Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Change: A RePost

Change when you’ve outgrown something. Change when there’s no hope. Change because you choose to. Change because it’s fun. Change because you want to gain awareness of who you truly are. Change because you have to. Change because everything changes, for better or for worse. Why change? Why not? You’ve been doing it all your life. ~ Robin Silverman

It's almost 2010, and change is upon on us... again... still.

I'm actively planning new beginnings for myself and my loved ones. Azad will begin a new sport. Virika will begin dance classes, and join her brother's school for her first preschool experience. Charles begins a new project. I will teach again at Spelman College. We are investigating new schools for the kids, and perhaps even a new home, neighborhood, community at some point in 2010.

In the meantime, to anticipate the changes, we are celebrating and honoring all that we love about our lives right now. We will take a week-long family vacation at the beach before Christmas. We're reflecting on the life lessons and blessings we received this year: Patience, courage, perseverance, creativity, healing...

We are decluttering our spaces, minds and spirits. After all, I try to remember that moving forward is fundamentally about going home to ourselves.

This is why, I wanted to invite you to "put on your ruby slippers" this holiday season... as you step forward into 2010! (See below for details). Won't you be a good sport and have some fun bringing the magic of the ruby slippers to life with me?

Boundless blessings and a magical holiday season to you and yours.


Move Forward … Make Change …Go Home to Yourself with Glinda
I keep a photo in my living room from the Wizard of Oz and every time I need some inspiration for moving forward in life I stare at it for a while. It is basically looks like a shot taken by one of the Munchkins. It is composed simply of Dorothy's feet, with her red shoes and light blue sox, against the backdrop of Glinda's pink gown, with Glinda’s wand near the shoes. The only thing that you can think of when you see this is "There is no place like home." And that all the power to change and grow is inside us ... if only we remember.
Many fairytales and stories tell of a sorceress who helps a heroine to wholeness and grace. Glinda, in The Wizard of Oz, is one of the world’s favorites; she was the guiding light who sent Dorothy on her legendary search for the Wizard, only to help her find the power of the wizard was within her all along. In the tradition of trusting that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, Glinda offers profound insight just at the moment Dorothy is ready for it. Glinda can also help you return to yourself when you feel lost, down or disconnected. If you ever find yourself feeling really lost, remember her simple wisdom. Tap your heels three times and say, There’s no place like home… there’s no place like home… there’s no place like home. And remember home is within you. Have fun bringing her into your life.
1. Watch the Wizard of Oz.Observe Dorothy’s full experience with Glinda, her magical mentor. They share just moments on the screen, yet Glinda is the gentle change agent who sets Dorothy on her path and helps liberate her from her troubles by showing her the power of transformation lives within her, and that home is where her heart is.
2. Get red shoes. You don’t need ruby slippers, but beautiful, snazzy red shoes are symbolic of your innate ability to always find your way home to yourself. Be they pumps or sneakers, make them your magical trademark. A great pair of shoes always lifts the spirits; just looking down at your feet will make you happy. The color red symbolizes courage, good luck, and power and shows that you're ready for anything!3. Get a wand and blow bubbles. Just like a kid, get some soapy bubbles in a bottle. And buy a Fairy Godmother Wand from a costume store or kids department. Remember, Glinda used to arrive in a bubble to create her magic; imagine you can create magic too. Sit on your patio (courtyard, front lawn, in a park or just by an open window) and blow bubbles. As you watch them floating in the air, imagine they are carrying Glinda, who is there to grant your wishes. Let the excitement of her arrival well within you. Get in touch with what it feels like to be in the presence of a magical mentor who is there to help you. Let your heart open as you continue to blow bubbles, and call out your wishes. When you feel you have had your full, dedicate the last batch to Glinda and thank her for touching your life and helping you believe.
4. Buy a snazzy red shoe magnet for your refrigerator and post this affirmation: "On this day … I move forward!"
© Copyright 2004 Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Practice BEing

Joyful Friday and fantastic weekend to you!

Before I go silent for a few days, I wanted to share some food for thought.
I am setting an intention for my retreat this weekend: Practice BEing. Won't you join me?

"Being is about existing in a non-doing state, listening for guidance from our authentic self, scanning our body's subtle tightenings and expansions for information, and breathing with -- sitting alongside --who we are in that moment without moving to criticize or improve... Being is about accepting whatever there is. In the end, being is almost impossible to describe. It is not a destination; it is never a goal to check off. The edges of being are outlined with self-trust, feeling soft, open, accepting... Being comes in snatches, wavering states of at-one-ment interspersed with white-knuckled fear or control or worry or mindlessness. With practice, being does become easier. There is no perfect state to attain, no one to compare yourself to, no master degree in being that is awarded.... you just do it." -- Jen Louden (Woman's Retreat Book)

How can you play with BEING this weekend? Let me know!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Newsletter

This entry is a copy of the fall newsletter I sent out a couple of days ago to my coaching circle.

