Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meet Jean DiGiovanna

Today I'm introducing you to someone who made a difference in my life.  Readers, meet Jean DiGiovanna.

Back in 2005, I saw Jean for life and career coaching.  Within months of meeting Jean, I quit a job that was no longer satisfying and starting checking off items on my lifetime to-do list (including attending a Spanish immersion school in Mexico for 5 weeks by myself and trying out for the Patriots Cheerleading Squad at 32.)  She helped me clarify my values and make intentional choices based on them.  Even now, when I need to make a big life or career decision, I go back to the handouts and exercises that we did together.  I'm also positive her coaching influences the nutrition and wellness coaching I do now.   

Her services weren't cheap, but it was money I invested in myself.  And worth every single penny.  

Below is my insightful interview with Jean.  Read on and you'll see just why she made such an impact on me.  Enjoy, my dear readers!

K: In the midst of a down economy and after 25 years living in Boston, you are moving clear across the country and starting over.  Tell us about how you made this courageous choice.
J: It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly how I made the choice, but, like many choices in life, it’s all about timing and “heeding the call”.  While I have a great life and business here in Boston and great friends and support structure, I never pictured myself living here long-term.  I guess you could call it a “sixth” sense, but it was just something I felt.  At the same time, I never knew where I saw myself, so I continued to build my life here.  The biggest catalyst was when my father’s health began to improve early this year and that relief and gratefulness had me question my own life.  When you experience a loved one getting ill and almost losing them, it makes you realize how precious life is.  He now has a second lease on life and it had me take a hard look at what I really want.  I knew it was time for me to stop wondering where I was supposed to live and start living there! If not now, than when?   It was like my soul would no longer let me “hang out” in the not knowing anymore.  What helped me get clear were simple questions like “Where could I see myself? Where would I like to live? What places bring me alive?”  Colorado and California came to me and although both places are far away, the fact that I have family, friends and colleagues in both places definitely helped.  I took 2.5 weeks in March and travelled to Colorado with the intention of “could I see myself here” and as soon as I drove from the airport to Denver and saw the Front Range, I knew.  There was something about the mountains that really affected me and I knew I had to be closer to them.  I also came to discover over the last few years how much nature and being outdoors feeds my soul.  It did take me a while for my “mind” to come around to the idea and stop fighting the fear, but that is why I have a coach myself and others who support me and help me stay grounded and focused on what is important.  In the end, it was about following my soul even though I didn’t exactly know where it would lead me.  

K: What advice do you have for others who may be hesitant to take risks and make big changes?
J: If you were not hesitant or fearful in some way, you probably are not human.  Of course, everyone has differing levels of fear and hesitation, but it is completely common to feel that way.  So, the first piece of advice I have is stop making yourself wrong!  The best thing to do is acknowledge the hesitation or fear and get curious about it.  You don’t have to dwell in it, but explore what is there, not why it’s there, but what is there.  What are you afraid of?  What stops you from taking the leap?  Journal your answers, get support, but most of all, bring it out in the open because if we don’t move through it, it will just show up again in some other form.  So, in a nutshell, acknowledge it, embrace it, get curious about it and you will begin to notice it will not have as much control over you as it once had.

K: Tell me a bit about your business.  What are your clients seeking when they come to see you?
J: I will focus specifically on my coaching business here.  When clients come to me, they want to seek greater fulfillment in their life and/or work.  They want to discover their soul’s purpose or calling.  They seek to have better relationships at work and at home.  They come to me to help them find their voice, speak their truth and stand more fully in their personal power.  They come to me because they want to feel more “alive” in their life.

K: What are the biggest misconceptions with life and career coaching?
J: That it’s therapy.  That they speak and we just listen and nod and tell them what to do.  It is completely the opposite (except the listening part!).  A great coach is one who can listen openly without judging and responds with powerful questions.  The premise of coaching is the client has the answers.  Often, it’s the right question that just hasn’t been asked.  Coaching can be therapeutic, but it is not therapy.  We don’t go back to dig up the past.  We start with today and look at what you want in the future.  We will explore what gets in the way and help you move through it.

K: What might your clients be surprised to know about you?
J: That, like many others, I wait until the last minute to do things.  But, instead of calling myself a procrastinator and making myself wrong every time I do it, now I just honor that it’s how I am and it’s the way that I process.  I really do mull over what I’m working on for a while before putting it down on paper.  It doesn’t mean I’m not working on it, but from an outside perspective, it can easily appear that way.  What I say is that I “marinate,” instead of procrastinate!  The other thing that might surprise them is that I’m not always busy doing a million things just because I do have several businesses and enjoy many things.  My secret is that I do many things, but I do all of them part-time.  That is what allows me to maintain several businesses.  It’s also what helps me stay creative and engaged.  From the outside, though, people think I’m superwoman and that because there are so many different businesses I have, I must be busy all the time.  Balance is extremely important to me and when I’m out of balance, life is not good.  So, as soon as I begin to feel that, I quickly do what I need to get back in balance. 

K: You are also creative (writing poems and making jewelry.)  How does that impact your coaching business?
J: It feeds my business and vice-versa.  The great thing about completely different areas is that they use different parts of my brain and energy.  If I were just focusing on one thing or one service in my business, I would be bored to death.  It’s what keeps me feeling alive and sparks my creativity.  The writing and painting and jewelry making are very meditative for me so they also balance out my energy and help rejuvenate me.  It’s so important to recharge your batteries whether it be reading, doing yoga, meditating or playing with your kids or pet.  It doesn’t matter what it is – what matters is that it feeds your energy and helps bring you alive again.

