Um, where did you go? (AKA I'm back!)

Um, where did you go?

A completely reasonable question. I abruptly quit posting here at the end of March, leaving you all hanging on the resolution my blog series, Two Truths and a Belief.  That final post, about how law school changed me, is nearly complete and has been stashed in my documents folder gathering digital dust for 3+ months.

So, what happened?  In short - a lot.  Around the time that I quit posting I was entering the final stages of interviewing for a job (gasp) that seemed to fall from the heavens at my feet. A law firm was searching for a former lawyer, coach and instructor to help drive their innovative vision for lawyer professional development. In mid-April, I was offered (and I accepted) the position. You can find out more about this firm if you find me on LinkedIn and follow the breadcrumbs there. I’m super excited about this role. I am coaching, designing training programs, and managing organizational change initiatives designed to support the development of excellent attorneys. It’s a dream.

But wait, there’s more. In May I attended my final week of training with Presence-Based® Coaching outside beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, where I also passed my certification exam! This training has been life-changing. Doug Silsbee, Bebe Hansen and Sarah Halley, my teachers and mentors, walked with me along the path to changing my career and the direction of my life, while also training me to be a highly skilled coach. I am a profoundly different person today because of them. If you are at all interested in coach training, I urge you to explore the offerings at PBC and reach out to Bebe with questions. She would be delighted to hear from you.

These exciting happenings + my first couple of months at a new job took up a lot of space. I’ve learned that during transitions that I do best if I follow a dual-track strategy: simplify & touch back in.

Simplifying my life means making room, clearing space in my mind and in the landscape of my life (time, commitments, etc.) to allow a shift to happen and allow myself room to get a little messy with it.  It gives me room to breathe. One of the unexpected gifts of this process is that I’m beginning to learn that I can trust myself to let go of something for a time and then pick it up again when the time is right (like this blog!).

Even as I let things go, I need to be careful not to slip into a different kind of habit: crisis mode. I learned how to do this well because of acute need in the past. Rather than intentionally creating space by packing things away so that they are ready for me to pick up in the future, in crisis mode I basically burn the house down. It’s slash and run and everything gets hit. This is still my body and mind’s natural coping mechanism in times of high stress (you can see a bit of the evidence of this in my story of how I dealt with stress at a law firm - by withdrawing from everything).  The grip of the habit has loosened with the learning and work I’ve invested. I have more choice now.  But, if I’m not attentive the habit can still create unintended casualties in my life.  So even as I clear space I intentionally “touch back in.” I keep most of my rituals in place for daily self-care, I try to stay connected to what’s going on with my friends (even though I may reduce the number of social engagements I chose to attend) and I hold my center with intention and discernment (as well as practices like centering and breath-work).  How do you manage transitions?

And here we are. In July. It’s now time for me to extend myself here once more. I am going to be posting 2 times per month (rather than 4), but my intention is to make those posts regular and predictable so you can count on them. I expect that I will have a lot of interesting things to share with you due to yet another exciting development in my life. I’ve been accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program - a highly selective 1-year masters where I will have the privilege of studying the science and application of positive psychology (individually and in organizations) from the founder of the discipline (Marty Seligman) and dozens of other major researchers, writers and thinkers in the field. I’m so thrilled to join the community of MAPP students around the world, and I look forward to sharing some my learning with you.

I am also still accepting coaching clients. If you are a professional in a high-intensity field and you’re bumping up against burnout, struggling through a transition of your own, or just feeling like your work-life needs a bit of a tune-up, I’d love to hear from you to see if we are good match to work together.