Feel The Feelings

For a time now, longer than I’d ever imagined, I’ve missed my daughter’s presence. I long for her laugh, a sound far richer than any melody, for the spark in her eyes brighter than the most dazzling fireworks, and the warmth of her embrace. A human connection thing that has been a saving grace for me is the ability to communicate with my daughter through digital connections like Zoom and FaceTime.

With our current circumstances, these options are all we have to bridge the physical distance between us. It’s not the same as being together in person, but it’s a way to stay connected and maintain a sense of closeness. Despite the challenges and limitations, I am grateful for these tools that allow me to see her face, hear her voice, and let her know how much she means to me.

It’s not the same as being together in person, but it’s a way to stay connected and maintain a sense of closeness. Despite the challenges and limitations, I am grateful for these tools that allow me to see her face, hear her voice, and let her know how much she means to me.

Alas, the cold, digital visage reflected in Zoom and FaceTime is a pale imitation of the vibrant life force she embodies. In this, I silently acknowledge the bitter fruit of our current circumstances.

In my role as a professional life coach, my calling has gained a new depth in these challenging times. It’s transcended beyond merely asking questions and lending a listening ear. Instead, it’s emerged as a lighthouse for the many drifting on a turbulent sea of despair. From varying walks of life, my clients converge on a common pain point – an unbearable void born from the absence of human connection. Safety, a basic human need, has ironically cast a shroud of isolation around us. A shroud was woven from social unrest, an unstable economy, evaporating livelihoods, and threatening homelessness. Indeed, the legacy of our times is a complex one.

Yet, it’s not the external conditions alone that wreak havoc. The emotional turmoil that bubbles beneath the surface of our collective consciousness adds a poignant layer to our shared human experience. Each heart carries the burden of loss and grief, and each soul grapples with the pain of missed opportunities and altered life trajectories.

In these times of unprecedented distress, I’ve found solace in the sanctity of a heart-wrenching cry. A cry so raw and primal it reverberates in the deepest corridors of your soul and shakes you to your core. This act of releasing sorrow is not just therapeutic but a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It is a declaration that it’s okay to feel, hurt, and heal. There’s no shame in showing our vulnerable selves. It’s the bravest thing we can do for ourselves.

However, the linchpin of my healing process lies in my passion for my work. The act of guiding others to uncover their purpose, reignite their latent talents, and take bold steps towards an encore career is a fountain of joy that nourishes my spirit. I find solace in the stronghold of my support network, a testament to the healing power of human connection. Our perspective, the lens through which we view the world, can either exacerbate our pains or transform them into stepping stones toward growth.

Through these trying times, we must never forget the power of conversation, the potency of words spoken and heard. We must realize that reaching out to a professional for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it symbolizes strength and self-awareness, a testament to our resilience and determination to seek a healthier mind and a balanced life.

Despite the challenges, I believe in the promise of brighter days. Hope, in its most resilient form, has an uncanny way of emerging from the darkest nights. Until then, I hold fast to the conviction that every cloud has a silver lining, and every tear shed is a stepping stone toward healing.

Self Sabotage

“Why can’t I be good enough?”

It’s a question that often haunts us, breeding self-doubt and undermining our self-worth. Despite our best efforts, we sometimes need help to fit into social circles or land that desired job. Little do we realize that our thoughts bleed into our lives and interactions, subconsciously guiding our behaviors.

Psychologists have long studied the link between thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Negative self-talk, like “I’m not good enough,” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, eroding our confidence and affecting how we present ourselves. Conversely, positive thoughts and a healthy self-image empower us to tackle challenges head-on.

Research shows that self-compassion plays a vital role in our well-being, and Dr. Kristin Neff defines it as extending warmth and understanding to ourselves when we face setbacks.

Cultivating self-compassion involves challenging negative thoughts and embracing realistic, positive ones. It’s a pathway to break free from the cycle of self-doubt and nurture a healthier self-perception.

Yet, navigating these internal struggles alone can be challenging. That’s where leadership mentors and coaches step in.

These guides offer invaluable support, helping us gain clarity, build resilience, and navigate professional challenges. They provide an outside perspective, challenging our self-limiting beliefs and offering practical strategies for growth.

I have stated before that seeking help is not a weakness but an investment in ourselves. Just as athletes rely on coaches to enhance their performance, we, too, can benefit from the guidance of those who see our hidden talents. As John C. Maxwell wisely said, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself and helps bring it out of you.”

