Delightful little happies

Connect with Verve Newsletter 8.23.2020

So many fun things to tell you!

It brings me so much joy to use this newsletter to share the fun things I’m exploring and the interesting conversations I’m having (sometimes with others, sometimes with myself)!  I have so many things to tell you!!!  Your feedback and encouragement has been so appreciated, and motivates me to continue on.  That said, my initial format has been getting a little long.  And now that I’m ramping up on podcasts and video posts, I’m feeling a need to better balance my efforts to make quality content.  

So, I’m switching things up a little this issue, and for future issues.  This issue is free-for-all of little nuggets I hope will intrigue and inspire you.  I ADORE curating resources and tidbits that I think you will love as much as I do.  Starting in the next issue, you will see me alternating the Resources sections:

  • The first issue of the month will focus on Lead with Verve – resources for personal and professional leadership development
  • The second issue of the month will be focused on Create with Verve – resources for exploring creativity for personal growth and mindfulness

I hope this new format will serve us both by being more streamlined and focused, and thus more impactful.

And now, on to the goodies!!!

Coaching Reflection Question

“Though it may feel otherwise, enjoying life is no more dangerous than apprehending it with continuous anxiety and gloom.” ― Alain de Botton, author of Art As Therapy

How might you take something that is currently causing you worry, and reframe it in a positive light?  Where could you take something you dread and tweak it to be something positive?  Since you get to choose, where might you choose joy?

Something for everyone

New Podcast Episode: Making Bold Moves with Shannon Gillman Orr of Eva Blake’s Makery

I am having so much fun using the podcast as a platform for talking to artists, creatives, thought leaders and every day women doing extraordinary things as they navigate work, relationships, family and self-care.  This month’s podcast came to life when I responded to the courageous and intriguing newsletter of a designer, Shannon Gillman Orr of Eva B Makery, that I’ve been following for several years.  We got to chatting and one thing led to another and here she is, telling her story to all of you!  

I’m a sucker for a mom-turned-entrepreneur story, especially when that story starts with a baby quilt!  We didn’t get to cover it on the pod, but Shannon’s origin story is so telling — it captures her perseverance, resourcefulness and creativity so well.  Like many of us, Shannon learned to quilt when she decided to make a quilt for her first born.  Not knowing the first thing about sewing, she lobbied a lady a church to teach her.  After much persuading, the woman agreed and after seeing her fortitude and success after much trial and error, she casually suggested that Shannon try her hand at fabric designing.  Most of Shannon’s art to that point had been geared towards architecture, but she was familiar with art and design, so she gave it a try, and it landed her as a designer for one of the hottest brands in the textile biz, Moda Fabrics.  Shannon’s story snowballs from there, and I know you will get such a kick out of hearing herwinding road to owning her own business and producing her art on her terms!  And she’s now bundled her learnings and packaged them so that we can benefit from her knowledge.  Check out for info about Shannon’s courses in Color Theory, Bold Business Building and establishing a daily creative practice, as well as her amazing limited edition fabric, stationary and decor, and check out our conversation, too!

What the World Needs: Putting Your Gifts to Work at Work

There is nothing better than a full circle moment.  Thirteen years after I starting my first major corporate job, I am conducting a career development workshop with the woman who hired me.  How gorgeous is that?  I adored Kristin from the first moment I met her, and will forever be grateful for the opportunity she provided me and the faith she had in me, and am delighted we’ve stayed in such good contact over the years.  

Come to our workshop to learn how to zero in on what matters most to you as you plan for the next stage of your career, and how to bring more meaning into your work, whether you choose to deepen your experience with your current employer or expand your horizons to look for other opportunities. Our intention is to guide you from ideation to a game plan during our time together.

Career Workshop
September 17, 2020
12-1:30pm ET / 9-10:30am PT

Be impeccable with your word

One of the Four Agreements that Don Miguel Ruiz advocates is to Be Impeccable with Your Word – to honor your commitments to yourself and others.  It is nearly impossible to do that without having an aligned mindset, structure and system.  I‘ve tried a lot of time management tools over time, but none has been as impactful, holistic, or fun than my Passion Planner.  I believe in this system so much, I applied to be a Passion Planner Ambassador, and I just found out I was one of the 500 people accepted into the program this year.

The system works so perfectly with my practices of Essentialism and Life Design, it is the perfect complement to my coaching.  Each one of my new clients will receive a Passion Planner of their choice when they enroll with me, and YOU can receive 10% your purchase at by using code LAURENL10 at checkout. 

Get your Creativity On!

You are more creative than you think

Since my last newsletter when I self-soothed by venting about my art supply addiction, I have bought, yes, more art supplies.  Most recently, INK!  InkCredible Inks from Jane Davenport, ink stamp pads from Michael’s and a rubber stamp carving kit on Amazon.  What had happened was…the ink pads were on sale, and then I couldn’t find any stamps I liked, and then one of the mom’s in my craft group suggested I make my own, and one thing led to another…The inking seed was planted when I watched Lisa Congdon’s Inktober Challenge earlier this year, and I’d also been following Jen Hewett’s screen printing awesomess and it all kinda caught up with me.  I’m excited to do some carving this weekend with Josie.  Check me out @NerdyQuilty on Instagram to see what we make!

