Archive for November, 2011

Wow, lots of really interesting responses to my last post about finding your energy budget.  So many people were interested to hear all about that.

Interestingly enough I also had a few people who emailed me privately (thank you!) asking about a real money budget.

Well I’m not an expert but I can tell you a few of my own tips.  Although this is a bit outside my normal blog you know I think it’s important to have a healthy relationship and understanding of your  money.

Money is a tool.  It is a tool we use to get what we need, and sometimes what we want.  I think a few of us have that rather mixed together.  We’ve got this mentality in our society that if

Ummm, maybe not THIS kind of tool

we don’t have the newest things and lots of it we are somehow diminished as human beings.  Ask yourself this, would you go take out a huge personal loan just to buy toys or gifts that probably most will gather dust?  Of course not but guess what? That IS what we do when we abuse our credit cards and drain our bank accounts!  Crazy right? But it’s what many of us will do this holiday anyway.

Many of us get by okay but end up hurting our bottom line in a BIG way around the holidays.  You know I saw some photos of friends and family with gifts for the kids piled up high enough to block the tree!  A bit over done and the kids couldn’t even tell me what they got for Christmas.  What is the message? What are we  really sharing?  Your worth is measured by what now?? Gifts, money?  Gosh I hope not!

So why do we do it?  Oh I can guess that answer.  Before you get it out there is one thing I have to say here; as human beings we have an almost infinite capacity for BS…even and especially to ourselves.  We tell ourselves all sorts of reasons we buy SO much for everyone.  Mostly we say because we love them right? 

Okay…quick test.  List all the gifts you got before the age of 12.  Go…How many?  Probably a few really special ones right?  Shoot, my sister can’t even remember the stuff she bought her kids last year.  So what’s the point?  Who are we REALLY doing all that for?  It’s the ‘keeping up with the Jones” mentality; couple that with a real fear of disappointing someone if you scale back.   Judgements and wanting to be ‘awesome’ can be powerful motivators can’ t they?

What I know?  A special, well thought out gift is far, FAR better than 10 gifts with little meaning that in the end, no one cares much about.  A happy parent, spouse, brother, sister…etc is much more pleasant to spend the holidays with and afterwards no one should be crying in their oatmeal for fear of the Visa bill. 

 The holidays should not hurt!

So, here are some tips from someone who has been there.  Heck one year all I could afford was to write heartfelt notes of appreciation and insert them into cards!

1. Create an automatic savings account and put what you can afford in it to save for gifts for birthdays and holiday.  Start now, next year comes fast!

2. Set a limit for each person.  Start with how much you can afford in total and divide.  Left over amounts can go into the holiday fund account. 

3. Let people know you are scaling back the spending.  Ask them to do the same! Everyone gets the same limit so everyone knows what to expect.

4. Use that lovely brain of yours to think creatively. Not every gift must come in a box from Macy’s.  Maybe your sister would love a pedicure. Hmmmm. Only $20, but offer to watch the kids for the whole afternoon so she can relax after. Now that’s priceless!  Write a kids book with your kids names, your pets and maybe a real memory that happened.  So this with your kids, have them do the pictures and voila a very special gift for a mom or dad from the kiddies (way better according to my sister than another bottle of perfume she’ll never wear!).  Build a basket of things the person loves rather than buying a pre-made one with stuff they may or may not like.  Check the small business and local merchants who might have some creative way to share a gift. 

5. Talk about giving with charitable acts (not talking donations but that’s nice too).  Volunteer with your family to not only help others, learn to appreciate what you have, but also to build stronger ties with each other. 

6. Are there people you buy for you don’t really need to?  Will a handwritten note of appreciation or a card with maybe a lotto ticket suffice? Perhaps some baked goodies instead for the neighbor?  For people far away try a gift card to save having to ship bulky items.  Hey, they get the after Christmas deals on what they really want and the fun of shopping!

