values

Giving Yourself a Break

How do you know when time away is the best way forward?

Many of us believe that getting on top of our To Do List means working harder on it, and working longer at it, even though our brains are fried, even though we’re mentally and physically exhausted. I’m practicing a new way of working, with surprising results.

Here’s the sparkling jewel I’ve discovered. When I take better care of myself, my work quality and production improves. What a revelation! Working harder and longer is not the answer. Here’s what it looks like for me these days, with it's little imperfections, of course.

Every day I write in my journal, get enough sleep, take breaks during the day for lunch and snacks, and eat well. Weekly (5-6 times) I do yoga or walk, and meditate. Every two months I get a massage. And here’s something new I just played with last week. I was in a funk. I wanted to get away from everything I was working on for a while so…I did. I gave myself a break, a mini retreat if you will, for a whole afternoon.

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My time away evolved into a 45-minute drive to Yachats where for $25 I could enjoy all the amenities of the Overleaf Spa & Resort for the day — hot tubs overlooking the ocean, dry & wet saunas, and luxuriously scented lotions. After I was a clean, wet noodle, I had a hankering for a treat from one of my favorite restaurants. A dessert called Boccone Dolce called to me. The air-light meringue dissolved on my tongue, while the tang of fresh berries and the richness of whipped cream and chocolate brought an audible “Mmmmm” from my joy-filled mouth. Nestled into a booth with sun pouring through the window, I sipped a decaf cappuccino and wrote in my trusty journal. Ahhhh…

Energy level raised, anxiety level lowered, I felt centered, nourished, and excited to dive back into my work.

How will you take care of yourself & give yourself a break?

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

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Blog Series: Returning Home and My Peeps

Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!

Hi! Here's a link to the first post in this series: Returning Home and Family in which I talked about being with family for the first time in nearly 2 years after our epic adventure on motorcycles to the southern tip of South America. More on the trip here.

In this post, I want to give you a sense of what it was like getting together with my girlfriends for the first time in nearly 2 years.

Mary Kay in front, Katy downhill, on a hike near Newport.

Mary Kay in front, Katy downhill, on a hike near Newport.

Keith, me, Cindy, and her husband Kevin at their home in Tucson. 

Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!

Getting together with friends was different than family. Our families are conveniently gathered in one place, mine in Boise, and Keith’s in Tacoma. Our friends are spread all over so we saw them one or two at a time. I discovered, to my dismay, that it took a lot of energy to have intense reconnection-style conversations. That meant I couldn’t cram them together in my schedule as quickly as my heart wished for. However, slowly but surely, I got to have real, in-person conversations with the friends I love.

Talking in person is so different than online whether it’s via video, audio, or written. In person, there’s energy surging back and forth between two beings. There's more emotion, curiosity, meandering from topic to topic, and tangible heart connection.

I remember seeing my friend Katy for the first time. Before we left, Katy and I, along with close friends Mary Kay and Cindy, had hiked an 8-mile loop around Newport nearly every Sunday for a few years. We talked the entire time we hiked. We knew each other. After our travels, Katy and I met in a coffee shop in Hillsboro for a quick catch-up. I was stunned when I first saw her and felt her in-person energy. I sensed we had so much we had to say to each other. We talked non-stop for about an hour, sharing deeply as if we had just seen each other last week. That’s what I missed during our travels -- sharing deeply with a person whose stories I know and who knows mine. Our whole selves connected as our stories poured out of us.

With my buddy Cyn on "my" Beverly Beach near our home.

A similar reconnection scene played out with all the friends I've been with so far. I am grateful beyond words to be with my friends again. When I was without them for nearly two years, there was a part of me that felt like a plant withering from lack of water. Being able to give them hugs in real life and have rambling real conversations feels like water for my soul.

I would have never guessed that missing my peeps was the most challenging aspect of the entire 23 months away from home!

There's no doubt in my mind. Genuine relationships with friends is extremely valuable to me. I need them. I need our meaningful, vulnerable, happy conversations. So often it takes having something removed from our lives before we appreciate how much it means to us.

