Don’t Be Sidelined
November 29, 2018

What does fall have an abundance of, besides leaves and new TV shows? Sports of all kinds. Whether on screen, in stadiums or on the fields at our kids’ schools, there are athletes on the fields. There are also players on the bench waiting for the coach to send them in. Do you feel like you are stuck on the bench of your life? Hire me and I’ll be the coach that gets you in the game.

Why?  Because coaching will seriously change your life.  The accountability, support and encouragement you'll receive will rock your world and pull you forward in ways you've never experienced before.

I know because not only have I have experienced this in my own life and I also witness it every day in my clients' lives.   Coaches help you get out of your own way and into action.  We challenge the mindsets that keep you stuck by asking powerful questions and pointing out your blind spots – the things you can't see that are getting in your way.  And, we hold you accountable, so you do what you must to move forward.  

I love being a coach because it’s thrilling to partner with people who want to dig a little deeper to see what else is out there and explore new ways to enrich their lives and their relationships.   Whether we're talking about careers, connections or life's transitions, the conversations I get to have with my clients are exciting and meaningful.

Is coaching for you?  It is if...

You're scared, and your fears are getting in the way of what you want in life – connection, love, joy, success.

You need a kick in the pants.  You know what you want but you can't figure out how to make it happen.

You're unhappy.  You want more out of life, but you aren't sure how to get it.

You're happy.  You're open to what’s out there and you want to grow and thrive.

What do all of the above have in common?  MORE.  You want more in your life.  More of the good stuff that makes life rich and meaningful.

Wondering if coaching can make a difference in your life?  (Spoiler alert – it can!) Let's talk.  Message me at sheilastorrer@outlook.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session.  I promise I won’t make you run laps (unless fitness is your goal!) or yell at you in a locker room. But I will change your life.   

Best,

Sheila

  


A Simple Way to Practice Gratitude
September 26, 2018


Coffee always makes it to my gratitude list.

Did you know that research shows that people who practice gratitude experience improved mood, decreased loneliness and a greater sense of overall well-being?

But, some days it’s hard to be thankful when we’re bombarded by the news, the construction next door, our kids’ bickering, the mortgage…

Practicing gratitude is a way to remind ourselves to pay attention to the good things in our lives that we otherwise take for granted because it’s easy to get numb to the richness in our lives.

Here’s a way to do this --- Scan your day before bed. Start with the very first thing you did in the morning and work yourself forward. “I heard the birds, got up and put my favorite sweatshirt on, made a great cup of coffee, had a laugh with my son before he took off for school, listened to an interesting podcast on the way to work, had a cool conversation with the woman in line at Starbucks …”

Get the gist?

My clients who do this exercise report that they have a greater appreciation for the simple things in their lives. It often surprises them when they notice just how much joy and connection they experience during their day.

If you’re interested in seeing how practicing gratitude can make a difference in your own life, let’s talk. Message me at sheilastorrer@outlook.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session.

Best,

Sheila

  



Try the 1% Challenge
April 10, 2018

    Life would be better if only my kids were better behaved.
    My relationship would be more satisfying if only my husband listened.
    I would be happier if only I had friends who really cared more about me.

Most of us have these “if only” thoughts from time to time. But, it is easy to get stuck here. To think that the only solutions are outside of our control, which eventually will lead to us feeling helpless.

So, what can you do when you find yourself thinking this way? Try doing something 1% differently.

Here’s an example. A client of mine wants more connection with his wife. I asked if he could think of anything he could do to create more connection. “ME? But, it’s all her,” was his reply. Got it – but since he can’t change her, what can he do? I suggested that he try to create 1% more connection. Go small.

He didn’t think it would make a difference but committed to giving it a try. He decided to do little things like send her a funny text during day, take a minute to say a heartfelt good morning, and buy her a coffee on the way home from work. 1% -- that’s it.

A week later, he was shocked when he noticed that things had been smoother between the two of them and he felt more warmth in their relationship. Pretty cool.

So, you want to feel more loved? Try giving 1% more love. Want more joy? Give 1% more joy. Want more calm? Be 1% more calm.

Be the change and my guess is you’ll experience more of what you’re looking for.

