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Moby Dick Cover Letter

Decided to share this imaginary cover letter that I wrote one evening when I was flush with the triumph of having read Moby Dick by Herman Melville from cover to cover.

Truth is I want your business. I am a darn good business coach ready for more clients who are ready to do their business better, kristan@attriniti.com. Read on to see if I am the kind of person who would be an asset to your company or organization.

2015

To my future employer,

I just finished Moby Dick by Herman Melville this past weekend, and it feels good. Usually, I can read a book in a matter of days; this one took me months. Each chapter was like an eight course meal with wine pairings prepared by a master chef. A chef who comes highly recommended, but of whom, you had never directly experienced. Did I like Moby Dick? I am still digesting; I will get back to you on that.

Do I feel like I have accomplished a pretty incredible task? Absolutely, which leads me to be feeling pretty good about myself in the moment. How good you might ask? Well, I would hazard to compare my collective skill set and talents akin to a combination of SpiderMan, Olivia Pope of Scandal, Oprah, and Martha Stewart without the felony conviction (Which I bring up not because I hold it against her, but rather because this is a cover letter. Therefore, I want to be clear that I have not spent time in prison.).

SpiderMan?

I am highly intuitive, observant, and tend to see the interconnectedness of all things, the web of life if you will.

Olivia Pope?

I am professional. I see opportunities where others may see obstacles. I inspire loyalty because I am loyal. Lastly, solutions are my specialty.

Oprah?

I believe in everyone’s potential to be amazing when you are living authentically. I know that giving back locally and globally is a worthwhile endeavor. I am moved by beauty and love; I love to share beautiful experiences with others.

Martha Stewart?

I am highly organized and believe in doing things right. Taking the time to start with a solid foundation, putting first things first. I am a perfectionist who knows how to deliver. I am a very hard worker from peasant stock.

When I am not working or spending time with family, I love to read and travel. Reading and travel are essential to my life. Yes, both provide an escape from the day to day, yet with the unique ability of continuingly challenging me to explore what is at my core, my big ‘Why’, and most importantly, remind me of the numerous similarities I share with others. I will add music to the list too. Reading, travel, and music a perfect trifecta of experiences that are moving, humbling, and intoxicating. I believe that anything that removes the illusion of being alone, not being part of a bigger whole is a worthwhile pursuit.

Thank you for considering my application. If I sound like a good fit then I hope we can talk more about how I could support your organization, kristan@attriniti.com.

Best regards,

Kristan Browne

P.S. I almost forgot the most important quality I share with SpiderMan, Olivia Pope, Oprah, and Martha Stewart-I love helping people. kristan@attriniti.com


365 Day Challenge-Day 25 Selective Watering

Through the practice of deep looking, we can identify the positive seeds that we want to water every day, and train ourselves not to water the negative ones. This is called ‘selective watering’. The Buddha recommended methods for doing this, and even a few days of this practice can bring about transformation. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

Today is one of those mornings when I wake up full of gratitude for all things in my life; I feel overcome with a sense of abundance that leaves me wondering how can I do right by all the good in my life. Today’s lesson provides a wonderful suggestion. As I see it, by putting my energy and intention towards the positive in my life, this will yield not only more of the results I would like but also more of the goodness I want for those around me. I want to be an agent of change for my clients, my community, my loved ones. My hope is to inspire more people to step more fully into doing that which they love, engage creatively, and share their goodness with others.

The other reading I did this morning discussed comparison and timing within the context of growth and meaningful change. I can be impatient and I have been known to force situations. My impatience and determination to resolve situations are not mal-intended. I get anxious and I start thinking that something should happen faster than it is, or that I know what is the best way to get something done. The truth is everything has its own timing. Each situation has multiple paths to resolution and in my impatience and determination, I could miss an opportunity for learning.

Now, how do I see the practice of ‘selective watering’ and faith in our own path as being interwoven? First, we needed to have a sense of our path. As I mentioned for me, it is about helping people build sustainable and creatively-driven businesses. Part of my ‘selective watering’ is to model that in my own business and continue to reach out to people who may benefit from my services. Do I want to be helping more people each day? Absolutely. However, I cannot force anyone to change or see that working with me would radically shift how they are doing business. Contact me if you would like to discuss your path, where you would like to make positive changes and grow your business in a meaningful way, kristan@attriniti.com.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Get Support for You and Your Most Creative Self

“As artists, we get the experience of making something and the experience of sharing it. Sometimes people don’t like it, but you can’t control that. The part you can control is how you feel making it.” Ava DuVernay

Yes! And how often do we get in the way of our own authentic creation because we are worried about how our art will be received and perceived by others? Too often I would argue. Actually, I am not going to argue with you; I know it to be true. It was true for myself, and I see it with my clients. By the way, I am expanding the words, ‘artist’ and ‘art’ to include all people who are engaged in the creative process of making something and sharing it, which includes small business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

I have a background in Fine Art; I fell in love with printmaking. My professor at Middlebury College was David Bumbeck, a very accomplished artist who encouraged my artistic vision and exploration which by the way was totally different from his own-the measure of a truly gifted instructor. I continued to work on my art upon graduation but was not drawn to get an MFA or do the struggling artist thing in NYC with 6 roommates in a cramped and dirty apartment. So, I got a day job and told myself that I make art in my free time. A long story short, I began to spend less and less time on my art and more time on work and hanging out, eventually I let it go completely.

