Friday, August 15, 2014

The Divergent Divorcee - August 15, 2014

Good evening 4 Seasons of Change followers. I started out blogging monthly, then quarterly and now believe that ad hoc or as needed may make the most sense. For those of you out there that journal, blogging is similar to that. You do it when you feel a need. Due to my openness with all of you, I shall begin to do the same.

I will continue to focus on my nine life areas but give you insights into being someone who truly tries to live in the right. Believe me that I am far from perfect, learn from my mistakes daily, and breathe deeply when I make them. Most importantly, I make decisions with the right intentions for today, tomorrow and years from now; these decisions aren't for myself but for everyone involved. I tend to learn faster than others, plan more strategically, and simply have to realize part of my mission here is to bring others along to become their better selves, even when I don't totally want to. I do it as my God given gift. I owe it to others to take these things on.

Live is full of highs and lows, peaks and valleys... That is something I've always been ok with. It is the volcano pre-explosion, post-explosion and the foresight for the next one that is truly the worst. Right now my life is a volcano. Everyone is getting burned as they don't trust that I am the best scientist in this project. The crazy part is that all involved actually deep down know that I am. Talk about frustrating.

Now for my 9 Life Area Updates.

Wealth - the money thing is going fine from a 4SoC revenue perspective. I have a good book of business with the growth I had hoped from in 2014. I am able to provide for my two boys with a lifestyle that I can be proud of. They know that if they need anything to come to me. That's a good feeling. I have our house going through some minor renovations to update it and make it ours. That is something that also brings me joy. I am creating our space. Taking the place of my and my boys' security and moving it to our next phase of that. Although it is a bit big for me and two little guys, it makes sense for us right now. One less change...

Reputation - my professional reputation is going strong. I am in the midst of large change programs so the highs and lows that I spoke of earlier are in full force. I keep my eye on the end goals when clients or sub-sets of them get frustrated. I know that the right thing will come about over time so long as I persevere and stay the path. My personal reputation is good as well. Those that believe in me are seeing me be more than they thought I could be. I will admit, some would love to see me fail. Fortunately, I never have. I may screw it up, but I always fix it:) If I can just get everyone to remember who I truly am, life would be better here.

Marriage - divorce was final on June 10, 2014. It has been a painful journey of transition. This takes courage; I now understand everyone who was every a starter wife or husband. I seriously applaud all of you for surviving it. Sometimes two people don't share the same values in the everyday or vision for the future. It doesn't mean anything else. Accepting that is quite difficult but essential. Luckily, I do change for a living so I'm quicker than most. I think that just means more intense now but less for later. I think that's lucky???

Good news is that I am dating someone. We have shared values. We envision a similar future for us and our children. Kids and work are our life. I'm still fuzzy on how that can or will translate to something in the future but values and vision keep me believing. Based on this situation, I spend a lot of time with the kiddos solo or a lot of time alone. This alone time is so critical to my growth and ability to be a good partner in the future. It's hard a lot but I remember my path and keep on trucking.

Health - based on the fact things are a volcano, so is my body. I continue to see the trainer a few times a week. I have to before school starts for the kids or it simply won't happen. We are working on restorative and strength exercises. It's crazy how exhausted my body is even after warm up. Chronic fatigue is some pretty fun stuff. The fibromyalgia causes my insides to burn...thank-you volcano. To boost, the stress is making my eczema breakout. Basically that means I get sores in spots and my whole body itches including the hair on my head. Talk about annoying. To try to help the head stuff, I have my hair super dark brown. The bleached highlights are history. It feels kind of good to look different while I have all of this going on. One godsend are the weekly massages I get. Helps the pain and sleep stuff. Additionally, I do yoga weekly and some basic walking. My appetite has slowed. I cry nearly everyday. I think that's a positive sign that my body, mind and spirit want to heal but just aren't sure how yet. My diet is still vegetarian or fish only and gluten free. This helps a lot. I'm trying to keep sugar and crapola to a minimum. Got acupuncture yesterday...normally works like a charm but my stress is just too high. Dammit!

The biggest focus is on my spirituality or inner self. I don't want to lose it during all of this. I have my life coach that reminds me of who I am and what I am about when self-doubt fades in. She is amazing and I wish she lived with me. If I can ever open my life dream of a 4 Seasons of Change Studio & Loft, she will be the spiritual advisor.

Gratitude - my gratefulness is highest during hard times. I am thankful for my boys who are both "beautiful disasters" (you can ask anyone), my family that is so supportive and frankly awesome, my friends for just being there, and my clients who are amazing to me everyday. I am thankful that my health always me to care for myself and the kids. I am thankful for my handful of BFFs...you know who you are. I am also thankful for the mystery man that makes me smile. I am most grateful for the life of opportunities that I have that so many women don't. I am beyond words that I can make it day to day.

