New Beginnings

22 Jan

By Linda Scholten

I went to visit my mother on Vancouver Island, had a great time, and now it was time to leave.  As the ferry pulled out of the harbor, I faced back toward the Island.  It is a beautiful place and I was enjoying the scenery and thinking about what a nice visit we’d had.  Then a thought struck me. No matter how beautiful the place, how wonderful the time, how great the people, you can’t move forward too far while you’re looking back.  The past is important because that’s where you’ve been, lived, learned, suffered, loved, and has contributed to making you who you are today. It can be fun, therapeutic, or instructive to look back, but it won’t get you where you’re going.  To truly move forward, you have to leave the harbor. NewBeginning

I don’t know anything about navigating a boat, so those of you who do, please forgive me if I’m butchering sacred knowledge. I’m milking a metaphor, not teaching navigation.  It makes sense to me that there are three important things to know:  where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you are.  Which is the most important of the three?  Depends on your objective.  Do you want to live in the past, the present, or the future?

The past is, well, past.  I love this quote (author unknown):  “When your past calls, don’t answer.  It has nothing new to say.”  All clichés aside, the past is all we’ve known.  For better or worse, it is the harbor we’re leaving.  What or who you knew to succeed there may or may not be helpful where you’re going.

The future beckons or threatens; invites or intimidates; shines a light to move toward or blinds us; welcomes us or scares the crap out of us.  It is what we are moving forward to.  But you can’t live there either.  Great as a place to strive toward, set goals, make plans, imagine, and create.  It is not real. Yet.  You are not there.  Yet.  On a journey, you might change your point of destination.  You might end up somewhere quite different than where you were headed.  By choice, by chance, or by consequence.

Of course where we are now, in the present moment, is where we live.  It is where we begin, or begin again.  The waters we’re on are the ones we navigate.  The waters where you are may be calm or stormy.  The present conditions are the ones you live with, despite what they were like yesterday or will be like tomorrow.  Blessing or curse?  It’s up to you.  Will you use the power of choice?  Will you experience the moment?  Will you live it?  Embrace it?  Be in it?  Or will you squander the present moment with regrets, guilt, or hanging on with longing, to the past?  Or will you miss the present moment by wishing, fantasizing, dreading or fearing the future (your imagined future, that is)?  Are you fully there to make the choices the present moment requires? Your call.  Each and every moment.  A new chance, a new opportunity, a new beginning.

Shall I end with the most obvious cliché?  Shall I be that corny? <Yes, do it!  No, don’t do it! You’ll be glad you did, people will see the humor!  No, they’ll think it is unoriginal and obvious.  You’ll be sorry! Don’t!> I’m doing it!  I’m ending with that corny cliché!

Each and every moment.  A new chance, a new opportunity, a new beginning, a new gift.  That’s why we call it the present!


Linda Scholten offers personal goal coaching! To discuss coaching or to schedule a complimentary sample session, contact Linda at 360-836-9004 or email her


Peace and Forgiveness

4 Jan

by Linda Scholten

I had a conversation in a dream this morning just before I woke up. I was saying to someone that I need to have peace with myself, with you, and with we. And when I said we, I moved my arms around in a big circle to indicate that the “we” meant all. All of humanity, the world. I don’t remember the content of the dream, just this exchange. But what I was getting at was that there was something I couldn’t do in the dream until I had peace with me, you, we. The person I was talking to, said, “Well that’s quite a lot isn’t it? I mean, if you have peace with yourself, with me and all others, you have what you want already. That IS the Work. That IS what you’re up to on this planet. There is no before, during and after that. That process is ongoing.”


At this time of year, Peace, Love, Joy, Goodwill toward all, are referred to more than any other time of year. This is also a time of giving, and I think that these values all thrive best when in the presence of each other. Here’s something else that can thrive in the presence of these values: forgiveness.

Peace is not the absence of war or conflict. Forgiveness is not the absence of anger, resentment, or hurt. Peace and forgiveness are states of being, conscious choices and they inspire intentional actions. Peace and forgiveness are not virtues or values for sissies or the faint of heart. To have peace with me, you, we, requires all the love you have to give.