If you are looking for some creative inspiration, try out a course on CreativeBug!  Anything you’ve been curious to try, they have a class for it.  I especially love the Daily Challenges.  Membership is under $10 per month after the two month free trial!  You can’t beat that!

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership

Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

Invest in your craft

Connect with Verve Newsletter 8.8.2020

Retail therapy meets art therapy

Last week, I went to Michael’s (the craft store) at least four times in seven days.  And that is in addition to the online shopping I did for other art supplies.  Which is also in addition to the online courses I bought on mixed media art and cooking.  And in addition to enrolling in private drawing lessons.  I had a full on creative consumption binge.  It came out of nowhere, and I was powerless against it.

After the first Michael’s haul, I had a huge let down.  I got really frustrated and down on myself for only ever shopping for supplies, but not actually making anything.  Which is, of course not true, because if you follow my tag #CreateWithVerve on Instagram, you see that I have held fairly consistently to my pledge at the beginning of 2020 to create every day.  Even if I don’t post, I likely am working on something creative, from trying a new dish to doodling during a conference call.  But at some point, the overabundance of supplies (if there even is such a thing), started to feel like a burden – a compulsion or addiction even – and it was so powerful, it scared me.  When it comes to art supplies, I lose my damn mind.

I had originally gone to Michael’s to purchase these things called Mermaid Markers, created by artist Jane Davenport.  I’d seen her on YouTube and was intrigued by the haunting beauty of her figures.  I bought the markers on an impulse, but then realized I didn’t know how to use them.  So I pulled up one of her videos.  In the video she introduced me to the term: “Rainbowitis”, which she calls the compulsion to buy all the art supplies.  She has it BAD, and I love it.  I felt seen!  I processed this via text with my mom, who also has a penchant for pretty things, and two of my girlfriends (coincidentally both named Emily), and the prognosis was the same:  If it makes you happy, do it.  

Coaching Reflection Question

“Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.” 

-Marcia Wieder, CEO and Founder of Dream University

What secret love are you harboring away?  What would it mean to bring it into the light? What would it take to make it part of your every day?

Resources: Lead with Verve

To create is to be vulnerable

When I tell people what I do, many times people shake their head and say “Oh, I’m not creative”.  FALSE!!!  I makes me sad to hear because our creativity is in there, it just gets so lost underneath what we are told is “important” or “worthy” or “right”.  In a brilliant episode of the Magic Lessons podcast, Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert do an amazing exploration of how creativity is wiped out of kids early on, and how hard it is to come back from that.  

The best method?  PLAY.  Just make something.  Just for you.  No judgement.  Lose yourself in the experiment.  It’s so good for the soul!

The same is true at work.  To express our big ideas or to attempt to change the status quo can take courage and a lot of vulnerability.  In this time of change and defining a new go-forward, I’ve been working with several clients on the theme of asking for what they want and negotiating job descriptions or work schedules or realigning to work they are passionate about.  I’ve even had to do this for myself in the midst of recent organization changes at my company.  The key here is to get really clear about what matters most to you, and know what you are willing to flex on and what is a deal breaker.  And creativity is important here, too, as you look beyond what you’ve always known to be true and imagine what will be necessarily for you in your next phase.  Just like with your other creative endeavors, first you have to make time to PLAY, dream and imagine, before you get to a final executable vision.  I have a great little exercise I use with clients to step through this process.  Contact me for a complementary session and we can do yours!

Resources: Create with Verve

Everyone is Creative

A little while ago, I interviewed mother-turned-artist Mou Saha for the Verve Podcast, and we talked about so much that I had to split the episode in two!  In this second part of our discussion, we dig into her childhood art explorations and how she overcame the negative feedback she received.  While she never intended to become an artist, she was determined to keep trying and to keep enjoying the process.  She gives some wonderful insights about starting a creative business, and maintaining an attitude of gratitude every day.  She also tells the story of a full circle moment from childhood to today that will give you chills!

If you want to learn more about Mou’s art journaling and drawing classes*, or if you want to explore other media, I *highly* encourage you to check out the courses on CreativeBug*.  This on-demand art class platform has been such a bright spot in my creative (and shelter-in-place) journey.  I have learned so much from Mou and the other instructors, like Lisa Congdon and e Bond.  WIth a free trial and a low monthly subscription fee, It’s a small and very worthwhile investment in your artistic life.

*This is an affiliate link.  I only promote content and products I have used and truly believe in, that I can recommend with no reservations.

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership

Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

The benefits of opting-out and other time management tricks

Connect with Verve Newsletter 7.26.2020

Take it down a notch

I just woke up from a messed up dream.  I was at the gym — and that’s only the beginning of the nightmare!  I was at the gym, on a treadmill, and the incline was cranked up as high as it could go.  Around my waist was one of those thick rubber resistance bands, and it was anchored down to a wall on the other side of the room.  And there I was, running as hard and as fast and with as much energy as I possibly could, huffing and sweating and charging with determination.  And then, out of nowhere, stuff is being thrown at me!  Miscellany – paper, bottles, books, random stuff, and I’m ducking and bobbing and trying to maintain my balance.  And all the while, I’m wearing a mask.