Coaching Circle:

Fall is here, and I am actively re-inventing myself and by extension, of course, my practice.I am discovering that I have begun to job-ize my interests, passions and values in creating a unique and truly blessed work life.

In a nutshell, my approach to coaching and life in general is encapsulated in this quote from Suzanne Zoglio: "People with an uncommon zest for life have mastered the art of living from the inside out. Instead of setting their goals and judging their success by what others think, they live according to their own values, their own passions, and their own... inner voice. In other words, they live an authentic life."

I strive to live an authentic life from the inside-out - even if it mean ruffling feathers. My work is such a key means to this process. I have to keep stretching so that I can meet you where you need me to be! Phew!

This month, I am reflecting and acting on one of my favorite intentions: self-care. I realize now that my coaching model rests squarely on establishing effective self-care practices. This means that I need to step up my game. Big time. Walk the talk.This is why I am taking a personal retreat for the first time in I can't say how long. In life before children, I often headed to the nearest Ocean location to get in touch with myself, to rest and regroup with more intention and focus.

So, bear with me and understand that I will be unavailable from October 10th until 13th. I will be reconnecting with myself in Cape May for three whole days with no care in the world but myself. Whatever shall I do? Nothing. I will just be. I assure you that I will return, fired up and ready to go!

I can honestly say that I am long overdue for such a retreat. I am attaching below an excerpt from one of my favorite people, Jen Louden, on what a retreat is and why we should take one. [Nudge. Prod. Hint. Hint.]

I am absolutely delighted to share that in the last couple of weeks, several new people have committed to the coaching adventure with me. Here I was, having taken the website down, sort of considering applying for a regular old job all the while clear that was not an authentic choice supporting my core values. And, bam! A flurry of interest, inquiries and enthusiastic folks ready to figure out their next steps, with me along for the ride. Woo hoo!

I am humbled, and gosh, so grateful for these opportunities. I am super thankful to those of you who have shared your wins with others and ignited in them a spark of interest. The web site is still down. So, word of your mouths is my sole marketing tool for now. Thank you thank you thank for doing such a stupendous job. And, please keep doing more of it. Turns out, coaching amazing people like you is still in the cards as part of my authentic life work.

Fall Special Offerings
Name your price this fall: All new coaching community members will receive super duper flexible and low rates. Name your price, and if I can make it work, I sure will!

Good Karma Credits: To thank you for your generous marketing, if you recommend someone who commits to coaching with me, you will receive a $25 good karma credit towards one month of coaching services.

One-time fix-it: If you have a dilemma, worry or decision for which you need support and longer term coaching is not what you need, I am offering one-time fix-it services. It's an experiment, and so far, people are digging it.

Coaching Circle Call: Keep an eye out for an invitation. This call is for you if you ever wanted to meet some other members of the coaching circle, hear what they're playing with or simply find support with one another. The topic: Playing with Self-Care (of course).

Giving Circle: In September, I offered free Academic-Life-Support and as a result, I began pro bono support for a group of former students who are in graduate school. No charge. I envision doing more and more of this, and to sustain this aspect of my practice, I hope to attract more paying folks.

Self-Care through retreats
What do you actually do at a retreat?I received a wonderful email a few days ago, asking what we would actually do at my upcoming Seattle mini-retreat. As we talked a little via email, it became clear she wanted to be sure the retreat would address her feelings of burn out and her need to reconnect with herself and feelings of self-love. When she asked me, "Does that sound like a good fit?" I shouted across the Internet, YES!I know the way to fulfillment and purpose and feeling really GOOD is through being wholly and fully who you truly are. I also know that you cannot be who you truly are if you aren't listening to yourself. Or if you are exhausted, harried, bitten by self-doubt or just in need of a little focus.I know that most everything in life - even a more contemplative life like mine - pulls you away from trusting and being yourself. It's simply incredibly easy to move farther and farther away from yourself - and to spend years being itchy, dissatisfied, on edge and not know why. Jennifer is a best-selling author, personal coach, former monthly columnist for Martha Stewart's Body+Soul magazine, a frequent guest on radio and TV, and creator of learning events and retreats around the country. She's devoted to nurturing women to evoke their creative power so they can have a blast while changing the world. She's been on Oprah, been interviewed in most major magazines, and her newest book is The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to A Mindful Year. Her blog, websites, and ezine (all free) draw thousands of readers each month and there are over 800,000 copies of her six books in print. and

I am deeply honored and enriched each day by being a part of your life journey.
Your Coach, Gayatri

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fear and Faith go hand in hand

As most of you know, I am super psyched to be the blessed winner of Jen Loouden's Life Organizer. It has already brought me insights, peace and direction.