I am often haunted by memories of my early days in Chicago at one of my very first hotel jobs, and the negative things that poor “directors” and so-called leaders said to me became the thoughts that subconsciously shaped my life and many interactions long into my future until I was brave enough to become the boss I wish I had.

(I wish coaching were a thing back then)

When these things happen, it leads us to question our worth. Negative self-talk and doubt hinder our progress, while self-compassion and a positive self-image empower us to thrive. Mentors and coaches provide the guidance needed to break free from limiting beliefs and foster a mindset of growth and success. Let’s be kind to ourselves, challenge negative thoughts, and embrace the journey of unlocking our full potential.

If you’re ready to embark on this transformative path, Quackenbush Coaching offers a helping hand. Together, we can unravel and answer the complexities of your subconscious and unleash your true potential. Remember, a trusted guide can make all the difference in the adventure of self-discovery and growth. Embrace your worth, silence the doubts, and let’s embark on this remarkable journey together!

What’s Running in the background?

Have you ever noticed how much chatter is running in the background of your brain? Our minds are constantly buzzing with thoughts, worries, and distractions, which can drain our mental energy and leave us feeling exhausted. Just like cell phone apps that run in the background and drain our battery, this constant mental chatter drains our mental energy and leave us feeling depleted .

Let’s explore why it’s essential to turn off the chatter running in the background of your brain and discuss tools you can use to control it.

One of the best ways to quiet the mind is through mindfulness practices. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment or distraction. It is about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without getting caught up in them.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and body scans. These practices help us to cultivate awareness and focus our attention on the present moment. When we are mindful, we can observe our thoughts without getting caught up in them, which can help us to feel calmer and more centered.

Another useful tool for controlling mental chatter is to create a schedule. When we have a lot on our minds, it can be helpful to organize it into a plan. This can help us to prioritize our tasks and stay focused on what is essential. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Technology, also contributes to the constant chatter in our minds. Like the example of cell phone apps run in the background, draining our battery and using up our mental energy. It’s essential to turn off these apps and notifications to reduce distraction to increase focus.

By turning off unnecessary apps and notifications, we can give our full attention to what matters most. If we turn off the chatter running in the background our brains, we conserve mental energy and increase focus. Mindfulness practices and technology management are all useful tools to help control mental chatter. “The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.” By focusing on the present moment and turning off distractions, we can improve our mental health and lead a more fulfilling life.

Would You Hire Yourself?

Hey there, lovely humans!

Welcome to the wild, wacky, and oh-so-enlightening world of Quackenbush Coaching!.

Today, we’ll ponder a deeply existential question while having a bit of fun:

Would You Hire Yourself?

Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of self-examination, sarcasm, and workplace shenanigans. Trust me, it’ll be more exciting than that time you spent an entire afternoon watching cat videos on YouTube (not judging).

Now, we don’t want to make any assumptions, but if you’re reading this article, you’re either a decision maker looking for ideas, considering hiring yourself, or seeking a little entertainment. And why not? You’re an all-star candidate, right? But let’s not get carried away just yet. Before you start ordering business cards with your name on them, let’s delve deep into the world of self-hiring. Or any hiring.

First thing’s first: self-awareness. Harvard Business Review says it’s the cornerstone of outstanding leadership. So, are you the Oprah Winfrey of self-awareness or that guy-who-spent-six-hours-trying-to-open-a-pull-door self-aware (we’ve all been there)? Recognizing our own strengths and challenges is crucial for success, so take a moment to really consider yours.

Next up, work ethic. Are you the early bird who catches the – you know what, let’s skip the cliché. Are you punctual, focused, and reliable? Or are you more like an Instagram-scrolling sloth who clocks in late and takes extended lunch breaks? Your work ethic says a lot about your hirability, so be honest with yourself.

And finally, personality. Do you communicate like Shakespeare reincarnated, listening to and understanding others with ease? Or are you more of the “I’m always right, and everyone else is wrong” type? Your ability to work well with others is crucial for workplace harmony.

So, would you hire yourself? It’s a tricky question, but one that encourages self-reflection and growth. Maybe you’ll realize you’re the best employee since sliced bread, or perhaps it’s time to be your own boss. Whatever you discover, remember that life’s too short to be a boring, uptight worker – so embrace your quirks and don’t forget to laugh along the way!

What Are My Actions Saying About Me?

A common saying goes, “actions speak louder than words,” and it
holds a lot of truth. Our actions reflect our priorities, beliefs, and desires.
In today’s world, people are often more concerned with what they say than what
they do. But, if you genuinely want something, your actions will show how badly
you want it.

