Featured Coach | Claire O’Connor

Claire-LClaire O’Connor Answers Top Questions

What vision do you have for your life and your coaching practice?

My big vision is to create a life where I get to feel like a kid on summer vacation, someone who gets swept up in savoring and play every day — while creating beauty, comfort, abundance and connection.
I believe that when I fully embrace being alive in my own body and sink into the luxury of what my five senses open me to, while being connected to the wide river of my life’s spirit… that is where the magic is.
I know that the kind of world that I want to inhabit can only come alive through me. So the question that brings me home, again and again is,
“What is it that I want to turn toward with my whole being and embrace, right now?
And right now?”
I’m committed to living my life in expanding waves of creativity and wholeness, opening to more love and vitality through conscious presence and savoring. And I’m drawing together a community of ‘conscious creatives’ where we explore, learn and celebrate our power to live from our creative center.
So, my vision is to please myself with what I’m creating on the canvas of my own life. And however that ripples out as an invitation to others is a bonus. We can then join in the play of creating and re-creating magic in every moment we’re alive.

What are the top three things you love about coaching?

1. That it’s a form of high play.
2. That my world gets more populated with my kind of playmates.
3. That we’re always on our newest edges of pure invention.

Before I started coaching I …

My degree is in Holistic Human development and Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, so I’ve been interested in the field of transformation and intentional expansion for as long I can remember. After college, I was a bodyworker and energy worker for 16 years, which overlapped various ongoing roles as teacher and coach.

What makes you laugh?

• My sweet dog’s antics
• My husband’s goofball take on life
• My occasional tendency toward seriousness

The legacy I want to leave behind is …

Gay introduced me to my two favorite quotes, both from Heraclitus:
“We are most nearly ourselves when we approach the seriousness of a child at play.”
“We ARE life creating itself, and as such, we are children at play with colored balls.”
My belief is that we humans are conscious creators, eternally expanding and inventing. And in every moment, we can choose to be in awareness of — and full collaboration with — ourselves AS the Universe. This awareness allows us to choose to operate 100% on positive energy and from our true creative power.
It also asks for full responsibility — the opposite of the victim trance our culture celebrates. We get to step into full responsibility and co-creative partnership with the Universe as our ally.
Experiencing ourselves AS the Universe brings together our seemingly-dual physical and spiritual natures into a power-pack of wholeness.
The legacy I want to leave behind is this:
Savoring this moment and tuning into the dance of sensations that come with being alive in this body, puts me smack-dab in the natural, ease-filled downstream flow of REALLY being ALIVE. Here, my true Self is one with All-That-Is. I believe that living like this is of great service.

Who are your top three people you would want to coach and why?

Since my big focus right now is the supah-genius Sweet Spot Salon interview teleseries (http://enchantedlife.net/sweetspotsalon/), I’ll say whom I’d love to interview!
Nigella Lawson, because she is a wholesomely sumptuous, effortlessly sensuous domestic goddess. I love how she has inspired me to live more in touch with my own lusciousness.
Julia Roberts, because I think maybe we were separated at birth.
Johnny Depp, because, well, he’s Johnny Depp. Enough said.

What were the greatest benefits you received from studying at the Hendricks Institute?

NOW, when I love myself, it is a complete, whole-body experience that I can FEEL everywhere, in an already-always kind of way. It comes from my heart, my belly, my cells, my fingers and toes. I am able to consciously live inside the vast field of my own love and the Love all around me. It’s no longer an effortful, abstract concept. I feel it all over. It’s palpable.
I used to feel myself as a heavy burden — on myself and others — I used to live my life as invisibly as I could manage, not asking too much of myself, or others, or of life itself. As a child, I thought for sure the stork had dropped me down the wrong chimney. I believed I wasn’t worth the air and space I was taking up — an old and persistent unconscious belief leftover from childhood. I’ve used what I learned studying at The Hendricks Institute to love that belief right out of my body. Now, I am delighted to be who I am, to BE here, alive in THIS body, at this time.
And, in a very short period of study — I’ve completely transformed the outer circumstances of my entire life. EVERY area — relationship, health, livelihood, bank account balance, creative zest quotient, quality of friends, home environment, you name it — I’ve opened it with a wide lightness and a sweet, full, all-here presence.
From Gay and Katie and my Hendricks tribemates, I’ve learned to experience all of life as play. I live inside the creative magic of making up yummy new stuff every day, delighting in exploring expanding my edges of what’s possible.
Oh! And I met my magnificent husband and partner Ken (www.kenplattner.com) at a Hendricks training — how’s THAT for a greatest benefit!!

