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Announcement: Creating Conscious Leadership

Creating Conscious Leadership

With an appreciation for the challenges faced by leaders in dealing with constant change, Jeanette is sharing the insightful experience of Yoga Nidra with those who seek clarity and focus in their business and personal lives.  “Self-awareness is the foundation of conscious leadership.  Cultivating a mindfulness practice can greatly enhance leadership through more focused actions and decisions.”

You are invited to start your week off with mindful intention.  Come experience iRest® Yoga Nidra - a guided and evidence-based meditative inquiry that investigates how to experience true relaxation and reduce stress.  This practical self-management tool offers a deep state of relaxed awareness, clarity and focus.

Next 4 part series begins  

Sunday, March 18, 2012 3:00pm – 4:15pm

at Studio A: Pilates in Alamo Heights located at 5310 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209.

Students may wish to bring a pen and notebook and should bring their own blanket, pillow or meditation cushion.  Please dress in warm layers and avoid big meals 2 hours prior to the practice.

For more information or to RSVP, email or call210.618.1547

Jeanette is a passionate and committed community builder with over 25 years of solid experience in creating measurable community and economic development initiatives and impact.  Her company, JMH Collaborative, offers a unique approach to creating and managing change through shared knowledge and mindful leadership practices.  Life circumstances moved Jeanette to search for peace and well-being. She was led to iRest® Yoga Nidra (Integrative Restoration Yoga) through which she has found a deeper sense of awareness.  Jeanette has completed advanced training in iRest® Yoga Nidra (Integrative Restoration) with founder Richard C. Miller, PhD., a clinical psychologist, author, researcher and yogic scholar. For more information about iRest® Yoga Nidra, see 

Lean Principles in Leadership

The concept of “lean” applies to more than operations. It only took two full quarters, but I feel I finally made a breakthrough today. I’ve lived the majority of my life afraid to depend on anyone but myself when it comes to my personal life. Professionally, I trust people to do what they do, but I don’t let that carry over in other areas. In developing the leader in me, I wanted to first focus on myself as a person. I learned that by not allowing myself to lean on others, I not only do myself a disservice, but I perform an injustice unto others as well.

Although I’m not ready to jump head first into the water (I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for that, or that that would be safe), but I have taken steps to dip my toe in the water. Not the big toe, but a toe nonetheless. Today, after weeks of living in distress, losing sleep, and feeling uncertain, I called upon a trusted colleague, professor, and mentor Mary Kay Chess. While explaining some of the things I was going through, I realized a few things. First, I was using the language of feelings. I said things like “I feel unvalued.” Secondly, I saw that others see more than you I knew. Granted, Mary Kay is extremely intuitive and experienced in personal development, she still nailed exactly what I was thinking and going though based on her observations.

So yeah, I’m learning to lean. Understanding that there is a support structure is important to allow myself to be vulnerable. It’s important for me to be able to tune in to my needs. What does it really mean to take care of myself? Is basketball enough? No, it’s probably not. Taking care of myself also means being reflective, lessening the distractions, and learning when it’s time to let go.

Life has its ups and downs. From both there are important lessons to learn. Most of the time this quarter has been good. The last few have been down. What I appreciate most about the down times is that, at least for me, it reconnects me with things about which I’m passionate. When things are going well, it’s easy for me to get caught in the flow. When things are down, I think about more about how I miss writing, traveling, volunteering, running, interviewing interesting people, hanging out with friends, and other thins that bring me joy.

I recently committed to writing a book on personal branding. While many people see personal branding as a way to self promote. I see it as a way to build a reputation based on integrity and an understanding your authentic self. In beginning to write the book, I didn’t start by focusing on social media or networking, but rather ways to learn about one’s self. This requires a person to understand their strengths and their weaknesses. Normally, I say that a person should focus on their strengths and rely on others where they fall short. I still agree this is the best way to share duties in an organization. But when the weakness is inhibiting you from allowing you happiness, it’s something you need to work on.

Learning to lean is a big step for me. Actually practicing will be step two.

Poem: "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Below is a poem I found particularly inspiring duirng orientation at Channel Rock…

The Invitation  

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© 1995 by Oriah House, From “Dreams Of Desire”

My Clifton StengthsFinder Assessment Results


Focus and capitalize on your strengths. Do what you do well and let other people do what they do well. Besides having a clear understanding of who you are, having a deep understanding of your strengths is the first step in becoming more effective both professionally and personally.

I recently bought two books to help me home in on my strengths to become more effective in the things I do: Strengths Finder 2.0 and Strength Based Leadership, both authored by Tom Rath. Both books come with a code granting you access to the Clifton StrenghtsFinder Assessment. Based on over thirty years of research, this assessment helps you discover your strengths and provides an action plan on how to best utilize them. At the end, the also provide a personalized Strengths Guide and Strengths Report. I’ll attach my guide and report to the end of this post.

According to the assessment my top five Clifton StrengthsFinder themes are below. Feel free to read through them and tell me if you think they are an accurate reflection or not.


