Coaching Kitchen #124 Mindfulness and Gratitude

Mindfulness and gratitude walk hand in hand. The first allows being present to the full extent of an experience, and the latter promotes contemplation and connection with it.

This week, I attended a team off-site meeting with my colleagues to reflect, rejuvenate, learn, and to have some fun together. It was the culmination of a number of weeks of planning, and I was both happy to be done with the preparation and to experience the event.

We enjoyed an amusing and studied facilitator for two different development sessions. One was based on Marshall Goldsmith’s book, “MOJO • How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back If You Lose It.” And the other was based on the Human Performance Institute’s energy management program.

As participants, we dug into some exercises involving contemplation, commitment, planning, and discussion. Each of us spent time thinking about our professional experience and whether it was enjoyable and fulfilling, we each considered our own reputation and how closely it fit what we desired it to be, and we did some dissecting of what “programming” may be alive in our psyche and not serving us.

The energy management segment involved identifying our mission and any excuses preventing us from living it. From there, we reconstructed our “stories” to better support our mission, and identified at least one new practice we intend to take action on for some period of time in order to build it into a habit.

This activity required mindfulness and a willingness to call out and name what is not working so well. It also called out some specific focus and actions to improve each of our situations. Now the choice is ours– to wrap our minds and energy around what will help to rejuvenate, or to step back into status quo.

I am grateful for the opportunity to step back and take a look at my life, my fulfillment, my mission, and my obstacles. We can all do that for ourselves, and it is also nice to have a facilitator (with a sense of humor) walk us through the process. Using our various senses in the exercises to think, write, visualize, and discuss provided a broader opportunity for the answers to sink in.

So, as you go about your day, set aside some time to consider what has gone well and for what you are truly grateful. Many who have built that ritual into their daily lives say that it has made a world of difference for them.

I have another appetizer recipe for you this week. It is always a hit, and a nice hot addition to the table on a cold day.

Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip

• cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• cup sour cream (I use light)
• mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s Light)
• cup shredded Parmesan cheese (grated will work)
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 cup loosely packed and coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
• cup finely chopped red onion
In a large bowl, combine mozzarella, sour cream, mayonnaise, half of the parmesan cheese, mustard, and pepper. Stir in artichokes, spinach, and onion. Spread evenly into a 9″ pie plate. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for at least 20 minutes, or until the top starts browning. Serve with pita wedges, French bread, or crackers. You can make ahead and chill for 24 hours. It will then require additional baking time.

Coaching Inquiries: Have you identified your mission(s) in life? (who you want to be professionally, as a spouse, parent, friend, neighbor) Do you have daily or weekly rituals/habits that support your mission? Are you mindful of your experiences as you are in them? If not, are you willing to begin to quiet your thoughts about past and future, in order to more fully experience and enjoy what is happening now? For what are you grateful?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Kate Kriynovich (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-488-4659
Fax: 240-465-5848

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