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Archive for December, 2011

I don’t know that I’d call this post a ‘rant’ persay…but it’s up there!

So. You want to give me the old line about how you want ‘Peace on Earth’ for the New Year do you? 

Really? 

Interesting. Okay so how are you going to go about getting that

Yes, yes I’m being a bit obnoxious here but you know it kind of irks me that people spout this old line as if they really DO want this to happen yet DO NOTHING about it. It doesn’t work that way.

So what do most people say when I start this line of questioning?  They tell me that they are only one person and can’t make the whole world peaceful.  Oh. I see…you think one person can’t fix everything so why bother fixing anything?  Oh goodness…how many of us are waiting for someone else to take care of this?

Too many!

In fact, I see this kind of nonsense all over the place.  Here’s the thing about that kind of thinking. It’s self-serving and full of BS.  Sorry but it’s true.

One person can most certainly make a difference.  In fact, sometimes one person can start something that can change the world; or the world of one other person.

So I was challenged on this, as I’m sure a few of you are getting ready to do in the comments below (and please do!).  The challenge was “how can I, by  myself create world peace?”  (okay, there was a bit of “don’t I watch the news or anything?” thrown in there too but let’s keep this civil ).  Maybe you can’t, but you can begin the process by creating peace within your own heart and soul, within your family and from there it will spread out and start creating postitive change.

Think about this.  If you raise 2 children to be kind, compassionate and forward thinkers, you have put two more ambassadors out into the world.  If they each touch some lives and make a difference they spread the movement.  Geesh, if they each raise two children the same way…now you have 6 right?  C’mon you remember exponential growth. 

The time you spend offering those who are struggling a hand up might make the difference in the lives of more than just that one person.  Not only do others watch and see what you are doing and hopefully become inspired to do the same but that one person affects others lives as well. 

You know that old saying about ripples in a pond?  Well the pebble that started it all never really gets to see how far they go does it?   But the ripples are still there and go on affecting all that they also touch.

If you step up and live in the truth of peace and compassion even when it’s hard you will inspire others to do the same.  You give strength to those who are fearful of living their truth.  The lives you touch are made better.  For one person (or many) you might show a kindness that changes everything for them.  Their world suddenly becomes different. 

How is this not healing the world?

So please, don’t tell me some tired old line about what you want for others.  Instead show the world that you can make a difference.  Change your world.  Make some ripples in the pond that you live in!  What you think is tiny might be a game changer for someone else.  Start the movement where you stand today.  Peace on Earth might not come for the whole world just yet, but it can begin with you. 

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Happy Holidays my friends! 

I hope that you are taking some time to relax and recharge.  While you probably already know I decided to take the time between Christmas and New Year off (okay mostly off lol) I couldn’t help but pop in and send you all a quick message because this really got my feathers ruffled.

It’s at this time of year you’re going to hear a lot of stuff about your past resolutions and making new ones for this year and some folks will tell you how bad you are (or make you feel that way) because you didn’t keep all your resolutions or reach all your goals.  You know what? 

Screw that!

We, my darlings, are NOT going to waste all of our precious energy on the negative stuff!

No freakin way. 

We are not only too smart for that but we have too much love and joy not to celebrate it.

So before you buy into all of this stuff about why you didn’t get every thing done on your resolutions, before you beat yourself up for not being perfect, I have a different way of reflecting on 2011 for you to try on.

Throw out that self depreciating way of looking at life.  Get some paper and a pen (okay..use your ipad or playbook if you want!) and start a list. From last year I want you to think back…way back and start listing all the amazing, wonderful and super things that you did do.

You see, you may not have lost all 30 pounds you wanted to; but you did make some gains right? 10 pounds is still worth celebrating! So is being healthier because your broke you soda habit and the fact that you may have slipped on occasion, but you got up and kept on going. 

There isn’t a single person who gets everything on their resolutions accomplished every single year.  So what?  Goals are places we want to get to.  They are not the stick by which we should measure our possibilities or our worth.

Honest to goodness I get so mad when I hear people talking like they are complete failures because of it.  It is simply not true.  You have done great things, you have made a difference in yours and others lives.  I want you to put those things in writing.   Then…read them!  Bask in the joy and warmth of all that fabulous!

These ARE things that need to be whohoo’d!  So get on that. 

I’m right there, doing a happy dance with you!  Much love and congrats on all that you did accomplish this past year. 

Warm hugs, Bonnie

 

Internet High Five

C'mon, don't leave me hangin!