Chances are good that you take full advantage of your talents. This is how you move toward your goals. Instinctively, you realize you can determine what distinguishes each person from every other human being. Routinely, you use these insights to energize and inspire individuals to do what needs to be done. You honor the special, the wondrous, and the rare qualities of people. You intentionally position them to attain ever higher levels of excellence. It’s very likely that you rely on your ability to help people find links to each other. With your involvement, it is much more likely that common ground or mutual understanding among people will be discovered. You have a gift for closing the gaps that separate human beings from one another. By nature, you customarily figure out what makes each person special. You talk to, observe, or study individuals who produce nothing less than excellence to identify what inspires them. Unquestionably, you prefer to associate with those who share your passion for taking something good and making it better. Once you understand what drives a person, you can motivate him or her to transform whatever was made better into something utterly superb. Because of your strengths, you naturally enjoy beginning discussions with newcomers or outsiders. These private exchanges typically provide insights into the special talents, sources of inspiration, or other traits of each individual.


It’s very likely that you are keenly aware of people’s unique traits. You notice characteristics that distinguish each person from everyone else. Because of your strengths, you enjoy working and studying with people whose backgrounds, cultures, talents, or experiences are quite different from one another. You usually are the one who determines how each individual can contribute to the group. Driven by your talents, you enhance your own quality of life each time you reach out to someone in need of assistance. Instinctively, you enjoy being busy, especially when you can assist someone in need. You are likely to be a good partner at home, in the workplace, at school, or in the community. You tend to do more than is expected of you. Why? You probably worry about wasting time. This explains your habits of volunteering for projects and asking for extra duties. Chances are good that you occasionally observe members of your group to identify what makes each one unique or special. Perhaps you study a person’s talents, quirks, motivations, or idiosyncrasies. Occasionally you can pinpoint someone’s preferred way of thinking, working, or relating to people.


It’s very likely that you characteristically read books, periodicals, documents, correspondence, or Internet sites. You are willing to be mentally stimulated by thought- provoking ideas, information, data, predictions, insights, characters, or plots. Chances are good that you sometimes investigate topics or explore issues to become more knowledgeable.

Through ongoing practice, you may acquire additional skills or perfect specific techniques. Maybe few things please you as much as having mastered a subject that interests you. Because of your strengths, you move in and out of thought-provoking conversations with grace. You delve deeply into topics and explore the frontiers of ideas. The animated give-and- take you most enjoy often occurs in the company of thinkers. You tend to be happier when you meet people who share your need to talk about theories and concepts. You tend to be less engaged with those who are overly concerned with gossip or purely practical matters. Instinctively, you absorb all sorts of information from books, publications, or other written materials. You display a voracious — that is, never fully satisfied — appetite for knowledge. You devour the written word to savor useful facts. For you, a great day is one during which you have added new insights to your mind’s storehouse of ideas. Driven by your talents, you combine your fascination for reading with your ability to figure out what sets individuals apart from everyone else. You are likely to discover things that interest someone. Then you read more about those topics. You aim to collect insights that can inspire the person to take advantage of his or her one-of-a-kind talents, knowledge, and/or skills.


It’s very likely that you invest considerable time creating the future of your own choosing. You frequently share your ideas about what will be possible in the coming months, years, and decades. You probably capture people’s attention whenever you describe in vivid detail what you imagine. Instinctively, you may channel some of your mental and physical energies toward what you might accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Sometimes you may ask yourself, “How far into the future can I think before some of my ideas start becoming vague or uninspiring?” By nature, you are a visionary thinker. Your vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades often impel you to move into action. Chances are good that you occasionally work seriously at something when you have defined the specific objective you want to reach in the near term or the long term. Remember, your other talents might influence how far into the future you can push certain goals and still give them your undivided attention. Driven by your talents, you sometimes envision mental pictures of what you want your world or yourself to look like weeks, months, years, or decades from now.


Chances are good that you link your passion for reading to your work. Characteristically the printed materials and Internet sites you scan for information expand your knowledge base as a professional. Your definition of “recreational reading” probably differs from that of many people. By nature, you usually give good advice. Often people’s questions dictate your choice of reading materials. Whether you are studying something for the first time or revisiting a topic to refresh your memory, you enjoy reading. Making discoveries that can help others brings you much joy. Because of your strengths, you are determined to push for changes that will benefit humankind or Earth itself. Your desire to have an impact motivates you to enter into conversations with intelligent people. Drawing on their wealth of knowledge and ideas as well as sharing your treasure trove of wisdom is exciting. These discussions frequently cause you to think in new ways and to reexamine your purpose in life. Instinctively, you eagerly welcome opportunities to think out loud about ideas, theories, or philosophies. You derive pleasure from conversations that force you to ponder matters that exist only in the realm of thought, not in reality. Driven by your talents, you read to acquire new information or to collect insights about unique discoveries, events, or people. Characteristically you conduct an in-depth examination of a subject. Your curiosity is not easily satisfied. Frequently you rely on books, publications, or printed materials to deepen your understanding of the topic.