Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finding the Rembrandt!

Welcome to the quickly approaching holiday season and to the end of what, for me, has been a year of transitions. My coaching business took a significant turn this year when I decided to expand my practice to include corporate clients.  In addition to my private coaching clients, I'm now engaged as a contract coach for LIFE MEETS WORK INC,
providing New Parent Career Coaching to companies throughout the United States.

Whether I'm in my first coaching session with an attorney, a CPA, a corporate executive or a small business owner, there is always some confusion as to exactly what coaching is, and what results might be expected as a result of coaching.  While watching former President George W. Bush in his recent appearance on the Tonight Show, I was struck by the way he relayed his story about his interest in becoming a painter. He stated that he had a desire to paint and that his instructions to his art teacher were, "There's a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find him".  That was it!  The former President articulated the role, goal and mission of coaching in that brilliant and elegantly simple phrase. "There is a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find him".
Helping my clients discover their purpose and passion, reunite them with their confidence, and expand their skills in order to "Find the Rembrandt" is a cherished privilege.  As my year of tremendous growth and discovery comes to a wrap, I look forward to the challenges ahead. You have a Rembrandt trapped in your body. We all do. I can help you find him!
Wishing you the joy of a discovered Rembrandt,


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Conquering the Mess-Stress Cycle…easier than you think!

Conquering the Mess-Stress Cycle...easier than you think!

Most of the time, as I contemplate potential topics for this blog, I land on a subject that has been a focus for multiple clients.  This time, however, there is a prevailing topic of conversation among my clients, friends and family that leaves me no choice but to write about the power of being organized and having systems.  Apparently, the seasonal move back indoors following months of summer activity has caused some to suddenly notice how their inside spaces are  working against them.  Although I’m currently coaching a number of new parents, it’s experienced parents who have recently express to me their desire for a less cluttered life.

Many people have reported feeling so completely out of control that they are willing to spend a large sum of money to hire someone to just fix it for them.  (Unfortunately, even if you could hire someone to fix it for you, you wouldn’t be able to maintain the fix unless you personally construct and buy-in to the solution).  It may be the stacks of unopened mail, the laundry that seems to have babies at night, the project that has taken up residence on the dining room table or simply the time wasted repeatedly hunting for the car keys.  It’s important, of course, to have the ability to tolerate the degree of mess that’s a normal by-product of living.  However, if you don’t have systems in place that support continual checks and balances around life’s messes, they will set up house in your head, create stress and rob you of energy.   In order to break the mess-stress cycle, we have to be able to identify how we got there in the first place.  We do that by examining our habits and behaviors.  Habits are what we do every day without thinking.  They are learned and repeated and then they become automatic, like throwing your coat and purse into the kitchen chair when you come in the door.  A system is having a landing place for the purse and the coat that is easy to access and will not require moving when everyone comes to the kitchen table for dinner.

The process of making a change in your life, as in all life coaching, begins with questions.

·         What is it that you want?

·         Why do you want it?

·         What will happen if you don’t make the change?

·         What are you willing to give up for the change?

·         Have you seen an example of the system you are wanting?

·         Have you had success using this system in the past?

The next step is to use your answers to create systems that will work for you.


Should you be interested in receiving coaching in order to conquer your mess-stress cycle, I propose that we work in partnership to identify your goals and to establish strategies and accountabilities that will enable you to achieve them.  Give me a call. 




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School

 Back to School

Regardless of whether or not you have a direct connection to school schedules, in some way, we are all affected by the shift from summer to fall.  Even corporate and enterprise worlds reflect a more casual and loose attitude through the summer months as they respond to employee and client vacation schedules.  As we near Labor Day, the official marker of summer’s conclusion, it might be helpful to return to “school” for a little refresher on how to manage the additional stress that comes with new fall schedules, projects, deadlines and expectations.

·         Get clear as to what really matters to you.  Know what is working for you right now with your priorities.  If you are enjoying a renewed sense of balance as a result of more summer exercise, family time or self-care, recognize how it feels to you and what it would take in the way of scheduling to continue it into your new fall calendar.

·         Establish boundaries to protect what matters to you.   Establishing boundaries contain solid best practice policies that allow you to check requests and demands on your time against your values and priorities before committing. 

·         Institute a 24HR window of time before you agree to any commitment.  No immediate response policy will allow you to evaluate the choice and how it matches your priorities in a timely and respectful manner.

·         Don’t allow others to create urgency by transferring their issues and crisis to you.  Short of a medical emergency, you have the power of choice to select how and when you will accomplish a task.  Utilize this power by owning your time.

