Protect Your Creative Brain Space

7 tips to enhance Creativity!

Protecting your creative time is essential for personal growth and overall well-being. Several studies have shown that creative hobbies, such as art, writing and music, can reduce and even prevent stress. Often, when you are engaged in a creative endeavor, you are able to enter a flow state. This happens when you’re completely focused on a task, to the point where you think less about things that are worrying you. Being this absorbed can be rewarding and enjoyable – your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you toward similar behavior.

  1. Get Curious: Curiosity and creativity have a symbiotic relationship. It is unclear whether being curious enhances creativity or whether creative activities lead to openness and therefore more curiosity. In studies, one common personality trait emerges across the spectrum of creative people….they’re curious.
  2. Create a schedule: Incorporate regular blocks of creative time into your daily or weekly routine. Treat these time slots as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
  3. Avoid multitasking: Focus on one creative task at a time to maintain flow and productivity.
  4. Stay with it: Having clear objectives and timelines can keep you motivated and accountable during your creative endeavors.
  5. Set boundaries: Communicate with others that you need uninterrupted time for creativity. Let them know when you’ll be unavailable to avoid distractions and interruptions.
  6. Experiment with different creative techniques: Trying new approaches or art forms can keep your brain engaged and open up fresh avenues for creativity.
  7. Seek feedback and collaboration: Share your creative work with others to gain insights and new perspectives. Collaboration with like-minded individuals can also stimulate creativity.

Remember, everyone’s creative process is unique. Experiment with these ideas to find what works best for you and helps you protect and nurture your creative brain time. Establishing a creative practice or creative time in your life takes time and persistence, however your brain will begin to crave this creative time and that is a healthy practice for a life well lived!

Ready for your Next Chapter?

Transitions mark the turning points of our life chapters and shape the course of our lives. Whether we are changing careers, moving to a new city, enrolling in a course of study, beginning or ending a relationship, or simply navigating the ebb and flow of life, transitions are opportunities for growth and self-discovery and allow us to craft the next chapter of our lives with confidence and purpose. As a coach, recognizing the potential for growth during these times can be the foundation for assisting others in their journey.

In this Next Chapter Coaching Package, we will reflect on past chapters to uncover valuable insights and discuss practical strategies to embrace change and uncertainty with grace. Together, we will uncover the keys to fostering resilience, building a supportive network, and setting a clear path towards our desired next chapter!

Package of Four Virtual Coaching sessions:

  1. Who You Are and What Makes You Tick? Laura uses an inside-out approach to achieve lasting results for her clients.  A variety of assessments, exercises and tools are used to identify your sweet spot; the intersection of Personality, Strengths, Interests, Values and Skills.  Working in your sweet spot creates a sense of flow and is the most efficient and fulfilling use of your time.
  2. Set Up Your Environment for Success. We will take a deep dive into your current environment to let go of what is no longer working, recognize patterns that are holding you back, and identify threads that point to your purposeful work. We will design both your physical environment and relationships to support your next chapter.
  3. Embracing Discomfort as a Catalyst for Growth.   Laura will teach you strategies to manage anxiety, lean into vulnerability and cultivate adaptability, ensuring that you remain resilient in the face of uncertainty. Areas of growth typically include: Strategic Planning, Executive Presence, Career Advancement, Establishing a Climate of Trust, Managing Stress, Fostering Relationships, Cultivating a Growth Mindset, Coaching and Developing Others, and Increasing Focus.
  4. Create a Strategy. We will make an action plan by developing possible Next Chapter scenarios, breaking them into actionable steps, utilizing resources and seeking knowledge to aid in the process. Laura will help you to slow down, pay attention and cultivate a practice to keep you on track to fully realize your goals in a balanced and meaningful way.

Ultimately, this journey calls for a belief in ourselves
and in the power of the next chapter we are creating.

Suffering from end of summer blues?

As the summer holiday season comes to a close, many of us look towards our return to work with mixed feelings. September can evoke feelings of sadness or nostalgia as longer days and relaxed schedules move toward more structure and mountains of emails instead of trails.

One huge bonus to having a great break is to pay attention to how you feel returning to your work and daily routine. Staying curious is one of the best ways to monitor your growth and understand what changes need to be made to create the best environment possible to thrive. 

