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My Regret as a Mother

Posted on March 14, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Feeling inspired from the International Woman’s Day event that I attended yesterday. I have been adding bits and pieces to this article over the last few months (that’s all I can manage for time right now). But I do have something to share – In fact, I have a lot to share. I am ready to start sharing my voice and my passions more frequently… I just haven’t found the right platform yet. So here it goes…


I started this article a few months ago titled “My regret as a Mother”. I am not certain it’s true regret, but it’s certainly something I would do differently next time. I thought I was doing the right thing because I was following the steps of the majority of young Mothers that I am aware of in North America. I thought I was doing the right thing by going back to work after one year, working really hard to progress my career so that I could be happy with the “whole package”. As it turns out, now that I am 5 years in to being a Mom, My one regret is working a full time job during the first five years. Now that I am at the five year mark with our child, I can see how taking it slow and working part-time for the first five years would have been the best thing for all of us (My husband, My Son and My Self). Regardless of the sacrifices that would have to take place on a part-time income, having less financially would far outweigh a career and all the time I can never get back. And it’s funny to “wish” that I had thought things through at the time because back when our son was one year and I was ready to go back to work, I was caring for a baby, new to the demands of Motherhood – I didn’t have time to “think” about what to do. It’s such a busy time in life and there isn’t much space to think things through or to “process” thoughts the way I do now (or the way I did before Parenthood). I found that whatever plan I went into Motherhood with, I just stuck to that without reflecting on what might be best now. 


I think every woman should “pause” life in the first five years to spend time at home, time with their child, spend time on their relationship with their significant other – that’s when the whole family needs it most. I thought that being a Mother was difficult but when I look back, it was the lack of time I had to really be a Mother that was difficult.


I know that women have fought so long for our right to work, our right to be equal – and there is still a long way to go. I also know that no woman ever said Motherhood would be easy, but nobody ever said that it actually works in this new world of equality, both partners needing to contribute in order to make ends meet. Being a Mom and working full time in the first five years just isn’t right to me. And it may work for other people… or may appear to work for other people, however when I see the rate of divorce among new parents with small children and relationships that become torn, I can’t help but think that a little more time invested in the Family life could help people save their relationships and their families.


Tips from me to you:

· Date night isn’t for dating – it’s to communicate – never underestimate the importance of this event. Do anything you can to make it happen weekly

· Try not to make any major moves/life-changing decisions in the first two years – this one is tough because we have such an urge to change things to make being a Mother easier. Give everyone in your new family time to adjust to one another the ways things are before you decide you need to change something on the outside

· Write down your plan going into Parenthood (whether it was a planned pregnancy or not, prior to baby arriving, you have nine months to think about and write it down) – Review your plan at the one year mark, review it with your partner as well to see if this still works for you (or to remind you that you did have a plan and you are sticking to it)

· Do your research on Family dynamics – Explore options of Career Moms, stay at home Dads, sharing parental leave (taking time off at the same time), co-parenting, Sister Wives … Explore it all. I have learned that the North American “norm” isn’t what actually works

· Dive into your career after the 5 year mark - Once your child/children have passed the five year mark, they are much more independent and the family dynamics are usually settled, so you can re-focus on yourself again


For those who are only thinking about babies but you have not yet decided… You will meet people who will tell you not to have children - I don’t believe that is a fair statement. The experience of having a child is so unique to everyone; the way that each person experiences the changes that unfold as a result of bringing a child in to the world are such unique experiences. I think it is impossible for anyone to know if you should have children or not. I think some people will tell you not to have children and others will tell you you need to have children – everyone has their own reasons and own experiences. I can tell you from my own experience as once a person completely fulfilled by my passion of helping others I know that human beings can be completely fulfilled with or with-out having children. Fulfillment comes from following your true passion; for some people, following that true passion is bringing a new life into the world, others are satisfied with dedicating their life to helping others or travelling the world to experience everything there is to experience.