You see where I’m going with this, right?  Dream, meet reality.  This is kinda what being a working mom feels like right now.  What being a stay at home mom, a front line essential worker, an entrepreneur, a creative, feels like right now.  It’s what LIFE feels like some days.  We are fighting an ongoing, uphill battle and problems, questions and challenges are literally being thrown at us, left and right.  It’s complete madness!!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  My wish for you is to strip out ALL the excess.  Get down to bare bones basics as the ultimate measure of self-care.  Massages are great, decluttering is fine, but managing your commitments, your data intake and your stimuli is the name of the game when it comes to simplifying your life your life at this crazy time.  Whatever you can do to take yourself off that treadmill, or at the very least decrease the incline or the speed!  

Coaching Reflection Question

“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.” 

-Greg McKeown, Author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

What is essential in your life right now?  What can you eliminate such that you can better focus on those few essential things?

Resources: Lead with Verve

A great place to start: Unsubscribe from all the noise

I recently started listening to the audiobook of “An Audience of One” by Srinivas Rao  (I have a couple of free copies available on Audible, lmk if you are interested).I picked it up thinking it would be about creative mindfulness, a topic I’m really excited by these days.  While he does emphasize the importance of establishing a daily creativity habit, he actually (so far as I have read), spends a lot of time talking about HOW to create TIME to establish a daily creativity habit.  The book is filled with life hacks for time and energy management that ultimately boost your ability to get into the ‘zone’.  LOVE.

As a way of applying some of his suggestions, I tackled my inbox.  Over time I have subscribed to several newsletters and store/product mailing lists, all with the intention of learning from that thought leader or being notified of the next great deal.  I realized that seeing those messages flooding my mental space every day was overwhelming and give me major FOMO (fear of missing out).  So I unsubscribed from the majority of those ‘sales-y’ subscriptions and instead ensured that I followed the most resonant of brands on social media, where I know I can find them ON MY OWN TIME.  

My goal for Connect with Verve is to give you food for thought and a gentle reminder to keep your creative spirit alive in little ways every day.  I intentionally only publish bi-weekly and I try to keep the content segmented into three actionable components: Personal reflection (mine and yours), one resource to enhance your leadership and one to enhance your creativity.  If you don’t want to get these messages in your inbox, you can always find the archives on my blog.  I want you to stay subscribed only if you get value out of my self-coaching prompts, recommendations of resources, and announcements of upcoming programs and offerings.  But if this feels like just one more thing flying in your face, please do yourself the favor of unsubscribing and sparing yourself the data overwhelm.  I know you know I’ll still be here whenever you need me.


If you find value and meaning in what I share (which I hope you do!),
give me feedback using the survey below.
Or drop me a line and let me know what you like, how I can continue to add value, and what else you might want me to address in future issues.
I promise that I will do my best to keep this content and my other offerings
 relevant and engaging for you!

Resources: Create with Verve

Create every day

I don’t often associate “time management” with “creativity” but listening to Audience of One (mentioned above), I really started to see the connection.  I’ve always been a planner, and I love picking out my new journal and daily planner at the beginning of each year.  I got into a rut recently as I found the pages of calendars and agendas too constraining. I really wanted a place to visualize and brainstorm, and I also wanted to add my own flair to my planner.  I first found the Passion Planner in 2018, but I didn’t really appreciate the power in its simplicity.  It looked so plain and bland.  I hadn’t started on my creative journey yet, so I just thought it HAD to stay that way.  I had seen stickers and washi tape and gel pens being sold in conjunction with planners, but I just didn’t get it. 

By the time I was looking for my 2020 planning system, I had spent a year Bullet Journalling, and seeing all the possibilities a blank page could yield, but I found it cumbersome to recreate my ‘spread’ every week.  Then I remembered my old Passion Planner that had been gathering dust for 2 years!  I pulled it down and it immediately all clicked — the pages were intentionally sparse so you could have structure AND add your own style.  There was lots of room to doodle, sketch, brainstorm and make lists.  It has become an absolutely invaluable resource as I manage my day job, my business, the family homeschooling and activity calendar, as well as my other creative pursuits.  I’m having a blast decorating it and because I have tailored it to my needs I actually USE it.  I look forward to my Monday morning and end of the month planning and review sessions, and I’ve even enlisted my 6 year old to help me. 

I love this system so much, I created a video to apply to be a Passion Planner Ambassador, which I hope will allow me to spread the word about this awesome system, and even enable me to easily gift them to my clients!  Stay tuned!

How do you manage your time?  Is your system working for you?  Does it give you *joy* to use it?  Does it let you be creative, be organized, or be whatever you most need it for?  What’s one thing you could do to that would ease your overwhelm and get you feeling productive?

