I am a big fan of Project Runway and more recently of Under the Gunn; which just finished its first season. The attraction to these shows is multifaceted, partly because the level of creativity is so high, partly as I see some of the challenges as a metaphor for daily life (but that’s another blog), and in large part due to Tim Gunn. He serves as a mentor and displays many admirable traits, including direct honest communication that is compassionate, and an unwavering belief in people’s abilities. Perhaps what I love most of all is his catch phrase “Make it work,” on the shows the phrase is referring to the outfits the designers are creating. However I started thinking about this lovely phrase and realized it really can pertain to our day to day lives. As a coach I observe that people don’t give themselves the space to “make it work,” they tell themselves things like “make it perfect” or “do it right the first time.” If more often we just encouraged ourselves and others to simply “make it work” no matter what or how that looks, we might be more willing to try things. I think “make it work” is about being okay with the possibility of making a mistake, of creating something not “perfect.” Overall “make it work” is about showing up, being seen and putting oneself out there. It is so simple, compassionate, elegant, and yes hard.
People come to coaching to create a better life for themselves. However sometimes the “better life” isn’t their idea of a better life, but some one else’s idea of a better life. Often the work starts with exploring who we are and what we really want. So why do so many folks not know what they truly want? Consider all the messages we get from society, media, parents, peers etc. about what and how our lives should look like or be like. Many of these messages have been with us our entire lives yet we don’t question them. That is why I am excited to share these videos with you today. These two teasers are for documentaries that shine light on this subject and how harmful it is to us individually and as a society. I hope you find them intriguing and thought provoking. Enjoy
The film’s website can be found here
Jean Kilbourne’s website can be found here
Happy post-Thanksgiving and mid-Hanukkah to all those who celebrate either or both! It is wonderful that we have a day set aside in our calendar for giving thanks. Think about how you feel on Thanksgiving, maybe you are grateful you are with family, maybe you are grateful you are not with family, that you got to travel or you didn’t have to, grateful there are yams at the table, grateful there aren’t yams. You get the idea, there really isn’t a wrong or a right thing to be grateful about, just think of how life seems when you are in that grateful place. Does life seem easier, harder, or the same? My point is that when we practice gratitude things do usually seem better. Most of us want to experience ourselves and our lives as “better,” and we can do that by cultivating gratitude, the more gratitude we cultivate the better life seems. As Brené Brown says “Gratitude is the path to joy.” I encourage you to join me on that path and start a practice of gratitude. Start simply and with small things, it truly all adds up. I am grateful for all of you and wish you the warmest beginning to the Holiday season!
Okay so I have been a huge fan of Stacy London from “What Not To Wear” which I have been watching for all 10 seasons and to my horror is ending this year. I will no doubt wear my most stylish mourning clothes as I grieve this loss.
Okay so what the heck does this have to do with life coaching you ask? Well the NY Times review of Stacy London’s new book “The Truth about Style.” Refers to Ms. London as “part life coach, part fairy godmother” this to me, could not ring more true. In watching the show over the years I have really been inspired by her style as a person and how she seems to see the best features of people inside and out. I have been influenced by her on that level and on a personal level; to accept myself as I am, to discover my own style and to dress the body I have. My own personal evolution has been such that I could produce pictures of myself that are worthy of a “What Not To Wear” before and after. I would like to think I have nailed the after part [grin].