Best,

Sheila

PS -- If you take on the 1% Challenge, I’d love to know how it goes for you.

  


Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes
March 6, 2018



We’re always in transition…and I’m in the midst of a giant one.

My oldest son will be leaving for college in the fall. Did you hear that? LEAVING MY HOUSE TO GO FAR AWAY TO COLLEGE. How is that possible?

What does this mean for me? Being a mom is the most important role of my life and while I’ll always be his mom, he doesn’t need me in the same way. Our relationship is constantly changing as he becomes an independent, capable young adult.

Every day I wonder - What will my life be like without him here? I’ll miss the hell out of watching him play soccer on Sundays, cooking for his friends, waiting up for him to come home at night, making sure he’s happy and healthy. It’s hard to even write that.

On the flip side…I’m slowly starting to see the opportunities for my future. As my role changes and my emotional and physical responsibilities decrease, there is more space to think about what’s next. What do I want my life to look like outside my role as a mom? What do I want for my business? My marriage? My friendships? My free time? My relationship with my youngest son?

As coach, I love working with people like me who are in a transition. My job is to help my clients see what’s on the other side of that transition. And then, support them to create the changes that will make their lives full and rich.

If you’re knee-deep in a transition and need some support to see the possibilities, let’s talk. I have three appointments open this month for complimentary sessions. Message me at sheilastorrer@outlook.com to schedule.

Best,

Sheila

  


Let's Make the Holidays Good Enough
December 4, 2017

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Are these lights amazing or what? I wrote the family a thank you note to express how much I appreciate their hard work to make our neighborhood festive.


‘Tis the season to run around like crazy, spend too much money, drink too much eggnog and burn the candle on both ends.

Every year I’m bogged down by expectations – mostly my own. The holidays are supposed to go a certain way. They’re supposed to be magical and perfect. And whose job it is to make sure that happens? MINE.

That’s a tall order for this mortal.

What if I try something different this time around? What if I aim to make them enjoyable, fun and good enough?

I decided to do the 29gifts.org challenge after hearing from friends about its powerful impact and how it helped them slow down. The concept is that you give something away every day for 29 days. Something small or something big.

So I dove in - I wrote a thank you to the family a few blocks over that puts up my favorite decorations every year; sent nail polish to a friend after she commented that she liked mine (Opi’s Lincoln Park After Dark); gave extra tips to waiters; held the door for strangers; hand-delivered flowers to a friend; baked cookies for my son’s soccer team; and paid for the coffee of the person in line behind me.

Some days the challenge was super annoying and felt like a chore. Once or twice, I even had to jump out of bed and order something online before the clock hit midnight. But, most days it was so much fun and brought me a ton of joy.

I noticed that I felt more engaged in the world. I was always on the lookout for someone to give to, and I got really creative. I enjoyed the simple stuff around me – the lights, the sounds, the faces, the smiles. I was actively looking for ways to connect, but only by giving, not getting.

It was so simple, and it felt so good.

What if I approached every single day this way? Just showing up. Looking to connect. To give. Not to get. Phone down, head up.

Do you see anything for yourself in this story? Perhaps a different way you’d like to engage with the world? Are there expectations you’d like to shed? I’d love to hear from you!

  


Mindfulness...it's not all b.s.
September 6, 2017

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From experts to friends, meditation is a hot topic, but what is it exactly? I used to think it was a yoga or meditation thing that took years to perfect.  

Nope – It’s simply a way of paying attention to our thoughts in the moment when we find that we’re distracted. 

Here’s an example – I was driving to the gym this morning and listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast.  (I’m a Happier super fan.)  Pretty quickly into my drive, I noticed that I wasn’t even listening to Gretchen but rather ruminating about all the things I need to do today.  My stress level was spiraling.
 
So, I took a few deep breaths, focused on my surroundings and honed back in on the podcast.  

And, that is mindfulness!  Nothing fancy, but effective since I can’t stress if I’m focused on Gretchen.

I teach my clients concepts of mindfulness to help them experience a greater sense of calm and success in their lives. Research shows that people who practice mindfulness experience greater productivity, deeper focus, reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep and eating habits, and better cognitive functioning.

A simple way to bring mindfulness into your life is to set intentions.  Intentions bring us back to our purpose if we get off track or find ourselves procrastinating.  

