Feb08

(Not so Jedi) Mind Tricks

Written by // Clare Monteau

Do you ever feel that you are NOT 100% your best, that you aren't at the top of your game, having the most brilliant insights, and that maybe you left your most creative problem-solving head at home today? 

About 100 times a day I have that feeling. 

So what to do? Berate ourselves for where we are? Curse not getting enough sleep, the frustrating conversation we just had, or the after work commitment we have made and wish we hadn't? All reasonable but ultimately won't either solve that tricky problem you have OR make you feel any better about your day. 

(Not so Jedi) Mind Tricks
Jan05

An Open Letter to My Stepdaughter, (and every 13yr old, and every woman who is trying to fit into a vision of how we are told to feel and be)

Written by // Clare Monteau

I know this hurts. I know you think you are broken. I know the world feels confusing and f’d up. And it is, in so many ways. And if someone doesn’t feel like that sometimes, then they aren’t paying attention. 
 
 
 
I want you to know that everything you feel is a sign of your brilliance. Is a sign of how smart and wise you are. That our culture tells us that we shouldn’t ever feel really bad, and if we do, its because we aren’t skinny enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or own the right things. That looking different on the outside will make us feel better on the inside. But most of all, we are fed the lie that if we feel a certain way it means we are broken. That's the biggest lie of all. 
Nov16

Lessons from Mother Nature

Written by // Clare Monteau

Does this time of year make you feel like slowing down, doing less, spending more time inside? Excellent. I’m a big proponent of listening to the body and letting it guide us-and if you ever say “I wish had more time to myself”, let NOW be the time to do so.  Let the long nights and cooler air be the reminder you need to be with yourself more, to slow down the pace of your life and cultivate your inner strength. I was reading a magazine advice column last week in which a reader asked for help with their lower energy and zest for life in the winter, and rather than see those symptoms as something to fix, it sounds perfectly natural to me-why would we humans be excluded from the seasonal shift that all living things feel?  
Although this change in energy and mood can be due to less sunlight and changing melatonin levels and there are ways to reduce the effect of that, I also wonder if there isn’t some greater intelligence at work, encouraging us to use the seasonal change to our advantage. And if you are inclined to do so...
Sep20

86 Days to Thanksgiving!

Written by // Clare Monteau

In 10 weeks, many of us will be sitting around the table with family and/or friends, celebrating the Thanksgiving holday. What will you be grateful for? If the word'surviving' come into your mind, then these tips are for you. If you want to have MORE to be grateful for than you can muster right now, then these tips are for you.

Sep05

Sacred, My Way

Written by // Clare Monteau

Starting every day at Roman Catholic Mass at 730am with my mother was NOT my idea of a good time as a child. At some point, I’m guessing as an early teenager, I must have put my stompy hormonal foot down and stopped attending. She, on the other hand, never stopped her daily commitment until the past few years when she simply couldn’t walk there anymore.

Jan19

How to ALWAYS Make the Right Decision

Written by // Clare Monteau

Imagine the energy and space you could have if you didn't ruminate on whether you are making the right decision? I've noticed in myself, and in the women I know and work with, that making decisions takes up a HUGE part of our consciousness. We ruminate by day, we talk to our friends/colleagues/partners, we ponder and lose sleep at 4am. And, to get geeky for a minute, making decisions (and debating whether we made the right one after the fact) uses the executive center of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) which also uses the most energy. So wouldn't it be wonderful to get efficient at making decisions, and to move on confidently once we have? 

Dec15

The Practice of No

Written by // Clare Monteau

It's my guess you have more things vying for your attention than any other time of year. It's a true Christmas miracle you are even reading this. End of year work deadlines, kids commitments, and "100 ways to make your Holidays special". And if that wasn't enough, truth is most of us are addicted to busyness, addicted to saying we are busy, and like any addiction, there's often a part of it we dont actually want to give up.

But just in case you do want a momentary glimpse of freedom from this cycle........here are 3 quick ways to free up some of your never-more-valuable energy.....and place it exactly where you want it.  

Oct02

3 Ways to Gamify Your Life

Written by // Clare Monteau

Who has a habit they want to stop, or a new habit they want to start? When we want to change any type of behavior,  it’s worth remembering we are doing a form of rewiring and it’s likely to be hard. Our brain loves doing the same thing, it’s very energy efficient to do so (imagine messages being able to travel along a line thats already there compared to laying a new line) and so stopping that, or doing something else requires some clever thinking ahead of time.  However the brain does love a game, a challenge (smart phone app developers bank on it) , so use this natural proclivity to get what you want, instead of the next highest score on Candy Crush....  
3 Ways to Gamify Your Life
Sep20

4 Tips to Deal With Those Difficult People (DP)

Written by // Clare Monteau

One of the most popular training topics requested by organizations is one that offers tactics to deal with these DP. I guess that means we are surrounded by them. The definition of 'difficult' speaks of "hard to deal with, manage, or overcome".  If you know anything about me, I'm always up for a challenge-so here are my top recommendations for dealing with, managing or overcoming the DP in your life. Note-they actually require you to DO something so grab a pen if you actually want something to change. 

Jul01

What Tracks Are You Driving In?

As a teenager, I went through a period of having terrifying panic attacks which would last for 30m-1h or so, leaving me shaken and scared. One of the observations I made during my recovery from these incidents was that it felt like once I had the first inkling that I was heading into an attack, I didn’t feel like I had an option. The image that came into my mind was driving a car in a really wet muddy field, and the tire tracks that were already laid were the only ones I could follow, or at least that was the easiest option, and those tracks led into the full blown breathlessness, body chills, out of body experience that was so familiar. 

When I learned to overcome them, it was by yanking the steering wheel with a new behavior, forcing myself onto a different path. Sometimes I didn’t, because it felt too hard, but at least I knew I had an option.

 

 

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