Perhaps you had time during a summer break to reflect on what else you want from life outside of your career.  Too often, we are so focused on achieving our career goals that we neglect the other things that matter to us in life, such as spending time with family and friends, indulging our hobbies, traveling for pleasure and learning new skills or languages. Coming back to the workplace after a break is a good opportunity to reset your priorities and set some new goals for the months ahead. 

Or perhaps you return from a break refreshed and renewed and still lack a bit of zest to dive back into your daily life? This is a time to get really curious. Why are you hesitating? What are you dreading or avoiding? How are you feeling in your body? 

If you occasionally have days where you don’t feel like going to work, it might not necessarily indicate a need for a career change. Many people have occasional off days. However, if you consistently dread going to work for an extended period, it may be time to think about changing your role, career direction or current work situation in order to improve your well-being and career satisfaction. 

For me, I am always excited to return to my coaching work. I truly love what I do and am grateful for the people I am able to serve. This has not always been my experience returning to work and I know that this is not the experience of so many individuals. It can be however!  I have helped hundreds of clients to find more meaningful ways to bring their unique strengths, skills, interests and values into the world. I am excited to continue to work with individuals in times of transition and especially those who find themselves uninspired by their Monday mornings that lie ahead.

Micro acts of self care for summer ease

Self care is not limited to spa days and vacations, self care happens everyday by simply doing small things to meet our basic and most essential needs: drinking enough water, eating nourishing food, and allowing our brains to recharge through sleep, breaks, rest, play and connection. It helps to think about self care in micro moments or micro acts; the behaviors of self care. Many of us have already mastered a few micro acts of self care like keeping water near your workspace, taking short breaks throughout the day, getting outside and exercising. What are the small and simple things that fill your soul? 

Micro moments are little moments of calm that help to combat the daily stresses of life. They also allow us to reconnect with ourselves. Try to incorporate more of these small moments into your everyday experience, start with a few small micro acts.

Here are some to try out this summer when you may have a bit more spaciousness in your schedule:

  1. Start with your community.  Take a few extra moments to check in with someone and maybe even lend a hand. Give a random compliment or help a neighbor with a mundane task. These micro moments of connection are reminders that we are human beings and part of a community.
  2. Leave white space.  Just as pausing for a moment between an exhale and the next inhale can help release anxiety, creating white space between activities can help transitions. Notice how you feel in your body at the end of a long exhale before taking the next breath. There is a natural pause before the inhale. In this transitional pause, there is space. Lingering in this spacious white space can help release anxiety before jumping into the next activity.
  3. Create a new ritual or tradition.  I welcome you to create your own rituals for the transition into summer that have meaning for you and your family. Rituals help us establish a sense of belonging and offer a touchstone of connection. For the individual, it is a time to reconnect with yourself.  Self care rituals can be very simple like walking in the grass barefoot, lighting a candle or sipping a cup of your favorite tea (or lemonade). Family rituals can also be fun like creating an outdoor dance party with friends, starting a smoothie day or hosting an ice cream social. Research has shown that regular family rituals promote better communication skills, increased emotional well-being, and stronger relationships among family members.

Invest in Yourself

After years of paying for a variety of sports, arts and music lessons for my daughter, last year I decided to pay for some surf lessons for myself.  It’s not often that I invest in something non-work related and I did feel a tinge of guilt. However, I can tell you that my investment in learning to surf has paid off many times over. 

Research shows that those who spend time learning each week are more likely to feel that their lives have purpose and meaning, which in turn increases their overall happiness and wellbeing.

Learning to surf as an adult is humbling!  Many times I go out into the ocean I am scared, but I push through because I know I am growing, improving and will be able to surf for many years to come. I have learned about the ocean environment, reading tide and wave charts, how to paddle and most of all a huge lesson in patience….the ocean delivers waves when it wants to. 

I love the entire experience and highly recommend spending some time and money investing in something that will fill your soul. Here are some more reasons to invest in yourself now!

  1. Open Up New Career Opportunities

Investing in yourself helps you understand your natural strengths and increase your skills. You feel more confident overall as you gain skills that transfer to other areas of your life. You are your greatest asset and developing your skill-set will boost your market value, whether you are seeking a promotion from your current role or applying for a new job.

I worked with a client recently who decided to train at her local ski mountain to become a ski patroller. She realized her natural leadership skills through the course and began to apply them in her work as a video game developer.  As her confidence in her leadership skills increased on the snow, we started to apply them in her work setting which led her landing a new role as a product manager.