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership

Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

Plant seeds, take action

Connect with Verve Newsletter 7.11.2020

I’m celebrating!
  Because these days, the simplest joys, the smallest accomplishments and the most basic wins all deserve a lot of fan fare!  I’m celebrating this fourth Connect with Vervenewsletter going out “on time”, I’m celebrating my first successful week doing Whole 30, and I’m celebrating taking some bold moves in asking for business and the resulting impact I’ve been able to have on individuals and communities.  Each of these celebrations is the result of setting intentions days, weeks, months ago, and committing to daily action to make them real.  I’m building the muscle of saying ‘yes’ to opportunities as they arise, saying ‘yes’ to my body and what it needs, saying ‘yes’ to my heart’s whimsical wishes.  And not just ‘yes’ but YES!!!!!!!!!!
Coaching Reflection Question
“Keep planning new seeds until your mind becomes the earth that gives birth to new worlds.” — Curtis Tyrone Jones

What ideas and visions can you plant seeds for today such that they may manifest and unfold?

Resources: Lead with Verve
Plant a seed with me
One of the greatest takeaways from the Meaningful Me Time moments series we just completed was the community we created.  In this time of uncertainty, with no end in sight, it was so helpful to know that every Wednesday night, I could find respite in this group of phenomenal women who were experiencing so many of the same feelings and challenges as me.  We vented, we found the hilarity in our situations, we supported and encouraged each other.  I want to build on this and I’d like your help in co-creating an experience that would serve you and fill you and give you what you need in this chaotic time and beyond.

Please take a moment to complete this 5-minute survey and share your ideas for building a vibrant Verve community, regardless of your involvement thus far.  The questions range from format to timing to content, and your answers will help me get a sense of what you have energy for right now and what works for you.

My keyword this past year has been “CREATING SPACE” – creating a space for conversation, for creative expression, for dreaming and scheming.  It would be my honor to create a space for you to step in to where you can be wildly and unabashedly YOU and be seen and celebrated for it.

Complete “Co-Design the Future of Verve” Survey

***Psst:  If you recently participated in the Meaningful Me Time Moments gatherings, please use this version of the survey.  Thanks!****

As a thank you, I am happy to offer you this complementary “Do Be Have Know” worksheet to use as you vision what what you want to DO with you life, how you want to BE in the world, what you want to HAVE access to on a regular basis and what you want to KNOW as you do your life’s work.

Resources: Create with Verve
This month’s podcast is SO EXCITING.  I am thrilled to share the first of a two part conversation with mixed media artist and mom Mou Saha.  Mou has one of the most fascinating artist origin stories that I have ever heard.  What resounds for me from doing this interview is the powerful role that gratitude has played in her life, and the full transparency with which she communicates her blessings and the dedication she has to commemorating them.  She is exemplary at bringing forward mindfulness into creativity in the way she observes and honors common everyday items and revels in their beauty.  She is such a wonderful spirit and I can’t wait for you to meet her!

You can find the first part of this podcast episode, as well as all the previous ones at and you can follow Mou at or on social media @Mou.Saha.Studio.

Mou just released a new course for Creativebug called Daily Observations: Drawing Objects From Life, which I’m taking right now and loving!  You can see a preview of her Daily Creative Practice of Gratitude course, and other examples of her work on her YouTube channel.  If you are thinking of signing up for a Creativebug membership, let me know before you do, as I have a ton of recommendations!

Join me for the next Meaningful Me Time Moments Mini-Retreat on July 17. 
You know you aren’t going to use all your PTO this year.  Don’t let it go to waste!  Take a purposeful day or afternoon off to connect with other like-hearted women who, like you, yearn for space to nurture their creative souls and take time away from all the chaos.
Beat the burnout and take some time for yourself!!!

During this half day gathering, you will reflect, reconnect and rejuvenate through creative mindfulness.
Learn more and register now

Spaces are also still available for the three day in-person Creating Space Retreat in Sanibel, FL in October 2020.  Please visit for more info.

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership
510-239-3482Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

Re-assessing the situation

Connect with Verve Newsletter – 6.27.2020

Change has been a big theme the past couple weeks/months/years, not only in my life, but in the lives of my clients, as well.  About a year ago at this time, we were packing up the last of our boxes to complete our move from Pittsburgh, PA to Fort Myers, FL.  It was a new adventure, a fresh start, where everything was possible.  (Check out the Verve Podcast episodes where I share my thoughts and feelings of our New Beginnings and Next Phase).  While the boxes have long been unpacked, after I send out this letter, I have plans to do yet another purge, clean and refresh of our space –  letting go of the old and making room for what ‘sparks joy’, as we now say. (If you haven’t watched Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on Netflix, add it to your binge watch list today!) 

Because the need for things in our lives change, as our situations change.  In our move, we ‘right sized’ from a six bedroom house to a three bedroom townhome.  Of course, at the time we chose our accommodations, we had no idea shelter-in-place would be a thing!  Being home SO MUCH, I realize that the best way to keep this place clean and to stop the COMPLETE MADNESS of constantly tidying up is to NOT HAVE SO MUCH STUFF to have to tidy!  A discussion that the family has had in the past couple of days is that ‘everything needs to have a place‘.  I’m going to roll with that momentum, and instead of buying more furniture and storage, I first want to evaluate what we really need.  I have books galore, kitchen utensils and gadgets aplenty, more art supplies than you can shake a stick at (which shall be organized, but not purged, thank you very much).  In the darkness of shelter in place, online retail therapy has been my salve, and while I’ve brought in things that feel good and necessary for my life right now, I’m excited to do that ritual of releasing some of the things that aren’t serving me in this moment.

