Twenty Percent Easier Button

My friends, family, and colleagues will back me up on this admission: "I excel at making things more complicated than necessary."  And when I do that, I eventually end up stuck in a quagmire of self doubt that leads to asking myself something like, “Where, oh where is that darn easy button when we need it?!” To help myself during those exasperating times, I've developed ways to locate (and push!) the easy button.

One of my favorite benefits of aging is that we get to know ourselves better. As a side benefit, we've crafted tools & tricks for helping ourselves so we can continue blossoming as human beings. 

Here are some ways I've been making things 20% easier lately:

  • Ask for help.
    • It's often easy for the other person to help me, and if not I'm sometimes given sage wisdom that moves me forward.
  • Talk with someone about it.
    • Hearing the words come out of my mouth, being forced to organize my thoughts for others, being asked questions, or being offered ideas all help me to see the situation from a fresh view.
  • Stop trying so hard and take a break.
    • Working longer and harder, with scarce food and restroom breaks, does not guarantee excellent results. Stepping away, stretching, eating well, meditating, walking  these are the actions of a focused, creative, productive woman!

How could you find (and push!) the easy button in a situation that's frustrating you? Try it!

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,



Consider hiring me as your coach if you're expanding into a new leadership role at work or transforming into the next version of you. Schedule a complimentary Curious about Coaching session to learn more.


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Internal Preparation

How do you internally prepare for a challenging experience?

Getting ready for something you want to do really well in (think: exams, interviews, presentations, etc.) can cause an internal storm of shallow breaths, clammy armpits, and a gut that won’t stop turning somersaults. Remember the last time you felt that?

This week I took an oral exam for the Coaches Training Institute's coach certification program. It wasn’t about regurgitating technical terms. I had to prove I could be a professional coach by coaching the examiner. Gulp. With more than 135 hours of coaching during the last year and passing the written exam, logic told me that I was ready. But I sure didn’t feel like it on the inside. I was feeling all those internal storm sensations I talked about above. Now that the storm has passed, here’s what I noticed.

By the time we get to the challenging event, we’ve done as much intellectual prep as possible. Right? That’s not the hard part. The tricky part is believing (on the inside!) that we know the material, with our emotions and body in-synch so we can shine.

To prepare for my 9 am exam, I stuck to my normal morning routine of coffee, journaling, and oatmeal. Then, I added some yoga, breathing, stretching, a wee bit of Qi Gong, and lots of internal pep talks. I reminded myself of how I wanted to show up for the exam with the personal characteristics that would serve me best such as listening, focusing, and being curious. I could hear my coach’s voice reminding me, “Breathe, so your brain gets plenty of oxygen to function!”

Throughout this entire process, the shallow breathing, clammy armpits, and gut somersaults crept in. However, the prep work made them more of a passing rain shower than a full-on storm. I felt great at 9 am and ready to take my exam. After it was over, I felt really good about how I performed.

Phew…satisfied sigh of relief.

What will you do to prepare your whole self for the next challenge?

Oh, and remember to CELEBRATE!

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,


P.S. Would you like to know more about what I do?

I help individuals who want to step up into new leadership roles and yet are struggling on the inside to become that new leader on the outside.

I help small to medium sized organizations who want to create a cohesive environment and are struggling to get everyone on the same page and moving forward.

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Living In Flow

When are you flowing with, versus pushing against, what's coming to you?

 My airplane's-eye view enroute from Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho this week.

My airplane's-eye view enroute from Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho this week.

I should have cancelled my trip to Boise this week because the primary purpose for it was postponed. But I didn't. I had just enough other things scheduled that I thought it might be worth my while.

There was an intuitive whisper that nudged me forward. Toward what? I didn't know the answer. I've been practicing focusing my awareness on times when I'm able to flow with circumstances that don't go as planned, and on times when I get frustrated and push against what's happening. As a result of my not cancelling, several serendipitous, meaningful scenarios played out that I couldn't have orchestrated in advance. I'm so happy that I flowed rather than resisted the changes, and didn't cancel the trip.

The photo above seemed like the perfect metaphor for living in the flow. We can't see the big picture of our life, of how experiences and people influence us and vice versa. However, we know they flow together (when we allow them!) to shape the landscape of our lives.