  1. Create New Neural Pathways

One of the best ways to grow your brain is by trying new things. New experiences create new neural pathways, expand our memories in a youthful-like way and stretch our perceived time which leaves us feeling more invigorated. The mental stimulation provided by challenging yourself to learn new skills can help limit the adverse effects of aging on the memory and mind. And by making small changes to your lifestyle today, you can create a higher return for your future!

Taking the Hit as a Gift

The Hit

A few months ago, a client came to me who had been unexpectedly laid off.  It was a huge blow for her and she felt a bit of her identity had vanished. I helped her to ground back into who she was and the impacts that she had made over the years in her career.  As the news started to sink in, she eventually found herself strangely happy and relieved.  I helped her to see the layoff as gift.  The abrupt change had presented an opportunity for her to find a more positive environment where her skills and expertise aligned; where she could feel challenged and grow.

My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness taking the hit as a gift.  At various times in life we all receive hits.  They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments.  Some are more forceful than others.  When we receive the hit and label it as bad or negative we lose the opportunity to grow.  If we receive the hit and look at it as a gift, we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us.  We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is, an opportunity.

Here are two ways that you can take your next “hit” as a gift:

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Job Craft your role for more fulfilling work!

Being a person with a curious mind and an appetite for variety, I have guarded myself against career burnout by crafting my business.  I am always a coach in each of my roles, but I craft my work for a better fit with each new client. Each client engagement offers an opportunity to build on the fundamentals of coaching and owning my own business gives me a platform for growth.  

I see this as a time to craft a new way of working, relating to each other and to ourselves. 

To start you off on your crafting journey, I have outlined a few basic tenets of Job Crafting: a practice that you can use to create a more ideal work situation for yourself and perhaps change the meaning and purpose of your work. Use these tenets to assess and edit different aspects of your work and to design your way forward. You spend hours each day doing it..why not make it the best it can be? 

  • Locus of control.  Part of what my friend was experiencing on her bike that day was the joy of taking control. The pandemic has limited some aspects of what we can control in our environment, but it has also given many of us flexibility that we didn’t think was possible. We have more control over where we work, when we work and how we work.  Ask yourself if the ways you are choosing to work give you the freedom you desire.  
  • What makes you tick. I like to use an inside-out approach to crafting optimal work. This approach recognizes that we already have most of the skills and knowledge we need to create meaningful work. We are all unique individuals who need different things to thrive. Consider these aspects of yourself to drill down on what makes you tick and make decisions about how and where you work: personality, values, strengths, skills and interests.  
  • Task Crafting:  If you have worked for a few years, you will have accumulated many skills. The idea of task crafting is that you choose the skills and tasks that you enjoy using and performing so that you spend more of your time enjoying the work. Task crafting also allows you to expand the boundaries of your role to take on more tasks or change how these tasks are performed. One example from my early career in hotel management was taking on a few night audit shifts at a small bed and breakfast property where I was working at the front desk. I loved math and was interested in accounting. The night audit tasks were easy for me to learn and I ended up earning extra money along with my additional skills. 
  • Networking: True networking is an exchange of ideas and information. You can change the nature or extent of your interactions with other people by having a networking conversation.  You may be thinking about a lateral move within your organization and a networking conversation can give you important insights into the role you desire. A networking conversation can also lead to a role in a new organization as you are speaking in your area of expertise and passion. Try elevating your next conversation by talking about some aspect of your work that you are really excited about!
  • Reframe: You can change how you think about the purpose of certain aspects of your job; or you can reframe the job as a whole. I remember one of the nurses in the hospital where I gave birth to my daughter reframed her role as a newborn nurse to include the role of welcomer. She was a reiki energy practitioner and silently treated all of the newborns she interacted with to soothe their fragile nervous systems. It was a beautiful gesture of healing that she added to the routine tasks of a newborn nurse in order to give her job more purpose and meaning.

Resistance & Rethinking

Have you lost your mojo for a project that you started in the New Year?  I have been challenged to get back into a flow on many projects that I started including writing this post! The challenge shows up as resistance and I fight the urge to put my head down and push through it or to get distracted and focus elsewhere. And while resistance can be a nuisance, it is something almost all of us will inevitably feel from time to time.