Shifting work life
For some of my clients, this re-assessment has taken a different look.  Shelter in place and working from home has highlighted cracks and gaps in their work/life balance.  They are starting to see that their work situations aren’t sustainable, or that the work they are doing is not worth the drama that is required.  Some are getting laid off and others are taking on increased responsibility as their companies are shifting agendas and priorities.  A few others are completely fed up with the corporate structure and are looking at ways to start up new initiatives and businesses to solve new problems that have surfaced as our new normal materializes.  With the super competitive job market ahead of us and all the opportunities that we may want to take advantage of, it is imperative that we all look at ways to upskill our talents and showcase value for our employers and customers.  Consider that now may be the exact right time for you to start exploring options for making a change in your own work life, whether it’s enhancing your leadership skillset, exploring a new career path or tackling that business plan you’ve been pondering.  With so much up in the air, I want you to be well poised for success when the dust settles.  Check out the Lead with Verve Resources section below for three ways that you can level up and master the game.

Coaching Reflection Question:
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? – Robert Schuller

Resources: Lead with Verve
Find the language that reflects your best YOU
Oftentimes, we know we want a change, but we don’t know where to begin.  I always advocate starting from within.  To paraphrase Oprah,  “what do you know to be true”?  About your passions, your truest self?  You KNOW how you were meant to spend your life energy, you’ve just forgotten, or chosen to bury it.  It’s calling you, pleading with you, and now is the time to listen… These resources will help you find language to give voice to that yearning.

1) The Career Leader (TM) assessment goes back to basics by naming the things that you are uniquely qualified to do and interested in doing.  You may very well have taken it in college, and believe it or not, it is just as relevant today.  Clients have found so much value in being reminded of core skill sets and seeing alternative applications in roles they might not otherwise have considered, which has enhanced their resume writing and expanded the pool of jobs they have considered tremendously. I’d like to offer you a chance to take the assessment and have a coaching debriefing session to create your own action plan. 
Explore your career options

2) Refreshing one’s resume can be an absolute pain in the you-know-what.  I, for one, have spent hours making micro adjustments to format and wordsmith my resume, only to preview it to a friend who tears it apart.  That was before I created my ODD BIO template.  In this worksheet, you move away from the confines of the resume template, and really assess what work life you really want.  The worksheet allows you to stop regurgitating old job descriptions and helps you essentially write the job description of your dreams.  You unlock what skills you have that you want to use in the future, and what work experiences have brought you pride and a sense of accomplishment that you’d like to replicate in the future.  Since using this worksheet, I, and several of my clients have revamped our resumes into simple, powerful, straightforward representations of our truest, most value-added desires and contributions, and have secured new positions to match.
Send me a free copy of the ODD BIO template

3) The Gallup StrengthsFinder is a tried and true way to take stock in your innate talents and turn them in to strengths.  While you may not refer to these talents explicitly in your resume writing, they can help shape the direction of your job search and allow you to share your abilities with extra confidence.  When you see yourself written so clearly on a page, as you do from the generated assessment report, it puts a little extra pep in your step!  You can take the Strengths Finder assessment online or purchase a book such as Now Discover Your Strengths from Gallup or StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath which will include online access codes.
*Note: Beware of buying hardcopy/possibly pre-used versions these titles, as the access codes can be disabled.
Schedule an assessment debrief and action planning session

Resources: Create with Verve
Creative community
We’ve had such an amazing 8 weeks of Meaningful Me Time Moments.  We’ve crafted handmade notebooks, visually mapped our changing identities post-motherhood, creatively processed emotions from BLM and COVID-19, and had some fun free-for-all making sessions.  Most of all we’ve made some beautiful and unexpected connections with like-hearted women from a variety of geographies (Venice CA to Melbourne, AU), life stages (new mothers to retirees), and backgrounds (law, real estate, human resources, and art history, to name a few).  The incredible DIVERSITY this group has showcased has been the biggest surprise and my greatest joy.  And yet it should not be a surprise to me because if coaching is my superpower, then diversity is my cape (?!)…it’s the thing that I wear, the thing that makes me, me.  One of my strengths is that I hold a container for multiple perspectives and points of view, and I am very good at connecting dots between seemingly divergent ideas — and people.  And this has been one of the best benefits of our time together.

A recent participant said it best:
“Yesterday’s Me Time Moments was such a gift to my soul. Meaningful conversation with some smart, interesting women about things that concern them AND seriously relate to the world now?! My jam. Thanks for creating this space for us!”

Selection of completed work from Meaningful Me Time Moments May 8 – July 1, 2020

Join us on July 1 for our LAST Meaningful Me Time Moments gathering, and SAVE THE DATE for the next Meaningful Me Time Moment Mini-Retreat on July 17. 
Learn more and register now

Spaces are still available for the three day in-person Creating Space Retreat in Sanibel, FL in October 2020.

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership
Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

Your Most Meaningful Contribution

Connect with Verve Newsletter – 6.13.2020

If there was one question that has summed up 2020 (and there are many, with ‘WTF?!’ being high on the list!), the one that I’ve encountered most has been: “What can I DO?

At first it was around the new year: “What can I do to make this the best year yet?”