7. Be gentle and honest with yourself. Do not feel badly that you are scaling back. Flip that bad stuff over and look at the good stuff that will come of it.  Less anxiety, more stability, over all happier you+happier family.  Living your truth should never be something to be ashamed of.  You should be proud to do this.  Step into your truth and stand tall.

8. Spend time doing things that matter with those you love, rather than giving things. This is far more valuable and will make much happier family memories than any toy.

9. Any gift you do buy should be meaningful and thoughtful.  What does that person like, like to do, admire etc. 

Remember, we are happier spending our energy appreciating one another and what we have, rather than crying over what we do not have. Choose to be happy and satisfied!  Take back the meaning and the joy of the holidays.

What are your tips? I’m sure you have lots to share!



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Unless you  have been living under a rock or in a cave somewhere, most likely you DO know that in the USA it is Black Friday today.  People are hoping for some great deals right?  In fact many retailers all over are gearing up for holiday sales and hoping the crazy shoppers will start it off with a bang today.  And although I’d love to talk about shopping and getting deals I have another point to make. 

I’m hoping you have sat down and figured out what you can afford to spend this year for the holidays.  (really it’s not that painful and will save you the January fear of the mailbox and bills routine!).  Even if you have yet to do this bear with me.  Okay let’s say you have a small budget this year of only $100 for gifts for the entire family.   Yikes right? For a family of 4 in this day and age that isn’t much at all.

So what do you do?

You have options.  Use credit and go into debt, pay interest and stress out.  Or choose carefully where you spend your money and what you use it on.  And no, winning the lotto really isn’t a realistic option at this point! 🙂

You know this though right?  Of course you do, you’re smart, savvy people. 

So…um…why do you spend your energy like that first option?  You know..overspend, have regrets, stressed because you’re out of energy and now in the negative column? 

Ahh..so we make it to my point.  I’ve written before about how our energy is like a gift card and that post is still bang on.  It’s a perfect time of year however to remind you that your energy is not limitless.  That you need to choose where you spend it or you will burn out. 

You know I love you all so much but you are NOT fun to be around when you are grumpy and barely staying awake but insisting on doing every little thing.

Not the best holiday look!

Choose.  You know your partner can string those tree lights.  Oh sure it’s not how YOU would do it but so what?  Appreciate the efforts, the value and hey..maybe it’s going to be great!  Hidden talent?   Perhaps your children won’t wrap the gifts as nicely as you can, or tie the bow perfectly but so what?   The fact that they did wrap it will mean more to the receiver, and how else will they learn if they can’t practice?

Okay so we get we can spread the chores…err….love around so we can enjoy some of the holiday too. 

Not enough?  Nope.  You may need to pick and choose what holiday parties you attend, and even how long you stay.  I had a client who literally had to bounce from party to party in order to try to attend them all.  She was miserable!  Pick and choose.  And don’t forget to choose some quiet family time.  In fact, I strongly suggest that you actually schedule this into your plans…a sort of family date!

Some of my best memories are after all the noise and fun of the family time was finished.  We always had our feast around 1pm so that those driving could enjoy an easy ride home so it got nice and quiet at our house by 6pm.  It was nice.  We were all tired and we got to sit around, listen to carols and often play games or watch a Christmas movie. 

What is the big point here? Stop being the martyr and realize your family would much rather enjoy you; a relaxed and happy you, not a tired, exhausted and burnt out you.  Consider what the memories are that you are making!  You do not need to do every thing you want to do in order to feel fulfilled. I promise you.  Ask yourself…in 5 years will this matter?  And then focus on the ones that will.

So, as the holidays creep faster and faster upon us, take the time to reflect on how your choices are affecting you.  Spend your holiday cheer as wisely as you spend your hard-earned cash!

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I know you know that your attitude makes a big difference in what you create in your life.  You do right?  Because it really, really does.

It’s all about focus, perception and choice.  This holiday season is quickly showing up and with it many people start feeling the strain.  There are ways to deal with the stress after the fact…let’s face it stuff happens.  But did you realize that you can help diminish the stress you have show up in the first place?