·         Resist feeling validated by “busyness” and having a heavy schedule.  Practice allowing yourself the freedom and restoration of “open” time.

·         Recognize FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and make sure you are not falling into the trap.  We have a culture that rewards frantic busyness that leads to over-whelm and exhaustion.  Make sure that you value how you spend your time.

·         Learn to say NO!  In her book, Find Your Courage, Margie Warrell suggests there are two key blockers that prevent us from finding the courage to say no: 1. Lack of clarity about what you want to say yes to.  2. “Shoulding” on yourself…how we think we should be seen by others.

As a member of your work and family communities, you have requirements on your time that are non-negotiable.  Consequently, it is imperative that you become even more selective and intentional with the remaining hours of your days, they are precious.  As Holly Mosier writes…”Our culture encourages us to plan every moment and fill our schedules with one activity and obligation after the next, with no time to just be.  But the human body and mind require downtime to rejuvenate.  Learn to say no to demands, requests, invitations, and activities that leave you with no time for yourself.  Until I learned to say no, and mean it, I was always overloaded by stress.”

If once and for all you would like to eliminate over-whelm, over-booked and stressed out from your life, pop me an email to schedule a complimentary coaching session.    Cheers!  ~   Jan


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thriving through Transitions

For many years now, I have been intrigued (some might say obsessed) by the French term …JOIE DE VIVRE.  Sure, I understand the literal translation is “joy of life”.  What’s elusive to me, though, are the nuts and bolts of just how someone lives their life in the flow of “joie de vivre”.

Granted, I’ve never felt more joyful, ageless and present as during a sweet visit to France back in 2000.  But in all honesty, I thought that had everything to do with being on vacation with the best of friends, lots of wine and fabulous food!  As it turns out, those are the superficial, more marketed, outward signs of “Joie de Vivre”.  As I later discovered, “Joie de Vivre” is more about sustainability and one’s attitude towards daily living.  It is an attitude that is free from the constraints of money, trappings and social pressures.

Janie Cat Callan writes in her book  Bonjour, Happiness  …”I think of joie de vivre as optimism about one’s life and the ability to enjoy what you have without worrying too much about what you don’t.”  Her interview with Isabelle, a Frenchwoman living in Paris revealed…”Joie de Vivre is about loving life, loving people, loving to be alive, feeling alive.  It is about smiling, being in your heart and being grateful for all the beautiful things in your life: being in good health, being able to hear, to see, to walk, being grateful for all the lovely and loving people (people we know or strangers we meet), being grateful for the nature surrounding us and all that it gives to us.  It is to be grateful for the mystery of life, and that we are able to live and breathe.”

Ah, now she’s speaking my language!  This statement could have been drafted directly from one of my coaching sessions.  The deeper meaning of “Joie de vivre” requires us to have an element of gratitude and appreciation for the most simple and yet profound beauty and gifts in our everyday life. Adopting an “Attitude of Gratitude” is the third action item on my TRANSITIONS SURVIVAL GUIDE list.  One of the first exercises I do with clients working through a transition is designed to help them get grounded around gratitude.  Nothing will help you to “zoom out” from the intensity and energy around your obstacles like taking stock of your gifts!  Recognizing how grateful you are for the things in your life that are right and beautiful is a good place to start building your strength around dealing with those parts of your life that you’d like to change.

Adopting and practicing “joie de vivre” will move you from surviving to thriving!   There’s a thought.  Maybe I should aim higher and change my TRANSITIONS SURVIVAL GUIDE to THRIVING THROUGH TRANSITIONS with JOIE DE VIVRE….

1.    Take it one step at a time...Process in the present by keeping   your focus short-term through the transition.

2.    Adopt a plan of self-care.  Find one manageable activity that will help you manage your stress and feed your soul every day. 

3.    Develop an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE.  Look for simple things that give you joy and heighten your awareness of the gifts in your life.

4.    Give yourself credit for past victories and for having the courage to meet this current challenge.

5.    Look for "under-utilized resources".  Allow others to help you and give yourself permission to tap into support.

6.    Surround yourself with good role-models.  Be aware of those who have gone before you in this current challenge or role.  Connect with them for advice and support.

7.    Allow your places and sources of Joy to be your inspiration for moving toward your goal.

Encouraging clients to get to know themselves by defining what gives them joy and then creating a clear and detailed picture of their “sweet-spot” has helped me realize that my “joie de vivre” lives in helping them navigate their way to “thriving”.  I’d be honored to make the trip with you.  Give me a call.




Friday, June 14, 2013

Letting Go


 “Letting go” is a BIG topic.  It is an inevitable landing spot for my clients, my friends and my life!