How might you practice living in flow?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,


Helping curious individuals and teams who want to learn more about themselves so they can authentically lead, genuinely connect with others, and live satisfying personal and professional lives.


Following Your Trail

Are you following your trail or someone else's?

This week, I felt like I was beginning to follow the sought-after guidance of other people too often. I was hiking their trail instead of mine. Every shiny new bit of guidance was appearing on my to do list, on my web page, and in my goals. 

Thinking about that, I remembered a trail I hiked in Honduras with fellow travelers that had all those qualities —surprising, bumpy, steep, muddy, wild, and peaceful. And, I realized, so does building my business.

It was time to recalibrate my internal GPS a bit to stay on my trail.

I'm reconnecting with my heart's voice, the thing that makes me, me. I'm consciously choosing — from all the ideas calling for my attention — what I will pursue and what I will let go of, for now.

I recognize that on the one hand I want to listen to the people whose wisdom I respect, but on the other I must honor my own wisdom. Balancing the two voices helps me have the guts to do it my way. When I notice a shift toward imbalance, I can make minor adjustments before I get lost charging down someone else's trail.

How will you recalibrate a bit to stay on your trail?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,



Helping curious people who want to learn more about themselves so they can be potent leaders at work and at home.

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Take Your Seat At the Table


My theme for 2018 is:

Take my seat at the table. 

On January 20, 2018, at the ripe age of 54, I participated in my very first protest march. This Women's March took place in Newport, Oregon, the town of 10K in which I live. That's me on the far right with my friend Mary Kay.

What does it mean for you to take your seat at the table?

To me it means:

  • Unabashedly bringing my whole perfectly imperfect self to this new chapter of life I'm writing, professionally and personally.
  • Distinctly speaking up with truth, courage, and authenticity.
  • Boldly making decisions with my heart and head as allies. 
  • Knowing that because I've chosen to speak, my voice belongs at the table.
  • Bravely beginning again and again.

What will your actions look like when you believe your voice belongs, when you take your seat at the table?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,


I help leaders build stronger people connections, improve the results they're seeking, and find more joy and fulfillment in their work. 

Executive and Personal CoachingProfessional DevelopmentPersonal Workshops

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Heart Above Head

Thanks to yoga, I can accept my brother Doug's dare to stand on my head! It was a great day of rafting near Boise, Idaho.

The phrase "heart above head" came up in yoga recently. Our instructor Gabe (short for Gabrielle) extolled the physical virtues of placing our hearts above our heads and then, she wondered out loud about allowing our hearts to guide us in our lives more often.

When was the last time you followed your heart's lead?

It may not be an easy change in leadership. My brain is johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to chiming in on everything. My heart, on the other hand, is harder for me to hear most of the time. Connecting with my heart's voice takes conscious effort. The interaction goes something like this:

Me: Place my hand on my heart to bring my attention inward. Heart, what do you have to share with me?

Heart: Shhhh...quiet your mind. Let go of all those racing thoughts for a moment. They'll be there for you to pick up again. Breathe. Soften the muscles in your face. Listen with all you senses. I may speak through physical sensations, quietly with words, visually through images, or with a sense of intuitive knowing. I am always here for you.

How could you make a decision you're facing with your heart above your head?

In the spirit of learning,


Helping individuals and teams know themselves so they can create lives they love living with coaching, professional development, and workshops.

Step Up & Show Up

How do you want to step up?

Think about where you're playing small. Is there something at work that you want to do but you're afraid you might not be able to pull it off? Is there a dream that feels too big? Is there a challenge you want to rise to but you keep turning away instead?

One area in which I've stepped up is in naming specific goals. For example, in the past I've been comfortable writing that I will build my work with teams inside organizations. Given that vague target, how would I ever know when to do the happy dance? 

Stepping up means setting this kind of goal: Gain 10 business clients by 12/31/18 to produce a total of “X” amount of income. It scares me and excites me to declare this to myself, let alone to all of you! This is a step up. I can feel the buzz of excitement, mixed with fear, as I write this post, the tell-tell sign that I’m taking a step beyond my comfort zone.