The first step in understanding the impact of your actions is to recognize
the difference between words and actions. Words, while they are sometimes use
as weapons and can seem quite heavy, don’t hold much weight. On the other hand, actions are tangible, demonstrating the effort and dedication you are puttinginto something.

When it comes to achieving your goals, your actions truly matter.

Your actions reveal your true intentions. If you keep saying something is a
priority but never act on it, it becomes apparent that you don’t want it. For
example, if you say that you want to exercise more but never make time for it,
it shows that you are not taking yourself seriously.

Similarly, if you say that you want to be successful but never take the
necessary steps to reach your goals, it reveals the importance you place on success.

Another way that actions speak louder than words is through consistency.

Consistency is crucial in achieving your goals and proving that you truly want something.
It’s not enough to take a few steps in the right direction and then give up
when things get tough. Instead, you must be consistent in your efforts and
persistent in your pursuit. If you keep taking steps towards your goals, even
when it’s challenging, it shows that you are dedicated and truly want what you
are striving for.

Moreover, your actions also reveal the level of commitment you have to
something. If you are committed, you will sacrifice and go the extra mile to
reach your goals. For example, if you are committed to something, you will make
time for it. On the other hand, if you aren’t committed, you will find excuses
and justifications for not putting in the effort.

In conclusion, actions speak louder than words, revealing how badly you want
something. Your actions show your true intentions, dedication, and commitment.
If you’re going to achieve your goals, you must focus on your actions.

Start taking consistent, meaningful steps toward your goals, and you will be
amazed at the progress you can make. Remember, your actions reveal how badly
you want something, and they are the key to unlocking your full potential.

What Is Shadow Work?

While pursuing my certifications as a Master Certified Coach, I had the privilege of learning a variety of therapeutic modalities.
One of those that fascinated me is Shadow Work.
As coaches, we need to ensure that our mental houses are in order so that we are fully present for our clients.
I quickly learned that shadow work is an essential tool for my toolbox.
So now, how will you get ready for 2023?
Are you brave enough?
Well, here’s what doing shadow work involves.
Shadow Work is a personal development practice involving exploring and understanding the unconscious parts that we often try to hide or repress. This can include negative traits, painful memories, and unhealed emotional wounds.

By bringing these hidden aspects of ourselves into the light, we can gain insight into why we behave and think the way we do and then work to heal and transform these parts of ourselves.
One of the main benefits of Shadow Work is increased self-awareness. By delving into the unconscious aspects of ourselves, we can become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how they may influence our actions and decisions.
This can help us identify patterns of behavior that may be holding us back and work to change them.
Shadow Work can also help us to better understand and accept ourselves by facing the parts of ourselves that we may or may not like or be proud of. We can learn to embrace all aspects of ourselves, including our flaws and what we perceive as weaknesses.
This can lead to increased self-acceptance and self-compassion, which can be crucial for building healthy and fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others.

Another benefit of Shadow Work is improved relationships. By gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves, we can learn how to communicate more effectively with others and better understand their perspective needs. This can lead to more harmonious, fulfilling relationships both personally and professionally.

Shadow Work can help us to break free from limiting beliefs and behaviors by exploring and understanding the unconscious motivation behind our actions.
We can identify and challenge beliefs that may be holding us back and work to transform them, leading to more significant personal growth and fulfillment.
I also constantly remind my clients that thoughts create feelings, feelings, drive our actions and those actions produce the results and outcomes of situations.

So one of the most essential benefits of Shadow Work is the sense of liberation and freedom it can bring. By facing and healing the unconscious parts of ourselves, we can let go of the burden of repressing and denying these aspects of ourselves. This can lead to a greater sense of authenticity and freedom to be ourselves and to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

So overall, Shadow Work can be a challenge.
It is hard, but it’s a gratifying process that can lead to greater self-awareness, greater self-acceptance, improved relationships, and a sense of liberation.
While doing your work, you quickly find that the benefits of this practice can be life-changing and well worth the effort.

If you’re interested in exploring shadow work, it can be helpful for you to work with a therapist, a professional coach, or a mentor who was trained in this area or join a support group or workshop. With the proper support and guidance, Shadow Work can be a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation.

With that being said, are you ready for 2023?

Thoughtful Reflection

I KNOW love. 

I recognize respect. 

I have learned my value. 

I have been fortunate enough to find someone who has taught me what love is, I have seen it, and I know how it looks. How it feels. How to recognize it when it shows up.

I am a better leader, friend, mentor, and mother because of it.  I am a better HUMAN because of it. I am grateful for the ability to notice it, feel it, see it, and have it.

