#ShowingUp with Anese Cavanaugh

The Power of the Female Spirit...

"Got milk?" was a phrase that kept running through my head yesterday as I sat in the Breast Health Center going from round to round of exams and checks. It's always funny to me the silly things I'll think of, the silly phrases, the silly scenarios in some of the most stressful situations. (Of course, I was the child who'd laugh when her friends got into big trouble - out of sheer nervousness - so I guess I'm not that suprised.) I was surrounded by other women who were doing the same thing. Several were there for regular check ups, and a couple were there praying that their scares were just that, scares. A couple others, I'm not completely sure...It was a humbling experience and 3 hours sitting in that environment has quite the ability to increase your love and appreciation for women and the human spirit. It also has quite the ability to get you to start thinking about either sponsoring your girlfriend in one of these 3 day breast cancer walks (or doing it yourself!) (I'll be waiting for the phone to ring as soon as this goes live...wait for it...wait for it...)

I'm going to go out on a limb and write a different kind of post today. I actually shouldn't be posting - I'm prepping for a live call tomorrow on energy and leadership (big turnout so far, feel free to join us http://tinyurl.com/y9nve4k ), but I'm still thinking about these women and this experience. It's just kind of stuck with me. There's no profound leadership advice here except maybe to: make sure you get your preventative health care in, take good care of yourself, and dare to engage the things that terrify you (ie. a sinister looking medical tests) - in service of sticking around, feeling well, and having the most energy and stamina to lead for the things you care about (which technically is Bootist Leadership Tenet 3.) I'd also add in, the invitation to revisit what you're grateful for in your life, and to give a special nod to the women in your life who you love, to the women you don't even know - but appreciate, and to the women whose names you'll never know but who've sat with you through something like this. Yes, leadership learning can be gleened from any situation, but for this post, let's just talk about the power of the human spirit. And specifically, since it's so fresh in my heart, women.

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Got Energy? Lead With It.

It's all about the energy. The energy you bring to your life, your leadership, and to your team - physical, emotional, and vibrational - is having an impact at all times. How you use it has a significant impact on your leadership influence, your personal productivity, and the engagement and productivity levels of your team.

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Boots or Slippers in 2010?

So what will you focus on this year? Are you wearing "boots" or "slippers" in 2010? Now I'm all for a good pair of slippers when needed - I can appreciate chilling out, rest, even laziness, with the best of them - and I believe full heartedly that these all have a place in being the most effective human being and leader possible (Tenet 3: Energy & Vitality - "Bootists Check Out and Consciously Disengage"). That said, there's also great value in being conscious of when you're wearing slippers and really need to be wearing boots. Not telling you which is which, that's totally up to you, I AM however inviting you to be intentional about when and how you wear both. (After all, there's a reason the phrase goes: "slip slip sliding away...")

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Tis that time of the year again...Think about it.

As I sit in the coffee shop by my office this a.m. - watching the snow storm that simply will not stop...go on...and on...and on...outside - I'm reminded that this weather and the ambiance around it - truly signifies "that time of the year again." Being a California girl, I have extra sensitivities to this weather - good and bad. Feelings of being trapped, incredibly cold, and missing my CA friends, family and climate so much it actually hurts sometimes, blend with feelings of appreciation for the beauty of the snow and the space it fills, the coziness, and being unable to go anywhere, therefore being forced to chill out inside, drink a hot drink, make some good chili or a batch of cupcakes, and read a good book. An additional gift of the snow, I notice this a.m., is that it seems to bring an even richer element of bonding with the patrons of this coffee shop as we all try to brush off our snow and warm up with hot beverages in both hands! It's "that time of year" again for sure. Good will, joy, forgiveness, gratitude, and bonding abound. But so does sadness, mixed emotion, and the reality or memories of challenging times past and present.

Other indicators of "this time of the year again" are the countless holiday email cards, the e-videos, the end of the year advice, and some really beautiful music. These amongst many others (I'm sure you have yours! One of which may include the promotion already of Valentine's Day coming up - Yowza!) - signify the end of the old year, the preview to the next. Love, generosity, gratitude, magic and melancholy abound.

This week between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorites. People tend to be taking a bit of time off, I kind of "shut down" my office, extra time with kids and family, an extra workout in here and there (the snow makes for an interesting twist), and even time to read a good book or two. In fact, truth be told - yesterday I indulged in a couple of hours of "Sex in the City" and "Mad Men" episodes that I've wanted to watch but have never found the time for "since there's always so much to do!" It's a good time of the year. Regardless of what's happening in our lives; challenges, highlights, sad stuff, happy stuff, conflicts, whatever...I find that it's a "hybernation week" that allows for healing, breathing, sleeping, appreciation, and of course that occassional episode of brainless tv or movie going!

That said, it's also a great time to do some final reflection as we head into 2010. Below are some questions I invite you to ponder should you find yourself in a reflective mood. If not, dive into those extra delights - and if you'd like to dive into the depths of you - where you've been and where you're going - dive into these questions (all listed below if you "read more...") Even better...do both! Stay warm, stay grateful and Happy New Year! xo anese

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Tense? Careful? Don't know what to do? Name it...

I'm experimenting with posting more frequently on this blog. I want to see how it feels to me to write in shorter, unedited clips, and I want to see what kind of response we get. It's an interesting thing to write stuff up, hit send, and have the work go out to cyberspace. Every once in a while I'll have someone send me a note saying they use this information for "self-coaching" or that they share the posts with their teams for discussion - that is great! If you are reading these posts, and care to comment or let me know how you use them - I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, into cyberspace we go!

Quick note: If you want to get a copy of the Bootism(tm) paper, act quickly. You can access it by signing in on the right hand side of this blog (see where it says "name and email address"?) The paper will be available for a limited time as we're getting ready to replace it soon, so if you want it - go get it!

Thought for the day: I've been working with clients all day and have had a couple of interesting themes come up in our calls. One I thought I'd share is one that is so simple, we complexity loving human beings forget to use it more often. Here it is...

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