Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Understanding Change

Yes I have to admit to telling the coaching joke to someone at the open house last week….

Q. How many Coaches does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Only one, but it really has to want to change!

Yeah, I know it is kinda groan worthy.. but the notion of ‘really wanting to change’ really interests me.

I often overhear people ‘complaining’ or ‘wishing’ for change only to see them behave in the exact same way not committing to changing at all; it seems to be struggle for so many of us to change.

I think we use the word change a lot and during the Presidential campaign we were positively bombarded with the concept yet maybe like many words that you say over and over without action it loses its meaning.

If we take a look at the humble dictionary we are offered many viable choices and options to effect change; it tells us that change is “the act or instance of making or becoming different, the substitution of one thing for another, an alteration or modification, a new or refreshingly different experience” … so why don’t we all just become different, substitute, alter, modify or seek out something new until the thing that isn’t working for us does change?

Change itself is only as hard as we make it and it is our readiness to change that is key here. There are several theories about our readiness to change but the one I am going to share was developed by Prochaska, DiClemente and Norcross who believe that there are FIVE Stages of Change:

1. Precontemplation
This is when you are unaware of the problem or the need to change. Consequently, no action to change will even be contemplated.

2. Contemplation
This is when you are aware and are thinking about changing a behavior but have not taken any action to do so. For example you might know that exercise is a good way to manage stress and are thinking about starting an exercise program but not soon.

3. Decision/Determination
You actually start planning to change behavior. For example you may start to research gyms and classes in your area and make contact to obtain pricing.

4. Action
You implement! For example you may begin to work out or attend a yoga class.

5. Maintenance
You continue the change in behavior over time. For example you exercise throughout the year.

Now I see folk flip flop throughout these stages so I don’t believe that the stages always show up in a linear fashion. I sometimes see my clients gain awareness and move from 1.Pre Contemplation to 2.Contemplation and make it to 3.Decision/Determination only to return to 2.Contemplation for a little while before they go directly to 4. Action. I believe this happens when the benefits of change haven’t truly been appreciated, it is then very easy for your self defeating Gremlin to pop up and turn you around.

So if you find that you are bored swimming around in that pool of Contemplation and have the urge and readiness for change start to really visualize what the benefits of change are for you, brainstorm a bunch of ideas whether they be based in substitution, alteration, modification or something entirely new then choose one or two to commit to. Continue to imagine, see and feel the benefits of change and you will be at 3.Decision/Determination and moving toward 4. Action before you know it.

Recognizing at which stage of change you are located will help you strategize. Actually even just recognizing that there is a path to change is helpful!!

What would you really like to change this week?
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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An even greener holiday!

Ideal Bite, the daily email blast that sends out ‘Green Tips’ sent out a ‘Greener Holiday Top 10’ today that I want to share. 2 & 3 are biggies for me but as for 5, in my tiny kitchen I think not! I trust that you will find one or more things on this list that you can embrace this holiday! Have fun planning…

1. Go Towards the LED
Watch your holiday energy bills flat line by switching to strands of LED (light-emitting diode) lights – they use 90% less electricity than traditional holiday bulbs.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people use LED holiday lights rather than conventional ones, we’ll save $34,700,000 on energy bills over the next 20 years.

2. Waste Not with Wish Lists
Exchange holiday wish lists, ‘cuz friends and fam can’t always read your mind – and the last thing you (not to mention our ecosystems) need is more stuff you won’t use. Plus, you’ll avoid the awkward “Um, thanks, I’ve always wanted a reindeer sweater…”

Why it matters—If 10,000 people have to return one less gift to a nearby store, we’ll avert the CO2 caused by driving from NYC to North Pole, AK, and back again six times.

3. Eco-Toys for Tots
Think quality over quantity. Santa’s elves already work overtime during the holidays, so why not go for fewer toys with higher eco-value? Keep baby healthy and entertained with toxin-free eco-toys that have all the fun of conventional toys without nasty chems like PVC and phthalates.

Why it matters—If 10,000 parents switched from plastic to fair trade organic toys, $4.6 million would go to supporting safer work practices and earth-friendly production.

