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Archive for January, 2011

31 posts in 31 days…and I loved it!

I am so grateful to have been a part of this group and this challenge.  At first I really didn’t know what I was going to get out of something like this.  I thought mostly it would be about me working towards finding my own voice, reading some interesting blogs and seeing what others do and what I can learn from them.  There were days when I was wondering what I’d gotten myself into but the emails with ideas and tips and the support from others really pulls you through the slumps.

All of what I hope for happened.

And a few surprises. 

I met some amazing people.  Can you say met when you just talk on line?  Yes, I think so.  I’ve seen some blogs that just blew me away, ones I probably never would have otherwise.  I’ve learned more than I could even share; and not  just about blogging either.

One of the most important things I’ve learned?  That I can just be me.  The authentic people in this challenge helped me relax and write what I really love to write about in a voice that is really me.  It’s tough when just starting out.  Reminds me of high school English class where you have to write a certain way if you want to get good marks.  There was this feeling of “am I doing it right?” that has been holding me back and being part of this group has really  helped me realize that when I am doing it right when I am being myself.

Loved this challenge and I want to thank everyone but especially Michelle Shaeffer and Michele Scism for putting all the work into the Challenge. 

Looking forward to the next one already!

Now I have to find two more challenges for myself for February in keeping with my intentions for 2011.  Any ideas?

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“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.” ~ Samuel Butler

Charlie is a rescue dog.  He was badly abused as a puppy, rescued by the local animal shelter and then waited…for upwards of 6 months.  Luckily, the no-kill local shelters around here have programs to shift dogs from busy shelters to ones that have room.  Charlie was one of the pups transferred to a shelter close to me.

I’d like to say I found Charlie when I went to the shelter but in fact I was looking for anther dog who had already been adopted.  Standing talking to a shelter volunteer feeling happy the dog I was there to see had a family but disappointed at the same time I was actually getting ready to leave.  Up pops a big black head with the goofiest grin EVER.   An hour later, after a walk and play, the paperwork was being filled out.

I’ve learned a lot from Charlie right from the start.

1. Be patient, someone will eventually come along and see the light inside you and take you home.

2. Don’t be afraid to jump up and say hi, you just never know where that might lead. 

3. Consider everyone your friend until they growl first, then look cute to see if they mean it.

4. It doesn’t matter if you got in trouble 5 mins ago, that was 5 mins ago! Let it go and get on with finding some happy.

5. Some people are scary because they remind us of our past and that’s ok because you have people who love you now no matter how goofy you are.

6. Sometimes it rains and rains…you can stay inside or you can go out and make your own fun in the puddles.  Life is kinda like that.

There are days when I feel put upon, stressed out or just plain mad.  I don’t know how he does it but Charlie always finds a way to remind me that it gets better and life is pretty good for the most part.  He’s big and nutty and some days drives me crazy but at the same time his resiliency and capacity for love is amazing.  I am grateful he came into my life and some day I hope to be the kind of person that he thinks I am.  He also taught me that there is nothing wrong with the occasional nap..especially if you have someone to cuddle with.

Until one has loved an animal,  a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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I keep hearing this idea that we are here to ‘serve’ others. I get that, I understand the original meaning and intention behind it but you know..I think we need to re-work that statement a little. Maybe it’s just me but it kinda irks me these days. Perhaps it isn’t the wording, perhaps it is interpretation? I’ve notice this being used as an excuse or reasons for stuff that just shouldn’t be. It also implies a bit of a power difference, even when it is a free choice. Let me explain with some examples of what I’ve noticed being linked back to this service idea.

– You were not put on this Earth to ‘serve’ your spouse. You were put here to partner with him/her to build and enrich both of your lives. Both men and women as individuals have strengths and wisdom they can bring into a family. We are fools if we don’t allow those to be utilized for the betterment of everyone. It’s about conversations, agreement and support.

– We are not put here to serve our children. Ladies, I hate to say it but the martyrdom tends to be your domain. Children seem to be a very convenient excuse these days as well. Can’t exercise, can’t read a book or visit with friends, can’t eat better…the list goes on. I call BS on this. Yes you can. You just need to put in some effort and stop with this idea of the self-sacrificing parent. You want a reason? Consider what you are teaching your children by not having any life of your own or taking care of yourself. You are a mom or a dad, yes but you are also a person!

– I am not here to serve my customers.  Oh that just seems so mundane.  I consider myself here to assist or support my clients.  Perhaps it is my own interpretations at fault here but to say I serve them seems very one-sided. I don’t just hand my clients a standard reply and head to the next person.  Coaching is a team effort, we work together and my job is to inspire, assist in growth and support. 

I know this might cause some waves but I really do disagree that we are here to serve others. I think that is an unproductive way to think. I believe we are here to offer a hand up, kindness and opportunities for growth; when we can. Serving others seems to have turned into more of an idea of a hand out. We need to work together to help each other.  I’m reminded of that old saying ‘if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; but if you teach him to fish he eats forever’.  I’ve noticed more and more a growing number of people who feel entitled and deserving.  They seem to think someone else should just take care of the fishing!   There is a real lack of accountability these days.  The truth is the world owes you nothing. 

 I think this idea of service may have run its course and needs to be revamped. 

I’d rather (and do) think that I was put on this Earth to learn my life lessons and to help others with theirs.  Fabulous people want to grow and inspire!

What do you think?

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The old saying you are what you eat is a given right?  We get that.  We eat crappy food we feel crappy and have no energy.  But we start to eat food higher in nutrition and lower in bad stuff we feel better, are more alert, have more energy and a more positive outlook on life. 