Is there anyone in your life (include yourself here) who needs your forgiveness? For-give-ness is an extremely powerful act of Giving. Forgiveness is also an act of courage. Courage, being required only if there is fear. And there is often a lot of fear associated with forgiving. Fear of rejection, fear of opening Pandora’s box, fear of letting someone off the hook for a heinous act. Grace has a lot to offer in supporting the act of forgiveness as well. Grace for yourself, and the other(s) and the circumstances. Forgiving how it went. Tired of the ball and chain anchoring you to one spot? Chaining you to the other, yourself, or the circumstances?   Consider forgiveness as the key to the lock, the ultimate letting go.
If you were part of the Giving Challenge this month, I invite you to consider forgiving and giving peace as gifts to give. I am going to do this for my last week of the challenge. If you were not part of the Giving challenge, I invite you to consider forgiving and giving the gift of peace as gifts to give.

Forgiveness is an inside job and does not require the knowledge or participation of another. They need never be informed, however, they may feel an unexplainable sense of peace themselves.

I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite songs: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” May Peace be with you now, and always!


The Giving Challenge

30 Nov

by Linda Scholten

Thanksgiving-Clip-ArtA few years ago I heard about a book called 29 Days of Giving: How a month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker.

At age 33, Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and her life changed forever. She was in and out of emergency rooms, lost the use of her hands, the vision in one eye, and was barely able to walk. She became depressed and addicted to her pain meds. She described herself as having a pity party.

Walker turned to an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo, who said: ‘Stop thinking about yourself.’ She gave Walker a prescription: Give something away every day for 29 days.

“By giving,” Creazzo told her, “you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.” The gifts, she said, could be anything, but their giving had to be both authentic and mindful. The gifts did not have to be material; they could be simple acts of kindness. At least one gift needed to be something she felt was scarce in her life.

Walker was amazed by what unfolded, and wrote a book about it. She started a global 29 day giving challenge – even Oprah got in on it, back in 2009. Two years ago when I heard about it, I did my own 29 days of giving challenge, and am going to do it again now. I thought it would be super-easy – shouldn’t we be giving every day anyway? But some days it can be tougher to create an opportunity. Now I am throwing down the gauntlet – issuing a challenge to you – to do the same. The next 29 days cover the span between Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and Christmas and beyond. I think the timing fits. Conscious, mindful giving, not just on Christmas, but during the busy, sometimes stressful days before, and beyond. If you want to feel gratitude and appreciation, GIVE!!

George Addair, my greatest teacher, once said to me, when I was complaining about something, “You sound like a person who has stopped giving”. That man could say a lot in a few words! That sentence stopped me in my tracks and I have never forgotten it.

Scientific studies have shown that giving literally makes you healthier by increasing antibodies, lowers your risk for heart disease, decreases pain and depression, you catch fewer colds, wounds heal faster, as well as lowering anxiety and the stress hormone cortisol.

I feel like I’m starting to sell you on the benefits of giving, you so I’m going to stop talking. I tend to go on when I get excited about something!

I’ll leave you with a few bits of advice from Cami Walker: remember that the gifts don’t have to be material. “The most important thing is that the gift is offered. Find an opportunity with open heart and don’t expect anything in return.” ”Instead of planning out your month of giving… go through each day looking for opportunities to present themselves”.

I will report back to you after my 29 days of giving and would love to hear from any of you who take up the challenge, via email, to

Here’s to, not just giving thanks, but giving!



27 Oct

As a coach, I am a champion for champions, and I champion champions. Many champions seek to win championships. Other champions champion for a cause, a value, a belief system, a religion, or a person, or group. Championship is the act of championing. Championship can be the act of championing a champion to win a championship. Champions mentor, coach, and nurture upcoming champions. Championing nurtures community. Community nurtures champions and championship nurtures community.   We are the champions <cue music> of the world!

OK, I have to stop! I am making myself dizzy with this word gCommunity handsame! And yet, every statement made, means something. We all are, or have the capacity to be, champions and to champion others. In this article, when I speak about champions, I am speaking about you and me.

