I find myself eager for settling in with a cup of tea or glass of wine with those who I admire and hearing their story whispers. I crave these stories and voices.
The magic inside of the words, the treat of the truth and that moment of ‘yes, me too’ are why we must keep sharing our stories. I am making an effort to hear stories in person and through connection as well as tell my stories in whatever ways the words wish to flow out.
Take us through your gorgeous life in terms of your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, sound and any others that you possess.
I’m leading with sensation these days … physically, how does it feel to stretch this way or move that way, to eat this or say no to doing that? How does that proposal land in my heart? How does saying hello to this new person feel in my gut? What clues does my body have for me about this idea?
And I’m always on the hunt for sights, sounds and smells that delight me. My eyes land happily on hummingbirds and waving lavender. I smile at the sound of my daughter humming to herself as she eats berries from the garden. I take greedy gulps of salty morning air on my sunny back porch.
The moment you knew you had found your thing, the one that would propel you forward because you can’t not do it?
I remember long afternoons with my best friend high in a maple tree, discussing crushes and disappointments, plans and hopes. For hours and hours and hours. Then climbing down, deeply satisfied, all talked out.
I’m hardwired for soul-level connection, and I have constructed my life and work around it. I’m hopeless at cocktail parties; you’ll find me in a corner totally lost in conversation with someone I probably just met, but with whom I’m diving deep. I crave it like food or water.
It shows up in my coaching relationships, my parenting, the groups I facilitate, my friendships. It shows up because it can’t not show up.
Feeling phrase: how do you want to feel when you are inside of your creative life?
Deeply at ease, with an ache in my throat prompting me to find the words that will enable me to share it with others.
Profoundly alone, yet tethered to Spirit. Always.
Alive. Hungry. Hopeful. Playful. Committed. Present. Overjoyed.
Magical moments: what are they to you and how do you open to receiving them?
They come when I leave the door open for them…when I release the tasking, the preoccupation, the schedules. They typically land in the midst of unplanned sacred playfulness with my children. Or in the Divinely-inspired pause between inhale and exhale.
A spontaneous three-way hug. The shiver of delight that follows a bone-chilling plunge into the ocean. Pure love coursing from my hand to my son’s, as we walk quietly through the woods.
Is there a ritual that you start your day with?
I really savor the first few moments of each day – my kids know to leave me alone until I emerge from my bedroom. I ease into wakefulness, harvesting what wants to come along with me from my dreams, and slowly turning to the day ahead. I meditate, I stretch, I get clear about what I’m leading with today. This is my temple time.
Favorite part of your body, tell us why you love it?
My womb. I am still in awe of the incredible act that was childbirth, twice over. I came into partnership with my body after decades of betrayal and hatred, and my womb played the central role in that. And now that I’m moving toward midlife, my womb is my touchstone. It’s where I come home to, and where the answers are born.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin
This is the guiding principle of my coaching practice, and created the foundation for my Unfurling program. I live/love this quote every day.
A mantra or affirmation that guides you:
I am safe and protected.
Your guiding word/s for the year:
Embodiment. I have been a dancer my whole life, and am only now coming alive to the wisdom contained within the shape I occupy. It’s astonishingly easy for me to live from the neck up, and it’s such a small part of the story. This year I’m playing with living my truth in bolder, more authentic ways. I’m humbled again and again by what happens when I give myself over to fully expressed, inside-out living. This is the practice of embodiment.
Amy Kessel is a certified life and leadership coach for women. She is passionate about helping women create fulfilling, empowered lives and careers that reflect the truth of who they are. She offers 1:1 coaching through her private practice and through Playing Big, a global leadership program for women. She also invites a small group of women to her virtual living room twice a year for her popular Unfurling program, an intimate and life-defining conversation lovingly guided by Amy over four months. Registration is now open!