Guess what?

This applies to everything.

No foolin.  Your life outcomes are reflected in everything you do and allow to come into it.  I am always amazed at the wide-eyed expressions from people when I point this out. They give me a look that just screams “oh ya!!!” 

The friends you have in your life influence you.  They can either build you up or tear you down.  Their attitudes and thoughts help shape your mindset.  If your friends tend to be bitter, negative or immature chances are you will have those tendencies show up as well. Surround yourself with supportive, positive people and you will find that your attitude shifting. Co-workers of course can influence your mindset which in turn influences your productivity and ambition.  How awful to go to a place where everyone is negative and brings you down.  Conversely..how wonderful to have a workplace full of people who generally are supportive and up beat!

What you put in your brain shows up in your life.  Do you read anything with information? Self improvement? Thought provoking or is your taste limited to Big Brother and Jerry Springer?    It’s the same as eating..garbage in–garbage out.  Not to say that a occasional indulgence isn’t okay; but you need to balance that out.

Everything you do is a choice that makes an impact on your path in life.  Ask yourself where you want to be and who you want to be.  Then ask yourself  if this activity is boosting you or holding you back. 

It’s a simple formula.  How do you make it work for you?

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I know you’ll probably be rushing through this post..if you read it at all.  Most people in fact only skim over what they read today. 

This is why using things like

– bullets

bolded words

lots      of      white        space

and other tricks have become so popular.  It isn’t just regulated to reading online blogs either. 

We have become a society of  ‘right now”.  Patience is quickly becoming a lost virtue (ironic no?).  Taking time to think about what we read, see, hear and speak too isn’t as important as it used to be.  We don’t have time to consider the other side, options or possibly rearrange our thinking.

There is a sense of urgency to most of what we do.  This is the zoom zoom factor..we are always zooming around and we end up missing a lot of what our life has to offer us.Well, I’m here to tell you that you do NOT have to do everything and you certainly cannot be expected to do it all perfectly.  And that is Okay!

Slow down..why are we rushing through our lives?  Seriously…think about the prize for who gets to the end; please also note..we all get the same prize! Not really what I’m in a hurry to reach.

What sorts of things can help you slow down a bit?

– journal; a simple diary, achievement or gratitude journals are all ideas 

– meditate or simply focus on breathing slowly and deeply 

– listen to music

– take a walk without your phone!

– plant a garden, or go visit one.

– play a game

– laugh and share the laughter

– observe children..they know how to live in the moment.

Press the pause button once in a while and look around you. Take in all the beauty that surrounds you.  Be grateful for all that you have and don’t let your life be a blur.

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Who’s Fabulous?  YOU are of course!

There is a lot we talk about in terms of how to improve ourselves, fix problems, set goals and so on. 

Every once in a while though I think it is super important that we also stop and appreciate how fabulous we are: right here and right now!

We are all.  Sure we aren’t perfect but hey, life would be incredibly boring if we already learned all the lessons to be learned.  I bet there are any number of people who already think you are pretty fabulous exactly the way you are today.  Shouldn’t you?

I’m throwing down the coaching gauntlet today! 

I want to you to spend a few minutes building yourself up, patting yourself on the back and smiling at what you see in the mirror.  Then I want you to do it again tomorrow…keep on doing it!

The only rule…smack that negative right back where it came from.  No ‘buts’, no ‘if onlys’ and no ‘I wish”.   Take what you’ve already got and love it.  We spend enough time fretting about what we can do better..let’s spend a few appreciating how far we’ve come.

Having trouble getting started?  Try finishing these sentences.

                         I am amazing at….

                         I love my…

                         I have great…

                         I amaze others because I can…

                         I am fabulous because…

                         I am strong and show it when…

                         I am beautiful.  (nothing to finish there..that says it all!)

You would never let someone talk to people you love the way we often talk to ourselves.  Fabulous women do not put up with that from anyone..least of all ourselves!

Oh yeah!  Go on and SMILE at that beautiful, fabulous face in the mirror!

Share with me what special thing makes you feel fabulous and helps you smile!

 

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Music is incredibly powerful.  It moves us.  It can get us up off our butts and physically moving as well as bring us to tears.  Studies have shown it can kick-start our creativity and even improve our ability to learn.  Music triggers memories both good and bad; sometimes hilarious.  Think about your first dance as a married couple, or the first time you danced with the opposite sex! 

I guess I have been creating the playlists of my life for longer than I can imagine.  However a number of years ago I went through a tough time.  I found myself listening to a bunch of songs to boost me up.  They inspired me and motivated me to believe I coud get through it and come out stronger.  I jokingly started calling them my theme songs.  I created a cd I listened to in my car over and over when I started to falter. 

My theme songs have changed over the years.  I listen to different music of course depending on what mood I’m in or what I’m doing but there are certain songs that just fit my life and move me to feel I can do more, be better and will succeed!  They are the songs that if my life was a sitcom would be playing when I was on set you know?  I often ask clients to figure out what would be playing for them..and what they would prefer was playing.  It is an interesting exercise in self discovery and awareness.

I’d love to hear what your theme song is for right now, right here in this time of your life.

I have a couple to be honest.  Two that I’ve had forever it seems and a new one I’ve added. 

1. Raise a little Hell by Trooper  (oh ya..this is my standby when I’m feeling nervous, especially before a big presentation!)

2. All Star by Smash Mouth  

3. Beautiful U R  by  Deborah Cox

I’d love to hear what your top three theme songs are, please share!  Don’t have one? (or two or three) you need to get one! Go on, have some fun!

 

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