Yesterday, I found myself on the edge of anxiety, worry and even palpable fear. I paged through the Organizer in search of something to grasp on to. These words jumped off the page at me:

"Sew yourself a string of prayer flags to flap invitations to patience, clarity and authentic trust into the heavens."

Wow. So beautiful and elegant is this directive. It sits on a page that asks a provocative question: "What you worried about? What are you afraid of?"

I am going to speak my fears out loud here. I am worried with a sick to the stomach feeling that something awful will happen to my precious child. I have just seen myself and my son through his surgeries. He is doing well. It was a rough few weeks, but following him around with a cup of gatorade and plenty of cuddles worked out just fine. So what on earth am I afraid of now?

The dialog bordering on argument in my head goes something like this: Breathe. Relax. It's a routine set of procedures. Everything is going to be fine. Oh, my poor baby. What if there is some random complication? You've been down this road before. It will be just fine. She has sleep apnea and all these allergies. What if she stops breathing. Relax. It's a routine surgery. She is going to be sleeping better than ever in a week. But, really, what if something happens to my child? I can't contain myself! Ok, stop it. Worry and fear are signs of a lack of trust. Pray. Calm yourself down. Trust God. I know I know. But, what if....?

The truth is that I am really afraid. I am afraid because I love this child more than I can express in any way - words or otherwise. Her vulnerability and the remotely marginal possibility that some harm could come to her frightens me beyond comprehension. I know that my love is what makes me afraid. And yet there is no rationality to justify this fear.

Fear and faith go hand in hand.

My fear is an opportunity for me to practice faith. The trusting part of me know that this is a time for prayer... trust... faith.

So, to sewing flags of prayer we go...

I am choosing to relish every moment of this process. I have converted her room into a salon. She is getting hair washed and braided. We are painting her nails her favorite colors - pink and purple of course. We are picking out a pretty dress to wear to surgery tomorrow. I have purchased her a book about ballerinas as her gift to enjoy tonight. We are singing, dancing and saying prayers. Lots of hugs and cuddles are being showered everywhere.

This is the only way I know to cope with my fear and channel it faithfully. Deep breaths.

"Sew yourself a string of prayer flags to flap invitations to patience, clarity and authentic trust into the heavens." I'm sewing!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A few minutes ago, I posted this status update on Facebook:
Gayatri Sethi wants you to know that it is a crime of the highest order to beat down, discourage, belittle, withhold praise or even in the slightest bit cause self-doubt in a young, hopeful, confident and capable spirit full of promise. If you have even the desire to snuff out the light that shines in others, know that I will personally come and take you OUT!

What on earth prompted that outburst? Really? I threaten to take somebody OUT for taking others out? I know approach never did and never will solve anything. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I know. I know.

Let me tell you, though that this is passionate anger at its best. How so? I realize that a key part of my life's work has to do with offering support and encouragement to others so that their inner light can shine even brighter in the world. That is what I am here to do.

Today's outrage came from a conversation I had with a new client in which she shared the pain of experiencing belittlement, lack of confidence and inordinate degree of self-doubt at her former job. I must add that she worked for an international social change organization that claims to CARE for the world. You catch my drift? I was overcome with anger at the hypocrisy of caring so little for the young shining stars at your organization and claiming to save the world. Rant over.

Well, not quite. The truth is that I have experienced (over and over) this kind of discouragement in workplace settings and especially in graduate school. I continue to deal with and attempt to heal from the deep wounds that were inflicted. At some point through the pain and struggle of it all, I realized that I was being prepared by these awful experiences to develop the kind of empathy, compassion and understanding required to do my life's work.

True. For many of us, our life's purpose lies in transforming our own pain into a positive force in the world. I know. Airy fairy grandiose speak.

Seriously though, what I'm saying is something you already know. Find what angers and pains you, and know that this same darkness could pontentially light up the world.

And, I mean it. If you have the slightest inclination to dim the light of others, I will not take you OUT. But, I will take you ON!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting Free and Feeling like a Winner!

