Your Playing Small Does Not Serve the World

Image c/o: rfduck

A few years ago, I was exploring the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, VA. Along the drive up the curvy road to our drop-off in Whitetop, VA, the driver for our shuttle made idle chitchat about the history of the area, the bike trail and different places to visit. We rounded a particularly sharp curve lined with a healthy abundance of trees. The grass was a lush carpet rolled out along the hills all around us. Cut only by the bike trail that would soon wind us down along the mountain. Few houses were to be seen, but each one was quiet and nestled into the mountains, seeming as natural to the scenery as the trees were.

Our driver pulled to a stop, pointed straight ahead and questioned, “Do you see that oak tree?” We certainly did and its shades of green were turning a lovely hue of autumn red. “It does that every year,” he stated.

I will remind you at this point that it was merely the end of July. Standing out amongst hundreds of its peers in the background, this tree was showing its brilliant color too early. Or was it? Every year he said. Then he pondered out loud, “I wonder if it knows something we don’t.”

I wonder…

  • What are your seasons of bold opportunity?
  • What dreams do you have hidden?
  • How often do you reveal your brilliant colors?

Nobody determines if it is too early, or too late to follow a dream except you. If your heart speaks to you, if your intuition is tugging at you, then let your natural talents show through. Stand out with a stunning preview of what the new season will hold for you.

Are the people who stretch into a vision part of the lucky few who found their purpose or inspiration outside of the typical timeframe? Does this mean they are moremotivated? Are they richer, more blessed or more educated than the next person? Not in my opinion.I think their common bond is that they saw an opportunity and took a risk. They made the choice to live in the moment and set fear aside for a brief time. They didn’t care if they were a season early or a season late. This was an opportunity to shake off their fear, stretch beyond their logical side and grow into an experience that had occupied their dreams. Age, flexibility, endurance…these things should not stop us.

I like to think the tree on that hill did know something we didn’t. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes. It was shared with me at a time in my life when I was ready to hear it and I feel obligated to pass it on. I hope you are ready to hear it as well:

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us: We ask ourselves ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”– Marianne Williamson

As you ring in the new year, let your light shine and your true colors boldly display themselves. As Marianne Williamson says…your playing small does not serve the world.

Stretch…More Than Just Your Body

Written By: Katie Mattson

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g  doesn’t have to just involve physical motion. Move outside of your box, shift your comfort zone, try something new. It’s hard work. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. But it’s also crucial to your wellbeing and success.

Allowing this stretch gives you the greatest chance to grow. Not only does it boost your confidence each time you successfully step into a new experience or a new idea, it broadens your perception of the world. Your well of experience is suddenly deepened and you become more connected to your courage. Feeling the confidence boost after the work is done can be a lasting experience.

Living fearlessly is a troublesome topic. Some have no desire, some don’t know how, some want it so bad but are just plain…scared! Scary can mean going to lunch by yourself, starting up a new workout routine, trying a new sport, quitting your job or skydiving. Big or small, doing something outside of your ordinary routine can be intimidating.

When you think about it, what isn’t scary about the unknown? How much of our time do we spend trying to see every possible angle, preparing ourselves for an outcome we can’t predict? What a waste of energy! Let it go. Let life happen and learn to indulge.Allow yourself to be challenged. Explore new ideas. Open your mind and test your limits. Be safe, be cautious even, but push yourself. As we grow, as we age, as we stretch, we continue to peek out from behind our walls to see what is beyond our boundaries.

Each new experience you add to your life allows your vision to stretch a little farther. It is your decision whether you move out into the world with confidence or continue waiting for the perfect view. With each step into the unknown, the scenery becomes yours for the choosing. You may find you have more control over a huge field of choices than a small box of the ‘sure thing.’ As a coach, I want my clients to soar, to take fearless steps more easily and to create a huge space between themselves and their limitations. Creating that momentum is the key to doing so.

I’d like to challenge you to try this. Each day for the rest of the year, make a phone call you’ve been avoiding, spend some time alone or try something new. Aside from confidence, your sense of fearlessness grows. In no time, you’ll be challenging yourself with new goals. Sitting still (or on the couch) will no longer be a habit because new interests will pop up. New passions will surface. And you will pursue those passions.

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Momentum Coaching‘s mission is for each of us to energize the moment we’re in. As owner and professional coach, Katie Mattson energizes her clients to stretch their boundaries, deepen their awareness and indulge in life.

Wake Up Your Routine With Fun Fitness Workouts

By Briana Boehmer

As a coach I feel part of my job is to prescribe exercise that keeps the mind fresh.  There should be a purpose or objective for everything I give a client (yes a rest day has purpose!), and sometimes that purpose is FUN.

But what if you don’t have a coach?  What if the word exercise has made you yawn since the day you learned what the word meant?  I get it.  Exercise can be boring and repetitive more times than not…but it doesn’t have to be! FUN workouts can also be quite meaningful in terms of what they do for your fitness.

Each year there are a handful of the “next best” things that come out, and it is often a battle to determine what is truly going to help you continue to grow and progress. However, one unique trend recently has aimed at making fitness more fun, and that is something I can cheer for. Fitness is becoming exciting and mentally (in addition to physically) challenging. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and check out fitness offerings that put the FUN back into exercise:

Photo c/o: Kenny Holston

Mud Runs
Events like Tough Mudder and the Warrior Dash take a very unique spin on your everyday running race.  Be prepared to get dirty, climb walls, and maybe (just maybe) run through fire.  Sounds like fun right?!  You may even have a completely local version of these like I do (MadisonMudrun.com).  Just one word of caution:  sign up at your own risk!

