Apr 21 2014

(No title)

Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive!

Apr 02 2014

I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!

JUST FOLLOW YOUR FEELINGS

 I am living proof! I followed my feelings. And what did you get? Nothing! 

Things do not change; we change.

–Henry David Thoreau 

 

Some of you might have noticed that you haven’t received a blog update from me in months. That’s because my life got really busy and every time I thought of writing a blog post, I came up with a few excuses. The main reason was that I just didn’t feel like it and I didn’t do anything to motivate myself or to commit to it.

FEELING GUILTY

One of my co-workers occasionally mentioned that she really missed my blog posts. That did two things: made me feel guilty for letting my readers down, and motivated me to start writing again. Needless to say, my motivation only lasted until my ‘feelings’ took over!

I allowed my feelings to rule my life for awhile. I was busy – true. I was tired – true. I wasn’t motivated – true. I was not accomplishing a lot of things that I wanted to! I wasn’t living intentionally.

With the promise of spring and the desire to actually practise what I preach, I’m creating some new intentions.

I conduct two coaching groups a week, each consisting of about 12 women. I hold these women accountable as I teach them how to change their thinking in order to change their lives. It’s time I follow my own advice.

So here goes!Time for Change

I’m making some changes. The biggest one is to tell my ‘feelings’ that they’re not the boss. I AM! I’m going to control my thoughts – because they control my actions. I’m being vulnerable here – will you hold me accountable?

I’m committing to the following three things: 

  1. Regular exercise.
  2. Weekly parenting tips. (If you want to receive these, let me know and I’ll add you to my list)
  3. Regular blog posts: one or two a month.

If you happen to have the same problem of your feelings controlling your thoughts, instead of the other way around, you can join me in making some changes. Decide what your intentions are, tell someone and ask them to keep you accountable. Leave a comment to tell us what you’re doing and it might encourage others to do the same! Good luck!

 

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

–J. Pierpont Morgan

Aug 24 2013

Six Reasons to Blame Others

BLAMING OTHERS MAKES LIFE EASIER
doesn’t it?

Do you tend to blame others when something goes wrong in your life? Do you feel that things that happen around you are not in your control? Do you have a hard time accepting responsibility for your life? Now you don’t need to anymore!

When you blame others you give up your power to change.
–Dr. Robert Anthony

 

SIX REASONS YOU SHOULD BLAME OTHERS: 

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. You don’t have to admit you’re wrong.

We all know that it’s hard to admit we’re wrong. It’s humbling and sometimes embarrassing. So why do it if it’s going to make us feel badly? Just blame the other person – let him or her take the blame. You shouldn’t have to deal with it. It’s too hard.

2. You don’t have to accept any responsibility.

If you take the blame yourself, or accept responsibility, that means you’re going to have to do something. What if it’s something that’s out of your control? Then you definitely don’t want the responsibility! Just go about your business and see what happens. Maybe things will turn out just fine and you don’t have to worry. If things get worse, you can deal with it then.

3It explains why you are the way you are.

You may have had a difficult childhood. If they had raised you better, you wouldn’t have turned out the way you did. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with you – you’re the result of your environment. Why should you take the blame? Just because you’re an adult now doesn’t mean that you have a choice in the matter. You have every right to be bitter about the way your mother treated you. No need to make excuses for your anger issues – you can’t help it.

4. Everyone will accept you and not expect anything.

What a relief – no one will have any expectations of you, so you can just do what you want. …within reason, of course. If you don’t accept the responsibility for the way you are, or the situation, then how could you ever meet their expectations? That’s such a freeing thought, isn’t it? What a concept!

5. People will stop giving their advice or opinions.

It’s obvious that you won’t take their advice or listen to their opinions, so they won’t even try. Why should they offer advice when nothing is your fault and you cannot do anything about it? Imagine a life without having to listen to others spew off about what they think!