Yes, I  know the vacation without family would reduce the stress, but you love you family don’t you?  (For the record I consider anyone you WANT to make memories with family–blood lines or not).  That doesn’t mean you won’t be driven crazy by them and that for some members of your family it’s a really short ride! 

Your attitude, your expectations and the choices you  make before you even set foot in the celebrations can create an atmosphere that allows you to enjoy and let go. Change from having an attitude of disaster and focus on problems that may arise to one of humor and gratitude. You’ll be amazed how much less stress you will ‘find’ when you are not looking for it, and how much joy you are surrounded by when you take the time to see it.

Check out my video for more one that.  Yup…my first video just for you! 

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You can push through barriers and get out of feeling stuck; because you have a destiny to meet and dreams to fulfill. ~ Coach Bonnie


I had to explain this to someone the other day.  Feeling stuck is a symptom not the problem.  There is always something, no matter how tiny of a step it is that will get you out of that feeling.  No one said it would be easy but I’ve talked about that before right?

It’s clear I have a message that I need to share and this is it.  You can make a difference in your own life.  Not only that you SHOULD make a difference in your own life.

The message is getting out there. 

Here’s the thing, I can help you.  Yup that’s what us Life Coaches DO.  We are not meant to travel this life path on our own.  We are meant to work together you know? I know this is true because, I’ve seen the light inside people ramp up and shine so brightly after working with a coach. 

I truly believe that you are meant to be here, right now reading this.  You have a purpose and a calling and a reason for walking this earth.  Some call it your destiny, others your dream.  No matter the label, your passionate living does not come from staying stuck where you are.


If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change your attitude.  ~Maya Angelou


So really you DO have a choice. Everyday you make it.  You can either continue doing what isn’t working..you know this.  You say it every time you complain about life sucking, or feeling unhappy about where you are.  You can keep repeating unconsciously those same beliefs that keep you small and low, you can allow toxic people to keep holding you back and continue to live for others dreams and values.

Or you can step up and decide that you are taking the reigns and choosing to create your life.  There is a reason my tagline says this “Creating your Fabulous Life by Design”.  It really IS possible to create the life you want to be living.  You have to commit to doing so and then start taking steps to invest in yourself, realize that you matter and start looking inward at what counts. 

It’s your life.  Open the doors and windows and air out the yucky stuff and invite the good stuff in.


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“Where there is love and compassion for yourself and for others; there is hope.”   ~Coach Bonnie

I just started to work with google+ this past week and to my delight the Dalai Lama is also on there!  I’ll admit I was kind of blown away but to my even greater happiness I was able to see what he’s shared. 

One of the videos was of him visiting and talking to the survivors of Ishinomaki, Japan.  You can view the video but  I warn you it’s emotional. 

The Dalai Lama had a very profound message for these people.  He told them we are all brothers (yes all 7 billion of us) and they should know that when the world heard of what happened they grieved with them.  His message that struck me (and had me searching for a tissue) was they are not alone. 

How many times have you felt alone?  Wandered lost inside your own soul? Truly there has never been a time in history that has made it easier to understand that you are not alone. And yet never a time in history so many of us are feeling disconnected from the world.  Others have felt and walked the same or very similar path. Others still are.  People have never been more able or willing to share their experiences and their struggles.

I hear these stories of people who feel they have no where left to turn, who feel trapped and end up doing things like taking drugs, running away, staying an abusive relationship or worse yet; taking their own life. 

You are not alone.

For those who celebrate and share their struggles and triumphs I applaud you. For those who reach out and hold the hand of someone who is unable to find their way I bless you.

Watching the Dalai Lama speak to these people who have literally lost everything, and everybody they held dear.  This made me realize how quickly and easily it can happen. Life’s ebbs and flows can turn quickly and everything can be different in a heartbeat.

If you are feeling this way, please reach out and let someone know.  Find some compassion for yourself because you deserve that.  You can find people who understand and can help on the internet very quickly and easily and I promise you there are people near you right now who do care and will understand what you are going through.  Give them a chance to show you.