For me, my love/hate relationship with letting go is usually connected to my ever-evolving process of walking away from perfectionism!  (Yikes, we got there fast!).  It usually has something to do with me not trusting that I am good enough without working to choreograph my life to perfection.  As Oprah put it, “perfectionists are ultimately afraid that the world is gonna see them for who they really are and they won’t measure up”.  So my” letting go” tends to be centered around unreasonable expectations for myself or others and whether or not I’m willing to accept help without trying to control the help.  Once I am reminded of the connection between “letting go” and perfectionism, I can embrace the reset, but it is not always easy for me to see it and to act upon it.

 There are obvious “letting go” transitions in life…your child’s first day of school, your child’s wedding day, your retirement, your aging and so forth.  It is the more subtle “hanging on/letting go” struggles we often don’t even notice, that cause us discomfort.  I am talking about the “hanging on/letting go” struggle as it relates to control.  Giving up control (like we ever really had it) is a step we ultimately have to take in order to evolve and grow.  DARN IT! 
The topic of “letting go” surfaces when a new Mom realizes she is in serious need of help.  It can be emotionally charged when she discovers the fact that the cost of getting that help is “letting go” of her way of doing things.  Funny how we sometimes wear ourselves out struggling to hold on to our way of paying the bills, our way of bathing the baby and our way of planning events. 

The wisdom of “letting go” can also surface when we discover a belief that no longer serves us (for example, ”the busier I am the more important I become”).  We often think that “letting go” means giving up or losing something.  Anticipating the transition from “career woman” to “career woman/mother”, one of my clients experienced a sense of sadness at the change coming to her world.  I asked her if she could see the possibility of “letting go” not as the loss of who she was, but rather as an expansion of who she was becoming.  “Letting go” always results in a gain.  What is gained is merely a reset of our intentions and priorities.

Having the awareness that solutions to my struggles might lie in “letting go” allows me to make way for fuller and richer experiences.

If you think you may have something to gain by “letting go”…I can help!  Contact me:



Tuesday, May 21, 2013


There have been innumerable titles and catch phrases used to describe effective communication.  However, regardless of the many ways to describe it, the goal of effective communication…to create a connection and understanding, has never changed.  Effective communication is the barrier that stands between being heard and acknowledged and feeling “stuck” and powerless.

Allowing others to support their efforts while working through transitions is critical to my coaching clients’ success.  However, they are often challenged by their inability to clearly state how and why that support is needed.  As it turns out, VULNERABILITY is a key element in relationship dynamics.  While it endears us to others, it’s often the very thing that stops us from asking for help in the first place.

We tend to not want to look vulnerable and yet we (particularly women) are immediately drawn to protect, support and champion others whom we view as vulnerable.  In fact, if we look at our deepest and most meaningful relationships, vulnerability (at one point or another) always leads to deeper bonding.  Absent the willingness to be vulnerable, relationships stay linear and superficial.

So when we prepare to engage in an empowering conversation, whether at work or at home, there are some steps to consider before taking the plunge.

1.       Recognize your feelings around the topic or issue but leave your ego at the door.  Get clear as to exactly what it is you’re feeling…”I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m feeling unappreciated, I’m feeling invisible, I’m feeling powerless”.  Using the personal pronoun “I” in stating how you feel will help you to take responsibility for your feelings.  If you are having difficulty separating your feelings from the other person’s behavior, you’re not ready to talk!

2.       What is the intent or the object of the conversation you’re considering having?  How can you move forward toward a solution to the issue or challenge and honor the person, the relationship and yourself?  Stay away from needing to be RIGHT.  Stay focused on the highest intent of the conversation.

3.       Interestingly enough, the right time to have the conversation isn’t when you perceive the other person is ready to hear it.  Rather, it’s when you are clear with steps 1 and 2.

4.       Speak to the possibilities by giving voice to moving forward from a place of integrity, confidence and courage.  Keep it positive and solution driven, not accusatory or judgmental.

I’ve experienced the amazing transformation that takes place when these steps are taken before initiating a difficult conversation.  Shifting your mind-set from “power and dominance” to “empower and honor” can go a long way when soliciting the support you need in order to bring about change.

If you’re ready to learn how to have empowering conversations in order to discover and develop your strengths and to deepen your relationships, I’m here to help.  Connect with me at:  


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Why is it so hard to say “no”?