Whatever you decide, take some time to investigate what makes sense. Know that the systems and timelines that are in place right now to allow women to fit into the workforce “equally” have not been proven when it comes to balancing life and having a wholesome family. Many organizations have a long way to go before we can truly allow women into the workforce while still honouring the natural (human) instincts that come with being a Mother. I encourage you to follow the tips I have provided along with an endless amount of your own research to know what is right for you and your family. We have to find a way to contribute passionately to the workforce while still honouring being part of a functional Family that needs us.


Written by:

Laura Varga

Certified Coach

We are all Leaders

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

We are all Leaders....

This Year, October 31 2013, is what I consider to be Jaxon's first Halloween - He is 14 months old and much more alert and aware than last year. In our Family, we always carve pumpkins and hand out candy, not usually decorating or dressing up. Jaxon wore orange and black instead of a costume.

The first time our door knocked he was a little unsure of what was going on but we brought him to the door to greet the children trick-or-treating. He watched me hand out chocolates to the kids and he smiled at them politely. When the second group knocked at the door Jaxon looked toward the door and then walked right over to see what was behind it. He watched me hand out chocolates again and after the kids left he grabbed a chocolate out of the bowl and held it up towards the door. By the time the third group knocked at the door, Jaxon was ready: He knew what the knock meant, he walked with excitement toward the door and waited for me to open it. He grabbed the chocolates and handed one to each trick-or-treat-er.

Children are brilliant! Only two times observing and he knew exactly what to do. And this is what I want to share with you:

Not only am I reminded of how intelligent these young children are but I relate it to a lesson we can all learn from: Great leaders lead by example. They act as a model of the results they want to see and they encourage the behaviour in others. And we are all capable of being great leaders.

Our actions have much more of an impact than our words. Although Jaxon can not speak and I did not explain in words to him exactly what to do, he observed and acted out the same motions. It is a reminder that for all of us, actions mean more than our words. The way we act and carry ourselves is paramount to the words that we speak.

If you are looking for a change, you must first be the example of that change. If you are looking to be treated a certain way, or looking for a certain result in your life, you must first model that behaviour to those around you before that change can happen. The impact your actions have on those around you is epic.

Never underestimate the power of your actions and the influence you have on others. You do not need to speak in order to propel change however you do need to reflect on your actions and know that your actions never go unnoticed. If you would like to see positive change around you, know that you are a leader always holding the potential to be greater and greater. Here are some tips in leading change:

  • act in the way you want others to act towards you
  • do the things for others that you wish you had done for you 
  • be there for others in ways you wish others were there for you
  • always reflect on your actions, and adjust accordingly
  • always make decisions that will reflect your integrity
  • know that all of your actions will be reflected back to you

Each of us holds such great power, potential and the ability to influence change around us. We are all leaders with the potential to become greater and greater. The key is in awareness: Now that we are aware of the influence our actions have on those around us and ultimately the affect our actions have on our own lives, we can make conscious choices, think about our actions and make adjustments to start a new trend in our lives.

Power comes from knowing your own strengths and knowing where to use them - now that you know your strength lies in your actions, and your actions are reflected back to you, What changes & choices will you make to be a great leader and make great changes?


Love and Success,

Laura Varga

Certified Coach

How to Change Perspective

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I was raised as a cottager, traveling each weekend and each summer to the same beautiful lake for twenty-nine years. I have been blessed with the joys that a cottage can bring: nature, water sports, communtiy and so much more.

This year My husband and I decided to spend our summer at the cottage in Haliburton Highlands with our ten-month-old baby boy so that he can have the same experiences we did as children. We have been at our cottage now for two months and we are enjoying every moment.

Last week we were on our boat driving around the same lake that we have admired for all our years and we decided to dock and check out a vacant property on the lake. This brought me an experience that I want to share.