Then came COVID-19: “What can I do to stay safe and keep my family healthy?”

Then came shelter in place: “What can I do to keep all these balls in the air, and keep my sanity?!?!”

And most recently…”What can I do to help end racism and inequality in this country?”

I, like all of you, have been stewing in these questions, especially the last one.  As I reflect, I am seeing that the answer is essentially the same to each question, and it is the one thing we often forget.  The answer to the universal question: “What can I do to leverage my skills, talents and abilities to make a difference?” To change the world, as cliche as it may be, “all” you need to do is look inside and do whatever you do best.  But now, you must do it louder, bolder and with greater intensity than ever before.

You know what your gift is.  Now go do it:  Teach.  Organize.  Lead.  Love.

Do it now, and with your whole heart.What I’m doingFor me, through all of this, I’m learning that Coaching is my superpower and it’s what I have to give.  And by leaning in to it, I’ve had conversations that have healed – both my clients and my self.  I’ve found strength, I’ve uncovered motivations, I’ve helped people find their way back to themselves through all the hurt and confusion and worry.  I’ve created safe spaces through my Meaningful Me Time Moments gatherings to build community and to create new possibilities.

I’m deepening my knowledge regarding inclusive leadership, and offering my services to new audiences who are seeking help processing their past and future role in the state of our country.  I’m leaning into what comes naturally and most importantly, I’m not judging myself or the validity of my contribution.  Now is not the time for second guessing ourselves.  Gather your data, do your research, then pick something and dig in.  Go big.  Be bold.  We need every ounce of talent you can muster.

Whatever your superpower is, now is the time to hone it and start spreading it generously.  Use your privilege, whatever may look like, to do good.  

And if you can’t/aren’t ready yet, that’s ok.  Keep pondering.  Keep processing.  Ask for help.  Get the support you need. Rest up.  Build up strength, because we will need you in the next wave. 

Each of us has capacity to handle great things, and I hope you know, for all the other communities you are part of, you will always have a place here with Verve, with me.  My door is open to you and I’m here to give you that boost you need to get out there and do your thing, the way only you can do.  You’ve got a community of amazing like-hearted souls, and I can’t wait to see what we do together.

Resources: Lead with Verve
Based on my comments above, here are a few thoughts of things you can do to Lead with Verve during these difficult times.

1) Come to a Meaningful Me Time Moments gathering to refuel and recharge.

2) Set up a complimentary 1:1 strategy session with me to craft your plan of action

3) Express your interest for future group/community events and co-create the community you crave

4) Keep engaging with the people around you. Now we are all increasing awareness, let’s turn that knowledge into action by calling out overt racism and microaggressions equally, and push each other to look at ways to build inclusiveness into our lives long term.

Resources: Create with Verve
Recharging with creativity

These last few months, creating has become my escape.  When I get my few moments of downtime in the day, I love to spend it coloring in coloring books.  Finding PencilStash tutorials on Youtube totally changed my approach and really inspired me to try out more colors, textures and details in my work.  I’ve had a lot of fun practicing shading and blending to bring my work to life in ways I never thought I could!  Check out her tutorials and let me know what you think. 

Coloring truly is such a simple way to calm down and take your mind off of the stresses of the day.  What’s more, you can use it as a way to transport yourself away from it all!  Some of my favorite coloring books feature scenes from quaint towns and villages, or cities from around the world, even underwater wonderlands.  To travel without moving, check out Eriy’s Romantic CountryTanya Bogema Stolova’s Nice Little Town seriesRosie Goodwin’s Splendid Cities, or Johanna Basford’s Inky Wonderlands.
Page from Happy coloring book dream room by Ida Chiaki

Meaningful Me Time Moments take place every Wednesday at 8pm ET/5pm PT through the end of June.  Come to all or whichever ones you can.
Register now

If you want even MORE Me Time, be sure to check out the Meaningful Me Time Mini-Retreat (1/2 day virtual events in July and Sept 2020) or the three day in-person Creating Space Retreat in Sanibel, FL in October 2020.

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership
Copyright © 2020 Verve Leadership, All rights reserved.

Connect With Verve Newsletter – 5/31/20

It’s hard to imagine that Verve Leadership is six years old!  The inception story will always be close to my heart, because it coincides so closely with the birth of my daughter.  If you want to know how a weepy pregnant lady and an old bossa nova song led to the creation of my business name, you can read about it on my blog.

Verve has evolved a lot in the past few years, but it’s really taken a turn since last fall when I committed to exploring creativity + coaching, after I went on an artistic retreat to France.  In my time with Verve, I’ve conducted workshops, launched group coaching, worked with private clients, participated in professional development trainings, pursued certifications, achieved professional coach accreditation, and continued work with my own coaches.  Verve has grown with me, as I have grown into myself. 
And that growth has led to a newsletter!  I have Learner, Input, Intellection, Futuristic, and Connected in my top 5 Talent Themes, which means that I hoard new things to learn, then process them and make connections to how they can be applied in life designs – which works out pretty well for my clients!   I’ve amassed a huge collection of resources that I feel strongly could make a difference to creative leaders like you, and I wanted a forum to share them.  