How could I let it go? This part of me that felt so good when I was in the studio creating, that loved collecting the images and found objects which would later serve as working materials or inspiration, the part of me that felt most alive when I was engaged with the world as an artist. Unfortunately, the flipside of all these positives was that I was concerned about whether or not people would like my art or what they would think of me-a wanna-be artist with a day job in retail.

The good news is that despite my best efforts to ignore my creative self, it kept creeping back into my daily life. Of course, now I encourage it and readily play with my creativity.

What happened? What changed? A few things:

-I got older and starting caring less about what people think.

-I got wiser and stopped seeing myself as these different parts and more as a whole.

-I found a community that would support me.

Depending on where you are in your journey, I would recommend that you find a community that supports you. Because it took me a long time to get older and wiser. I coach small business owners who are some of the most creative and daring people I know and I am building community one client at a time-join us. I would love to talk with you about how I could support your creativity, your business, your dreams.

In gratitude,

Kristan

kristan@attriniti.com


365 Day Challenge-Day 24 A Love Letter

It’s the energy of mindfulness in us that allows us to write a real love letter and reconcile with another person. A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it’s not a love letter. A true love letter can produce transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

Many people come to mind when I consider writing a love letter. It also occurs to me that perhaps I start with writing to myself. A letter that would acknowledge and give insight into coping mechanisms developed as a child that no longer serve me. A letter that would allow for grace when I think of past wrongs both done by and to me. A letter that would celebrate the dreams and hopes I have for my life that can be scary to share with the world. A letter to myself at this moment would have the benefit of the compassion and understanding that comes with time and space.

The transformation I would hope for would be one of greater self-acceptance and love. The weight of the years of judgement, self-doubt, and sadness could slide off my body and mind allowing more room for peace. Today, I will start the love letter to myself, and it is okay if it takes a lifetime.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Don’t Fear the Uncharted-Breathing into a Difficult Situation

Have you ever had one of those conversations where you can feel the person across from you withdrawing or becoming agitated and anxious? Then you start talking more as your discomfort grows and pretty soon the entire conversation is off the rails.

What if you could relieve the pressure and possibly rescue the conversation?

Breathing into a difficult situation is a start. So many times when we are anxious, we forget to breathe. Conversely, this can happen when we are really excited too.

Pausing, taking a deep breath, then exhaling completely will help to release the tension you are bringing to the interaction. If possible continue to breathe deeply, slowly with the intention of letting it all go. The ‘it’ can be your anxiety, your expectations, your fears, your frustration and anger.

In addition to the positive benefits you are receiving from your breath, often the people around you will benefit too and begin to adopt your breath pattern.

Once you have found a bit of space in your own body, in the conversation, in the tension then you might consider asking a question. If this is a professional interaction and you have been trying to ‘sell’ yourself then consider backing up and making sure you are serving your client in a way they want and need. Get curious about where they are in their process.

If you could use help in practicing your difficult client conversations then contact me, kristan@attriniti.com. My clients have found it extremely helpful to role play and develop some scripts before a situation goes off the rails.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Day 23 The Suffering of Those We Love

If we can hold our anger, our sorrow, and our fear with the energy of mindfulness, we will be able to recognize the roots of our suffering. We will be able the recognize the suffering in the people we love as well. Mindfulness helps us to not be angry at our loved ones, because when we are mindful, we understand that our love ones are suffering as well. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

This is a tough one for me, and one of the most important lessons I need to practice constantly. I have three children, young adults really. I love them with every cell in my body and I can easily be quick to anger over something they have done or not done. I know from experience that I am reacting from fear, my own fear. I want them to be safe. I want them to make good choices for themselves, their lives. I want them to be kind to others, especially each other. And I know when I react with my fear and anger then I lose the opportunity to learn and connect with them in a meaningful way.

The same thing can happen in my work. When I react in fear, disappointment, or anger then the opportunity to learn more about the other person becomes much more elusive.

Today I was working with a client who was asking for help yet was also very resistant to any of my suggestions. I was prepared for this to be a difficult meeting and did my best to stay curious and open. I did ask several questions which resulted in some superficial observations. I knew there was a deeper reason for their resistance. We both ended up a bit frustrated.