 

p.s.  You just started an accomplishment journal!  Keep going with it!  I’m going to be talking about those again soon.

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It is just a few days before Christmas and I just had a talk with someone who started off in an unusual way.  This (possible) client wanted to see what coaching was about and so set up a time for the free discovery session that I offer.  The most interesting part was they told me straight away that they didn’t think this coaching ‘crap’ would work.  Well, while I appreciate honesty, you’d think I’d be upset by that wouldn’t you? You know, on some level they think must differently or they would not have set up this appointment.  THAT was fear talking.

I introduced my practice as I usually do, which includes me asking what brings them to coaching.  Well it was a good thing I was sitting down because a flood gate opened.  Normally, I try to keep my discovery sessions to between 20-30 mins. About half the time of a normal session. 

Thankfully today I was able to extend that because I am certain that for 20 mins I just listened until they wore themselves down and could take a breath.  I know what it’s like to finally feel like someone hears me so I simply listened with an open heart and let them have the time.  So glad the holidays mean I slow everything down. It meant I had the time to offer.  And once again the universe conspired!

I, of course, will not share the details but my heart really hurt for this person. They were in a great deal of confusion, fear based reality and stress.  Yes I could help them work through this but, as with everything, the person has to be willing

When they finally seemed to have spent their emotional release, I asked them to stop, breathe and helped them center themselves.  I suggested they pick one issue for today that we could bring to the forefront.  It really didn’t take long for the question to come back.  “What did I think? Is it better to be with someone who makes you feel crappy over the holidays or feel lonely because you are by yourself?”  Yup, I know…there must be a deep story there right?  One they don’t seem ready to open up about.

Here’s the thing, my opinion isn’t what counts here. It’s yours.  That being said after a few minutes of my questioning, asking and trying to reflect and get more from them I heard a divine whisper this was not just about the problem, it was a trust issue between the client and I. They didn’t yet trust that I cared or that I could/would help them.

I paused for a moment.  I regrouped and asked a very important question.  “what is the third option?”  I won’t burden you with the  responses of confused ‘what?’ and ‘huh?’ However, the point got made.  We are not limited to the options we often think we are. 

Now I don’t want to sound too over the top,  but this was a wonderful moment for me as a coach. I could almost hear the swooshing sound as realization set in for this person.  We actually came up with about a half-dozen, really do-able options.  The voice I was listening too already felt much more at ease, much lighter and hopeful.  Gosh but I love what I do!

The last thing I ask after every session is for clients to tell me what important thing they are taking away from the time we spent together.  I was expecting this person to talk about the ‘third option’ or something like that.  Instead they told me, totally seriously, that they learned today that coaching isn’t really a bunch of  crap. 

I am still smiling from that.

There are two reasons I tell you this story.  First is the lessons I learned. Sometimes, the question hides more than just the answer.  And yes, there is often many more options available to us if we remember to look for them. 

The second reason is to share the happiness I felt when I was not only able to spend the time freely and compassionately, but when I hear someone able to find belief in themselves, to look for the light in the dark and to realize they are worth the effort. 

If you are regular reader you know that compassion is one of my very top values.  I realize that I could have gotten annoyed that this half hour turned into over an hour. After all, this was a free call!  Instead I am rejoicing because I was in a position to show compassion in this case and release the time to this person.  I look at is as gift I was able to give and to receive this holiday. 

This holiday look for your opportunities to practice compassion, to really take time to listen to those around you.  Look for the unplanned opportunities to be kind to others; even perfect strangers.  It really is a gift you can give yourself. 

Blessings and warm hugs this holiday time from me to you!

May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain,

tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you,

those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.

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It’s almost here isn’t it? Have you gotten all your shopping done and checked that list twice?  Hey, Santa does it that way and you know he’s got this Christmas gifting thing down pat.

As much as I’d love to give each and every one of you your every wish this Christmas I also know that just isn’t possible.  I am no magical, yet chubby elf.  (too bad though..all those cookies..yum!)

So instead I’m simply going to tell you what I wish for you.  I hope you join me in the comments to share what you wish for those you care for in your own life.  I believe that putting it out there in the universe makes big things happen…and little ones too for that matter!

So, here goes!

I wish that you find all that you need in the coming year.

I wish for there to be music in your life and your soul…and that you turn it up and dance to it.

I wish for you to be able to see all the possibilities that are already around you.

I wish for you to find joy, and I give you permission to revel in it, celebrate it and own it.

I wish for you to move past today’s pain and heartache so that you can embrace the pleasures and love in your future.

I wish that you create clarity so you understand what you need, what you want and how to get there.

