Portraying an Image

We are so much more than our fears allow us to be.

The fear of being judged prevents most individuals from living their dreams, taking risks, wearing comfortable clothing, going on a trip alone, falling in love, ditching the destructive relationship and pretty much every aspect of life.  We stifle our lust for adventure.  Our identity, our passions, our truth becomes hidden behind the illusion of What Will People Think.

A week into my enrollment to become a certified Health Coach, I uncovered that I have been traveling in this direction for a years.  I just didn’t know it.  When I stopped looking outside of myself for my life’s purpose, the answers appeared and the inner compass exposed my calling.   One of those signs came from a simple three-ingredient Christmas treat that ravished my body in an allergic reaction and one more food item was added to my list of never-touch-that-again.  The need to explore healthy options grows and is the driving force behind my desire to help others with their food intolerances.  I want to know how our diet affects our health.

As I wrote my thoughts in a journal, a question surfaced – If I am a Health Coach, don’t I have an image to uphold?  Does this mean the grocery store clerk is going to judge me harshly because I have a bottle of wine, a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of chocolate bars on the conveyer belt, or is she going to smile sympathetically and know it’s that time of the month?  Does this mean I have to run marathons or become a yoga instructor?  What if I post things contradictory to a healthy lifestyle on Facebook?

 

The fear of being judged can be overwhelming and it stifles our authentic self.

 

My intent as a Health Coach and author is to assist people explore healthy eating options tailored them and to find balance in the four elements of life – career, relationship, spirituality, physical activity.

I am, just like you, a work in process.  Life is forever evolving.  I plan to share my stories, knowledge and keep an open mind to new possibilities.  As far as my image, just know that I am sassy, I am a momma of two sons (and their beautiful wives) and a grandma to three boys, I am a writer, I love to giggle, I am bull-headed, I swear, I love deeply and the rest I’ll leave to your imagination.

Life is an amazing adventure…

Tears Change Plans

I am avoiding.  I admit it.  No shame. No guilt.  Eight hours were carved out of my calendar today with the intention to let the fingers freely tap dance on the keyboard like Fred Astaire and write blog posts about life’s adventures and promoting business.  Then life happened.  Like a cat wrapped around my ankle gnawing and scratching with its hind legs, my thoughts wandered into dark places I wish to kick out the door.

Yesterday a young man was found dead, by his mother in their home, of an apparent drug overdose.  I have known this loving family since I was a rebellious teen.  This was the second drug overdose in less than a year for them.  Before judging, please understand the cousins were raised in “good” homes with parents who loved them unconditionally.  Tears flow from my heart as I try to offer them comfort.  I sincerely wish I could do more for them.

My father.  [deep breath]  The man I call Daddy is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.  The disease has sent him tumbling down the ‘rabbit hole’ with a mighty shove.  Slowly, or quickly depending on whom you talk too, his capabilities to walk and function as an adult fade into the abyss; complete vulnerability behind his bright blue eyes.  One day last week he wakes up from one of his afternoon naps and miraculously he can walk and (kinda sorta, not really) is able to hold conversations with us.  This lasted for about five days.  You see the power surges, as we call them, never last for too long and is followed by a deeper descent into the ‘rabbit hole’.  Last night he passed out while standing and hit the floor like a tree falling in the forest – hard and with a loud thud.  Tears flow from my heart as I try offer assistance to help my mother.

Our family has endured the quick and unforeseen deaths, and the longest good-byes.  Neither is easy.  Age is of no consequence; the heartbreak is the same.  Healing takes time.  Love never fades, just shifts and evolved into something deeper.  Forgiveness transforms into an authentic action.  Hugs are tighter from those offering support.  A silent shoulder to lean on appears in the time of need.  Loneliness takes on a new role as life is altered in a single moment.  The true blessing is realizing that life is an amazing adventure.  And knowing – it’s okay to cry.

Please tell me how your life is…tell me tales of adventures…glorious sunsets you’ve watched from your front porch… share with me stories of your babies.  As my father told me, “Life goes on. Let it.”