Think about how you usually start a morning:  Do you stretch?  Lay in bed and fret?  Say a prayer?  Reach for your phone to check Facebook?  Turn on the TV?  Read the news?  Whatever you do sets the tone for your day.   

Try this instead…
First thing in the morning write down your three major priorities for the day.  

Next, think about how you want to show up to each priority –not what you want to DO but how do you want to BE – and write it next to the priority.  This is your intention.

Here are some ideas for your intentions ---- Love, confidence, compassion, power, joy, fun, connection, calm, action, authenticity, clarity, courage, creative, possibility, balance, harmony, peace, commitment, curiosity.

Here’s how mine look for today:  

  1. Meeting with a new client– Curiosity.  If I come from a place of curiosity I do my best listening and I really want to learn who this new person is.   
     
  2. Prepping for an upcoming presentation – Focus.  I know the material and I’m excited to share it so I need to get it done.
     
  3. Family dinner to talk about this year’s curfews, allowance and chores – Connection.  If I focus on connection I am more likely to create a dialogue so we can come up with mutually respectful agreements. That’s much better than me telling everyone what to do and ticking them off.  

Before starting each priority, I’ll do exactly what I did in the car this morning.  I will take a few minutes and close my eyes, breath, think about my intention and how I want to show up.  I’ll let the distractions of the day go and get very present so that I can be effective and productive.  Sometimes I write my intention on a post-it note and stick it on my computer or my phone as a quick reminder. This is a simple but great visual aid if I feel myself getting distracted or anxious. 

Give intention setting a try and let me know how it goes for you.  If you need support around this or want to talk about other ways to be mindful, give me a call or send me an email.  What can being mindful give you? I’d love to chat it out!

  



Dreams don't die...they stalk us
May 23, 2017

What was it? That thing you really, really wanted but then told yourself you were either too old, too lazy or too lame to make happen? 

Was it taking a class? Joining a hiking club? Losing ten pounds? Writing a book? Running a marathon? Applying for a new job? Moving to a new city?

Here’s the thing. When we say NO to something we really want it may go away for a while but believe me - it will be back. Like a horror movie monster that the teens in the woods thought was dead.

Dreams and desires postponed
I started dreaming of becoming a coach years ago. I was ready for a change and I knew it would be a perfect fit for me – I had the background, the skills, the passion. I wanted to own my own business and work with people that were up to cool things.

But it took me years to make it happen because of the noise in my head.  It went like this…  you would suck at it, it’s too hard to own your own biz, you don’t have time to do a program, and you …  blah, blah, blah…

Get the picture?

I would push this dream of mine deep down but it would always pop right back up. It was my stalker. I’d move on to something else, experience a bit of contentment but it would always come back – I really wanted to be a coach but I was scared.

One day, while at my desk ruminating about how boring my work life was, my friend emailed me about a coaching program. I looked it up online and filled out the application, hitting send before the noise had a chance to flare up. This looked awfully impulsive to people around me, but they didn’t know this dream had stalked me for years.

Turn off the noise
That stuff in our head that gets in the way…I call mine noise.  Some people call theirs an inner critic or gremlin but it’s always the same - It keeps us small, it keeps us feeling less than, it keeps us afraid, and it keeps us from sharing our gifts with the world. 

How do you make the doubts shut up? Action.

  1. Acknowledge the noise. Write it down. Recognize that it is actively obstructing your life.  
  1. You’ve got the facts so replace the original thought. “Lazy?  No, I'm motivated! I get stuff done.”    
  1. Just do it! Pick up the phone and make the call. Put on your sweats and get outside for a walk. Turn off your phone and write a page.
  1. Feel how empowered this process makes you. This is how you will conquer the stalker.

What’s your dream? That thing, that idea that just won’t go away, that deep down inside you really, really want? Don’t give in to the noise. I can coach you through it.  I’ll help you put together a plan to make your dream a reality.  The world needs more dreams, less noise.

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With my husband at my graduation from the coaching program.
It was a fabulous night of celebration.

  



Want to spark up your sisterhood? Here are two great ways.
April 20, 2017

My oldest son turned 17 this month which means it was 17 years ago that I was panicking in the parking lot of Safeway because I couldn’t get the infant car seat off the shopping cart.  

