Monica J. Griffith

Guiding Light Coaching

Have you ever felt so ‘caught-up’ in what either has been or what is yet to come that you have lost sight of the present moment? Sometimes, I have absolutely no idea what day it is because I’m so involved in planning what is next. Do you know what I mean? And then, at the end of the day, I’m grousing because I didn’t get anything of substance completed. I am so quick to say: Where did the day go? Has that ever happen to you? Gosh, I hope I’m not alone in this!

I once attended (then facilitated) a seminar in which one of the modules was “BE HERE NOW!” (Senndelaney.com). Learning to be in the present moment is such a clarifying experience. Albeit, at times not such a joyous one. Nevertheless, when we are in that moment and we breathe in the essences of who we are and what is happening around us, we have the unique chance to actually BE who we said we were going to be.

I think first, we need to answer the question: what is it like to not be truly present? Have you ever been with someone who is not there? How about this – have you ever been with someone and YOU were not there? Have you ever ‘checked-out’ of a meeting? Have you ever been at home but your brain is still at the office?

My guess is that you can call to mind at least one time for each of the questions when the answer would be yes. How has that been working for you?

Chances are the motivation to fully participate is lacking. With our minds absent to the event or other person we lose the benefits of listening, growing, learning, teaching and sharing. What does that do for the quality of living the life you’ll love? What are you missing out on – do you know?

I can hear you saying: Ok, Coach! Now that you have got my attention on Be Here Now – how do I do it?

President Harry Truman spoke of quieting his mind and being more creative in his “personal foxhole.” I love that he said ‘quiet his mind’, because that is exactly what can be done to become present. You see, the mind is a very curious machine. If the mind is not interested (or believes it is not interested) in what is surrounding it, the mind simply diverts to something more interesting! Sounds simple, right? And, it is; however, sometimes what the minds redirects itself to may not be in YOUR best interest!

Becoming aware and awake to what is going on in that mind of yours is essential to Be Here Now. That is the first step. Next is to consciously shift to the here and now – to take a deep breath and state (quietly!) I am more interested in (name what is before you at the moment). Finally, to see the value added in the balance and relationships created, of the peace of mind and calm in being in this moment and of listening – I mean truly listen without planning your response or passing judgment.

Be Here Now. The past is past – it’s gone. The future is not yet here. Now is what determines the future and I know you want to give NOW your all so your future is all you dream it can be.

What does it mean to ‘be a good seeker’? I mean, who has time for that? What is Coach asking of me now – to actually go out there in the world and look for people to recognize? Am I suppose to be on a scavenger hunt, trying to find something good in someone else – and then what? Coach wants me to actually tell them, acknowledge them!

The simple answer is: Yes! It is being aware of what is going on around you and who is contributing to you, right here, right now. It really is not so difficult as it may seem!

Think about it – who do you encounter each day? The mail person, the garbage truck drivers, the young person bagging your groceries, the neighbor walking the dog, mom and dad at the park with young children, the person taking your order at the drive through – or the one giving it to you at the second window. The list goes on. I wonder how many more people you can add to the list!

Here’s the thing: I believe we are pretty good about saying thanks and maybe even adding ‘you’ and if we are really polite even adding a smile or eye contact. But let me ask you this: isn’t it more of a habit to say thanks on the way out for something someone has actually done for us?

When was the last time you sought out the mail person in appreciation of the work he/she does – particularly in the weather extremes? How about the garbage collector – ever give them a ‘thumbs-up’, wave or bag of homemade cookies? Did you ever let the person in the drive-through know how much you appreciate them working and preparing a snack/meal for you so you could get on with your busy life?

What about those who may cross our path and we don’t really get anything from them? Did you see an act of kindness, did you witness a pay-it-forward, are you aware of someone having an exceptionally good – or bad – day, did someone pick up litter or help another in some way? I’ll bet, if you look, you will see!

And what will it be like for you to acknowledge that person? I mean really acknowledge! Let them know you noticed the act or that something seems incredibly good for them or it seems they are having a rough time. What would that be like? Sit with it, for a moment. What would it be like for someone to recognize you?

Here is your ‘challenge’! Today, look for 3 people you can acknowledge – more than just ‘thank-you’ – and then, take in what that is like for you and for them. I’m betting it will warm your heart and make their day!

I’m curious – let me know what that experience is like for you! You can shoot me a quick email (mgriffith@guidinglightcoaching.com). I’d love to share my experience at this with you as well!

How many times have I asked myself that question! Although my Dad is no longer with me on Earth, he is certainly with me in my heart and soul. My Dad was my biggest cheerleader and greatest coach. I always knew when he was proud of me – and when he was disappointed.

Sometimes, I think I learned my greatest coaching skill from my Dad. He was a great listener! Oh, I would babble on about what was going on in school and my latest activity. He would patiently listen to the little girl whining and not once tell me to ‘get over it’! He would say things like: it will be okay, you can get through this, what would you like to have happen, I know you can do it, you have what it takes…And always, he would say: I love you!

He was my biggest advocate. Always finding something wonderful about what I was doing and encourage me to take risks to strive for even better outcomes. I know he really didn’t understand what I was doing when I went to coaching school; even so, he asked and offered ways to market my services when I was ready to start finding clients. He would always ask me what I was learning and how I could use the teachings. Something any good coach would do!