6. You don’t have to try to improve.

What’s the use? It’s not your fault! If others hadn’t gotten in the way, or if they’d behaved differently, you wouldn’t be in this mess. If your parents had been different, you wouldn’t have turned out to be so negative! Why bother improving – it’s just the way you are! And besides, trying to make changes to improve is just too hard.

 

Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments
gives you the power to change them.
~Byron Katie

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I’d like to hear from YOU! What have you learned from blaming others and not taking responsibility? What have you learned about being responsible for your own behaviour? Please leave a comment ~ I’d love to hear from you.

Jun 04 2013

Change Your Story


Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on. -Alan H. Cohen

 

NOW WHAT?

I’ve been hurt – I’ve forgiven – now what? You’ve been hurt. You’ve been offended. Now what?

You tell everyone you know what happened. You tell your husband, your friends, your sister, your co-worker. Every time you get together with someone, they hear all about how someone has hurt you.

Every time you repeat the story, you re-live it! By retelling it, you keep it alive. You go through it again. You get hurt all over again. You feel those emotions again. You get angry again. How do you feel after you’ve repeated your painful story? Certainly no peace or joy! You focus on your own pain. You’re focusing on self-pity. Self-pity serves no purpose.

In order to move forward and not be held bondage by what happened to you, you have a choice. The best thing to do is to forgive the person who hurt you. It’s not easy – see my previous post.

Then, every time you start thinking about what happened, stop your thoughts. Change your story. Think of something positive to tell yourself.

CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALKChange your Self-talk

Start with:

  • I have forgiven …
  • I will not be offended.
  • I am learning from this experience.
  • I am strong.
  • I am valuable.
  • I’m moving forward.
  • I’m thankful for …

 BE POSITIVE

Think about the positive things in your day and your life. Think about the people in your life who encourage you up. Forget about what happened. It’s in the past – it doesn’t serve you.

Do not dwell on who let you down. Cherish those who hold you up.

 

Now start focusing on the present – be grateful for what you have. Today, make a list of ten things you’re thankful for. Add to that list daily. When your mind starts wandering to that pain again, or you start thinking about the person who hurt you, change your thinking to “I’m thankful for…” Keep thinking of things you’re thankful for – keep on seeing the positive in your life. It will change your attitude! Trust me – I know – I’ve been there.

In doing this, your emotions will become healthy again. You can focus on the positive relationships in your life. If you don’t have healthy emotions, you won’t have healthy relationships.

If you have any other tips about how to stop the story, please leave a comment so we can all learn from each other.

When we don’t deal with things, they end up dealing with us.
~Joyce Meyer

 

 

Apr 30 2013

Don’t focus on your own Pain!

Forgiving is impossible as long as you focus on your own pain.

~Mother Teresa

Apr 26 2013

FORGIVENESS

Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.
– Anne Lamott

prison - wires against skyHURT AND PAIN

Last week I told you about how I had to forgive my mother in order to move past my resentment, bitterness and anger. 

When you’ve been hurt by someone, the last thing you want to do is forgive. You tell yourself, “They don’t deserve to be forgiven. They’re the ones who hurt me. They should be apologizing to me.” Even though those things may be true, it doesn’t mean it will happen. Chances are they won’t. Chances are they’ll continue to go through life hurting people; they may even believe there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. It could be that they, themselves, have been hurt, which has caused all that anger inside of them – and you’re getting the brunt of it. They’re not dealing with their own pain. Maybe they don’t know how. Maybe they think it’s too hard. So they choose to stay trapped in their own prison and allow their anger to control them. 

FORGIVENESS

I didn’t want to be like that. When I realized that the only way to be free of the anger inside of me was to forgive my mother, I needed help. I did not know how to forgive her. 

A friend of mine who was like a mentor to me helped me. I remember talking to her about my pain. I remember that she prayed with me. God must have given me the strength to forgive – I have no other explanation! 

After that, it seemed easier to be with my mother. The anger gradually subsided. I could look at her with more of a loving attitude. It didn’t happen overnight. She continued to say and do hurtful things and (in my mind) I continued to say, “I forgive you.” 