Adventure Racing
How about an event that challenges the brain and the body?  Adventure races are usually a combination of hiking, biking, orienteering, paddling, and problem solving.  Some to check out: The Urban Dare and The Great Urban Race OR find an event through the Adventure Racing Association or a search engine like Active.com.  I’ve done one locally many times and had a blast!

Dance Classes
Your local gym, club or community center has a whole new set of class offerings that take the concept of group fitness to a new level.  Classes like Zumba or Body Combat are gaining in popularity.  However, with Dancing with the Stars being so popular, don’t underestimate the value of taking more “traditional” dance classes like swing or salsa!

Fitness Excursions
FITNESS VACATION!  Bike tours and hiking tours are becoming more readily available.  Check out Trek Travel for amazing bike tours and REI for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

After reading through this list I’m sure you’ll find something to cure your exercise-induced yawn! Time to get out and play!

Sinking in Stress? Simplify Your Lifestyle

Written By: Katie Mattson

Photo c/o: Alan Cleaver

Errands, groceries, supper, laundry, cleaning, working out, walking the dog, helping the kids with their homework…the list goes on and on. Life gets hectic as things pile up.

How often are you neglecting things you are supposed to enjoy like your gym workout? Too often I would bet.

Being healthy doesn’t always have to do with the way you look. It’s also about how you feel. If you are stressed, frustrated, or tired all the time, that will show up in your personality, your workout and probably your physical health. Finding a good balance in life is hard work, but not impossible.

Realign Your Priorities
Try putting aside 10 minutes in the morning prioritizing your activities for the day. Think about what can wait until later versus what really needs to be done. Use this time to put your list on paper to take the pressure off of your already scattered mind.

Do What You WANT
Now that your day is organized, look at where you have some extra space. Use that space for activities you want to do, not things you feel like you should do. Too often, we wake up and our feet hit the floor before we’ve even had a chance to open our eyes. It’s crucial that each day we take some time for ourselves, to unwind, relax
and reflect.

Choose Wisely – Say No
Use your first waking moment to reflect on the choice you have for that day. You can choose to be stressed and overworked, or you can choose to set your
boundaries and take on only what you can handle. It is not a weakness to ask for help or admit you cannot handle it all; in fact, it’s a really powerful and humbling strength.

Asking for help can significantly decrease your stress level. Bring in a fresh perspective on the plateau you are experiencing with a friend, mentor or coach. This will help you set goals to move past your challenges, simplify your life and keep you accountable.

Bringing more balance to your life can improve your health, your fitness and your perspective. Make the choice to simplify your schedule and your life creates space for the activities you choose to do. Talk about freedom! Where will you begin?

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Momentum Coaching‘s mission is for each of us to energize the moment we’re in. As owner and professional coach, Katie Mattson energizes her clients to stretch their boundaries, deepen their awareness and indulge in life.

Holiday Treats That Make The “Nice List”

Written By: Briana Boehmer

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of the holidays is enjoying the flavors of the season.  Flavors you normally don’t get to enjoy most of the year.  Pumpkin, gingerbread, nutmeg, peppermint…yep my mouth is watering.  How about yours?

Yet with this merriment of my taste buds comes an inevitable guilt.  9 times out of 10 the seasonal goodie I decide to devour is laden with calorie rich, nutrient impaired yumminess.  So this year I decided to go on a mission to find those popular chain establishments that were offering “healthy” options to quench my holiday sweet tooth.

Here is what made my top 5 (in no particular order):

  1. Drink 

    Nice –
    Starbucks Gingerbread Latte hold the whipped cream (Tall Non-fat = 150 calories, 0 grams fat)
    Naughty –
    Eggnog (anywhere you get it) (1 Cup = 343 calories, 19 grams fat)
  2. Frozen Desert

    Nice Pinkberry – Peppermint frozen yogurt (1 Cup = 110 calories, 0 grams fat) 

    Naughty Sonic’s Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast (1 Regular = 846 calories, 44 grams fat)
  3. Baked Goodie
    
Nice – Great Harvest Pumpkin Nut and Spice Bread (Slice 56g (2oz) = 120 calories, 1 gram fat)

    Naughty – McDonald’s Holiday Pie (1 pie = 260 calories, 13 grams fat)
  4. Meal

    Nice – You Pick Two Panera Bread Roasted Turkey Harvest Salad and Garden Vegetable Soup (370 calories, 21 grams fat…skip the dressing and now you’re at 300 calories, 15 grams fat)

    Naughty – BK Cranberry Chicken Tendercrisp (1 Sandwich = 488 calories, 14 grams fat)
    Note: While Panera may have more fat calories, they are from healthier sources!
  5. If You Must Go Over The Top…
    
Nice – Add whipped cream to your Latte?
    Naughty – Denny’s Arthur’s Christmas Cookie Pancakes…really? (10 oz. = 660 calories, 22 grams fat)

The unfortunate reality as I began my search is that if it is a holiday food, it isn’t going to be making any top 10 healthiest food lists anytime soon. It’s a good thing these goodies are only available for a limited time! However, you can still enjoy the flavors of the season with less extravagant food choices.  That Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks tastes like a cookie to me with fewer calories and fat!

Now it’s your turn, we challenge you to head out and find a holiday treat that won’t sabotage your jean size.  If you find one you love, we’d love to hear it!