I had a quick list of options: 1) Push the cart, car seat and baby home (5 miles) and pretend this was my plan all along; 2) Put him in the Baby Bjorn, leave the car seat and cart in the parking lot, drive to Babies R Us and buy a new one; or 3) Casually stroll the aisles of Safeway for 6 hours until my husband got off work and could get us.

Ah…but there was a 4th option:  4) Call new mom friend Cindi and ask for help. 
Cindi calmly told me to, “Take a deep breath…NOW PULL THAT F*CKER OFF WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.”   

Guess what?  It worked!   

While my cries for help have changed a lot over the past nearly two decades, my strong need for my female friends has not. I rely on them to champion me on, point out my blind spots, and to laugh and cry with me.

And, I'm there for them in the same ways they are for me.    

Did you know that research shows that strong female friendships can have lasting effects on our health – decreased blood pressure, lower heart disease and extended overall life expectancy?

How about you? 

Do you ask for help when you need it?  Do you have friendships that need some nurturing?  Or maybe you need a bigger tribe? If so, what's getting in your way of taking action to create what you need?

I think the friend connection is so powerful that I often make it part of my sessions with clients. When they are creating their list of practices designed to move them closer to their goals, we discuss who can support them for each one. Initially, reaching out to friends and family can be an awkward exercise, but as the weeks go on they find that their relationships grow stronger and they feel more connected to their friends. As an example, one client’s practice was to meditate three days a week; she enlisted a friend to check in with her and that helped her stick to the goal and discuss her progress.

If you’re looking for more connection in your life, I have two cool opportunities coming up for you Seattle-area people.

1.    On April 29, I’m hosting a table at MamaCon, a fun day-long gathering for moms in Bellevue. Check out the description online for more information. I’m excited about this opportunity to talk about parenting teens, a passion of mine. Come find me.

2.    For you moms of teens, I’m hosting a six-week book club in Kirkland to dive deep into Dr. Jane Nelsen’s book, “Positive Discipline for Teens.” These book clubs foster a connection with other local moms of teens and provide concrete, practical tools for parenting. Call me if you want to know more. 

It's time to spark up your sisterhood. 

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My boys on our travels. The car seats are long gone.

  



Got #goals? Avoid these typical mistakes. 
January 19, 2017

The start of January always has us dreaming and plotting goals for the new year.

It’s a time of renewal.  A time when anything seems possible.

But now that the calendar has flipped to mid-January, a lot of us have slowly given up and tucked those resolutions in the back of the drawer.

The line at the gym is gone, the outline of the book is still a bunch of empty pages, and we’ve given up on the hopes that our relationships will ever change. 

What happened?  What gets into our way? The noise in our heads that says we’re too tired, not smart enough, too busy or too old.

Since that’s mostly stuff we’ve made up about ourselves and decided to believe, how do we stay in action to reach the goals and desires that seemed so possible on January 1?

Here are the big mistakes a lot of us make.

Mistake #1 – Setting goals that have not been clearly defined. It’s important to figure out why this goal is important to you and what it would bring to your life if you obtained it.  What’s the cost if you do not achieve it?  And even better, what’s the benefit to you by achieving it?

Mistake #2 – Not creating a plan of action. How are you going to stay motivated?  What are the obstacles that might get in your way to sabotage you?

Break down lofty goals into digestible pieces, identify the milestones and schedule them into the calendar.  Make it specific, measurable, and set a deadline for it.

Mistake #3 – Going it alone. Pull in your tribe – reach out to a friend for support and ask tell them how best they hold you accountable.  A text on the day of deadline you’ve set to see how it’s going?  Times to take walks together? 

Many people have made lasting changes by approaching their goals in a fresh way. But if you feel stuck or it all seems too daunting, call in a professional. I can coach you through the sticky spots and help you align your values, effort and goals. Coaching doesn’t have to always be about huge life changes, either.

I can help you make lasting change in any area of your life, no matter the scope.  Let’s have a chat about your goals and desires for your life.  It could be just the kick start you need!

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More exercise is one of my resolutions - my Fitbit is holding me accountable.