FREEDOMFREE

My forgiveness didn’t change my mother. It changed me! I could be more compassionate, realizing she’d been hurt and didn’t know how to deal with it. 

She wasn’t the last person who’d hurt me. Each time someone hurts me, I have to intentionally tell myself that I forgive them. It frees me. They don’t have any control over me. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Forgiveness prevents their behaviour from destroying my heart. 

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom,
I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
–Nelson Mandela

 

YOUR TURN

Who do YOU need to forgive? Can you do it on your own? If not, get some help. A couple of weeks ago, one of my coaching clients experienced the freedom of forgiving someone. As long as the unforgiveness was there, she was stuck. But after she chose to forgive, she was able to move forward in her life. It was a gift she gave herself.

A friend of mine, Annette Stanwick, wrote a book about how she was able to forgive the man who murdered her brother. Since that time, she’s helped countless people to forgive those who’ve hurt them. If you need help, contact Annette or me and we can help you.

Do yourself a favour – forgive! You won’t regret it. You will feel free. If you need help, contact Annette or me – we would be happy to help you find that freedom!
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.
– Bernard Meltzer
 Today is the first day of the rest of your life – find freedom through forgiveness.

 

Apr 16 2013

TAKE CONTROL

  Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain
but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
-Dale Carnegie

In my last two posts, I talked about how negative I used to be and that I’d made some changes in my life. I also said that I’ll use the next number of posts to give you some tips that helped me.

Since I was an angry and bitter person, I had to understand where that was coming from. The people who were experiencing my anger were not necessarily the ones who were causing it!

anger - thunderboltMY ANGER

I’m going to be very personal here, in hopes that I may help some of you who might be struggling in the same or similar area. In my twenty’s, I realized that most of my anger stemmed from the way I had been treated by my mother. The details are not important here. What IS important is that I was angry at her. I couldn’t tell her that I was angry. I couldn’t expect her to change. I wanted to have a good relationship with her, but realized that was impossible. The most I could hope for was a functional one.

The biggest thing for me was accepting the fact that I could not change my mother and I couldn’t expect to have a good relationship with her. That was hard to accept, but once I did, then I could start working on myself and how I was going to handle the situation.

STOP BLAMING

You’ve heard the quote: you can’t control what happens to you; you can only control how you react or respond. I was not handling it very well. I was trying to survive, and blaming the way I felt on my mother. I first had to stop blaming my mother for my own behaviour. I was an adult and she had no more control over me! At least, she shouldn’t have had. BUT I allowed her to control me.

It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself,
that determines how your life’s story will develop.
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

TAKE CONTROL

So I took over the control of my own life. I stopped allowing her to manipulate me. I chose when I wanted to spend time with her. I determined how often I was going to see her. That took guts. I didn’t have much self-esteem at the time, and no backbone! But I was tired of being the way I was. Besides just being in control of my own life, I also wanted to respect my mother and honour her. I wanted to love her and set a good example for my own children. How could I possibly do that?

I needed to forgive my mom!
Forgive? I had to forgive her for the way she’d been treating me? Really? Seriously?
Not easy to do! But I did it.

 

I’ll talk about that in my next post.

ACTION STEP FOR YOU

In the meantime, here’s an action step for you. Think about people in your past who have hurt you. Have you dealt with the hurt? Are you still being controlled by feelings and thoughts of that person or those people? Are you thinking that you couldn’t possibly forgive them for what they did to you? That’s okay. The first thing I’d like you to do is to make a list of those who’ve hurt you and you’re still reeling from it. You haven’t let it go. What is causing your anger, your pain, your bitterness and resentment? Write it down. Next week we’ll deal with that.

Apr 03 2013

I USED TO BE NEGATIVE!