The movie that inspired me most was…

Harold and Maude. I saw it when I was a freshman in college and it had a permanent impact on the way I viewed life. In the movie, Maude is 80 and lives exactly as she pleases, with her senses alive, organizing her life and home and relationships to delight herself.
She creates a life full of heart, rich with meaning and deliberate choice. My two favorite Maude quotes from the movie:
• A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they’re not dead, really.
They’re just backing away from life.
• The earth is my body; my head is in the stars.

The book that inspired me most was…

Three by Gay & Katie Hendricks:
•The Big Leap
•Conscious Loving
•Centering and The Art of Intimacy
•Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
•Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
•The Little Prince, by Antoine de St. Exupéry

What brings you the most joy in your day to day life?

What ten things could you not do without?

1. My brown dog 2. Feeling connected to my partner
3. Exuberant color
4. Rivers, creeks and streams
5. Sunlight
6. Trees
7. Living in a magical place (with LOTS of pillows & textiles)
8. My studio
9. Moving & dancing
10.Collaborating my tribe of amazing friends and playmates

More about Claire
You can find me on the web here:
Here are a few more things you may be interested in — I’m quite over-the-moon about ‘em myself!
Peek into Gay & Katie’s (and others!) creative homes & sanctuaries, learn their aliveness practices
I’m hosting The Sweet Spot Salon Interview Series: Ideas, inspiration, tools and practices for living in your Sweet Spot — http://bit.ly/sweetspotsalon.
This is a fab teleseries spotlighting 12 masters who embody exuberant creative living-as-art, including Katie Hendricks & Gay Hendricks.
The cool thing about this series is that the audio interviews are supplemented by videos and photos of the interviewees’ creative spaces, studios and working sanctuaries. Yum!
And there’s an interactive online community forum where you can post and get feedback on your own Sweet Spot videos and photos and participate in lively discussions.
New Teleclass: Sweet Spot Immersion
An 8-week live, interactive teleclass that goes deliciously in-depth to assist you to harness and amplify your creative downstream flow. Get into your body, get into cahoots with the life force inside you that knows what’s next and can take you there with surprising ease.
Course begins in mid-January. Go to my website, www.SweetSpotSalon.com to sign up for my Sweet Spot Mailing List to be notified of registration details as they become available.
I’ll be blogging on Conscious Creative Living for The Huffington Post this Fall
I’ve got an exciting trial run as a blogger for The Huffington Post’s Healthy Living section on the topic of conscious creativity and creativity-in-living beginning in October.
Watch for stories of fellow ‘conscious creatives’ as well as tools for generating true creative aliveness. Interviews, exercises, videos, and more!
Go to my website, www.SweetSpotSalon.com to sign up for my Sweet Spot Mailing List to be notified of my first post!
Vibrant & growing online community for Conscious Creatives
If you believe that living can be your juiciest act of creativity, you’re invited to join a lively online community I’ve created — The Sweet Spot Cafe: http://bit.ly/SweetSpotCafe.
This is a place where we creative souls get together to explore, share and celebrate our creative-living journeys and juicy projects. If you’re open, playful and curious, come and get connected to a fun and welcoming group of kindreds!
New eCourse — Enchanted Home: Cultivating Your Sweet Spot
Does your home environment deeply support you and what you are up to in your life right now? If you don’t know the direction to take in creating a home that feeds your soul, I’ve created a rich, potent — and fun — home study program that can help you.
Watch for the launch of Enchanted Home, a self-paced multimedia home-study course in late October. You can pre-order it or request advance notification here: http://bit.ly/EnchantedHome
We’re moving to the south of France…
After 3 years of planning and preparation, in Spring 2012 my dear husband Ken and I are (wow!) relocating to a Sweet Spot in the south of France in Spring 2012 — a small rural village with a singing river running through it.
It’s the realization of a life-long dream for Ken — and, for me, a dream I uncovered. And a testimony that BIG dreaming leads to an even bigger reality. You can read about it here: http://bit.ly/MovingToFrance
France Creativity and Savoring Play-cations
Once we’re settled into that sweet 300-year-old stone house in France, we invite you to consider joining us there for a playful experiential vacation — one designed to expand your capacity and skills for creating and savoring a life going REALLY well… something we’ve learned a LOT about in the last 5 years studying at The Hendricks Institute!
Go here for more details: http://bit.ly/FranceCreativityPlaycations You’ll see it’s the perfect setting in which to create your grander collaboration with the buoyant Universe!
Savor the Art & Soul of the South of France
Also coming next year: Ooh-La-La! An Adventure Tour for Color & Textile Addicts: Sweet Spot insider artists’ studio tours and shopping excursions in the heartland of beauty and savoring.
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/FranceTextileAndArtAdventureTour