As a coach I have seen, time and time again, people (champions) create incredible results, reach heights they didn’t think possible, take courageous action, and have deep, meaningful – even life-changing insights. All of these results came from the individual, not from the coach. And yet, having a coach, having someone who champions them, supports them in whatever their aspirations are, does make a difference! Is it support? Accountability? Cheerleading? Championing? Having someone on your side, believing in you no matter what? Someone who will be honest and still unconditionally accepting of you? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! And more. Who wouldn’t do better, BE better with that kind of support? No one – that’s who! Who would do – and BE better when championed, coached, and nurtured? Everyone – that’s who!

Champions don’t need a ‘Yes” man. What a champion (you/me) needs is someone who, while championing them, believes in them absolutely, and who doesn’t buy into their B.S. Who is rigorously honest, reflects – like a mirror – what is seen – the good, the bad, the ugly (without judging you as good, bad or ugly). As coach, when I champion you, I SEE you. I HEAR you. Many people go through their lives without truly being seen. Or heard. There is so much power in these things, alone; to be truly seen and heard; in allowing yourself to be truly seen and heard. Then, add to that, someone who sees and believes in your possibility, has a stand for you, and you in turn, see and believe in your possibility, and have a stand for yourself. Now, you are unstoppable. Now, you have someone who is championing you. Now, you have a coach.

Community – belonging to a group of people to whom you are connected is another thing that supports the champion. In a sense, your community is your team. As team members grow, thrive, struggle, fall, pick themselves up and grow again, they are nurtured, loved, supported, challenged, and called forward by each other. Now, you’re even more unstoppable. Now you are championing and being championed by your team. Now you have community – a tribe – a team.

We live in a fast-moving, highly individualistic culture, where we are so often left alone to figure things out and try to succeed on our own. This can be lonely, isolating and devoid of joy, intimacy and connection. The champion (you/me) who truly wants to go the distance, to create the life of their dreams, gets themselves a coach, gets themselves a team. Now you have a champion.

To share thoughts, ask questions or have a possibility conversation, feel free to call or text me at 360-836-9004. I love to have powerful conversations with people about their possibilities.

Linda Scholten

Professional and Life Coach

Join us for a very special Championship Event and Outdoor Yoga Class! :

Sunday, November 22, from 12-3 PM at the Lath Pavilion at Heritage Square, in Downtown Phoenix! At 12:00 PM witness champions from across the state as they demonstrate their yoga in the annual Arizona Yoga Asana Championship! At 1:30 PM join us for a one-hour outdoor yoga class, taught by the famous Lisa Ingle from The Union in San Antonio, Texas! Admission is just $10 for the entire event! Bring a blanket and yoga mat, and be prepared to shop our awesome vendors!

“Gratitude” – A Letter from our Teacher Steve, On His Departure

9 Oct

Sometimes there arrives a powerful call for change which nothing can alter or deny. Try as we might. Nothing is impossible. How many good things can someone leave when it comes time to say this kind of goodbye? How many ways can someone say thank you for them? Change is a natural part of life. So are goodbyes. Amidst this moment of change, I am left in deep gratitude and sometimes cannot speak for the emotions that prevail. Change is a process I am reminded.impossible-people

As my wife LJ and I prepare for our return to our Idaho home, to our grown children, to the life from which we came to Arizona more than three years ago, I reflect upon all of you. Our students, peers, mentors and friends. Like grafted sapling trees, you are part ‘us’ now. We are part of one another. Your journey is interwoven with ours. We are made stronger for our time together. From our willingness to be vulnerable and purposefully seek change we have emerged anew.

If someone was even close to being right when they said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, then our most challenging task ahead will be to find the equal of the “five” people that you all have been for us. I hope this will happen.

Our Bikram Yoga offers us the opportunity for equanimity (mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation). Where each of us a student the only one on our mat, in our own process, and without judgement. This yoga is an equalizer making all human beings at least temporarily the same. Humble. A mindful recognition of this rare and precious time within to heal and evolve as human beings, makes any temporary discomfort of this practice all the more bountiful.

Learning to become a Bikram Yoga teacher is kind of like learning to become a Bikram Yoga student, only under a magnifying glass with hundreds of eyes and minds watching at every turn, as things unfold, or unravel as the case may be. There is one thing that everyone going through this process certainly feels, uncomfortable. Yet, it is you our students, through your loving energy and generous patience, who allow us to continue on no matter how hard it might be for us to start again and just keep going. Thank you for allowing us to stumble, wobble and but never completely fall down. It takes a village to raise a teacher as it turns out!