I'm curious, "What do your friends bring into your lives?"

 In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. Friends and a professional coach are awesome to have supporting you! If you're curious about what coaching can do for you, learn more here.

Blog Series: Returning Home and Family

“How does it feel to return home?” After traveling in Latin America on our motorcycles for nearly two years, my husband and I hear some version of that question often. Appreciating that we’re still in the homecoming process, I’m going to take a crack at describing what it looks like and how it feels in this blog series exploring my relationships, house, and work.

This is the first post in a blog series about returning home and relationships.

The Case Family

Missing my family and friends was the #1 challenge during the trip. I was anxious to reconnect with everyone as quickly as possible! I yearned for those genuine conversations with another human being who knew me, rather than the strangers we met along the way (even though they were amazing people!). Knowing a bit of a person’s history, brings a sense of connection that’s missing from the passing curiosity of meeting a new person. When we know each other, we can appreciate the meaning behind the stories we share, like reading an ongoing book rather than starting over at chapter one. I liked meeting new people, don’t get me wrong but I was out of whack. My life was 100% meeting new people and 0% being with people I know, like, or love. I felt a sense of frantic, desperateness for real connection with my peeps.

The trickiest factor in coordinating get-togethers was that we didn’t have a home base or a set schedule. After arriving in LA with our motorcycles on February 23rd, we bounced around until moving into a home of our own just before the 4th of July. (I’ll talk more about that in the “house” part of this series.)

Reconnecting with Family

Visiting both our families was awesome and strange. We kind of didn’t know what to do with each other. My mom and I saw each other for the first time when she picked me up at the Boise airport. Our eyes met, I noticed an odd look in her eye. There was a bit of an awkward pause then she said something like, “It’s so strange to see you in person!” We went through some version of that experience in nearly every reconnection scenario.

We gathered for family dinners and did out best to catch-up on the seemingly little things that went unsaid in the months of online conversations. It felt like our epic adventure was an elephant in the room. Keith and I didn’t know how to talk about our trip, hadn’t condensed the photos enough to share. Our families didn’t know where to begin with questions. They had mostly seen our Facebook posts and read our blogs so they didn’t know what they didn’t know. That’s not the scenario I expected.

The Matteson Family

In my coming home fantasy, I dreamed of juicy, long conversations snuggled in a warm, comfortable, living room with the familiar smells of my families’ homes. We’d have a cup of morning coffee or a glass of evening red wine and seriously catch up on everything that we didn’t feel compelled to say online. The reality was that most of them didn’t have time for this kind of connection. They had lives to live, jobs to do, routines to tend to, kids to run around. Our love for each other is absolutely not in question. Scheduling was the tricky part.

The other expectation I brought to these family gatherings was my new belief in Latin American style family values. I’ll give you of sense of what I mean. We stayed in an Airbnb in Quito, Ecuador with Felipe & Mila for a month. At first, we were complete strangers, but they quickly introduced us to their friends at a local restaurant, and invited us up for meals. We soon met both of their parents over dinner and drinks. One Saturday we were welcomed into the larger family. They invited us to go along to a family gathering at property owned Mila’s family, out in the country. I learned that they do this regularly, at least once a month. Plus, Felipe has lunch with his parents a couple times a week, and they live next door to Mila’s parents. I was surprised to hear they spent so much time with family. I admired them. They had real relationships with their families. I could feel their comfort with each other. They didn’t wait for holidays to get together, being with family was an everyday part of their lives.

I dreamed of having that kind of relationship with our families when we returned home. I count Keith and I fortunate to have such kind, loving, supportive families and, I want more of them. Yes, I appreciate that they didn’t have my Latin American family values transformation but I still want more of them!

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. I'm happy to share that the coaching aspect of my business is growing. If you, or someone you know, would like support in crossing the gap from where you are now in life to where you want to be, I'd love to help. Let's schedule a complimentary session and talk about it.