Dad was a role model – oh, he was not perfect, by any means and he would be the first to admit that; nevertheless, he always found a way to see the bright side of life and a way to pull everything together for me and my Mother and sisters. Sometimes, the only thing my clients can see is what might be going wrong. A good coach asks the client to ‘look’ at other possibilities and what the client can ‘do’ to move in another direction.

Dad believed in family and was diligent about having ‘his girls’ become close. He was a master of selflessness – more concerned about others than himself. He often told our Mother – ‘I don’t care if the girls don’t like me, but I do what them to be close to each other’ – and we are! It is like that with coaching as well. Coaching is not about the coach! Of a Good coach, the Client will say – I have a great coach! Of a Masterful coach: Client will say – I (the client) am great!!

As close as we are, my sisters and I are very different. Dad inspired us to be ourselves and to pursue our dreams. Oh, I am certain there was gentle prodding for each of us and guiding us one way or the other. In the end, we each picked our path and he supported each of us. I know he didn’t always agree with our choice, still, we knew he was in our corner and would allow us to fall so that we could become strong. I may not always agree with the choices my clients make; however, I do respect their choices and will help them see how strong they can become.

My Dad lived a very long and incredible life. I watched him and learned from him. When I am at a cross-roads and just don’t know which way to go, I often ask: What would Daddy do? He continues to ‘coach’ me through life’s challenges. I know he was a Masterful Coach because he taught me to say “I am great!”

I’m not really certain who coined the phrase “Lazy days of Summer” or what they could have possibly been thinking! While I love the thought of a lazy summer, everyone I know seems to amp it up a bit when the sun is shining and days are longer.

Now is the time for vacation planning, summer camp, longer days for outdoor activity, little league games, drive-in movies, picnics in the park and family reunions. I love all these activities and begin looking forward to them as soon as the calendar turns to May 1. How about you?

I am wondering – are they ‘lazy days’ because we are actually treating ourselves to things we enjoy? Is it perhaps because we delight in this time and the activities? Even though there is a great deal of preparation going on and planning to be done and schedules to navigate, is it refreshing and rewarding and do we feel a bit ‘lazy’ because we are invigorated? Maybe we feel lazy because we are spoiling and enjoying ourselves!

Now, don’t get me wrong! All these wonderful things don’t just magically appear (unless you are a kid and simply show-up!). I know the work involved in making this lazy summer happen – yet, since we so look forward to this change of pace, isn’t it something we relish?

What is it about this time of year that makes you smile and take long, slow breaths? For me, it is the sunny sky and the clouds that take on a different form in the summer time. And the kids, their laughter and screams of carefree fun. I love the smell of my neighbors grilling, especially when they are smoking some delectable treat! Don’t the leaves make a curious sound in the summer breeze? And what about those summer thunder and lightning shows and the smell of rain on a steaming blacktop road. The birds are in beautiful chorus with the cicadas, katydids and crickets. And what about those lighting bugs! Do you recall catching them in a bug box or mason jar with holes punched in the lid so they can breathe?

Do you think it is possible to take this lazy day of summer feeling with us into fall or winter?

Here is what I mean – do you think it is possible to treat ourselves all year long? What would it be like to have that ‘spoil me’ experience for 12 months rather than just of 3 or 4?

What if we delight in all our activities? What a wonderful world that would be!

You really never know what is going to happen next – unless, of course, you are Nicholas Cage in the movie ‘Next’! Well, I am not Mr. Cage and my life, while entertaining and adventurous, is not a movie.

I want to share with you a chance meeting I had a few days ago.

My Client Relations Director and I purchased last minute tickets to see the Broadway show STOMP at our local community center. Seems there were only a handful of seats left, but we were able to get two together.

Before the show started, we were perusing the program and the lovely lady sitting next to me started a conversation. We chatted about the upcoming performance, the great seats at the last minute (apparently she ordered hers about the same time we did). Just small talk with a stranger who was seated next to me.

I finally introduced myself and she did as well. I really don’t like talking with people very long if I don’t even know their name! The name then led to more conversation about me being fairly new to Colorado Springs and this is only my second time at the community center. More conversation and then, what brought you to Colorado?

Now we are into my coaching and her work. Hmmm…she asks: Would you be interested in attending a networking meeting for a group I belong to? Of course! I love to meet new people and network.

As it happens, the meeting is in just a couple days and my calendar is open at that time! Who knew! When I introduced myself at the meeting – and thanked her for inviting me – the topic came up of how we met. You know, I felt like I had known her for years rather than days!

Call it fate – call it kismet – call it destiny…I think I’ll call it ‘part of the GREAT plan’!

I don’t know why we were seated next to each other and connected. I don’t know what will come of our chat and the networking event. I don’t know the next phase of ‘the Great Plan’. I’m one to go-with-the-flow and see where it leads.

Here is the question: Are you open to and aware of the ‘accidental’ encounters before you? Are you willing to go-with-the-flow and see where it leads? Try it – and let me know!

By the way – – STOMP was fabulous and it was a wonderful evening out!