About Connect with Verve Newsletter
What you can expect from me in the future is little love notes every other week (which will be a lot shorter than this one), where I will share ideas and resources that I think will support you as you explore your life design, as well as content I’ve created for you, such as podcast episodes featuring every day people doing extraordinary things, or video demos of my Verve Life Design worksheets or my latest adventures in creativity.  Just fun stuff that I hope will inspire you to create & make, to shift your mindset, or to try something new.  Of course you can opt-out any time, no hard feelings.  Just click the unsubscribe button at the end of the email.  Or you can share with a friend and pass on the creative goodness!  My goal is always to include something that will brighten your day and enrich your life.

Resources: Lead with Verve
Verve Leadership Podcast
I’m so excited to share the launch of my podcast!  I’ve had a blast recording these and I have a gazillion ideas for more.  The podcast focuses on life design, with interviews with amazing women from the Verve community, as well as reflections and observations from my experiences coaching over the years.  Episodes range from 15-60 minutes, but I strive to keep them to about 20 minutes — about the time it takes to complete a grocery store or school run. 

There are several episodes posted on my pod page, but I wanted to spotlight one recent one that I’m really excited about — Episode 4: Navigating Change with fellow coach Pamelia Robinson.  It’s such a good conversation on re-creating self and taking change into your own hands, which feels really relevant right now.

Upcoming episodes will feature artist, mother and amazing lady, Mou Saha, who teaches on Creative Bug and other platforms and who has a beautiful story about her unusual journey to becoming an artist.  We talk about identity and motherhood and the healing power of creativity. So good!  Additionally, I’ll discuss the importance of taking a creative pause and how it can impact health, happiness and productivity.  Stay tuned!

Resources: Create with Verve
Meaningful Me Time Moments
I don’t know about you, but the world feels like it’s in a bit of a tailspin recently.  From George Flyod to COVID-19 to the rigors of every day life, things are crazier than ever.  We’ve been grinding so hard taking care of our families, trying to get our work done, trying to just keep it all together.  We can’t sustain this level of worry and stress and grief without some release.  Taking time for ourselves to decompress, to breathe, to process may feel impossible, but I encourage you to make it a priority.  Start small and join me on  Wednesday evenings for a little rejuvenation, conversation, and creation that will shift your perspective and offer you a respite from the storm. 

So far we have made handmade books and done an identity collage.  This week we will explore doodle mantras that help us express our inner thoughts.  In future sessions we will play with simple stitching, mindful watercolor and ModPodge creations…hurray!  Just little projects to explore and experiment and see what happens!

Meaningful Me Time Moments take place every Wednesday at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
Register now

If you want even MORE Me Time, be sure to check out the Meaningful Me Time Mini-Retreat (1/2 day virtual events in July and Sept 2020) or the three day in-person Creating Space Retreat in Sanibel, FL in October 2020.

Thanks for reading to the end 😉  Let me know what you think of this format, and any thing you’d like me to cover or include.

Til next time, be safe and be well,

Why Verve?

It’s hard to imagine that Verve Leadership is five years old!  The inception story is close to my heart, because it coincides so closely with the birth of my daughter.  I remember being 9 months pregnant, on the phone with the Department of State of Pennsylvania, near tears because my application to register my business name had been rejected.  I was hosting my first workshop in a formal company setting and I needed to have a formal business name to go along with the engagement — and DIVA Inc Coaching, the working title for my private practice, wasn’t it!  I was under a lot of pressure to get everything squared away before the baby came, and I was in no mood to think of a new business name on the fly.  It had to be something personal, something that invoked action and excitement, something that represented the flair and passion that I believe is lacking in leadership today.  An image flashed in my mind of an old record label that was emblazoned on the back of several CD cases in my father’s collection. Billie Holiday. Stan Getz. Astrud Gilberto. Ella Fitzgerald.  Music that soothed my soul and made me feel worldly and sophisticated and connected to something so much bigger than myself.  “Verve!” I shouted.  “Is Verve Leadership available?”  It was, and so I became.

A lot has changed with Verve in the last five years.  I’ve conducted workshops, launched group coaching, worked with private clients, participated in trainings, pursued certifications, achieved professional coach accreditation, continued work with my own coach.  Verve has grown with me, as I have grown into myself. 

One of the most notable changes as been my commitment to bring creativity into my coaching and into my own life.  It has grounded me and stretched me and allowed me to express myself in ways that were at once uncomfortable and freeing.  Committing to my passion for art and creativity has been one of the greatest gifts of my life, and I aspire to share that with my clients — not so much by enticing them to do art, but rather to inspire them to create whatever their hearts desire and to commit to doing that thing that brings them joy, no matter what form it takes. 

What is uncanny is that years later, I looked up the actual definition of “verve”, and this is what I found: 

verve noun \ ˈvərv  \

1a: the spirit and enthusiasm animating artistic composition or performance : VIVACITYb: ENERGYVITALITY

2 archaic : special ability or talent

Chills.  I didn’t know that my inclination towards creativity and art and leadership would be so well captured within a word that had lived within my heart for so many years.  It was meant to be.

