*Are you happy at the moment?
Yes. I believe happiness is a choice we make in every moment. It’s about what’s going on inside ourselves, not what’s happening outside.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Oh honey, you’re exactly where you are meant to be right now. I know it’s really hard and you’re struggling, but you’ll come through this and be stronger and wiser. Don’t worry about being good enough, because you are more than enough just as you are. Embrace your talents – really own them, for they will take you far in your life. Most of all trust yourself. Trust that quiet inner voice because she will guide you to reach your dreams.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I’ve learned that I really can be successful in business AND be true to who I am, which has taken me many years to figure out. I have successfully built several businesses and for so long I thought I had to fit into a mold or do it the way our corporate culture dictates. In many instances those methods were incongruent with my core values. So I experienced a lot of stress and overwhelm in my work life. I’ve discovered by honoring the way I work best and trusting my own intuition, my work/life balance is sustainable and enjoyable. I have set boundaries and honor them which is so freeing!
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I am very excited to be invited back to speak at the Microsoft annual DigiGirlz Day event this year. It’s a wonderful day of interaction with women business leaders, learning and networking for high school girls and I’ve been asked once again to speak to them about the negative voices in our head and how not to believe those messages. In June, I’m putting on an overnight retreat that will revolve around women and the wisdom we all hold inside, touching on topics like redefining success, how to bring the real you into the workplace and create the life you crave. And of course, I continue to love coaching women one-on-one. My clients truly are the most amazing women ever!
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Laughter and lots of it! I’ve become good at not taking myself too seriously and I really love making other people laugh. You just can’t have a bad day if you’re laughing through it, right?
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I have a morning ritual that I’ve been practicing for years that helps me start my day centered and is easy to use so I can stay that way. It has worked so beautifully in my own life that I created a free guide and offer it on my website to anyone who wants less stress in their lives. And it doesn’t take any more time than making a cup of coffee! In fact, I’ve listed one practice that only takes 30 seconds to do and creates instant calm and clarity.
*What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t believe in regrets. I believe every experience I’ve had in my life – positive and challenging – has brought me to exactly where I am meant to be right now. I am just so grateful to be here living the life I am living!
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
We have raised our kids to trust in themselves and to listen to their intuition. Little did we know I’d have an opportunity to be a real life example of this in a big way. In 2009 as a result of years of biopsies, x-rays, mammograms, etc., I had both my breasts removed – not because I had cancer, but because my intuition told me it was the right thing to do. Lots of people thought I was crazy until my surgeon confirmed that it was a lifesaving decision. I have two sons and a daughter and as they watched me go through this entire process (my boys certainly learned more than enough about women’s breasts!) I told them I trusted my inner wisdom. There was plenty of laughter around the reconstruction process (just think Madonna in a metallic bustier!) which helped us all realize what was truly important in our lives. Trust your intuition – that was the lesson for sure.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I am my own worst critic, I’ll admit. I am a work in progress in terms of letting go of my perfectionistic tendencies and have vastly improved my own self talk over the years. I think the old saying; “with age comes wisdom” is so true. Perfection doesn’t exist and I’m now learning to be in relationship with my imperfections – embrace them. I’ll admit, it feels so much easier when I do.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Recovering from an addiction to alcohol. Having been exposed to addiction in my family and extended family at a young age it would only make sense that I might fall into that trap, too. The miracle – and I do believe recovery is a miracle – is that I have been given the gift of sobriety and a life that is fuller than I could ever have imagined. My experience with addiction brought me to the realization that I wanted to work with women to help them realize their worthiness and tap into and trust their inner wisdom. My coaching practice and speaking business was born out of my recovery and I am deeply grateful for the work I am privileged to do!
*When were you happiest?
I believe we choose our happiness in each moment, so right now I am happy. If I am honest, I am most content when I am in northern Minnesota, spending time on the North Shore of Lake Superior with my family. They are the four people I cherish the most!
*What ten words best describe you?
Nurturer, funny, loyal, nature lover, spiritual, passionate, fun-loving, upbeat
A sought after workshop leader and inspirational speaker, Barb Churchill has been mentoring working women for over twenty years. Having built and run several successful businesses herself, she has learned what it takes to create the kind of work/life balance that is meaningful and sustainable. Passionate about developing women in leadership roles, Barb has lead sales and productivity training for large corporations as well as intimate workshops for both small and medium sized businesses. In 2013, Barb was invited by Microsoft to lead a session on “Self Worth and Understanding Your Inner Critic” for their annual “DigiGirlz High Tech Camp for Girls” event and has been asked to speak again in May, 2014. Barb believes every woman should have permission to be themselves and writes regularly about embracing imperfection, tuning out the noisy world and trusting intuition. She also leads retreats that help women unplug from the frenzy of daily life and reconnect with their worthiness and inner wisdom. She invites you to take a moment to breathe and meet her at BarbChurchillCoaching.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.