Children - this is the highlight of the blog. If I had been blogging you for the last month daily, you would be laughing so hard you would have fallen off your chair.

Marcus started Junior High, 7th grade. Jaxon started 2nd grade. Marcus has been my challenge since the day he was born. I always worry about his epilepsy and depression, so I put him at a school 20 minutes from my house. He made football and is in honors math. His self-esteem is my priority. I think we made the right decision. Unfortunately, I just checked grades and he has an A in honors math and F in social studies. Seriously...who does that? Marcus does. He isn't one to waste his time on things that don't interest him. So now we are in make-up mode. It is stressful and sucks, for me at least. We lost his football cleats and gloves (approximate value of $150) two times in a week; both ended up in a stressful recovery. He forgets things more times than a 100 year old man...and remember I have to drive 20 minutes one way when he does, as do all the other adults in his life. Awesome! He is struggling with his new life as well. This is the first school year that the divorce is official. As he is in puberty, it is hitting him and his hormones hard. I feel like a failure at least half of the time. But again, I just keep trying my best. I think he knows that I will always take care of him, but it's still hard. I want him to be safe, happy and most importantly well-adjusted. I try to give him security and a routine. Any recommendations here would be fabulous!!! Marcus and I have this weird intellectual connection and the usual mother one, but he is killing me!

Jaxon is a gem. He has his moments, but generally is easy. He is loving and happy and accepts life as it comes. He tries to be respectful and loving, pretty much all of the time. School is no problem. Tackle football is his thing right now. His life, despite the changes, is pretty good. He's my baby. Guessing he's waiting for his teenage years to get me. I only worry that I will mess something up and change is love of life demeanor. That's the part that scares me most.

Co-parenting has been painful. Being with someone for 20 years and then having communication issues is hard. I recognize that we both have the best of intentions, but we execute those so differently. I simply pray that we figure all of that out quickly and for the long-term for the boys and our own sanity. I've done so much research, surprise right? I know that research isn't the end all be all, but it's there for a reason. I want to learn from others and do the best I possibly can. Time will tell.

Wisdom - seriously does anyone think I'm not learning right now? Between child rearing, PhD program intensity, and complex client issues, I'm like a walking you tube tutorial on a myriad of topics. My brain my explode at any moment. Beware...it's scary! My biggest thing here is getting more expertise on the kiddo thing (I know I can always improve and my best experts are the boys), stick with PhD no matter what, and challenge the clients like they do me.

Career - Work 4SoC with the passion I have every day possible. Live my life mission of - - - Client Service through Servant Leadership - - - ! Help as many people as I can in this lifetime to live their professional and personal lives with intention.

Spirituality - continue to count on God for my plan. Believe that this is meant to be, volcano and all. Have faith that the end plan will all come together so I can serve as I was intended to. Pray nightly with my boys, individually or together, so they can ask God for the things they need to be ok. Our prayer since Marcus was born is, "Thank-you Jesus for all I have, Mom, Dad, Marcus and Jaxon, Family, Friends, Health and Love, Thank-you Jesus so high above. Amen," Simple and to the point.

Travel as much as I have been for personal and include the boys as much as possible with work travel. I want to remember that travel experiences change perspectives. Engaging me and the boys in travel can help all of us remember how blessed we truly are. Also, I seriously need a break, even if a short one. I need to get this on the radar. I need something to regenerate me.

Closing - I recognize that I may have lost most of you, but with frequency, I can merely check-in now that you are up to speed. I will always keep it real!

A quote to close: "A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things, and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." - Agatha Christi

Warmest Wishes, Carli

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 Summer Edition

Welcome to the 4 Seasons of Change, Quarterly Blog, “Thyme for Change”.

It has proved to be a busy springtime. I will go ahead and provide you a status of my 9 Life Areas, as well as share some expectations that I am laying out for myself this summer. Although I feel like we haven’t spoke in a while, my hope is that we are becoming like old friends where we can get up to speed quickly without it being weird or uncomfortable at all.

As you recall, there are 9 Life Areas that I focus my coaching on. Each area is an important piece of our overall world. In order to achieve the balance that each of us seeks which is visible and felt through meaning, satisfaction, happiness and joy, all areas need attention and intentional care. I will not pretend that I do not neglect some areas here and there, but I will promise you that each remains in my roadmap that I navigate daily. As I tell my clients, I’m not perfect nor do I expect perfection; I give and want a deep-hearted try all of the time.