CHANGE IS A CHOICE THAT BEGINS WITH YOU

You have a choice.Last week I told you about how I was able to start loving myself when I was able to accept that God loved me. Up to that point I thought I was unlovable and no one could love me. It took me a long time to start seeing that I had value and that others could actually like me, let alone love me!

Because I didn’t like myself, I kept people at arm’s length. I thought if I just stayed in control of my life and everything in it, I was protecting myself from being hurt and rejected. I put up walls around me and it was hard for others to break through. It was hard for me to trust that others had my best interest at heart. Because I had been hurt and hadn’t dealt with the pain, I became a bitter person inside. On the outside it was often easy to ‘fake’ it, because of my outgoing personality. But I’m sure people could see through it and either saw my pain or my anger. I thought that I was in control, but it was actually my anger and bitterness that controlled me.

I WAS NEGATIVE!

Yes, I was an angry person! I was negative. I was a victim. Others were to blame for my pain and my bitterness. I blamed others for my unhappiness. Negative thoughts were the norm for me. The more negative I became inside, the more negative my life became. Focusing on my negative situation or my past didn’t produce anything positive in my life.

I’d like to say that after I started to accept God’s love and realize my own worthiness, all my negative junk disappeared. But life wasn’t that easy. I still had to deal with my anger, my negative thinking, my blaming and my self-pity. What a process. …a long process!

I felt very insecure and got defensive easily! (Can you relate?) I had developed such bad habits and a negative attitude that it took a long time to change. I’m still working on it. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m definitely not where I used to be.

One thing that really helped me was to read books on how to change my thinking and how to improve my relationships. I would try something and fail. Then I would try it again – and fail again. But I never gave up and gradually failed less and less. Like I said, it’s a process – a long one. I don’t think I’ll ever be finished. I still deal with insecurities from time to time. I still struggle with negative thoughts from time to time. I still struggle in some relationships from time to time. But I am not giving up. I keep getting better and better!

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
–Maya Angelou

 AWARENESSmaking life change

The very first step was to be aware of how I was acting. Once I was aware of it, and realized that it was the cause of my unhappy life, I didn’t want to act like that anymore. 

The next step was to be willing to change. I didn’t want to stay stuck in that downward spiral.

Once I was willing, I looked for resources to help me. They were all around me.

CHANGE IS A CHOICE THAT BEGINS WITH YOU

 

Over the next number of weeks, I’m going to talk about some things that have helped me and continue to help me. I’ll give you one tip a week and let you practise it, if you think it would help you.

 

Please leave a comment about something that has helped you.
Or you can ask for me to address a specific issue you struggle with.
(You can email me with that if you don’t want the rest of the readers to know.)

Mar 28 2013

WHY EASTER?

Easter eggs and chicks

With Easter being celebrated this weekend, I was thinking about the impact it has had on my life. Like Christmas, everyone gets caught up in the festivities around Easter, like egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, Easter dinner, family get-togethers, etc. 

Like Christmas, not many people actually stop to think about why they are celebrating the holiday. They are happy to get a day off work, have a long weekend, and take advantage of some down time.

WHY? 

But do we really ask the why question? 

As a life coach, asking why is really important. You’ve heard it said that if we know why, the how will follow. This weekend, I’d like to encourage you to ask why

Why am I participating in the Easter holiday? Why am I decorating eggs with the kids? Why do we eat chocolate eggs and bunnies? Why are there bunnies? Why chicks? Why do people go to church on Easter and Good Friday? Why do I go to church? Why is it called Good Friday? Why…? Why…? Why…? 

I’m not going to answer your why questions. Those answers are easy to find. 

WHY EASTER?

What I’m more interested in is the how. How has Easter impacted me, personally? When I was a little girl, I remember getting a new Easter dress for church. We always went to church. I can’t remember anything else about the holiday, except that we got a break from school. I’m surprised that I didn’t question it, since I’m such a curious person. 

As I got older and I left religion behind, I started to understand the reason for Easter. The reason was love! How did that make sense? I learned that God loved me – how could that be? I felt unloved and unlovable, so how could God possibly love ME???? It was many years before I could actually grasp that concept. It was even harder for me to accept the fact that he loved me – and to accept his love.