The view from this property was breathtaking - beautiful and serene - it was so different from our "same old" view on the same lake. It was beautiful, just as our view is, but it felt completely different. The same lake felt different. Today I went to the edge of my own property and looked at the lake from a different perspective and again, the lake looked different and gave me a different feeling.

This reminded me that changing perspectives, even the slightest, can completely change the way we feel about something. It is absolutely fascinating how shifting your perspective can be the key to shifting your feelings about the same situation. Any situation you face in your life has the possibility of being changed simply be changing your perspective.

There are many situations and challenges which we face that we cannot physically change or control (such as people or circumstances) however we can find great relief in changing our own perspective. Perspective is something that we can shift easily instead of fighting the endless battle of trying to change everyone but ourselves.

Just by visiting another property on the same lake gave me such a different feeling that it has allowed me to appreciate my own view of the same lake in a new way.

Next time you visit a lake, notice how you feel looking from afar, notice how you feel on the waters edge and again from a different edge of that same water... possibly on the water... or in the water. (if you don't live near water, try this same exercise in your backyard i.e. look from your neighbours yard). It is similar to how we can approach the different issues or challenges we face in our lives; sometimes we are viewing from afar, sometimes we are on the edge or at times right in it. It can be difficult to find solutions to our problems, especially when we are right in the middle, surrounded by it, but there is a way to find new insight when you shift your perspective.

A shift of perspective is all it takes to find new ways of approaching the same challenges.

How can we do this in our daily life?

  • Talk to a friend and ask for their perspective. Keep in mind that if you are stuck in a situation or find that you are repeating a pattern and you have talked to your friends about it numerous times, then that may be where you need to change your perspective... Sometimes friends cannot offer a new perspective so you may want to try....
  • Talk to an acquaintance or even a stranger! (in a safe environment);)
  • Talk to a Life Coach
  • Take a nap
  • Have a bath, shower or sauna
  • Go Swimming
  •  Write down your challenge from the other person's perspective
  • Walk to or visit a place you have never been before, preferrably a place outside with open space around
  • Email Me! If you would like advice on how to shift your perspective on a current life situation/challenge, simply write me an email with the subject line "Blog perspective" and I will offer you professional advice on how to do this (at no cost!)

I wish you success in finding new perspective for any or all of your life challenges.

Love and Success,

Laura Varga


What's New with Coach Laura

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I feel like I have been wrapped up tight inside a cocoon living in another time zone (which some days feels like another planet). Yes, I am discovering the joys and challenges of being a new Mother.

I would like to officially announce the arrival of our baby boy Jaxon Jacob Varga September 8 2012. He has been a happy healthy baby from day one after a smooth full term pregnancy.

Learning about being a Mother comes a lot from trusting my instincts - this I have found to be more difficult than ever before, as trusting my instincts now affects a whole other Life. I am also learning from my son the natural wonder there is in discovering new things. He has such a beautiful interest in all new things and he does not judge anything. He is proving that each moment is what it is and then we move on... It is only our minds that hold onto the past. He can cry one minute and laugh the next and he isn't afraid to ask for what he needs each moment. It is beautiful.

Parenthood has also catulpulted me into an intense self discovery course which I thought I had already taken;). Being a new parent I have discovered many more little things about myself (the way I make decisions, process information, the judgements and past emotions that I hold onto). Bening an aware parent is very intersting.

Along with all of that, I am also learning about balancing all the different roles I am so that there is room for everything that energizes me - being a Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur, Coach, Daughter, Sister, Friend.... And so much more. I am staying aware of the different ways I can be busy that energize me and then the different ways I can be busy that drain me.

I am slowly finding time for my business while focusing on being a Mother and Wife for my beautiful Family. My coaching business is one that I always have room for as I find the connection to others energizes all of us.I will post things as I go along and I have created a section called "What My Newborn Taught Me" - I will make more time to add to this so that you can read along and post your comments and stories with me.

 

Thank You for your support.

