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Chicago Memories Part Two

July 22, 2009

Sadly, my trip is already starting to feel like a faraway dream. Which is my I must write more about it now so that I don’t lose my memories of it forever!


On Saturday I woke up ready to get moving and explore the city. The conference didn’t officially start until 8:30, and I woke up early, so I had plenty of time. I was staying about 6 blocks from Navy Pier, so I headed in that direction. There were so many people out already! Huge groups of runners, bikers, and walkers were everywhere, especially when I got closer to the pier and the lakefront path.

Navy Pier View

Navy Pier View

After my walk I headed back to my hotel to start the day. I had some slop oatmeal from the breakfast buffet and found a table that I thought was out of the way. Unfortunately, it turns out everyone who was heading down to the meeting level, just below the breakfast area, had to walk right by my table. Including Martha Beck. She walked by with some other people and said hi to me (I had on my convenient name badge indicating that I was with her group) and I thought I was going to choke on my banana.

I don’t consider myself shy most of the time, but I (obviously) look up to Martha and being that close to her made my heart stop beating temporarily. I recovered, sort of, but I think I was probably bright red and sweating. Definitely not my best look.

I headed down to the meeting area and hooked up with a coaching buddy, and waited for everything to start. And this is where I get fuzzy. I know some other amazing Master Coaches like Susan Hyatt and Michelle Woodward spoke, Martha gave a talk, and there was some music played, but I’m drawing a blank on the details.

After that blur, we had our first break out session of the day. There were five different sessions to choose from, and I chose the one called “The Art of Breathing – The Original Coaching Tool” which was lead by Dana Frost and Jill Tupper.

It was fantastic. We were taught five different breathing techniques in the class: Centering Breath, Awareness Breath, Affirmation Breath, Relaxation Breath, and Balancing Breath. My favorite part? When we got to get out of our chairs, take off our shoes, and lay down on towels and get really relaxed. (Also, this is the second time in as many weeks that someone noticed and complimented me on the tattoo I have on my toe. I’ve had it more than nine years and I regularly forget that I have it, so this was interesting to me.)

I think my favorite breath was the Relaxation Breath. This is the typed up description of the breath from the worksheet we were given, “Lie down and place tongue on the roof of the mouth gently behind top teeth. The exhale is around the tongue with lips pursed out and will sound like a whoosh. To begin, first exhale completely through the mouth. Next inhale for a count of four. Hold breath for a count of seven. Lastly, exhale for a count of eight. Repeat entire sequence four times. Practice four breath cycles twice a day and when comfortable, increase up to eight breaths per cycle twice a day. A helpful tool for insomnia, anxiety, cravings, fear, rage, and confusion.” Sounds like a better alternative to the other ways we deal with those things, yes?

After this session I chose to attend “Communicating with Horse Energy”, taught by Koelle Simpson. You’re probably wondering what the heck horse energy has to do with life coaching people. Well, the class was really about our own energy and how it contributes to our coaching, but Koelle is a horse whisperer and showed some footage of how our energy around horses effects them.

The main thing I learned from Koelle’s session is that me holding my own joyful, peaceful energy is one of the best things I can do for my clients. I want to lead my clients, not by telling them what to do, but by staying in my own happy, clean energy, and being an example. Is this simple? Yes. Is it easy? Oh my goodness, no. This session was amazing and filled me with both peace and hope. And also dog hair, as Koelle’s yellow lab was in the class with us.

After this session we broke for lunch and then got to listen to the inspiring Byron Katie for two hours. I want to talk about this experience in depth, so I’m going to give it its own blog post later, but I want to say here that it really shifted my views in some important ways. It was…great? awesome? Someone get me a thesaurus?

The afternoon brought two more break out sessions. First I attended Pam Slim’s “Change the World with Content Stew”. This was a workshop about learning how to create rich content for your people. The class inspired me to get cracking on determining who “my people” actually are, because I’m not entirely sure. Luckily, since I’ve gotten home I’ve started doing a little brainstorming on it, and I expect to do alot more! I’ll keep you updated.

The last session I attended was Bridgette Boudrea’s “Facebook and Twitter – OMG, WTF?” This woman cracks me up. Most of the session was actually focused on learning about Twitter, which was very interesting to me. In fact, yesterday I finally signed up. Honestly, working from home is a sort of lonely pursuit, and social media is fun for me. I can tell Twitter is going to be a blast!

After that long and crazy day, you’d think I’d be about ready to pass out. However, when Jen is excited and motivated, she can keep on rockin’. After the sessions I talked to another coaching buddy, Nan, for half an hour, called home to a few different people, went to dinner at Emilio’s with Kat, and then headed to the party being thrown in the bar area of my hotel.

The party was great! When you put life coaches together in a room, whether alcohol is involved or not, there is going to be a whole lotta deep talk and coaching going on! The group I was sitting in even did some “gang coaching” and each threw in our questions when someone had an issue they wanted to be coached on, it was great. When I was “gang coached” I learned I need to get out there and have more fun! I want to attract clients who are fun and share my sense of humor and creativity, so I need to fill my life with as much of that as possible!

By around 10:30 I was one tired puppy, so I headed upstairs to toss and turn and think about everything I learned sleep.

Part of me wants to throw out some lessons to all of you reading this, but there is only thing that I really care about conveying: When you are relaxed and happy and living from that place, everything takes care of itself. You don’t need to worry about anything. I know, hard to believe at first, but it’s true.

Be Joyful!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 22, 2009 7:06 pm

    So true on that last part! I couldn’t agree more!

    I’m so glad this trip lived up to your expectations đŸ™‚ And that you got to see Chicago!!!

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