How do you want to show up

Imagine the influence of what you wear, your body language, the atmosphere you create by vulnerably sharing your opinions, the way in which you're showing up in your everyday life. Take a meta-view of yourself. What do you look like? How are you behaving? Are you satisfied with it?

I've been experimenting with changing the way I dress when I'm going to anything remotely related to building my business. Rather than show up looking like I'm a work from home solopreneur, I'm dressing like the President/CEO that I also am. I look different. I behave different. I'm treated different. I'm showing up on the outside, as the woman I know I am on the inside. 

These are just a couple of ways I’m stepping up and showing up in a new way.

What does it look like when you step up and show up in a new way?

In the spirit learning,


Helping individuals and teams know themselves so they can create lives they love living with coaching, professional development, and workshops.

Befriending Yourself

Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it, one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Imagine a situation in your personal or professional life that's vexing you. Most likely, having a friend to guide you, mentor you, or coach you would help. Right?

What if you yourself were that helping friend? What would it look like to give yourself compassion, encouragement, or inspiration? When is it time to give yourself a break and where would a loving kick in the ass be in order?

Bring to mind one situation, what's one befriending action you can take to stay on your own side?

 I saw this message hanging on the wall of my massage therapist's office. This photo reminds me that it's important to be kind to myself, to fill my cup so I have plenty to offer others.

I saw this message hanging on the wall of my massage therapist's office. This photo reminds me that it's important to be kind to myself, to fill my cup so I have plenty to offer others.

In the spirit of befriending ourselves,

Jalene • Newport, Oregon, USA

Pick Myself Up Plan

What do you do to pick yourself up when you fall short of a goal, plan, or your brilliantly imagined scenario?

It’s bound to happen. When we attempt new feats outside our comfort zone, we’re going to fail at some point. I had a couple of experiences last week when something new I tried did not turn out the way I imagined it in my mind. Of course, I did it in public. Ugh.

I rebounded pretty quickly though, without spending too much time wallowing in my blunder. However, I realized that I needed a conscious Pick Myself Up Plan.

For me, it’s a combination of younger-Jalene and older-Jalene.

As a kid, I was quite the tomboy, climbing trees, playing all the sports a girl could play, and riding dirt bikes. Physically falling down meant brushing myself off, and continuing on with the fun. Older-Jalene knows that healing the emotional pain is done with kindness and laughter, and a reminder that the learning curve always includes, “Oh boy, I’m excited,” Oh-crap this is hard,” and, “Yes, I got this!”

Next time we’re trying something new and we fall, let’s help ourselves up with a Pick Myself Up Plan. I’m going to imagine brushing myself off with kid-like zeal then give myself a wise dose of kindness and a wee chuckle.

What will you do when you miss the mark and fall flat on your sweet face?

Do you want to get your spine-tingling ideas done and yet can't get out of your own way? Let's talk about how hiring me as your Coach can move the dial from "I want to do it." to "I've done it!"

Are the people in your organization struggling with their personal leadership skills such as communication and collaboration? I'd love to hear about it and then, discuss how I might help. Let's talk.

Hooray for you!

How do you celebrate

your accomplishments

no matter how big or small?

A few days ago, my journal was sitting out on our coffee table and my husband happened to notice the words, “Hooray for me!” that I had written with a hot pink colored marker. He said them out loud and I instantly felt silly. Then a switch flipped. I launched into an exuberant description of what it was all about.

I’ve been practicing celebrating, when I’ve done something I said I was going to do. Simple. Right?

This particular, “Hooray for me!” was related to a time when I stopped myself from spiraling down into unhelpful thoughts. It was a seemingly small thing. It wasn’t the accomplishment of a gigantic, audacious goal.

I'm celebrating more often because research shows that celebrating not only feels great; it trains our brain to repeat the behavior. That's big!

Think of a goal that’s meaningful to you.

What’s one, seemingly small, behavior

that would move you closer to it?

Now do it, and then enjoy celebrating in your style, appreciating that you are moving toward what's important to you.

Power-up your celebratory moment by embodying it. Strike a pose, a gesture, or do a full-on happy dance!

To go along with my, “Hooray for me!” moment, from the comfort of my couch, I raised my arms just like I’m doing in this photo.

In the spirit of celebration!