And thank You to Jake and Jaxon.

Love and Success,

-Laura Varga

 

 

What My Newborn taught Me ... Lesson # 1

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Be in the moment > it only takes a second to follow a thought in my mind - what to make for dinner...how am I going to make it to the store... did I forget to remind my husband... my list of "to do's"... - and that trail of thought can lead to a long road of past and future events. Those thoughts take us out of the moment. It's far too easy to spend time doing one task while your mind floats to a million different places and that is a sure sign of living out of the moment.

Thankfully, the challenges of a newborn baby come with many great gifts. The needs of a newborn are immediate - it's that simple - he has a need that moment and your provide to him. Newborns are living completely in the moment and as a Mother my job demand is to keep up with him in each moment. Though it only takes a second for my mind to trail off, I have this beautiful dark eyed baby looking up at me and he brings me right back from anywhere I trailed off to.

It is a beautiful gift from my baby boy and a true reminder of how simple life can be in the moment.

 

Know Thyself

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It is so important to know who you are and stay true to that person.

Collect information and decide for yourself Don’t believe everything you read > I still suggest you read lots - read the magazines, the books, articles, newspapers – Just keep in mind that just because you are reading it doesn’t mean that it is true for you. Take in as much information as possible, but before you take it on in your own life, make sure that it sounds right to you, feels right to you and that you agree with it. I believe it is very important to keep in mind that everything written is from one person’s point of view, even if collective information is used, it is still one person’s point of view. Make your own decision, form your own opinion, and if you still agree, then apply it to your Life. Just this one tip will save you lots of time and energy!

Listen to others and see how it feels Don’t believe everything you hear > When watching your favourite talk shows, remember that the information given is general and is not necessarily true for all. An example is that food and nutrition suggestions that are made to improve your health are great for some people and not for others. Keep in mind that although banana’s have vitamins and are “healthy” doesn’t mean that they are good for everyone. Some people may have reactions or notice that banana’s don’t make them feel well and my suggestion is to pay attention to that. Become more aware of what your body is telling you, see if that feels right to you and if it does that’s great. If it doesn’t, then remove it from your diet. Becoming more aware of your reactions to food will help you choose food that is just right for your body which will result in more energy, better metabolism, and a heightened awareness. This will also reduce the stress that can be caused by wondering why the magazine diet isn’t working!

Let Go of your need to be “Right” > Ask yourself why it is that you need to be right or make another person wrong. Become more aware of where that need to be right is stemming from. Practice non-judgment for one day – do not label anything as “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong”, “ugly” or “beautiful” – Try to let things be for one day and see if the stress of that day feels more like a feather than an anvil.

Get to know yourself so that you can trust your instincts> What do you believe in? What is your definition of success? (this should be different for everyone) Do you know what your values are or where they came from? Have you ever made a decision using your values? What are your greatest accomplishments? On your 80th Birthday, what would you like to say were your best memories and greatest achievements? Is money more important than happiness? When you truly know yourself, you don’t get lost or frazzled by the difficult times in life – You learn from those difficult times and move forward because of them.

-Laura Harrison

Discover Yourself

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

“Who am I? Am I proud of Who I am? How Do I know Who I am? I always hear that this is so important, But what does it really mean?”

There is no way you can define yourself completely. There are too many layers, energies and memories inside of you, yet to be discovered. We are always growing, developing and changing. Life gives us opportunities everyday to learn more. Discovering who you are is what it takes to fulfil your Life’s purpose. Be brave enough to discover the deep hidden treasures inside you – the darkness and the light. Discover who you are, what you are about, what drives you, what motivates you, what you value, and where your integrity comes from. You are so complex with so much to give to the world, and defining who you are would stop your development. Defining is final, it is an “end” – Discovering yourself is a Life long journey which is never over. There is always room to grow, develop and discover the infinite source that comes from within.