This lesson helped me to remember that even in our fear, our hurt, our sorrow, we will ask for help and not be ready to receive it. Truly, it is all such a process-the emotion, the desire to feel better, the desire to do things differently, the discomfort of leaving our familiar responses for new ways of being, the push-pull of asking for help. I feel so grateful to do the work I do. I learn so much from my clients; I learn so much about myself. Contact me when you find yourself in the push-pull, kristan@attriniti.com.

Thank you,

Kristan

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Day 22 The Lamp of Mindfulness

We have a lamp inside us, the lamp of mindfulness which we can light anytime. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. We have to light up that light of mindfulness so the light will shine out and the darkness will dissipate and cease. Our practice is to light up the lamp. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

I first read this lesson at the beginning of the year. Here is what I wrote then:

As I am reading this I can feel myself relaxing into the message I am receiving. The flurry of activity following the holidays seemingly melts away as does the intensity with which I was determined to start the new year off ‘right’, my sky high expectations that every aspect of my life-my business, my personal life, my unique journey, was going to fall perfectly in line with my plans for the new year.

As you can guess, it has not been quite like that. I find myself creating distractions, going into ‘overwhelm’.

And yes, this is once again the perfect time to revisit this lesson because fast forward nearly six months, I have fallen into the distraction trap, my busy-ness, the fear-based scrambling around. I love how as a small business owner your life informs your business and visa versa. At the heart of it, I love being an entrepreneur because I am always learning and more often than not, just on the edge of my comfort zone. I like to push myself and a practice of mindfulness is a challenge for me because it asks me to be present, to be conscious, to be patient. To be still!

Today I was presented with another opportunity to learn and get uncomfortable. A dear friend and I connected because we experienced a recent rough patch. In the process of listening to each other, she shared that she once felt like I was a bright light in her life. She also shared that she felt like I had changed and not for the better. I no longer appeared to be a bright light. It hurt to hear her say that. It hurt because I felt like I had let her down and because I want to be a bright light for her, for all my friends, my clients, my colleagues, my family.

My ‘I want you to like me’ brain immediately began to panic and think of things I could do to prove myself to her. Then I stopped and realized what an incredible gift this was; an invitation to slow down, to breathe. To step into the awareness of needing to course correct not because I can control where our friendship goes from here but because I do have a light and when I am true to my own peace then my light shines. It is time to reflect on my peace, to come back to center.

The same is true in our businesses. Unflattering feedback is helpful and necessary; this does not make it easier to hear or quell our initial reaction of wanting to fix things. ( I am not saying the impulse to fix things is wrong. It just pays to create a response appropriate to the problem. When we react then we will tend to overreact.) Beyond ‘making things right’ when you are addressing negative input, it is important to reflect on what just happened and what possible bigger issues the situation can shed light on.

Because I know from experience that sitting with an uncomfortable situation/feeling AND being open to insight from said uncomfortable situation can be really hard to do alone. I am here to listen, reflect back to you, and even share some thoughts if that would be helpful. I am available at kristan@attriniti.com. Growth is good for our businesses and ourselves.

In gratitude,

Kristan


365 Day Challenge-Day 21 Life is not a means to an end

Life is not a means to an end

With mindful walking, our steps are no longer a means to arrive at an end. When we walk to the kitchen to serve our meal, we don’t need to think, “ I have to walk to the kitchen to get food.” With mindfulness, we can say, “I am enjoying walking to the kitchen,” and each step is an end in itself. There is no distinction between means and ends. There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment; enlightenment is the way.-Thich Nhat Hanh

Wow, this is so powerful to me at this moment.

This morning I attended a wonderful workshop of mindfulness given by Ann D’ Angelo (www.bemindfulbreathe.com). While writing and reflecting towards the end of the workshop, I was struck by the many moments of happiness, I felt in the course of the morning. It inspired me to ask, how willing was I to acknowledge being happy, how willing are any of us to acknowledge that in a specific moment we are happy. Who doesn’t want to be happy, right? Yet, I have kind of veered away from being happy; in my smug, overly intellectualized mind, I have come to think of ‘being happy’ as something trite and banal. Something that is the root of our cultural anxiety and restlessness. Instead, I have placed more value on joy, contentment, meaningfulness, peace; anything but happiness.

I have maligned happiness as the illusive by-product of consumerism. I have thought of happiness as a temporary fix for a job well-done, a feeling that comes only from some tangible achievement. However, once again I am given the opportunity to look at my life differently through today’s lesson. Happiness is the way. With mindfulness, I can bring happiness into my life as a constant way of being. Just as I see with my eyes and speak with mouth, happiness is the way by which I move through the world. I am humbled by the lightness and the richness this change in perspective brings to my day.