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Get Lost To Find Focus

Growing up I was used to getting lost with my mother as she had a challenging time with directions. Often when we ventured off of a routine route, we ended up lost for some time. She was used to operating like this and would find a way to make the being lost part interesting. We would find all kinds of new adventures from roadside antique shops to a new pond to search for tadpoles. I thought it was fun until I realized that I also have a challenging sense of direction.  

Being “directionally challenged” has been part of my life since orienting on my own. I have developed some coping skills over the years, but recently I have been noticing some advantages of being lost. Once I began driving to unfamiliar places, I adopted some practices that would help me get from A to B. I studied my routes and became very good at reading maps. I learned to look for familiar landmarks and to ask for directions early and often. Of all of the practices I used to stay on track, the one that has served me most (besides the invention of GPS) is to adopt being lost as a mindset. Understanding that being lost is not inherently a bad or scary place. That you can find interesting new things and people and that your ability to focus increases. So I too adopted a good attitude about being lost.  

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What people are looking for in a post-pandemic work environment and company culture?

With the great resignation in full swing and many companies opening offices for in-person work, employees are reevaluating what work means to them. The pandemic has created a giant disruption in everyday life and work on a global level. It has changed so many cultural and work-life rules that savvy executives are crafting their own way forward. This is a challenging time for businesses looking to retain and attract talent. In my experience coaching executives throughout the pandemic and helping people pivot during the great resignation, I have learned a few valuable insights that I would like to share with you.

Once compensation needs are met, people are motivated to stay in a role when they feel a sense of belonging, shared values and a pathway for growth.

As a huge fan of the mid-2000’s drama series Mad Men, I often quote my favorite character Don Draper.  Draper was an advertising executive who often used ideas from his direct reports without giving them credit. In one episode, Draper wins a prestigious award for a print ad campaign that featured copy written by his junior colleague Peggy.  Peggy is astonished that Draper gives no mention of her work at the award ceremony and storms into his office, upset by the lack of recognition. Draper utters these words, “that’s what the money’s for.” In essence, he is saying shut up and do your job! I believe that these days are hopefully behind us and that as managers we have a responsibility to honor and give credit to rising stars. Companies can help by encouraging managers to practice empathy and active listening skills to move beyond the suggestion boxes and endless surveys from the past. Appreciating the good work of junior colleagues is a valuable tool to enroll employees in the company culture, enticing them to stay and grow with the company.

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Is In Person Work Out of Your Comfort Zone?

6 tips for going back to the office without stress

I have been living by the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 6 months outside of Lisbon, Portugal. When we moved here, a new friend challenged me to swim with her in the ocean three times per week…without a wetsuit! The average water temperature this time of year is 57 degrees which shocks your body when you first get in but after a few minutes you can enjoy a short swim. Cold water ocean swimming was just outside of my comfort zone when I started and now a few months into it I am very confident in the water.  I have been speaking with a number of clients recently about how going back to an office is taking them out of their comfort zone. It seems strange, but now that many of us are accustomed to working from home and have an office space/schedule set up around working in our exercise clothes, going into an office can be as challenging as swimming in cold ocean water.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, about 4 percent of employed people in the U.S. worked exclusively from home; by May 2020, that figure rose to 43 percent, according to Gallup. Among white-collar workers, the shift is stark: Before Covid just 6 percent worked exclusively from home, which by May 2020 rose to 65 percent.

NY Times
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Enjoy a more successful retreat by planning for change before you go!

If you are planning a retreat this year or even a mini-vacation, it is wise to plan ahead for a potential shift in your mindset.  Most of us have been stuck in the same routine and environment for so long that even a slight change in our surroundings can create a powerful internal shift.  Now consider traveling overseas or attending a week-long retreat and you may blow your circuitry wide open…and that’s a good thing!


We go on retreats to get away from it all and collect our energy again. All of the energy that is otherwise spread out in multiple directions gets refocused for inner growth. All the noise, stress, responsibilities and distractions of everyday life melt away and we are able to get back in touch with who we are and what is important to us. 


We leave our retreat with clarity, an open heart and mind, and renewed energy.  We return home rested and reinvigorated. We can’t help but want to bring these qualities home with us and perhaps share our experience with those we love. Unfortunately, for most of us, the daily environment we left behind is right there waiting for us. Our old habits and well-worn routines swallow up our best intentions to bring our retreat experience home.  


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