My mighty (and morbid-ish) mission in life:
I’ve built a practice that helps us make the most of our time while we’re lucky enough to be above ground… to not take life for granted, to not feel like we’ve squandered our time, to feel totally alive.
I’ve made a lot of big life changes over the years because I knew I was wading into the waters of potential-deathbed-regret. I’ve changed careers, clients, relationships, habits, cities, homes, even the kind of fuzzy slippers I wear—all in pursuit of living a life I like/love, of staving off the “could have, should have, would have” troika of regrets and the boredom that stubbornly seeps in.
I’m a daily work in progress, to be sure. I don’t pretend to live an astonishingly alive life every day, and I don’t even want to astonish myself with my life every day. I do follow my own program though and know that if I don’t work diligently to build more vitality and meaning into my moments, I slip into autopilot in a hurry.
Why am I so focused on this decidedly unpopular topic?
I have a morbid curiosity about the Big Sleep… so there’s definitely that.
My Mom died in her 50s, which made life seem that much more temporary. But it was more than that. Her passing away jostled me awake, made me realize that I didn’t want to leave stones unturned and dreams unfulfilled (as she unfortunately did).
The Fancy Credentials
I have a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania…
Which means I spent one of the best years of my life studying with the world’s top researchers on happiness and what makes life worth living. (That was actually what we studied—and now that I know/ paid handsomely for all of the answers, I can’t hold them in. This shit’s too good to keep a secret.)
I’m now an Assistant Instructor in the master’s program. Woo hoo!
I am a Professional Certified Coach with the ICF and am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from CTI…
Which means that I’m basically overqualified with thousands of hours of 1:1 coaching.
I’ve spent years coaching C-level big cheese executives, leading CEO peer advisory boards (which is really like herding cats), and also coaching normal people (like you and me) on how to work well and live even better.
I have 25 years of executive leadership experience…
So I get what it’s like to be swept off your feet by the amazingness of a meaningful job that fills you with energy, and also to have your soul snuffed out of you by a job that robs you of the chance to experience even a wee bit of joy.
I get what it’s like to have your role become your identity, to yearn for more but feel helpless as to what “more” even is—let alone how to get it, and to feel stuck in a comfort zone that isn’t even all that comfortable anymore (oh, the trappings of titles, seniority, dough, and a half-decent parking spot). I’m happy to say that I made it out of corporate America alive and still kicking!
My version of aliveness isn’t (always) all that grand…
Feeling alive can come from the simplest things for me—like Cadbury Creme Eggs that come but once a year, getting to do face-to-face visits with my Dad again, or sketching a skull in under 30 tries to get it right. (I dare you to try and draw a skull, right now.)
I was born and raised near Toronto… and after 15 years in Chicago, just moved with The Husband and our feline son to Palm Springs, California. (We’ll be spending summers back in Chicago because apparently people melt in the desert from May – September.) I’ll be fine anywhere warm with the internet, a soft blanket, and a glass of alcohol. (That’s not as sad as it sounds.)