I wish for you to increase your skills in patience and optimism.

I wish, most of all, that you learn to believe in yourself as much as I do.

These are my wishes for you this year. 

Many bright blessings for this holiday season.

May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door, and happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Christmas

 

 

 

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Okay okay..I know that seems kind of high pressure right?  Hear me out though!

This morning I started my first tele-call with that comment too.  And it is true.  And yes, it really would be a lot of pressure on you if what I meant was that everyone’s happiness and joy depend on you, but that is not what I mean. Not by a long shot.  Sadly though a number of people do think this way.

I’m talking about the fact that your happiness and joy and peace do start with you.

What are some of the issues we all face during holidays or celebrations?  (heck..I’ll even give you there are just regular day-to-day stuff that does this too)

  • feelings of time overwhelm
  • money issues (specifically blowing our budget to make others happy)
  • family drama
  • ‘do everything so people will like me’ syndrome
  • feeling put upon
  • self-imposed judgements
  • allowing past issues to color today

What ends up happening when we feel this way?

  • stress
  • burnout
  • we feel frustrated
  • get irritable
  • fight needlessly with loved ones
  • emotional (in a bad way)
  • disappointed and depressed

I get it. I was the exact same way for years.  I would set my expectations high and at the same time prepare hard to be disappointed.  Guess what? I succeeded every year in finding problems and ended up feeling sad that I was ‘right’ about what would happen.  It was dreadful.

My favourite line when dealing with my family drama was “I can’t help it, they push my buttons!”  Uh-huh.  

What did I do?  Well after a lot of soul-searching, self-awareness training and reflection I realized some stuff.  First off, my buttons are my buttons. I can turn them off or on.  If my buttons are turned off then ‘they’ can keep pressing them all they want but it won’t do anything right? Kind of like taking the batteries out of your kids loud toys.  🙂

The other thing I realized is that I have, along with MANY other people a real issue with judgments.  I felt I was being judged all the time by others.  I thought people were deciding if I was doing enough, gifting enough, spending enough and if my life was good enough.  The thing is, most of the time these judgements were not really coming from anyone but me.  Let’s face it most of us are more worried about how others see us than about how we are actually seeing each other.  Crazy right?  But there it is.  Once I was aware of the belief that I was being judged and I was able to see that this was really self-imposed judgements I was able to begin to shift my belief system.

What can you do to make your holiday better?

  • set boundaries for your time, money and energy
  • ask for help, delegate and let go of the idea that perfect is ideal
  • get over yourself; your way might be good but so might someone elses
  • embrace the quirks and crooked trees…this is where special memories come from after all
  • look at your own value system and make choices from there
  • pace yourself
  • choose to respond to situations in a way that serves you and your needs
  • be aware of what your needs are and understand it is perfectly okay to want to get these met

Keep at the front of your mind what you look for you will find.  So, look for the best in everyone and everything.  Find that instead this year.  Living from compassion and gratitude is the key to celebrating the holiday (and every day) with love and joy in your heart. 

So yes. It is all you…at least that is where is starts.  Surround yourself with positive thoughts, healthy choices for you and watch the peace and love spread.

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In my role as a Life Coach I get to explore many different types of road blocks with people.  I walk with them, support and encourage these folks as they decide to push through and begin to live on the other side of their road blocks. 

One thing I have come across again and again is a reluctance to ask for help or support.  It’s also one of the biggest things people say they love about being coached!  The genuine support and nurturing that arises from it.

What’s the deal with that? 

What I’ve noticed is that some people have been missing out on being given nurturing and support for so long that they don’t even really realize that they need it.  Are you one of these people?  I have been in the past.  It’s true!  In fact asking for help is one of the things I’m still working on.

Why is it so hard?  Well asking for support might do a few things for us.  First…we might actually get it.  Having someone be supportive, encouraging and loving can feel very intimate and thus make us feel vulnerable.  We open ourselves up to the other person in order to receive that support.  For someone who has been hurt and disappointed over and over that is a very scary thought.

We may have people who are in our lives who will disappoint us. No doubt it is true.  Some folks might be unwilling and some simply might not be able.  Let’s face it we attract that which we think most about and if we think we are not worthy of this kind of love then what kind of people do you think we are attracting into our lives?  

That being said I truly believe that we also do have people who are willing and able to give us what we need if they only knew what it was and that we were willing to accept it.  The only way to do that is to let others know what we need.  Of course that takes a great deal of courage and self-awareness doesn’t it? We first must take the time to understand what our needs are. This is not selfish; do not let anyone tell that it is!  You deserve to have your needs met just as anyone else does.  It makes you better, happier and more able to help and support others. 