K: What else do you do to nourish yourself?
J: I love to salsa dance and it’s a great way to get out of my head from “thinking” mode and to move my body.  That is also why any kind of exercise or body movement is great for balancing out your energy.  Partner dancing allows me to “let go” and let the man lead.  I believe dancing is the best metaphor for partnership and if 2 people can truly learn how to dance, it adds so much more dimension to the relationship.  Dancing is what helped me learn how to “let go” in life and allow myself to receive.  And, the interesting thing is as I began to learn how to use my voice more and stand in my personal power and my feminine energy, my dancing would greatly improve.  I also enjoy baking and have always had a sweet tooth and I could sit in front of a cooking show for hours and not get bored!  I don’t watch a lot of TV and may be the only person who still has rabbit ears and a converter box with my TV, but I always say, if I had cable, I would like to just order 2 channels, the Food channel and HGTV! 

One of the other ways I nourish myself is to get outdoors.  When things seem crazy, overwhelming or I just need to rest my mind and regroup, being with nature and out in the fresh air, whether it be walking in the snow or enjoying a great summer day, being outdoors is very grounding for me.  That is also one of the biggest catalysts to moving out to Colorado – there is so much outdoor space that it utilized and enjoyed by so many!

K: Do you have any other advice you would like to share with NCB readers?
J: Thank you for asking!  Do what makes you come alive.  If you are not sure what that is, begin to track the things and people and surroundings that make you feel good.  Start noticing patterns and begin to pursue them.  Don’t wait for life to fulfill you.  Follow your energy and what you love to do because when you do that, life will support you.  Incredible people will come across your path and great opportunities will present themselves when you follow your passions.  Be gentle with yourself and honor exactly where you are.  And, know that divine timing is always perfect!

See what I mean?  Isn't she just amazing?  

To learn more about Jean, visit her here:

Here's Jean embracing life on a recent trip to Colorado.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sending Out Love Today

I have to give credit to Rachel Awes for this post idea.  
I'm copying her.  
But really, can you copy sending out love?  
Can too much love be sent out?  
I think not.  
She dropped the love rock in the pond 
and I am just happy to be a ripple.  
Will you be a ripple too?

On an uninspiring note:  If you are getting Nourish. Create. Bloom.  sent to you via email, can you let me know if it's arriving in an unreadable format?  I've heard from 2 readers that the emailed format is funny, but others seem to have no issues.  Your input is most appreciated.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who Are You?

"Have you ever been asked this question: “Who are you?”
Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Who are you?”
What’s your answer?"

These are the words of Shawn Poh.  And I was inspired by his post at Lovtoo.  He writes that he asks himself this everyday.  I think that's a wonderful idea.

Recently I've had to ask myself this question often.  See, I've been clearing out my closet.  And in the past year or so I've realized: I am no longer the 20-something girl who wears mini-skirts.  So why were they were still in my closet?  Well, so many memories were tied up with those wonderful little skirts and dresses.  

But I had to clear out the old to make way for the new.  
The self that I am now.  
And just who is that self?  Well, here's my answer to Shawn Poe's question.

I’m a dietitian, artist, wellness coach, personal trainer, & writer.
I’m a lover of life.
I’m a friend, wife, sister, daughter, & aunt.

I’m a big fan of the Wizard of Oz.
I’m the owner of too many self-help books.
I’m grateful that I’m healthy.
I’m occasionally amazed that I managed to snag my husband.

I'm a crafty chick.  
I dig decoupage.
I'm a Charlotte.
I’m happiest in sundresses and sandals while sitting in sunshine.

I am no longer a mini-skirt wearing gal.
I’m the creator of Nourish. Create. Bloom.
I’m REALLY into glitter.
’m trying to become a mama.

I'm going to be a mama.  And one that sparkles!

Be sure to read the Lovtoo post.  Shawn's own answer is inspiring.   

Who are you, my dear reader?  I'd love to hear your answer to this question. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Nine years together.  I'm so lucky.

Click below for the details &

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bruschetta Night

My BFF Julia was visiting from Arizona last week.  She has three kiddos and lives clear across the country so we don't get much alone time together anymore.  But both sets of her in-laws generously took the kids and we had 5 days of girl time!  It was such a treat. 

For dinner one night we made 3 different kinds of bruschetta.  (I'm not sure if they all classify as bruschetta, but I call it Bruschetta Night so please just go with it.)  All three options are vegan, although I did throw some fresh mozzarella on my traditional bruschetta.

Here's us slaving away while sipping wine. 

And here are the creations:
1.  traditional bruschetta with artichoke hearts, 
tomatoes, garlic, basil, and onions with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and
2. homemade hummus with marinated peppers

3.  sautéed mushrooms, onions, spinach, 
and garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

All three were a big hit 
and earned a high five from my hubby.  
(One never knows when creatively cooking sans recipe.)
And now I'm a convert to homemade hummus-  
so easy and so much tastier.

PS:  I had my husband proofread this post, 
and he said his mouth started watering just looking at the photos.  
So I think it's a dinner I'll be making again soon 
(although sadly without Julia).