Because of this, I know what these things do NOT look like. 

I have spent this morning in an excercise of reflectiion of my both personal and professional relationships.

There were quite a few that I mistook for love or respect when it was something else all together that I could not name or label. 

In my heart I have apologized for my ignorance and mistakes that came from it. 

How about you love yourself enough to do an assessment of your relationships past and present. 

What did you learn? 

How have you benefited from them? 

How are they serving you now? 

It’s a tough exercise. However, it is worth it.


One word. Six syllables. When many of us hear it, we get quiet and take notice. We pay more than the usual attention to things, processes, and people. This word places people into one of two categories: Those who are being held accountable and those who are holding people accountable.

All of us, at one point, whether it has been personal or professional, have had the experience of being on either side. Either you are having a difficult conversation, or someone has had to have one with you. No matter which seat you are sitting in, it is uncomfortable; even worse if you are a person who blames, denies, or avoids accepting accountability. Simply put, failure to “own your stuff.”

I am waist-deep in Brene Brown’s newest book Atlas of the Heart. I am always careful when I dive into her work because it makes me take a hard look at myself, my behaviors, how I am showing up. I have to read my friend Brene in small doses (She does not know me personally). If she only knew how much she made me work!
The audiobook is 8 hours long….and I am more excited with every page I turn! Yes, I have the audiobook and am reading it simultaneously. She pushes me to think, feel, and examine the hard stuff that is so easy for me to overlook. Brene forces me to lean into the uncomfortable bits of leading and managing my personal and professional life. Sometimes I feel as if she holding a magnifying glass to my world.

As a Leadership and Life Coach, I pride myself in being an “accountability partner” for my clients. I ask questions that promote ideas, movement, change. I do this while keeping in mind that my clients are whole, creative, and resourceful people. I am a tool helping drive the positive result they are seeking. In that dynamic, accountability is necessary. Whether it is a personal conversation with someone or a professional setting, I am always surprised when the accountability part happens, the emotional reaction that is reflected back to me. While I should be used to it, the emotional response always surprises me. I am frequently at a loss for words when this happens. (enter uncomfortable silence)

Something I read at the beginning of Atlas of the Heart resonated with me and will now become my mantra when faced with accountability backlash.
Brene writes, “I am responsible for holding you accountable in a respectful and productive way. I am NOT responsible for your emotional reaction to that accountability.”

When there are emotional reactions to feedback or counseling, the person giving it immediately has an emotional response. This diminishes the feedback and can quickly devolve into a comfort and apology party. What is more important is that the person receiving the feedback listens to the message.

When we come from a place of respect and compassion, they will hear us. Apologies are not necessary. There will always be hard conversations, incomplete tasks, hiccups, mishaps, and mistakes. We will sometimes give feedback, and other times we will receive it. Our thoughts and state of mind are so important on either side of the equation. Accountability does not have to be negative, but it does need to be constructive, and it is in short supply these days. Let’s be the leaders we wish we had. Starting with being more accountable for ourselves, our behaviors, and our outcomes.

Leadership and Discomfort

Discomfort & Leadership

No one ever said that being a leader is easy. Sometimes it’s scary, and Sometimes it is infuriating. Most times, it’s uncomfortable. So Let’s talk about discomfort. Nowadays, leadership is a scarce commodity because few people are willing to go through what is uncomfortable and step into leadership. (Seth Godin-Tribes) 

We fail to realize that discomfort makes leadership valuable. 

The truth is If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens, you end up with too many cooks in the kitchen. If everyone tries to speak at once, you never hear what people are trying to say. It all becomes noise. It becomes chatter in the background, and the intentions get lost. It’s the discomfort that creates the momentum that makes leadership worthwhile. In other words, if everyone can do it, they would.

It’s uncomfortable to do many, many things. It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers, give a presentation or speech for the first time, or introduce a new idea that might not work. It’s uncomfortable to challenge someone else’s ideas or the status quo. It’s uncomfortable to say no when everyone else is saying yes. 

When you can identify what that discomfort is. You have found the place where a leader is needed. If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your full potential as a leader. Leaders often figure out how to step into those vacuums and create motion. Those vacuums where leadership is necessary. They work hard to generate movement to generate traction; leaders work hard to get people involved. They work hard to bolster cooperation. Leaders speak up when it is time to have a challenging conversation. Leadership creates movement and transforms people. leaders motivate and inspire.

When we lean into discomfort and lead, our environments become communities, and the people we work with become family.