Coucou (Hi) Friends,

Finally, I’m back! I know, it’s been a while. I’ve had a lot going on, much of which I want to tell you all about so settle in kids. Grab a cup of tea, this will be a long one.

First, I want to say thank you to all of you who sent me kind notes, wondering if I was okay. I am. I’ve just been doing a lot lately while trying to find balance (a constant struggle) and my true authentic self/voice.

When there’s so much to do, it’s easy to lose one’s center and that’s when big problems can occur. So I’ve tried to practice lots of self-care lately, taking time for myself everyday to do things—big and small—that bring me closer to my real self and a meaningful life. That’s helped to reorient and ground me to get back on track with exploring and mastering the art of living well, which to me means the art of living an intentional, purposeful life.

Plato said “the unexamined life is not worth living” so I’ve been re-examining my life, a continuous journey of personal growth. Most people go through life, but it’s better to grow through life. So I’ve been working on being more intentional about  growing and making my life worth living, every day.

In this day and age, for many of us (especially women) we constantly try to do so much—work, raise kids, manage homes and relationships, sometimes we recreate ourselves, while also trying to be the best that we can be. It’s not easy and part of the problem has to do with the the disease of being busy. I used to think it was a great thing that I could multi-task, always having my brain operating on more than one thing at a time. Now, I really know better. Multi-tasking SUCKS! It’s hard to bring your best self and be present to any task or situation when your mind is divided.

Now I’ve been trying to focus on one thing at a time. Whether that means putting the computer and/or phone away for quality time with my son or, what I recently did, putting the blog on hold temporarily to focus on a few growth areas. It’s hard to be real when you lose sight of who you are and the person you want to be. To live a purposeful and intentional life, you either accept your life or you lead your life, taking control of it. So I’ve taken some time to lead my life in the direction of living my purpose.

I think purpose is essential to a person’s life. Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you found out why.” Finding my purpose has really been about finding my WHY. I first started thinking about questions like why are we here?,  what makes for a worthy life? and what are we to each other?—spiritual and religious questions—when I spent a semester of college in the Amazon. There wasn’t much to do out there in the Amazon so it left room for a lot of thinking. That’s when I started exploring my “why” (my purpose). At the time it seemed to be a quest with no clear destination in sight. All I knew was that I that I wanted to live my life more intentionally, more deliberately and become an everyday purpose person. Overtime it has become more clear, while taking shape in different ways. For me, my purpose has meant using my talents and passions to add value to the lives of others.

It’s one thing to know your purpose, but it’s another to develop it, to mature it, to make it meaningful, and to live it out. That brings me partly to what has kept me away from blogging the past several months. I’ve been working on ways to mature my purpose, adding value to my life as well as to the lives of other people—family, friends, strangers, everyone.

So I thought I’d finally share what I’ve been doing all year. I started studying again. Some of you may know that I already had master’s degree in global public health. Well I wanted to start working directly with people so I decided to learn some new things that could compliment/enhance my degree. To start, I got certified in Plant-Based Nutrition. Cornell University has a program that was created by T. Colin Campbell (The China Study). The program helped me better understand the importance of diet, nutrition and lifestyle for optimal health. It was really informative.

Afterwards, I wanted to take a course to learn more culinary techniques. I couldn’t find a local and professional plant-based culinary course so I enrolled at a local professional cooking school that teaches classic French culinary techniques. My instructor was a French chef who used to work as the White House chef. As the class focused on culinary techniques used in classic French cooking, you could imagine there was a whole lot of butter, dairy, fish and meat! YIKES! As the only vegetarian (who eats mostly a vegan diet) in the class, at times it was a liiiitle crazy for me to participate.

For the first class we each had to make chicken stock from scratch. My classmates stood watch to see if I’d barf through the process of trimming the bloody chicken fat off the bones. Although gross, I’m proud to say that I did not lose my cookies! Although I hope to NEVER have to trim the fat off a chicken again, I’m glad I took the course because I learned a helluvalot in the four months the class lasted!