I know that I may not always remember that Happiness is the way, but that is why they call it a practice, as Ann reminded me today. Thank you!

If you want more mindfulness then Ann D’Angelo is fantastic. If you are looking for a business coach who loves working with small business owners then contact me, kristan@attriniti.com.

In gratitude,

Kristan

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365 Challenge-Day 20 A Visit from a Friend

Suppose a friend who has come a long way to visit is having a cup of tea with us. Mindfulness helps the time we spend with her to be a time we won’t forget. We’re not thinking of anything. We’re not thinking of our business, our projects. We just focus our attention on this moment when we are with our friend. We’re fully aware that she is there and that we can sit with her and enjoy a cup of tea. Mindfulness helps us to taste the joy of each moment very deeply. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

I just had the chance to spend time with one of my sons who had returned from a trip. He was really excited to share about his travels. It was one of our best visits in recent memory because I made the conscious choice to listen to all he wanted to share. I did not get up and clean the kitchen while he talked, or look at my phone, or interject with too many questions or comments. I listened. I learned so much about his trip, what he liked about it, what he didn’t like. I learned so much about him. Even thinking of it now, I am filled with the richness of the moment.

To be very transparent, at the beginning my mind was wandering a bit because there was work to do. I was tempted to interject a couple of times because I was familiar with the locals of which he spoke. Luckily, I caught myself.

Being present in this way is a good example of ‘simple but not easy’. I would challenge you to apply this practice more in your personal and professional relationships. The results might surprise you.

You will feel better.

You will have given a gift more meaningful than anything you could buy.

You will have a much clearer and deeper memory of your time together.

Try it and let me know how it goes either by leaving a comment or reaching out to me directly at kristan@attriniti.com.

My clients know that I am in the business of supporting the sustainable and profitable growth of their businesses. I have many more tips that I would be happy to share with you. Email for a free 30 minute consultation, kristan@attriniti.com. I work with business owners who are really gifted and talented at what they do and could use help building a better foundation for their business.

In gratitude,

Kristan


365 Challenge, Day 19 Flowers and Garbage

Flowers and garbage are both organic in nature. So looking deeply into the nature of a flower, you can see the presence of the compost and the garbage. The flower is also going to turn into garbage, but don’t be afraid! You are a gardener, and you have in your hands the power to transform garbage into flowers, into fruit, into vegetables. You don’t throw anything away, because you are not afraid of garbage. Your hands are capable of transforming it into flowers, lettuce, or cucumbers.

The same thing is true of your happiness and your sorrow. Sorrow, fear, and depression are all a kind of garbage. These bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. You can practice in order to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. It is not only your love that is organic; your hate is, too. So you should not throw anything out. All you have to do is learn how to transform your garbage into flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

What is the garbage in your life that is ready to be transformed into flowers?

You may have heard me tell this story…..it is a story that bears repeating.

Once upon a time, I was a landscape designer who was very busy but not very successful. I always felt like there were not enough hours in the day or enough dollars in the bank. As a result, I would accept any client who would have me. One day I received a referral from a good client. The referral was a family that was getting their house ready for sale and required a ‘refresh’ of the landscaping for the photos which were to be taken in just a few days. It was a holiday weekend, and in order to meet their schedule, I rescheduled a couple of other clients. Their budget was in the tight to non-existent realm. The yard was a mess; years of deferred maintenance had rendered the space completely uninviting. To top things off, not everyone in the family was excited about moving. In fact, the person with whom I had the most contact and would be paying the bill for my company’s services was downright angry about the move.

Of course, I jumped at the chance to take this job because I was going to save the day and give the home curb-appeal for a quick and profitable sale.

The outcome was a disaster. The yard looked fantastic but the client dodged me for over a week then paid an amount they deemed our efforts were worth and berated me personally in the process.

The emotional toll on me was tremendous. The financial toll was significant. Here was a job that I had taken with such high hopes and good intentions and the result was a enormous pile of garbage!

It was a turning point for me, for my company, for my future. I did take that garbage and transformed it into flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

It did not happen overnight; I did wallow in self-pity and shame for a bit. But then because I had other jobs that still needed my attention, I began to look at what was working, who were the clients who really appreciated my work, and developing some boundaries. I committed to myself and my company in a new way that included not working for people who did not appreciate the process and my value. And I began to say ‘no’ to clients and projects that were not right for me.

Many times I have thought about this experience, and I am so grateful that I choose to learn from it.

We are all going to experience tough times, really hard moments. How we move through them and apply the lessons learned will determine the bounty of our gardens. Are you at a point where you or your business is giving you garbage? Let talk about how to grow a garden of flowers, fruits, and vegetables from your garbage and compost, kristan@attriniti.com.

In gratitude,

Kristan

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