To the mentors in our lives, your calling is a most noble one. To dare enough to care. To dare to care enough. To insist on ‘can’ when ‘can’t’ is all we can see. To believe when we ourselves cannot possibly believe. To instill in us faith that where you ask us to go is within our reach. You help us expand our means toward goals that to us are clearly impossible, that with time and effort, instead become accomplishments. Our previous doubts melting away in our rear view mirrors with scarcely a notice. You make the world a better place by helping us become stronger leaders. Thank you. Forever.

Should we be tempted to feel we have lost something in our departing, let us make a pledge now that this is not so. Rather let us celebrate the discovery of a new found inner strength that without one another we may never have known. Never give up!

Trust in your Self and in one another that you are in a conversation worth having. A conversation by the way where ‘impossible’ just isn’t heard.

With love and until next time,



30 Aug

By Linda Scholten

self_compassionAs humans, we are perfectly imperfect. Yet so many of us expect perfection of ourselves and others, even if we don’t call it that. After all, we’re far too evolved to expect something like perfection of ourselves or others. Too perfect to be perfect?

Striving for what is ideal or best at whatever is important to you (health, appearance, relationship, career, finances, fitness, spiritual practice) can be just another form of perfectionism. And when we (or others) fall short of our expectations or ideals, there can be disappointment, frustration, a feeling of letting ourselves down. So often we self-sabotage, rebel against these high expectations and ideals. Many times we give up. Or re-double our efforts and perhaps sabotage ourselves again.   If I say I’m going to eat healthy, why do I go for the chocolate cake?   I have a great yoga session or workout, I worked and sweated my ass off and then I have a hamburger and fries. I say I am going to get some important work done – something I really want to do, and I find myself watching TV, reading a book, looking at Facebook. These are my own confessions – what are your versions of this?

I did some research on New Year’s (NY) resolutions. 62% of Americans either make usual or infrequent NY resolutions. 8% are successful in achieving their NY resolution and 24% completely fail. I pretty much expected this, but here is where the stats get interesting: 49% achieve partial success. AND, people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.

So I shoot for the stars and hit the moon. In doing so, have I succeeded or failed? It is a matter of perspective.

So what does all of this have to do with self-compassion? I’m getting there, I promise.

We humans are complex – we have many levels – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual is one way to look at this. The part of ourselves that makes a goal, a commitment, a resolution is often the mental part. The part of us that makes the commitment is not the part of us that breaks it. That would usually be the emotional part. Studies of the brain show these many facets are housed in different parts of the brain, but that is a whole other discussion – here, I am making it simplistic enough for me to be able to talk about it.

So I make my plans, goals, resolutions with the mental part of my self. The emotional part of my self has its own needs, wishes and desires, so too, with the physical part of course. The higher part of my self – I’ll call it my Self (with a capital S) the spirit or soul (use whatever word you choose), observes, accepts, has compassion, vision, love. This is where I can have patience and loving kindness for my self – this is where I have self-compassion. This is the still quiet voice. I can access this part of my Self when I turn my attention there and observe the part of me that is the observer.

Compassion for my self is no more and no less important than compassion for others. One cannot truly exist without the other. Buddhism teaches this. The Buddhist compassion meditation includes compassion for self.

Compassion for self is not to be confused with self-indulgence or self-esteem. Compassion deals with what is. No stories, excuses, promises needed or accepted. With self-compassion I have grace, acceptance, forgiveness of what is and what is not. It is all good. All is well. It is what it is.

Applying grace in goals, resolutions, commitments, promises is perhaps the way my self can grasp this. Accepting good enough instead of perfect. Having patience with, and accepting my self when I hit 70%, 80%, 90% instead of 100%.

Shoot for the moon and reach the stars. Or shoot for the stars and reach the moon. Strive – you’re 10 times more likely to get there, than if you don’t. Just remember the gifts from the Self: Love, compassion, acceptance.   From Desiderata: “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here”. Just as you are. Perfectly imperfect.


