connect with your mind

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,

Jalene

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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Reaching Our Goal

After 508 days and 35,595 miles of riding our motorcycles...we reached our goal! We arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2016. Holy moly...we made it!

I wanted to share  what I noticed with you using a stunning Patagonia backdrop, but there were two problems with that idea. First, there's a lot of wind down here, which is not good for recording a video. Second, it took me some time to wrap my head around it all. A week has passed and I'm ready to give it a whirl.


Here are a couple photos from the entry to Ushuaia.

We just arrived on 12/31/16 with our traveling buddy Florian (from Germany) and Stephan (from Italy) who we met that morning.

We were really happy to be there!

Here are a few photos from the very end of the road.

Beyond here, there are only tiny islands before Antarctica. 

The GPS says that we're at the "end of the road." Wow.

Our friend Florian posing -- he's so cute -- plus, you can read the whole sign.

In the spirit of celebration!

Jalene

P.S. My friend Sandra wisely shared that what I'm noticing about this trip will be unfolding for quite a while to come. I'm sure she's right. Accomplishing big goals in our lives have a ripple effect.

Travel Tools

When we left  home just over a year ago, I did my best to pack everything I thought I'd need for two years of motorcycle travel. Some things I got right. Some things I shipped home, tossed, or gave away. And some things, I didn't realize how much I needed until I tried to live without them for several months. Strangely enough, roadside stretching, in the photo, is connected to one of those things. 

 

In this video, I talk about the tools I've discovered that make travel way more fun. Surprisingly, they're more similar than different to life at home.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

Experience-ing

As we rode from Moyobamba to Yurimaguas in Peru, deeper into the hot, humid Amazon region, my helmet time was consumed with thoughts about the word experience. How is it that Keith and I can technically have the same experience and yet, come away with different interpretations? The answer came in the form of a poem that I tried to catch before it disappeared.

Experience-ing

 

A super-verb!

Containing within it,

our lives,

our stories.

During,

and after an experience,

our outer and inner worlds,

collide.

And, poof!

A new story is born.

New meaning is made,

to change our lives,

either,

in an un-detectably minor way,

or,

in an un-deniably major way.

 

Our experiences infuse meaning,

into our lives.

What you see,

what you notice,

what you pay attention to,

how you interpret, story-tell, make meaning,

of your experiences,

emphasizes shadow or light.

 

Like a star,

no two alike,

zillions of them,

illuminating and energizing our lives.

 

by Jalene Case, Yurimaguas, Peru, July 21, 2016

Travel Learning: Lesson 8 of 10

Lesson 8 of 10: Travel changes relationships.

Even before we left our house, I knew that traveling would change me. How could it not? With so many new experiences every day, change is imminent. What I didn't know, didn't even consider in advance, is how travel would change our marriage. In this video, Keith and I share the changes we've noticed so far inside our relationship.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

Travel Learning: Lesson 3 of 10

Lesson 3 of 10: Stray dogs aren’t out to get me.

I love dogs. But I know, based on having a sweet, protective Red Australian Cattle Dog, they can turn in a blink.

Mexico has lots of stray dogs and every darn time I see one, I freak out. My fear hormone spikes and I know that the dog senses I’m afraid of it. I think the dog is going to attack me when I least expect it because my dog liked to shock the hell out of people by suddenly jumping up to herd them and nipping at their heels. Consequently, my heart pounds as the Mexican dog(s) and I pass each other. Really, I have to get over this one. I’m learning that the poor, scrawny dogs want nothing to do with me. 

It's interesting to notice when automatic fear reactions from the past show up in places they don't belong. Not once has a dog in Mexico tried to bite me but they still scare me. I don't think it's wise to pet them and I'll give them a wide berth, but there's no need to be afraid. 

I got curious about this fear reaction and realized that fear from past experiences shows up in other ways, too. Take writing for example. It scares me. Mainly, I’m afraid I’ll mess up the grammar, miss making my point, or not be interesting enough. I’ve had some tough critics in the past, although extremely helpful so I’m grateful to them. The thing is, I have stuff I want to share and I know it makes no logical sense to let fear from the past stop me. I also know that when we practice, we improve, and every writer needs a good editor. (Thank you Keith!)

So for now, I'll try to notice when unwarranted fears from the past pop-up and not let them stick around to shape my future.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

Talking to Gremlins

New to this blog? Here's the scoop:

On August 10, 2015, my husband Keith and I took off on our motorcycles for a 2-ish year journey from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. During this time, I'm dedicating my blog to the inner journey taking place as a result of our adventure.

I tattooed my bike with notes from my soul and, named her Lola, which stands for "Live Out Loud and Aware."

A bit about this video:

This video was created on November 16, 2015, day 98 on the road, in Guanajuato, Mexico.

My inner gremlin has crept out of her hiding place and prominently into my thoughts. By "inner gremlin," I mean the obsessive planner side of me. The part that desperately wants to know what I'll be doing for work when this trip is finished. Without my having a job or daily routine to camouflage or stun her into submission, her voice is loud. On a positive note, I get to have a conversation with her while I'm riding the roads of Mexico. On a negative note, it's not much fun.

Traveling is magnifying my quirks. Fun? No. Growth provoking? Yes.

If you're curious about your inner gremlin, here are some questions to ponder.

How can you distinguish the voice of your soul compared to the voice of your inner gremlin? 

How does it feel to give your inner gremlin a name or draw an image of him/her? Do you sense a change in the relationship? If so, can you feel it in your body, too?

Try talking with your gremlin. What does he/she have to say? How might you work together rather than be adversaries?

If you'd like to explore the gremlin concept more, here's a link to the book I talked about in the video: Taming Your Gremlins by Rick Carson

From Gwendolyn (my inner gremlin) to yours, "Let's work together to make magic happen in our life!"

Shakin' Up Life

New to this blog? Here's the scoop:

On August 10, 2015, my husband Keith and I took off on our motorcycles for a 2ish-year journey from Oregon to the tip of South America. During this time, I'm dedicating this blog to the inner journey that takes place as a result of our adventure.

This video was created on October 9, 2015, day 60 on the road.


Important Disclaimer: As you listen to this video, every time you hear, "5 Y's," replace it with "5 W's." Oops.

Shakin' up our life with the 5 W's:

Who is in our life?

What are we doing?

When are we doing it?

Where are we going?

Why are we doing it? The biggest, trickiest question of all. 

I just read this quote at the end of Nikki Groom's blog post this morning and I think it helps get at the "why" question...

There comes a moment in every life when the Universe presents you with an opportunity to rise to your potential. An open door that only requires the heart to walk through, seize it and hang on.
The choice is never simple. It’s never easy. It’s not supposed to be. But those who travel this path have always looked back and realized that the test was always about the heart. The rest is just practice.
— Jaime Buckley

Talking to Myself

New to this blog? Here's the scoop:

On August 10, 2015, my husband Keith and I took off on our motorcycles for a 2ish-year journey from Oregon to the tip of South America. During this time, I'm dedicating this blog to the inner journey that takes place as a result of our adventure.


This video was created on September 17, 2015 (day 37 on the road) and I'm sharing my continued exploration of journaling and the results of talking to myself from a curious perspective.