Barely a Nibble

Well, the idea to write this evening bombed. The writing bug just didn’t bite hard enough. Boring, lifeless words thirsty for pizzazz limped their way on the page, dragging their pathetic little feet. I must admit the smears they’ve left behind do make an interesting pattern. Oh well. My pillow has been seducing me for the last half hour; is it too late for a nap?

Sell IT Your Way – Authentically

A while back I listened to a young woman who is what I consider a gentle soul.  There is an honesty about her that is sincere; she is genuinely a very caring individual.  She asked a hardcore seller, “How do you do it?  How do you get all of these clients to buy?”  He lifts his head so his jaw line is parallel to the floor, brings his relaxed shoulders to attention, takes in deep breath, and from his barstool he confidently replies, “I tell ‘em if they’re not serious about what I have to offer that I don’t have time for them.  You’d be amazed how many people say, ‘tell me more’.”  She was impressed and eager to learn his technique.  For me, personally, if a sales person said that to me, my next words would be “bye-bye.”  If he doesn’t have time to fulfill my curiosity in the initial conversation, odds are he won’t be around for customer service after the sale if I need help.  But then again, it’s his technique. 

On a one particular sales blitz, I left behind a tearful client who was brow-beaten by one of my management team.  Sad, but I would go so far to say it was an emotional blood-bath.  Later that evening I went back to the storeowner, apologized, and promised I would never bring the ‘boss’ across her threshold.  She was traumatized by the cruelty of the hard-core selling tactic all because she firmly held her ground and said “No” to a promotion she didn’t feel would be beneficial in marketing her business.   I lost a good client that day.    

It’s no secret, I have been in sales for a long time and I am really good at it when I am allowed to sell my way.  Not the boss’ way.  Not the corporation’s way.  Not the latest and greatest way.  I succeed when I am doing it my way.  That’s the key – my way.  The way I feel most comfortable doing it.  First of all I have to believe in the product.  I am not a manipulator who can sell ice to an Eskimo for the simple reason I would be asking – why in the hell would an Eskimo want more ice?  A heater, yes.  Ice, no.

When I first was introduced to the profession of being an advertising representative for a local media, I had the friends who would literally cross the street when they saw me coming.  They would duck into a storefront if I made eye contact with them or they’d pretend they didn’t see me.  One day, I approached one of tuck-n-hides and flat out asked, “Did I do something to make you angry with me?  Why are you avoiding me?”  [Let me interject something important to help you better understand the point I wish to make: I was going through a divorce, my life was in turmoil and lots of really nasty rumors where being whispered around the community about me.  I took their tuck-n-hides very personally and wondered if the divorce ruined my life.]  A woman who’s about my age, and is one of those tell-it-like-it-is kind of gals, said, “It’s not you, it’s the company you work for.  I won’t advertise with them.”  Long story shortened, she didn’t like the previous salesperson.  It wasn’t me or the product.  With a consistent schedule and offering only the promotions suited to her business, I eventually signed her up. 

There a million and ten books, trillions of how-to videos online, and speakers galore.  Listen, learn, read, soak up what resonates with you.  Each of us is unique.  There is not a right way, nor a wrong way to sell…just your way.   Set goals.  Write out the target lists.  Repeat your affirmations daily.  Figure out your weaknesses and your strengths.   Please, please follow your heart and be authentic.  

Not a Salesperson?

Sales People.  Eh…  They come in all shapes, sizes and colorful personalities.  The overbearing soccer mom who is peddling the latest and greatest fad product demanding a commitment to join her and the gals for some kind of women’s only party on Tuesday evening you have no intention of attending.  The man with his slicked back hair exposing a thick-link chain necklace from the collar opening hoping to draw your attention to his longhorn belt buckle while wearing his Sunday-best dark brown polyester suit while standing next to a 1970-something muscle car.  The lil’ ol’ granny wiping her arthritic hands on a flour-dusted floral apron baking Dutch apple pies in her commercial kitchen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.  The meek friend you haven’t seen in months standing in the grocery aisle praising, “Look at what this product has done for me.  I feel fabulous!”