-Laura Harrison Life Coach Life Design Coaching

Join us on this journey to grow deeper and discover our “unknown” territory within. The Discovery Workshops are designed in a group setting, and will give you the opportunity to discover more about yourself by sharing and learning from others. Discover more about your values, personal strengths, relationships, and more. This will be a free workshop to give you an idea of the potential and benefits of discovering your true self. If you feel the benefits, we will be offering regularly, as requested. R.S.V.P is required as there will be handouts and materials provided.

Gossip is lost integrity

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

It can be disappointing when you find yourself the victim of gossip... Or how about unknowingly participating in gossip? I have recently come to the conclusion that any type of information passed on without confirming it's validity can be considered gossip. Something that I find missing in people lately is that nudge within themselves to push them forward in finding the truth. Where is the curiosity from within that provokes a person to find the truth for themselves? Has this curiosity been lost?

Definition of Gossip (from Wikipedia):Casual or Unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

Spending time discussing other people that have no relevance to your life could be taking away from your integrity. Why focus on others without confirmation of the truth when you could be focusing on your truth. Is it that you do not want to look within?

I encourage you to start making a choice to focus on yourself. Focus on your integrity; who you are. Each time you participate in gossip you are removing a piece of who you are or who you can be. Gossip is not contributing to your better self - it does not support your growth and development.

Next time you are faced with a conversation of gossip - a conversation that has no confirmation of truth - try exercising your integrity by stopping the gossip by changing the conversation.

  • Try directing the conversation onto yourself or one of the individuals you are speaking to, rather than discussing another person who is not present to confirm the truth
  • Tell the "gossiper" that you do not wish to hear about it
  • Try simply walking away from a group of gossip

Focus on conversations that are helpful, valuable and productive in contributing to your life (or that of others) in the most positive way possible.

You may be the one to set the standard for others who may not realize how severe their gossip habbits have become. Make a positive difference by being different and and focusing on your truth.

Fresh Perspective - How to gain New Clients and New income

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)
As the fresh, crisp air of September rolls in I always like to think of it as my New Year. Fall is just around the corner and it marks a time for change, reflection and preparing for the months ahead.
While planning for the next four months in Business, I suggest we take this opportunity for change as a gift of fesh perspective to apply it to the many areas of business which can always benefit from change: loyalty from exisiting clients, gaining new clients and creative ways of implementing new streams of income.
As we tend to focus on what's new, what's next and how to generate more income, we can often forget about improving exisiting systems we have in place. The first thing I think of when it comes to gaining new clients and more income is "What can I offer my existing clients to satisfy them even more?".
Gaining new cleints is great, however the key is to have a system in place for your exisitng clients that keeps them satisfied and loyal by showing them your appreciation and loyalty to them as clients. After all, your new clients will one day be your exisiting clients so once you have that system in place you are on your way to growing a sustainable business.
Here are my tips:
  • When creating new campaigns, giveaways or discounts, make sure they are not limited to new clients only. If they are, make sure you create something specific for your existing clients to acknowledge them for being part of your existing business. There is nothing worse than an exisitng client seeing your offer of 50% off to new prospects, when you haven't even contacted or offered something to the client who has already paid you.
When you are constantly thinking about contacting new prospects and creating campaigns for reaching new clients, answer this: When was the last time you contacted your existing clients? Don't wait for them to contact you as it may be too late at that point. Remember, if you do it right, existing clients = new business.
  • Set up quarterly conacts either via telephone, email or mail out to contact your existing clients. It is important to let cleints know you are still here, still valuing their business and it is a great opportunity to find out what has changed in their life that could create more business for you. Remember that the competition is feirce and in order to keep your exisitng clients you need to treat them like new prospects wherever possible.