9 Life Areas
Spring Reflection
Personal Scoring, 1-10 (10 is totally fabulous)
Summer Focus
Wealth
I have increased my giving at church, Cornerstone Chandler, & my alumni school, Northern Arizona University
7
Keep all current commitments in this area.
Reputation
I continue to focus here on getting client referrals versus marketing. So far, so good.
7
Get a few new clients via referrals.
Marriage
My marriage has hit closure.
I am transitioning into a new chapter of life here.
5
Transition into a healthy, thriving relationship when honesty and acceptance of self is present.
Health
My health continues to be better than originally experienced early in 4SoC. Due to increase in time commitment with the kids, school and work, which includes travel, this is a constant battle. I have been proactive with acupuncture, new USANA vitamins (highly recommend), massages, resting when possible, training program and general stress management.
7
Don’t slack on progress made thus far in this area. Keep all health activities in check and a priority. Manage pain and stress with a naturopathic approach.
Grateful Heart Center
I am truly grateful each and every day at some point for my life. It’s like blessings are now an ordinary part of my day. I would never wish for anything more.
9
Create a new daily prayer specific to me and my needs; keep prayer that I say with kids.
Children
The kids had a busy and productive spring. Marcus continued with club basketball and worked with a trainer to increase speed and agility. He focused more on his schoolwork and his grades got a lot better. He was accepted to Payne Junior High School in Chandler District. He will be in the CATS Gifted Program. He is also a pre-teen PITA. Good news is that Marcus’s epilepsy remains under control. He has a new doctor at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that is helping us with that. Jaxon played baseball and did a great job as a teammate and player. He continues to excel in school and got straight As. He always struggled in handwriting but finally got it down. He is full of love and energy. He literally wears me out! Great news is that the boys graduated from therapy. Their counselor loves the progress they have made and sees them as smoothly into their two-parent world. That is most important to me that my kiddos seem well adjusted, productive and pretty happy with their little lives.
8
Have a fun, memorable summer. Include kids in my work schedule and travel as much as possible.  Ensure that they get lots of time with their friends and relatives. Prepare Jaxon for 2nd grade and Marcus for his movement to 7th grade (Junior High). Make sure boys remain active and lots of discussions about healthy lifestyles. Observe general happiness and be flexible with their needs.
Wisdom
I completed my 9th class in the PhD program. I just started my 10th one. It is Multivariate Statistics, and it might kill me. I feel so burdened by this program. It’s like a migraine that I have to deal with everyday without a break. I’m trying to leverage my persistence, but honestly it is a long, frustrating process.
Good news is that I did treat myself to my first MacBook Pro. I can’t say Apple Computer as I think my family had one in the 80sJ By the way, I am totally MacPro ignorant. Also, who knew that Apple is more compatible with my university studies than PC. Wish someone could have told me 3 years agoL
I have downloaded a ton of books. One of my favorite things about my clients is that they are always recommending books and articles for reading. Since we talk about their wisdom areas, I get a benefit from it. In addition, I’ve purchased a ton of magazines during the spring that are typical and out of the ordinary to get my creative juices flowing.
8
I need to finish class #10. This is the 1st big milestone…50% done with the PhD program!!! Then start class #11.
Basically, DON’T QUIT!
Career
4SoC continues to flourish. My clients are so diverse, it makes this fun, but even more important, challenging. I have learned even more about running my own business and what it takes to make it good for my family, my consultants and my clients.
8
I really want to focus on providing my clients an even better product and level of service. This requires more time researching needs and solutions. Now that many are settled into working with me, it’s time to kick it up a bit. This is actually the stuff I really like.
Spirituality
There has been a lot of travel over the spring. Marcus had a basketball tournament in LA, and Kennedy had a dance competition there as well. Different weekends of course. In addition, I traveled to Houston a few times, California and Tucson for work. Much of the travel was one the weekends, so church attendance has suffered. I continue to build my relationship with God through prayer, solo and with my kids, as well as my focus on gratitude. Also, my herb garden is another way for me to connect. I got my gardener to add a watering system. It’s now flourishing, although my cacti are drowning.
7
The travel plan is very nice for Summer Time. I am currently writing this blog on a flight to Hawaii. My parents surprised all of us with a trip for Christmas. So on the plane is Grandpa Bob, Grandma Deone, Sister Jaime, Cousin Kennedy, Baby Daddy Reggie, and Crazy 1 and 2, Marcus and Jaxon. Whoo Hoo!
I also have a handful of client trips to California, Del Mar and Newport Beach. I don’t want it to be too fun so apparently I may go to a place called Lancaster (in CA, who knew?). Also, I’m hoping to find myself up north in the mountains or something. I HATE AZ HEAT!!!
Although traditional worship through church will likely suffer, I’m happy to have new places and faces to find peace. Also, the client really likes a church in Costa Mesa, so hopefully I will be able to check it out.

