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At a certain age, I began to feel like I was at a dead end.

Possibilities seemed to be disappearing. I had an itch that couldn’t be named and, therefore, couldn’t be scratched. I just figured I’d have to settle for the “same old.”

That’s just the way it is, right?

Wrong!

What I know now is that it is the not knowing – the misty road, the gap between the itch and the scratch – that is where the riches are. That’s the road that joy travels. The journey became my goal.

Hi, my name is Kathy Kane.

I am a coach, blogger, speaker, writer and recovering corporate citizen. I love to use the principles of creative thinking along with the philosophy of Kaizen (continuous improvement through small steps) to remind myself of and to show others the doors to possibilities in the second half of life. I like to think of it as the missing piece of retirement planning. It thrills me to watch other women uncover possibilities and navigate their unique life transitions with grace, joy and eyes wide open.

Like many of you I spent years (for me, 30+) going and doing and striving and working. During those 30+ years I had a successful career with a major brokerage firm. I married and, in the process, got 2 lovely step daughters who have given us 3 beautiful grandchildren. I am part of a very large extended family and live in Northern New Jersey. For you gardeners that is zone 6, and I am always thankful for spring and a second chance.

But, somewhere along the way I lost the real me. She disappeared behind the woman who looked outside herself and decided that life was about finding a career that was defined by corporate ladders and accolades. Success came, but at a price. I will admit I knew something was missing. There was a vague sense of unease; of irritation; sand in my spiritual sneaker. But I put on my Scarlett O’Hara persona and left it for another day.

Eventually Scarlett had to pause, wake up and face reality. And, so did I!

Once I woke up, I began a lifelong journey back to the essential me.

Life has become a series of lovely spirals, reaching out, touching and then continuing. Beginning to write and explore my creative expression; leaving corporate and finding a new, more creative community; returning part-time to the financial services industry a few years later in a different capacity. Learning curves, self-discovery, finding courage to follow my own voice. While I may have traveled the same path more than once, I was never the same person.

A little longer story …

Years ago, when I left college, it was with a BS in Business/Marketing. I then began a long career in financial services. While there I got my Series 7 and 63 licenses as a General Securities Representative; Series 9 and 10 as a General Securities Sales Supervisor; and, the Series 65, qualifying me as an investment professional to operate as an Investment Adviser Representative.

After many years, life began to feel gray.

Once I “woke up”, however, life became much more colorful. To use another movie analogy, I felt like Dorothy stepping onto the yellow brick road.

In many ways it has been trial and discernment. I don’t consider any of what I’ve done to be “errors”. It has all been grist for the mill, learning and priceless experience.

While the inner work had been going on for years, I see one particular event to be pivotal. One day I declared – out loud…at work…that I was going to retire at 55 and do something with writing. “What will you do they asked? Write a book?” “I don’t know”, I replied. (By the way, I asked for and received a buyout from my employer of many years when I was…yes, 55.)

…and some synchronicity

Not long after this a magazine appeared in my mailbox. One that I hadn’t subscribed to and that I never received again. On the back page was a small ad announcing a writing group that was forming in the next town. I didn’t hesitate (my normal MO!) I called, met the workshop leader and began, in earnest, a process that was life changing and life healing.

A few years later I went to a weekend creativity workshop. The workshop leader was the founder of a model of creativity coaching that hit me right between the eyes. It was an immediate match. I trained with her as a coach and began to apply small steps and creative thinking to my own life.

More shifting; more change. I went on to train as a writing workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists model and had the opportunity for advanced training with the founder, Pat Schneider, the author of Writing Alone and With Others. I got certified as a master Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach and a Modern Day Muse Group facilitator. Bit by bit, the changes piled up, one on another; slow, gradual and lasting change. Writing continues to be a big part of my process and has accelerated that change as I blog, create E-books and work on a novel.

More recently, I have been a co-proprietress of a creative virtual café. We continue to offer virtual community work space for us and others to get to our creative work and inspired play.

At the same time, my cafe collaborator and I also developed a process focused, Kaizen based, creativity filled master mind model which we continue to run individually and together and in which we train other facilitators. I have met amazing people along the way.

I have experienced all this as both the coach and the coachee, the mentor and the mentee, the facilitator and the participant. I have seen and felt the transformative effect. While none of this is therapy, it is therapeutic. It is enlightening and leads the way to enormous personal growth.

My life is different now. There is a sense of freedom and possibility that was missing before.

I’m on a beautiful, crazy, hazy, road with miles to go.

I hope you’ll join me.

An Invitation to the Journey

Are you ready? You only need to take a small step to begin. Contact me and we’ll set up a time to chat. We’ll talk about what you see as possibilities and how you’d like to feel in this next stage of life.

You’ll get to articulate your ideas, giving them new life. We’ll also get a sense of our compatibility as travel companions and explore how I might help you navigate this wonderful state of life.

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