Now You are ready to gain new clients. Keeping with the theme of a season for change and fresh perspective, TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Step out a little bit to experiment with new forms of marketing so that you can reach new clients. Don't do the same mail out you do every fall for "back to school" or place the same offer on your website. You need to think outside of the box and change something. Here is what you can try:

  • Join a new networking group to make contacts in areas you have never broke into before
  • Who are your referral partners? Build a list of businesses you can work out a referral system with that benefits both of you. I suggest you make the list first and then start contacting them immediately to meet and propose your idea - make sure when you present that you focus on the benefit for both of you
  • If you have never done a mail out before, try it.
  • If you have never done email marketing before, try it for F*REE - Most email marketing companies offer a 30 day trial which will definitely benefit you.
  • Cold Calling - never forget the original methods of reaching new cleints. Get out the phone book (or look it up on-line), open up the do not call list on the government website and start making calls. Prepare your script ahead of time and don't get discouraged by the number of "not interested". You are guaranteeed to find new clients using this method
  • Go into local businesses and offer seminars or info session for their employees to get your product known

New clients will generate new streams of income, however I suggest you start brainstorming ways you can have income from little effort. Selling items on-line, joining affiliate programs, adding a new product that sells itself, writing a "how to" guide for your business. Get creative and think FRESH.

I strongly recommend you embrace this season of change as a time to celebrate a new year with fresh perspective, crisp ideas and a time for reflection on how to consistently improve your business.

As September marks time for change, try something different that will drive results this Fall - hire a Life Design Business Coach. Call me for a consultation where I will put together an action plan for you to follow, keep you on track with a clear focus and you will see results in your business that you have never seen before! 20% off all coaching packages for the month of September, as well as $75 consultations! Now that's how you do business!

Much Success,

Laura Harrison

Certified Coach

Does Your Business Match Your Life

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 12:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Does your Business match your Lifestyle?

Is Your vision for your business in line with your vision for Life?

Are the values of your business a reflection of your personal values for Life?

Often entrepreneurs in the early stages are not experiencing the flow - they are experiencing struggle, resistance and sometimes even conflict. The reason is that they didn't take the time to ask themselves the fundamental questions that create a solid foundation in business. Any successful corporation you know today has built it's business models based on the values that they established the business with. They have grown based on the vision for the future of their company and it always starts with one person who is truly passionate about what they do.

You can learn a lot from these big companies without comparing your business to them. Even if you are one person running your business you still need to have a written vision to work towards, strong values to guide you and passion for your work. And the key to growing a successful business is ensuring that the vision and values of your business are a direct reflection of your vision and values for your Life.

When you have lost (or misplaced) the reason why you started your business, it's time to take a step back to "start" again. With help from your business coach, you can create a solid foundation and uncover your values and vision for Life and Business. It takes a little time and some digging however it is worth the adventure to uncover the core elements that you are "missing" (they are there already, you just haven't stopped to look at them). You will also find that this foundation will allow you to create proper policies and guidelines as well as ensure that when your business starts to grow and you need to expand into a team you will already have the elements needed to hire the right person and teach them about your business.

When the work that you are doing is connected to your personal values, visions and passions, then you are always in alignment and everything will flow smoothly in your life and your business.When everything that you do is aligned properly with who you are and the business that you do on a daily basis is a reflection of that, that is the day that you will experience flow - everything in your life flowing smoothly and happening effortlessly.

It is a true recipe for success and I strongly urge you to sit down to answer the questions posed at the top of this article. Take 30 minutes to write down your responses and once you are done, take a look into your business and your current lifestyle to see what changes you can make to create more flow.- Your Business needs to reflect your Lifestyle. If you need help with this process, please don't hesitate to contact me for some tips on completing this process. Or, if you are serious about getting this done quickly, sign up for coaching and see everything turn-around within a few months.

Much Success,

Laura Harrison - Certified Coach - laura@lifedesigncoaching.ca 905-420-1687

Does your Business match your Lifestyle?

Is Your vision for your business in line with your vision for Life?

Are the values of your business a reflection of your personal values for Life?


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