Although I found the experience très cool, I wanted to learn more about culinary techniques for foods I’d actually prepare and teach others how to prepare. As the school didn’t have a plant-based culinary course I enrolled in Rouxbe’s online Professional Plant-Based Culinary Certification Program. Awesome program! Of course an online culinary program cannot fully compare with one on site. I missed the social connection that can make cooking and learning so much more educational, fun and very enjoyable. But still, I learned so much that I felt it was all worth it. Loved it!

OK, so are you still with me? I was talking about maturing my purpose and finding ways to dive as deep as possible to explore my passions and possible giftedness (talents) so I could bring more value to others. So while taking the Rouxbe course I decided to do something a little different and study what has now become a vehicle for helping people to achieve a higher level of performance in life and work. I enrolled in a coaching program with Coach U. No, not to be a sports coach. Coaching as in a life, executive and/or career coach.

The coaching profession, which began more than 25 years ago, is a creative process that inspires and supports people to maximize their full potential. It has really actually been a humbling experience for me. The coaching skills I’ve learned have inspired me to become a better and more empathetic communicator, a better listener, and to be more mindful and present in all that I do. As a result I find that I even parent differently, listening more than talking; reflecting more than commenting; and acknowledging (not praising, there’s a difference!) more than criticizing. Coaching has also helped me further develop the skills to navigate my own journey of personal growth and to live my purpose.

I also wanted to hone my leadership skills. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to read books on leadership (and organizational development), just for fun. The topic energizes me. So, yes, more courses. I enrolled in a course with NeuroLeadership (the recent findings from neuroscience on how we learn and lead is fascinating!) and another was John Maxwell’s (the leadership guru) leadership program.

So like a squirrel collecting acorns for winter, I’ve been collecting learning opportunities to be used and shared with others. Before I forget, I also became a contributor to Badass + Living, an online magazine and platform for women to share empowering content. With all the classes and training, I still felt there were a few missing puzzle pieces for me. One had to do with wellness. When I heard of Wellcoaches, a health and wellness coaching program, I felt it was a perfect fit and I enrolled. I not only worked towards strengthening my own well-being, but also gained tools to help others achieve their own wellness goals. Wellness is so fundamental to me. But from diet to lifestyle, wellness can mean so many different things to different people. And, there’s a huge gap between wanting to be well and dealing with the everyday reality of living with busy and over scheduled lives, stressful work, raising kids, eating the wrong foods, and not having enough down time to recharge one’s batteries. Yes, I know this gap all too well and I’ve been working on ways to mind the gap. There’s so much more I have to say about health and wellness coaching so I’ll have to write a post on just it, if you’re interested.

This has been a long post, I know. I mention all of this now, not because I’ve arrived at an particular state of enlightenment. I’m not a guru, I still have a ways to go before I’m there. However, I thought it would be cool to finally share all of this with you and get your thoughts. If there’s one thing that you remember from all of it, please make it this: Make each day count. Be intentional. Live your life on purpose.

In his book “Within”, Dr. Habib Sadeghi says we’re all searching and writes that what “we’re really looking for is a sense of direction when our personal world seems out of control—a knowingness that assures us that we have a purpose in this world and that we’re safe in it as we struggle to find that path.”

Do you ever feel that need for a sense of direction?  Have you discovered your purpose? Discovering your purpose is the anchor that holds you during a storm and it’s the bright star that can guide you when you’re confused or it seems everyone else around you is lost or confused. My journey of re-discovery has taught me so much about where I am, where I want to be, and how to get there. Still, the journey is not complete. There isn’t really a destination as I hope to continually grow, develop, practice and share my purpose.

As for this blog, if you’ve been wondering, YES! I will still be here. There may be a few changes in the future. There’s a ton of stuff I’d like to do with PWC, but time and resources (my vision is greater than my capacity…it would be nice to have a team one day!) keep it very humble. I’m not sure what exactly the future holds, but I can assure you that I’ll always be passionate about using this space as a warm and inviting means to be authentic and find new ways to bring value to you.

I would love to know your thoughts and if any of this is of interest to you. What has been your journey?

 

4 thoughts on “I’m Back!

  1. Coucou Martine, l’Ambassade de France cherche des intervenants (j’imagine bénévoles) pour faire des interventions en sante/nutrition lors de la semaine du gout mi janvier. Est-ce que cela t’intéresse ?

    bise

    Stephanie

    ________________________________

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