One of the most notable changes as been my commitment to bring creativity into my coaching and into my own life.  It has grounded me and stretched me and allowed me to express myself in ways that were at once uncomfortable and freeing.  Committing to my passion for art and creativity has been one of the greatest gifts of my life, and I aspire to share that with my clients — not so much by enticing them to do art, but rather to inspire them to create whatever their hearts desire and to commit to doing that thing that brings them joy, no matter what form it takes.

What’s in this for you?

Here in the throes of COVID-19, we are all reading so much about self-care, about productivity, about deaths and masks and staying safe and the economy.  As with most things, there are two ways to play this — negative or positive.  Succumb to the fear or embrace the change.  It’s a battle, but each day, I’m trying to embrace what’s good, find the gratitude, make the most of it.  I’m sleeping more (not necessarily better, but more), I’m cherishing the number of times a day I get to look over at my daughter and say “I love you”.  I’m focusing on the essentials at work, getting really clear on distinguishing impact vs busy work.  I’m journaling A LOT, retreating to my happy place (creating) as much as I can.  I’m doing what *I* need to do to ‘survive’, for lack of a better phrase.  I know I have extreme privilege in my life, and I am owning that and being grateful for it, too.  
So many companies and businesses are putting out courses and webinars, offers and products to try to serve their audience in this difficult time.  That’s wonderful, but it’s also a lot to absorb. There is just so much noise out there, so many calls to stay connected, stay engaged. But for me, there is only one thing I know how to do right now, and that is to *be with*.  To be with my emotions, to be with my loved ones, to be with this unusual circumstance.

My reflection on *being with*:

  • Do as little as possible.  
  • Don’t try to be a hero.  Release from the pressure to go above and beyond.
  • Let go of the guilt for not being able to do it all.
  • Set mental and physical boundaries, as needed, and stick to them.
  • Fight for time to yourself.
  • Remind yourself that you are not alone.  Anything you feel, someone else is guaranteed to be feeling it, too.
  • Sleep. Rest. Stop.
  • Ask for help. Seek connection, support, community. 
  • Be authentic to who you are.  If you hear a call, answer it, random as it may be.  You may be called to volunteer, you may be called to crawl under the covers. Both are legit.  Give yourself permission to follow your instinct.
  • Create a space for yourself to process – a journal, a trusted relationship, a therapist or coach.
  • If/when appropriate, think about one small thing that would purposeful structure to these long days — ex. finishing a book, starting/finishing a piece of artwork, organizing your closet, taking an online class, establishing a meditation or exercise routine.  Something you’ve always wished you had time to do.
  • Be with your emotions.  Express them, don’t bury them. 

Most importantly, be present.  Oh it’s the greatest challenge of it all.  But is soooo important.  Maybe you’ve seen this sentiment floating around the interwebs…We are in such a hurry to get back to normal…but are we sure that the old normal is what we really want to get back to???  What is good about this upset to our routines?  What has surprised you?  What are things that you don’t miss at all??  Seek out the things in this wacky existence that you want to maintain and make part of your new normal.

I’m curious – what do you need right now?  What is top of mind for you?

I truly believe we can come out of this changed in amazingly positive and profound ways.  We just have to find what is in it for us.

Join the Verve Mailing list to get updates on new blog posts and other announcements and updates.

Talking about Verve on the WifeMotherLeader podcast

I recently had a wonderful kismet moment with a new friend that showed me the power of networks and communities. Donielle Buie and I connected a few years ago after I saw a post about her on the Black@Stanford Alumni facebook page. The post was celebrating the launch of her new show, the WifeMotherLeader podcast. The topic was really relevant to me as I was recently married, embarking on motherhood for the first time, and had just started a new role at work. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to manage all my new responsibilities, and I was really hopeful that Donielle would give me some good perspective. She did. I listened to the first few episodes back to back and knew I had found a new companion guide for my situation.

As a side hustler and aspirational podcaster, I took a leap and reached out to Donielle to tell her how much I appreciated her voice and perspective, and asked if she’d be interested in staying touch to see how we could support each other. It turns out that our friendship networks overlapped through the alumni community, but also in other professional endeavors — after speaking with her a couple times, I was tickled to find that I had one of her business cards from a conference we had both attended years before. We hit it off, but had neglected to stay in touch, as happens so often. So funny how you never know what the universe has in store for you, how it puts people in your path, and keeps on trying until you listen!

We stayed in touch over the years, through job changes and babies, and through the various iterations of our respective business plans. Even when we didn’t speak for awhile, it was easy to pick up again on the next call, sharing advice and ideas, and promises to find ways to work together. Until this fall, when the time was right and we were both ready at the same time. Donielle invited me to be a guest on her show focusing on careers. She thought her listeners would appreciate my unique take on life design and bringing more creativity and fun into the personal and professional development space.

Listen Now

During the interview we talked about common mistakes people make when thinking about their careers, how to apply life design to careers, and what to do when faced with resistance from employers or partners. It was a great conversation, and I really appreciated the opportunity to connect with the WifeMotherLeader community. What’s more, it was really validating to see how authentic connections can manifest in partnership. I’m certain this is just the first of many collaborations between WifeMotherLeader and Verve Leadership!

So be sure to check out the episode, and when you do, give me a call! I’m offering a complementary Life Design session to WifeMotherLeader listeners. Sign up now!