The thing about sales – we all do it whether or not we want to admit it.  People will protest, “Oh, but I’m not a sales person.  I couldn’t sell water to a parched desert dweller.”  Those are the individuals I find most enjoyable to listen to as they describe the item they truly believe in.  Watch ’em as they light up.  They know the product and/or service.  They believe in it and recommend it for various reasons.  Without realizing it, they are a walking, talking billboard.

If you are interested in learning about sales or developing more skills, I suggest people watching.  Go to the big box stores and listen to the pre-scripted pitch they use on customers.  Attend art fairs and listen; do the artist share their passion for their craft or are they hard-selling their item.  Sit down in a small café and listen to the owner behind the counter describe her lunch specials.  Be an observer; take notes.  How do you respond to their tactics?  Can you confidently approach potential customers the same way?

We are all sales people whether or not we want to admit it.

My Two Minute Commercial

ShakleeHealthy living has become a matter of survival for me. What started as a quest to learn more about natural remedies versus chemical cures has become vital. There are very few prescription and over-the-counter medications I can ingest. Years ago my pharmacist told me to place my right hand on his counter, raise my left hand and swear I would take no new meds before bed. Yes, the reaction I had was that severe. Changing the foods I eat and exploring my options has kept my immune system strong and me relatively healthy. In researching products (such as supplements, skin and hair care) to strengthen my immune system – I was lead back to Shaklee.

In regards to cleaning my home, I have to be careful of how I use chemicals to clean the bathrooms (especially the soap scum removers for the shower), shampoo the carpets, greasy hand cleaners and so forth. Chlorine was one of the first major chemicals I became allergic to when I was about twelve or thirteen. Let me tell ya it’s not fun to be the one in a group of peers unable to breathe or see because my eyes had swollen shut because I went swimming in the Civic Center indoor pool. In researching Earth-friendly cleaning products – somehow I always came back to Shaklee.

But this is not about me. It’s about the passion deep within wishing to better the lives of others. How can I assist in enriching the lives of someone else to be healthier? How can I help family, friends, complete strangers to improve their environment? I am grateful you took the time to learn a little more about me. If you would like to learn more about Shaklee, please ask or visit my site ckkochis.myshaklee.com . Thank you.

That Age Catagory

My best friend is a man.  We dated.  We lived together for about two and a half years.  Our relationship evolved.  Things changed.  We have lived in neighboring communities for years.  I trust him.  He trusts me.  He has his freedom.   I have a man who will help me at the drop of a hat (except on poker night; I’m on my own) fix just about anything.

Teasingly, I said, “…and I’m not even wearing a bra tonight.”

His reply, “I know.”

“How’d you know?  I’m wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, a turtle neck and this huge, thick sweatshirt.”

He says, “Because you’re not up.”

Ah, yes, the joys of being a woman in her mid-forties.

Writing Begets Writing

I have been in search of my words.  Blocked, uninspired, tired and lack of motivation have kept me silent.  Who knew it would be possible?  I bet I know a handful of teachers who wouldn’t believe it.

On December 13, 2013, I officially completed the rough draft of a novel I started either June or July of 2006.  The first line struck me like a bolt of lightning!  I was driving on a country road headed to my best friend’s house when I channeled the words.  One hand on the steering wheel, the other scrambled to find a piece of paper and a pen from my purse.  The start of this story literally needed to be written down NOW or be lost forever.

Since I began my first novel, I have started three other stories, was a freelance writer, wrote newsletters for two local chamber of commences, wrote and self-published Get A Compass Not A Clock, been over-stressed, started and closed a business, and started another job.  I am wondering how I fell into this self-created rut where I currently reside.  I want to explore something other than going to work, going home, doing chores, going to bed, shutting off the alarm and doing it all again the next day.  Writing begets writing and encourages the desire to look outside of my box.

I will share with you my progress (or lack of), joyful moments, family, grandbabies, kayak trips, rants, recipes, along with a dash of sass.  There will be tugs on the heartstrings as I witness my mother go through the longest good-bye with her husband of 48 years.  Few things are as emotionally taxing than to have your father say, “You look familiar.  How do I know you?  I’ve known you for a long time, right?”

So this is a blog about me; about my adventure.