Friday, July 25, 2003

Centered Self / Selfishness

One of the most difficult things to do for most of my clients is taking time for themselves. Their homework the first day "Take a half hour just for you. Tell your family, S/O etc that unless the house is burning down or there's a real emergency, you're not to be disturbed until the end of that half hour." I could ask them to stretch in pretty much any direction to increase their comfort zone, but there's something about asking them to be a bit selfish for a moment that pushes their buttons. When I started out, I used to tell them to take an hour and that was REALLY pushing it. So I reduced it to a half hour.... for starters : ) and just as they're coming to terms with that, I increase it. OK, so I never said I was supposed to make their lives easy. Better, yes....easier, least at that moment in time. Once they begin to replenish their inner selves, their lives DO get easier.

For most of us, taking time...that very precious commodity, is being selfish. Well I have news for you... selfish is in. Remember what the flight attendant tells you when you get on a plane? "Put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else" You don't give to yourself, sooner than later there will be nothing to give others. And taking that time to "just be" is a beginning. Find a place, either physical or mental where you can let go of all the stresses of the day and allow all sorts of wonderful thoughts and ideas just fill your mind. It's not about escaping the's finding your inner balance with which to bring all the wonders of the world in, without the chaos and pressures of the day. This is the most precious gift you could give yourself....the gift of peace, quiet and introspection. And somehow, life has a way of rushing in, even more beautiful than before.


Donna Karlin

Saturday, July 19, 2003


I don't know why water is such a draw for me.....the desire to be near the ocean, that smell of salt in the air....a warmth that seems to permeate your very being while sitting there on the sand. I burn even looking at the sun, but somehow, that desire is always there. It's not only the's the water. The same feeling comes over me as I drive home along the Parkway ....looking at the river that divides Ontario with Quebec....the vivid green of the grass, watching people bike and walk along its shores, and, very special to me in the spring and summer months, watching the Canada Geese just stand there, sometimes so still they look like statues. They're never here for long and I know I'll miss them when they start going south in the colder winter months.

Most of my dreams...the memorable ones, seem to take place along the shores of the ocean and reading a quote this morning brought it all back, maybe making sense of it all. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote "In the first happy condition, one seems to carry all one's tasks before one lightly, as if borne along on a great tide; and in the opposite state one can hardly tie a shoe-string".

I know when I'm happy everything works like clock-work with very few glitches along the way. For me the power of the ocean both energizes and relaxes....a contradiction, I love. Because when I close my eyes I can almost touch it...feel it's strength...the wonder of it, and it infuses me. Veronique Vienne wrote "The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things". To me....there's nothing ordinary in the magic of the sea, or the pictures it conjures in my mind. And, I suppose, that could be said about the special people in my life as well.

I many extraordinary things can you find in an ordinary day? Enjoy your week.


Donna Karlin

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Energy and Time

Recently I read a book on energy management. They maintain it's not about managing time, rather it's all about managing energy. is the key to high performance and happiness. We all know how vulnerable we become when we're exhausted. However, in my opinion you can't separate the two. Time and energy goes hand in hand. If you don't balance your schedule and figure out your priorities, both in work and life, then you're always behind the eight ball in catch up mode until something gives, usually your health. The adage "want something done, ask a busy person" is true. Do they have more time? No! They manage it better.

Many Coaches have commented to me (before really knowing me and how I manage my life) that I'm going to kill myself by how I work. Shadow (or observational) Coaching takes an incredible amount of energy. There is no down time for me, even when my client is working away quietly. You have to be aware of every movement, body language, communication interactions and how they manage themselves. But I don't and won't Shadow four weeks out of the month. It's all about balance and managing time which is the key to maintaining energy flow.

I take one week out of the month to increase my knowledge, do with old clients for them to share their victories, and interview new ones. There's time for paperwork catch-up and, creating new class material for my students and, of course, writing my blogs. Most important...time to replenish energy and just "be".

And as far as I'm concerned, by spending time with people I enjoy being with, balancing my life with living life, which means making sure I get to do the things I've had on my "places to go, people to see, things to try" list, life doesn't pass me by and I have the time and energy to enjoy it.


Donna Karlin

Friday, July 04, 2003

All Sorts of Wonderful Possibilities

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to wake up every day and feel fresh, energized and raring to go, without knowing exactly why....because it just is? A small stretch beyond your comfort zone .....a feeling of being "daring" even in the tiniest way...wearing a combination of two colours you never wore before, eating a new food, loving or hating it but happy you had the guts to try overall feeling of "what the heck... I’m going to go for it and see what happens" kind of attitude.

Sounds wonderful, right? And then many of my clients, friends and family come out with "Sure sounds great! But right now I have to do car pool, meet a deadline at work....etc.etc.
Maybe I’ll try it tomorrow".

How many of you live your lives in the future tense? Not the future....but the concept that tomorrow will give you all the extra time you need to do everything you’ve put off in the past because it was never convenient. I used to live that way, way back when....and gave myself a swift wake up kick when I saw friends and family battle life threatening illnesses and wish there were more tomorrows.

As my father jokes with me on a regular basis (throwing a favourite line back at me) "Are you living the moment?"

And if you did today what you really wanted for some time in the tomorrows....wouldn’t you feel great? Not only that you (heaven forbid) put yourself first, but had the courage to try something new.

Somehow the kids get to their destinations on time, deadlines are met AND both with a smile and a spring to your step. You can break all the rules, have fun and respect yourself in the morning. Maybe it’s time to set new rules....ones that allow a little bit of selfishness. The joy that’ll come of it will also spread...the ripple effect larger than you could imagine.

Start a trend! As the late Mae West used to say "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" Learning to allow every day pleasures is the most about face change many can make. It won’t happen overnight, or tomorrow. It CAN happen right now, starting today, one stretch at a time.

And when you do choose a constant state of happiness and joy, your day to day life will be too wonderful for words.

Imagine what it would be like to keep it that way.

Have the best day.....

Donna Karlin