4. Shop in the Buff
As long as it’s online shopping, that is. This year, shop for gifts on your computer at home to save major energy (and major cash, thanks to exclusive online discounts).

Why it matters—Despite their size, e-commerce warehouses use 1/16th of the energy that retail stores do. And even overnight air shipping adds up to 40% less fuel, per item, than the average car trip to the store.

5. Heat Your Home with Cookies
Take a bite out of your holiday heating bill: When you finish baking cookies (or ham, or pie, or casserole…), turn off the oven, open the door, and use the warm air to heat things up.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households turned down their heat 1 degree, collective savings this year would be 400,000 gallons of oil – enough for a Prius to circle the globe 700 times.

6. Have an Even Greener Tree
Be smarter with your tree choice this year. Due to chems like PVC found in many plastic trees, going au naturel is much better than buying a fakey. Try getting your tree from local nurseries or gardens, and ask if they are organic. Come January, you can even recycle it…yup, it’s true!

Why it matters—If 10,000 people recycle their trees rather than send ’em to the dump, we’ll keep the weight of 1,306 adult male reindeer out of landfills.

7. Take the 100-Mile Challenge
No, we don’t mean running 100 miles to burn off holiday calories. We mean, go local. On average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to fork. Try using ingredients produced within 100 miles of your home to cook your holiday feast.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households spend their holiday meal dollars on local food, we’ll invest about $381,000 into our own communities.

8. Wrap Responsibly
Old copies of Bizarro comics make great wrapping paper, but sometimes you need something a little fancier. Luckily, there are lots of reusable gift wrap ideas that look as good as the conventional stuff, and with Americans throwing away 25% more trash during the holiday season, the less we toss, the better.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people wrapped a gift in 100% recycled paper, we’d save about 64 trees.

9. Spread Holiday Cheer Without Bringing Down a Forest
This holiday season, send recycled cards or bypass the trees altogether – send your greetings on alternative and fun papers like kenaf. “Yule” spread cheer and an important message.

Why it matters—If every American family sends just one recycled greeting card instead of a non-recycled one, the paper saved could bury a football field 33 ft deep.

10. One Man’s Trash…
You know how it goes. If you’re not so into the reindeer sweater from Aunt Bee, rather than shoving in the back of your closet, never to be seen again, try re-gifting it to whomever that is that would like a reindeer sweater. Freecycle.com, an free swap website service is an Ideal Bite fave.

Why it matters—You get more closet space, someone else gets a new sweater, and the earth avoids giving up more raw materials for products we don’t really need.
(Source: Ideal Bite.com, Dec 2008)

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Open House

Penny calls my cottage the ‘B&B’ an abbreviation for ‘Bed and Beer’. We do indeed have many guests that come and go; one of the joys of living in a beach town is that we are never short of visitors. Our tiny B&B is busting at the seams this week in support of our open house tomorrow. Laguna has a town hospitality night every year on the first Friday in December. The City works hard at making sure that of one the main streets becomes pedestrian only so Santa is able to light the tree at City Hall and then parade to his elf filled cabin to greet the townsfolk with Mrs Santa.

While Santa is spends the evening taking the standard orders for bikes, ponies and Hannah Montana bedroom sets the rest of us in town fling open our doors and greet each other and visitors to Laguna’s holiday event. Penny is in town and together (with the help of our friends) will be serving hot buttered rum to anyone who drops by.

We have our Red Barn Space downtown because we cherish the idea of community and tomorrow will be another opportunity to connect. Meanwhile Penny and I have a head start; we obviously had to taste the HBR mixture and we are sitting in our Red Barn lounge, with our drinks, soft music and talking about ‘comfort’ and how nourished we feel just being here.

If you live nearby we would love you to join the gathering tomorrow, you can place your gift orders with Santa then make your way here via the holiday carolers, school choirs and community bands. Our door will be open; come be nourished with friends and relaxing holiday cheer.

What nourishes you?
Candice

You will find Red Barn Coaching at 332 Forest Avenue, # 9 Forest Ave Mall, Laguna Beach

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

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