Look around you today.  Who can you offer a smile to? An ear to listen?  A hug?  There are people who feel as if they really are lost and alone even in the midst of the crowd.  If you pay attention you can see it.  Let them know they are not alone, let them see your compassion. 

Here is your affirmation for today.  “I am never alone, I am deserving of love and compassion, ”

 Have you ever experienced this feeling of being lost in the crowd?  Has someone reached out to help you find your way? Did you discover something that made you realize you were not alone?

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Please indulge me today.  Remembrance Day has a lot of meaning for me and I feel the need to share. You don’ t have to agree with war, with policy or with any opinions regarding it.  However, you do have to respect those who risk, have given of themselves and the families that stood by them so that you have that freedom to disagree.  Period.

I want to take to today’s post to honor those past, present and future of those who give so much.  I’ve always been taught to have the highest respect for Remembrance Day.  To honor those whose blood, sweat and tears created a place where I can have an opinion, choose and live free of oppression.  That has never been more deeply felt than this year as my amazing nephew has been deployed.   His compassion and strong belief that he can make a difference is inspiring and makes me proud.  Still, I pray every day he stays safe. 

This was emailed to me but I am afraid it didn’t include the author. If you know please let me know!
Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s Day at school,
and she couldn’t wait to go. … But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone. But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn’t there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
a man who wasn’t there.

‘Where’s her daddy at?’
She heard a boy call out.
‘She probably doesn’t have one,’
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
‘Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day.’

The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

‘My Daddy couldn’t be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I’m not standing here alone.

‘Cause my daddy’s al ways with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he’ll forever be in my heart’

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

‘I love my daddy very much,
he’s my shining star.
And if he could, he’d be here,
but heaven’s just too far.

You see he is a Canadian soldier
And died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
and taught Canadians to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.’
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

‘I know you’re with me Daddy,’
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.

Today let’s take the time to honor those who have gone before and those who are still here.  Go to the memorial services near you, line the streets for the parade and listen with compassion when a veteran is willing to tell you his story.  It is truly the very least you can do.

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In my previous post I talked about the whole idea of having to be right all the time. 

At one point I asked you the readers, to tell me what the heck was so wrong about being wrong?

Here’s what some of you said:

“Right/wrong is a judgment…it just is what it is. There are choices people make and there are ramifications that come with these choices. It involves ego and often either better than thinking or less than thinking. Needing to be right can get in the way in so MANY ways.”   coaching by tambre (@tambreleighn)  

“The challenge is we are taught in school that is only one right answer but life is full of answers and it is only as we grow and develop, we realize that what is right for one person may not be right for another …” Roberta

 “Always being right is just not option. For one thing, “right” changes and in many cases is subjective! It’s much better to go through life happy than trying to make everything “right” Martha Giffen

“And as they say, life is short, so if you spend so much time being right, it is too much one-sided and doesn’t offer the rest of what life is about. Being right means there is one side. Maybe that is what’s going on with our government. Instead it is better to discuss, learn and then decide.”  Lynn Brown

“I usually have no problem with admitting when I’m wrong, because the best thing that I see that comes out of owning up to it is that I learn or receive correction on how to do it better the next go around. That way I’ll know. I’ll then be able to make better decisions from knowing.” Deeone

” I think a lot of the misconceptions have to do with the illusive concept of pride at least in my case.” Samantha Bangayan

 So what did we learn here?

  • right and wrong is a self-imposed judgment
  • judgments have ramifications
  • life is not about one right answer because life is full of answers that develop over time
  • ‘right’ is subjective
  • being right is one-sided living and you miss out on so much living like that
  • it is better to discuss, learn and then decide
  • you learn when you can admit you are not right
  • pride gets in the way

What can I add? Not much other than remember to have love in your heart first and foremost.  There will be times being right is important…you know like when taking your prescription medicine and stuff like that.  A loving person NEVER has to be right because they can ‘stick it’ to them.  You know what I’m talking about.  If you ever feel like saying “ha! in your face, I was right!” , then you are not doing things with a loving heart.

What do you think? Did we miss anything?

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