It seemed easier to not accept it, because then I didn’t open myself up for rejection again. But I did the hard thing – accepted God’s love. Once I did that, it did wonders for my self-esteem! I started to think that I could love myself. I’m sure lots of you know what I’m talking about – you can relate. The next step was to start loving others. That was huge! If I couldn’t love myself, I definitely was not capable of loving others. It transformed my life. 

LOVE? ME?Heart shape made by a team

I’ve experienced a lot of hurt in my life, and I had allowed that hurt and pain to control my feelings, my behaviour and the way I treated others for a long time. Through quite a slow process (I’m a slow learner), as I accepted that God loved me a lot, and I could started loving and accepting who I was, I could start loving and accepting others in my life. …even the ones who had hurt me. 

Next blog post I’d like to tell you how I was able to start accepting and loving those who hurt me. Being able to do that has had a huge part in helping me to become who I am today. I love who I am today! And I accept who you are today! Next week, you’ll find out why! 

With Easter this weekend, start asking yourself some why questions. After you’ve done that, then ask yourself how Easter has impacted you and who you are.

Please leave a comment and share with the rest of us how Easter has impacted you – or why you celebrate Easter. 

Mar 05 2013

IN TRANSITION

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
~Dolly Parton

 

It’s all about ME!

I’m in a transition right now. It sounds like the story of my life! Some transitions have been tough for me – I’m sure you can identify. Some we have no control over, like losing a job, losing a loved one, changing jobs or homes. Some we do have control over, but they are still transitions and take time to adjust to. Like change, transitions are inevitable!

Let me tell you about my present one. In the fall I had been very busy with my part-time teaching job, my coaching business and partnering in another business. In January I sold my share of the other business, leaving me wondering what to do next. Since so much of my time had been spent on that business, I had not been marketing my coaching, which meant that I only had a few clients.

 

Flying into my next opportunity

Rest and Relax

At the end of January, I had a wonderful time of rest and relaxation in Mexico. It was the beginning of my time of transition. I had decided that when I returned, I would not try to rush into the ‘next thing’, but just coast along for awhile and see what comes my way.

At the present time, I teach two mornings a week and do a bit of coaching. I feel like I’m on holidays; it feels rather strange. I’ve been here before, but this time is different. This one was a choice that I made, so the emotions of it were bitter sweet. (Other transitions that were out of my control came with the baggage of having to overcome the negative emotions and let go of what happened ‘to’ me.) This transition actually feels good in the sense that it’s much more pleasant when we think we have had a say and we’re somewhat in control of the situation.

But it is also a bit unnerving because I have no idea of what my future will look like. And I have the type of personality that likes to have a plan and be prepared!

How am I handling this transition?

I’m looking at my options: keep my part-time job, focus on my coaching business and build up that practice again, look for a new opportunity to get involved in, or enjoy my life the way it is now. (The way it is now sounds wonderful, but it wouldn’t be long before I was totally bored. And it doesn’t pay the bills.)

Here’s what I’ve come up with. I will:

    • Enjoy the time I have right now
    • Be open to new things
    • Not rush into anything
    • Be patient
    • Reflect
    • Meditate
    • Pray
    • Think positively
    • Not worry
    • Wait …and wait …and enjoy the wait
    • Every day, do what’s important for that day
    • Be grateful

Because of my faith in and relationship with God, I’ve decided that I will trust Him to guide me. When something comes across my path, I will pursue it until I have enough information to make a informed decision. The most important thing about being in a transitional state is to stay calm and peaceful. Enjoy the present moments, knowing that there will be a breakthrough or an answer just around the corner. Take the opportunity to rest and relax – busy days are ahead.

 

 Do you have any other advice or tips for me?

I’m sure each of you have been through a transition at some time – how did you handle it?
Please leave me a comment.

 

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