How does all this play a role in how I am in the world? I thrive on helping others to be independent and strong individuals who nurture their own talent; I crave music, art and creativity in my life; I need to be a strong woman who leads, coaches and mentors other women to do the same; and I strive to love myself and want others to love themselves just the way they naturally are. And how they naturally are is so infinitely varied that they cannot be judged by some external definition of what is the right way to be, whether it applies to work, type of clothes or hairstyle, single or partnered, choice to have kids or not, or body size. It takes so much re-programming of our thinking to allow the inner voice of beauty to be heard and recognized while quieting the saboteurs we have inside and all around us. I am still evolving—I believe everyone is—so we all have the opportunity to look for the inner passions that make us each unique and special and bring that talent to the world. With everyone on that quest, peace, beauty and love will prevail.
Melanie Dewberry-Jones (http://www.melaniedewberryjones.com), a soulful and beautiful woman who is my current coach, taught me that practice is needed for more than learning to play the piano. Practice, practice, practice at whatever you are trying to be because most of us have been practicing at many activities and thinking limiting thoughts for so many years that have not served us well. If we all practice to be compassionate and loving to ourselves and others, peace will abound. And peace is so needed in the world, not just at the large-scale political level of countries at war but in everyday interactions with other people. Melanie introduced me to The Anatomy of Peace, a book by the Arbinger Institute (http://www.arbinger.com/en/communitycall.html), that helps us to explore how to reframe the struggles we have in relationships with others in order to move toward peace. Bill Shirley (http://www.insearchofeagles.com/) also helped to steer me to the path of understanding that being a skilled leader requires that relationships in work, not just in personal life, be built on honesty, openness and trust [H.O.T.].
I am certain that I have more bends and curves to take on the path of my life’s work and no doubt, I will hit some bumps. But I am not worried by this. I wish for everyone in the world to always be searching for how to “fail forward”, that is, to take risks that might lead to falling down. Because by failing, we are actually moving forward in our lives and creating progress in the world.
Rachel Mueller-Lust’s career in the media research world spans 20 years. Currently, Rachel is Executive Vice President, Client Solutions at The Nielsen Company. She has worked at traditional media companies as well as in entrepreneurial roles and began her career in 1988 as assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College, conducting research and teaching on topics in cognitive psychology, statistics and the psychology of language. In 2002, she founded Wondrance Coaching and Consulting, a firm that provides business coaching and workshops on topics including achieving work/life balance, speaking professionally and making career changes. Rachel earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is certified as a professional coach (CPCC). She is a featured speaker at numerous professional and academic conferences and universities. Rachel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org