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This morning in my quiet time, I was reflecting on some of the things that have meant the most to me in 2011. I've coached a bunch of terrific clients in a variety of industries and situations. The cold winter was broken up by a relaxing week in Virgin Gorda with friends. I had the opportunity to advise five Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program students. Jim and I built a beautiful vacation home in the woods. Two amazing colleagues shared a weekend work retreat with me. I flew home to Texas for my high school reunion and reconnected with many old friends. I've planned leadership team meetings, dinner parties, puppy play dates, client retreats, and sightseeing tours for houseguests.
What I notice as my mind sifts back over the year is the blend of highlights. Small things stand out and give my life texture. The activities that don't show up on my calendar are often the most important in bringing balance to my life. Simple things, such as walking Harley in the park, calling a sibling with a funny story, sitting on the pier at sunset, and connecting with an interesting new client....those feed my spirit. Laughing with a friend over a bottle of wine. Helping a client achieve a breakthrough. Leaving an "I love you" note in Jim's lunch bag. Making a latte and curling up with a good book. Giving to others. Hanging out with my sons. Expanding my coaching skills. Losing those last five pounds. Learning from my mistakes. Supporting a grieving friend. Listening to beautiful music. Watching the sunrise.
Yes, my list contains professional and personal memories, milestones and simple moments. Each are important. Without weaving in time for renewal and reflection, family and friends, I could not grow as a person and as a coach. I hope that this month you will take the time to consider your personal life and how it complements your work. Celebrate the wins. Learn from the losses. Be thankful for the simple pleasures. Take time to be with those you love.
If I can support you in moving towards a more balanced life, please let me know. Meanwhile, have a wonderful holiday season, full of all that renews and fulfills you.
Sharon Keys Seal
P.S. This year, I'm giving my holiday donation to Foster Angels of Central Texas (FACT). Because all administrative costs are paid by an anonymous donor, every dime of my donation goes to help meet the needs of foster children. The organization provides funds for clothing, education, food, medical needs, and events for foster children which build self-esteem and community. You may read about FACT at http://fosterangelsctx.org.