Here I am again after a long silence. Still stewing, folks.

Today's entry is actually a heartfelt note of gratitude I sent to Jen Louden, The Comfort Queen.

And since today, one of her suggestions for getting FREE is to send an email or two without spell-checking, I sent this note to her typos and all. And I am posting it on the blog unedited. (holding my breath) and affirming that I am perfect in my imperfections! (smile)

Here goes:



I can't tell you how delighted, thrilled, grateful and just plain psyched I am to WIN a truly special life-giving gift from you! The Life Organizer has been sitting in my cart on Amazon for months... maybe years. Wow! I am just to thankful. It's not just a book. It represents a whole lot more to me!

Last week, I had NO cash in any of my accounts. None. Checks outstanding, two kids to feed, bills to pay. Nada. I chose not to be afraid or lose it. But, I was anxious all weekend. I kept affirming that the Universe provides. It is bountiful. I have ALL that I need. I kept in that space. Boom. Monday: freedom from self-improvement. Wow. Just what I needed to organize my thoughts and intentions for this month. I am SO on board. That day, I go to brunch with my beloved, and decide to charge it. Guess what? I win 200 points and win a free lunch worth 25 bucks. Ok. I am grateful. I then walk down the street, sit at a cafe and for the first time in years, count out the change in my wallet to decide if I can afford to buy an iced tea. I notice that this is new and different, and how to so many, I lead a very privileged existence. I am privileged in that moment to appreciate what it feels like to count pennies. I accept that gift.

I open my book and begin to read from Life is a Verb (loving that book): I read the message of how to be better, kinder, generous strangers. I accept that lesson. I walk outside to make a call. I follow my instinct which tells me to walk away from the stores to a quiet path. I am approached by a young man, "can I ask you a really embarassing question? Could you spare me some change?" Wow, I think. This is profound. I am paying attention. I know that truly my heartfelt desire is to give more freely, not just of resources but of myself. So I empty out my change in his palm, but I pause to speak with him. He is taken off-guard. He shares some of his story with me. I listen. I ask him questions. Ten minutes later, he thanks me for taking time to speak with him, and I thank him for the same.

Days like that are quite a gift from the Universe, eh?

Well, today was even better. I joined you in declaring freedom from self-improvement. Instead of spending the day doing online searches to help me figure out my life and the next thing I need to be doing for my kids, I just let go. I chose to be present and just honor my inner desires. I danced with my two year old daughter. I played with her. I ate with her (this is rare - long story here). I walked in the sunshine with her. I showed her how it's breezy in the shade, and we appreciated the shade and the breeze. We enjoyed each other. We reached out to some friends with the swine flu, and went to visit them with chicken soup. Who cares if they might be contagious? I felt the need to connect with them face to face and not just on instant messages. I received bounties today. I started a dreamboard that I have been planning to do for a while. Do you know what was on there? A retreat with you. I claimed it. One day... soon... I will go on retreat and actually be in the presence of Jen Louden. This is a must-have life experience for me. Right alongside a personal intellectual artist retreat in Paris sans enfants, para-sailing, doing yoga on the beach somewhere, learning yet another language, oh... wait a minute. I pause here because I don't want to get caught up in the trap of self-improvement. But I note my desires and I put them out there into the Universe, trusting in the Law of Attraction.

I had no intention of seeking clients. One came to me. Thankful. I love when kids spontaneously say "I love you." I got a couple of those today. One from the playroom while I was in the kitchen. I sure relished that.

And at the end of the day after karate and gym classes as I am hurrying to get them in the bad for qiuck bedtime, I check my messages. I won a book from Jen Louden! Wow. I attracted - visioned - dream boarded my way into a win today. But, mostly I know that the Universe is sending me some significant messages right now. I am paying attention.

Thank you for being such a precious part of my life's journey.

heartfelt thanks and hugs!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Reinventing myself... again

I have been mute. No urge to blog. Not much to verbalize either.

This happens to me when I am stewing. What am I stewing about?

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

This is the question that keeps me up at night. It follows me around. I can not hide from it. It keeps me mute. It makes me mad. Why? I am raw with the knowledge that this life is precious, fleeting, impermanent. Each day is given to us but not a given. So each day that goes by that I am not living purposefully and fully, is a day wasted.

I want to count. I want my actions to matter. I want my days to have meaning and consequence. I fear that time will pass me by, and I will have very little to show for my share of this precious time here on earth.

I want to matter.

How will I do this? Stay tuned... I am reinventing myself.

It is exciting to some. It is frightening, daunting, and nerve-wracking too.