I opened the door and there she stood, Christmas cookies in hand with her family trailing behind walking up my front steps.  She was full of anticipation and excitement.  After all, it was three days till Christmas and she was there to join my family in a neighborhood caroling party.  Why, then, did I have this overwhelming urge to slam the door in her face?  What on earth was the matter with me?  At that very moment, I had reached my proverbial “wall”.  I simply could not face one more activity, one more party and I was certainly in no mood to sing carols at the top of my lungs.  Every bone in my body ached and my spirit had flat-lined.  Here we were, at my most favorite time of the year, my most loved holiday and I was baked…DONE!  I wish I could honestly say that I’d reached my profound turning point and from that moment on I stopped choosing to double and triple book my calendar.    Unfortunately, that was not the case.  I sleep-walked through the event, hosting it as usual but with a mummy-like presence before collapsing into bed the minute the door shut behind the happy carolers. 

My exhaustion and overwhelm were only symptoms of something I have since come to recognize as an addiction to the validation and recognition that comes from saying “yes”.  After all, had I not voluntarily committed to every social event, school activity, sporting event, church concert, children’s concert, gift shopping, party planning, gift wrapping, cookie baking, card addressing, tree-trimming, house decorating and company party planning and hosting for all those in my life who were counting on me?  The cold, hard truth of the matter was…NO!  I was not doing all that for my children, my husband, my friends or even my community.  I thought I was, but really, I was saying yes to my vision of who I thought I needed to be.

If this scenario seems familiar, you’re not alone.  Learning to say no is a starting place for about 90% of my female clients.  It has a deeply woven thread in the fabric of overwhelm, frustration, burn-out and the inability to live in the present.  Overwhelm and over-committing don’t discriminate.  They’re troublesome to virtually everyone, regardless of intelligence, education, socio-economic level and proficiency.  So why do we do this to ourselves?

We fall into the trap of over-committing due to a number of factors.  ( At one time or another, I’m pretty sure I’ve had to deal with all of these).

·       setting boundaries.

·       putting strategies in place to protect boundaries.

·       allowing other’s issues and crises to becoming your own.

·       feeling validated by “busyness” and having a heavy schedule.

·       fearing missing out on something.

·       fearing damaging your reputation by letting someone down.

·       getting clear as to what activities really matter to you.


In her book, Find Your Courage, Margie Warrell suggests there are two key blockers that prevent us from finding the courage to say no:

1.    Lack of clarity about what you want to say yes to.

2.    “Shoulding” on yourself…how we think we should be seen by others.

In life coaching, this is where we start.  I help my clients 1-identify what they value, 2-get clear about their purpose and 3-make choices that are meaningful to them.

 Do you struggle with over-commitment and overwhelm?  Let’s talk about the life affirming freedom you might find by learning to say no.

Message me on Facebook or email me at jandfulcher@gmail.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute chat. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Living in the Moment

Several years ago, while sitting at my daughter’s wedding, I was haunted by our pastor’s words…”I ask you to be truly present in this moment”.  I felt as if I had been shaken from a deep sleep.  How many times in my life had I not been truly present?  What had I missed by allowing my mind to not live in the present?  What had I missed due to being driven by accomplishing rather than being?  Thinking back, my mind soon drifted to “I wonder how the reception looks?  Did they forget anything?”  Oops, I guess my “living-in-the-present” muscle needed some strengthening.   After 11 years committed to my own personal development, while providing guidance to numerous life coaching clients, I continue to be a work in progress.  However, I’m proud to say that I have made progress.  It’s easy for me to have empathy for my clients whose joy has been sabotaged and who, subsequently, have become overwhelmed due to their failure to stay in the present.

When a client is working through a transition, “overwhelm” is the first place I look for an opportunity to help them make a small change that will yield a big result.  When we are overwhelmed, we tend to live in the future.  Living in the present causes us to slow down and, subconsciously, we think we are too busy to slow down.  Our brain speeds to the next task because, remember, we are overwhelmed (no time…no time).  Have you ever noticed how people who function with confidence, poise and control don’t seem to be distracted?  They appear to have all the time in the world.  It turns out that highly competent, productive and resilient people have developed characteristics that serve to help them navigate their busy lives while guarding against chronic overwhelm.  Those characteristics are:

·         They have a clear understanding of what they value.

·         They possess a sense of purpose.

·         They practice gratitude.

·         They respect boundaries that protect them from over-committing their time and resources.

·         They believe in their personal value and that they are “enough”.

·         They accept life’s (and their own) imperfections.

·         They are committed to enjoying their lives every day.

With a life coaching professional committed to helping you find your strengths, face and overcome your obstacles and keep you on track, you can reduce the bumps in the road.  So if you find yourself bogged down in future thinking and feeling overwhelmed, let me ask you:  What are you missing by not being fully present?  How are your boundaries?  Will your next accomplishment PROVE your value?  Would you like to travel a smoother road?

Let’s talk about how I might help you.