16 Aug

By Linda Scholten

Trans is a big thing these days!!! In the news we hear about trans-gender and trans-racial. There’s a great show on Amazon called Trans-parent. In personal development, we have trans-scend, trans-formation, trans-ition…


I love looking words up in the dictionary – there is often a deeper meaning to words than our common use of the word. So I looked up trans, and there were 4 definitions. When I strung them together, here is what came up for Trans: “on or to the other side of: across or beyond; through: so as to change in form or position” I am writing here about the type of trans that I am most excited about: Trans-formation!

What is transformation, really? “A complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.” There are many versions of a saying that makes me think of transformation – I liked this one by Jessica Savitch: “I worked half my life to be an overnight success, and still it took me by surprise.” Transformation is like that. We move across, go beyond, go through – so as to achieve that complete or major change in our form. This moving through, going beyond and going across, is the work of transformation.

We’ve all seen the before and after pictures of people who have had a major weight loss. I don’t know about you, but I have fallen for the quick fix. I want the after – now! There are multi-billion dollar industries built around the lure of “after”, the quick fix. I remember watching Oprah one day, and she was talking about her weight and health. She said something like – I have money – if there was a quick fix, I’d have bought it. There is no quick fix to transformation. If you are practicing yoga, following a food plan, meditating, or any other form of discipline, you know this.

The formula for transformation is simple (which is not to say easy)!

Where do you start? Where you are right now! Own it! There is no “wrong” place to start if it is truly where you are. This is your unique point of origin. The caterpillar doesn’t become a butterfly by denying that it is a caterpillar right now. The potential, the possibility of butterfly absolutely exists in the caterpillar. But he’s got a few things to go through, across, beyond, to get there. Let’s call this point of origin “A”.

Where do you want to be? What is your vision for where you want to be? This is your point of destination. The more specific and richly you envision this, the more compelled you will be to get there. Let’s call this point of destination “B”.

Now for the good stuff. As a coach, this is the action I live for: getting from A to B. This is the journey, the getting through, across, and beyond. This is the stuff of transformation. Let’s call this process “C”.

Here is how I’ve seen it drawn up:

A -> ___________________ -> B


See, I told you it is simple! This diagram illustrates transformation, and it also illustrates the process of coaching. “C” also stands for the coaching that supports you in getting from A to B.

You want the best shot at transformation? Get a life coach. A coach supports people in their transformation, on their journey. Coaching accelerates the process, deepens awareness, self-knowledge, and strengthens the connection to transformation. Having a coach is having a team. You think Oprah, Olympic athletes and the other greats, get there all by themselves? The more support we have the more likely we are to create where we want to be.

Remember to celebrate and reward yourself along the way. Every step is a step forward. Even if it feels like a step back, or you feel stuck and need to overcome a challenge or obstacle, or you’re in the muck of transformation and can’t see the end goal (think of the chrysalis stage between caterpillar and butterfly). These are all part of the journey of transformation.

Here’s some final great advice on transformation from Dory (from Finding Nemo): “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming”!

Linda Scholten’s Biography

Linda’s purpose and passion as a professional coach is to inspire, motivate and partner with clients to open up to their possibility and greatness– to live their lives with purpose, intention, and passion – to achieve their potential, experience transformation, and create the life of their dreams. Linda owns and operates Integrity Coaching Unlimited (ICU), and is a mentor coach at Accomplishment Coaching, “the world’s coach finest training program”. She brings powerful insight and keen intuition, humor, calm, compassion, integrity, strength, focus and loyalty to each of her clients. Clients often choose coaching to work on areas such as career, health, wellness, relationships, family, dealing with life’s challenges, burn-out, navigating transitions, etc. She supports clients in creating their vision, examining their beliefs, looking at what is currently working in their lives, what is holding them back, and champions them to create the life of which they’ve dreamed, in harmony with their values, passion and purpose.
Linda brings to her coaching, a background of over 30 years of experience in counseling, and has a BA in Psychology, and MA in Counseling. She has worked as Coach, Counselor, Supervisor, Clinical Director, Manager and Business Owner. She has a strong value in serving humanity, has facilitated self-awareness seminars for 15 years, writes articles on self-awareness and personal growth, and is committed to creating peace in the world, and in ourselves. To discuss coaching or to schedule a complimentary sample session, contact Linda at 360-836-9004 or email her at:


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