One other big problem is we have to release some things for this to work.  We have to release our martyr or victim vision of ourselves.  I know it’s an easy pattern to fall into.  We have to let go of the plan to set ourselves up for hurt and disappointment.  Honestly, the whole “I’m so hard done by” attitude serves no one; least of all yourself.  I know things may have been difficult in the past but you really need to let go of that.  You may have been hurt, or your needs completely ignored before but allowing that to color all of today’s and the future’s blessings only blinds you to the love that is coming to you. 

Start by letting go of those past hurts.  Holding on to them only serves to allow them to affect you over and over.  Begin by being your own best advocate.  Understand that strong, wise and loving people sometimes need to ask for another to be a source of strength for them for a while.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We all need to feel loved and nurtured some times. 

Still feeling that energy blocked?  Start small.  Take a little need, a small act and reach out around that.  What do you need today?  It can be just as simple as a hug and a good morning.  Perhaps someone to read over your book, or maybe you need referrals in your business.  Ask!  Keep on asking until you get what you need.  You may be very, pleasantly surprised at who comes to stand with you.

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You want a beautiful holiday scene to play out in your home. 

Awww! Perfect

We’ve been trained to desire that Norman Rockwell painting, or get that perfect ending no matter what happened before (thank you Hollywood!) and then are terribly disappointed when reality shows up for Christmas dinner instead.

We want a perfectly cooked dinner, the perfect gifts and the loveliest of families with their perfect manners and shining smiles showing up.  We want laughter and joy and singing carols around the piano right?

Instead we more often get a good meal with maybe lumpy gravy and a slightly burnt pie.  The kids yell and scream and maybe even cry.  Sweaters given that don’t fit, the ‘wrong’ toy and we forgot that not only do we not know how to play the piano…we don’t actually have one.  Something gets spilled, broken or said and then someone ends up crying, or fighting and then we end up looking like we wish we weren’t there at all! 

Why didn't I just spend Christmas on a beach somewhere again?

Realistic expectations are what is going to make you survive and enjoy the holidays.  Don’t go into this expecting everything to run smoothly. Set up the ground rules ahead of time.  Everyone is expected to act with respect and manners.  Beyond that, stop trying to make your family into a picture of perfection. It cannot be done by anyone who doesn’t offer a good paycheck and a script!

You know and love your family. Focus on what makes them already wonderful.  Laugh with them, play carols and sing along if you like, but don’t demand everyone join in.  No one likes being told they have to do anything let alone prescribing how they are going to have fun.  Goodness I know I wouldn’t. 

Above all, reduce the expectations on yourself.  Let your mom bake the pies if she offers.  Don’t worry about the perfect decorations like you might see on TV.  This is real life baby!  It involves slightly crooked trees and a funny blinking bulb no one can figure out.  You’re not perfect and that is what makes you so wonderfully you. 

Learn to laugh at the goof-ups rather than despair.  They probably are not a big deal if YOU don’t make them one.  Set yourself up for success and for having a good time; it’s way better than spending your time worrying, fussing and stressing out (yourself and everyone else!).

Realistically your Aunt is going to be saying those same old lines about why you don’t have kids yet.  Mom might tell you you’re doing the cranberries wrong. You know..you don’t have to even answer those?  Choose to ignore the nonsense, try not to take it personally and realize that there is something to the old saying about looking to the source.  Mostly likely no one is doing anything to purposefully upset you and even if they are you need to choose to react in a way that moves past it or engages the comments or actions and makes them grow in strength.

If you go into things looking for problems and negativity you will most certainly find it.  Shift that to looking for all the happy and loving moments.  You will find them just as easily and we know that what we focus are thoughts on tends to be brought out and into our lives more fully right?  Be grateful you have the time with your family right now.  If you watch the news you can see how quickly that can change. 

Stuff is going to happen and you can’t foresee it all.  When it does happen, it’s up to you to choose your reactions.  This will decide how things end up playing out in the long run.   It always comes back to choosing how you will deal with it. I know a lady who chooses to see the negative all the time. She drives me batty some days.  Even when GOOD things happen she will often find the negative in it.  She consistently chooses to be unhappy.  She is an acquaintance, not a client, so I will often choose to redirect to the positive.  Still, it wears me out hearing all the negative talk so I often limit my time with her.  It’s amazing how the same situation can play out so differently depending on your attitude.  Keep that in mind!

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