Is it crazy to be so happy so much? If anyone would have told me that this is what my world could be like I would have never believed it. The day that Arthur Andersen shut it’s doors on my 8 month pregnant booty is the day I went from being totally quiet and conservative to a more bold risk taker. I now see what risk and hardwork versus just hardwork can bring me. I cherish that so much. If I can get my clients to feel even a portion of that, it is a job well done.

Are you wondering what types of work I really do? Are you in a rut? Are you looking for a change? Do you need growth that your current job just isn’t giving you? Are you simply a hot mess? Well, the three buckets of services that I can provide you include:

1.     Executive Coaching – Work one-on-one on your 9 Life Areas to get you on your most desired path.
2.     Business Coaching – Help you buy, sell, start or expand your business. Focus on revenue growth and strategic planning. Enable your people to rise to the level that you need to achieve goals.
3.     Leadership Development – Leverage The BLooM Project that 4SoC offers by Bringing the Leader out of Me! Or You! Or Everyone on your team!

Reach out anytime. Learn more at www.4seasonsofchange.com.

In closing, I would like to provide you with a lovely quote:

"Ho'onalu"

(This is the Hawaiian words for meditation. It means literally - 'to make like or be like a wave' more clearly it means 'to go with the flow'.)

Mahalo, 


Carli Ann McClure, CPA

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thyme for Change Blog - April 2014

Thyme for Change Blog - April 2014
Carli’s Program of Purpose Update

Well, it is time to check in with all of you. First quarter of the year has quickly slipped away from me. I will be posting quarterly going forward, as we now also have a quarterly newsletter on leadership put in place.

Where to even begin?

I have spent most of my time being a mother to Marcus and Jaxon. They continue to be spoiled with me taking them and picking them up from school the majority of the time. In addition, I have been working with my host of clients, all with various wants and needs. The diversity of projects keeps me always learning, as well as very intrigued. Of course school is like a thorn in my side. I have just completed my 8th course. I am officially 40% done. We will see if I really am the determined person I tend to be and keep moving forward. With all of that, I have refocused a lot of time and resources on my health. It still is better than I could hope for but sits in a valley most of the time. This is the piece that I am committed to for the next quarter, along with time with the boys on their finishing the school year and hopping into summer break. As for my clients, I am working on my spring and summer schedule with all of them and happy as a lamb to be able to continuing on creating great changes.

The specific update on my 9 Life Areas is as follows:

9 Life Areas
Current Status
How I feel about this status on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being fabulous!
Wealth
Going swimmingly
Need to get tax return complete and all payments made
Meeting current financial obligations timely
Increasing giving to church for new building project
8
Reputation
Treat all of my clients like the VIPs that they are
Network with the organizations that people that make a difference
9
Marriage
Focused on having a respectful and co-parenting relationship
7
Health
Personal training 3x a week
Yoga 1-2x a week
Walking – when inspired to enjoy the outdoors
Personal maintenance – high priority
8-10 hours of sleep a day (I need LOTS of rest)
8
Grateful Heart Center
The Boys
My Family
My Friends
My Clients
Basically --- my crewJ
10
Children
Keep them focused on their responsibility chart & reward them for the great things & hold them accountable for the others
7
Wisdom
PhD land – figured out my potential dissertation topic.
Question: What is the impact on performance and career progression for professional, educated women with a minimum of 5 years of work experience of being mentored by women only, men only, or a combination of men and women?
7
Career
Loving the individual clients that I coach and the organizations that I work on leadership and change management
9
Spirituality
Feeling more connected to God on a daily basis
8

With an average of 8.11, that’s not too shabby.

To close it up I asked my niece, Kennedy age 13, what she would like for Easter. I usually pick her up a little something. She smiled and said, “The new Miley Cyrus CD.” I was kind of thinking she was joking, but I could tell she wasn’t. As Miley has been in the media quite a bit with her new image, I just laughed and said ok. I figure if this is something harmless that makes her happy, whatever. I’m sure we will have bigger issues to worry about later on. So based on that, I will use a quote from the she-devil herself:

“Life’s a climb. But the view is great.” – Miley Cyrus

 I actually do believe this this thought as well as love her older, cleaner song that discusses this concept. I continue to focus on my climb every day. I actually smile at the fact that I am moving my blog to quarterly for a bit. I am focused on enjoying the climb versus writing about it. Are you???

Until then, Carli