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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Well, it’s Tuesday already…two more days until I embark on a road trip to partake in the second of three very long, but fabulous, weekends of training.  It really is a bit crazy but I’m so happykeep-calm-two-more-days to be there it doesn’t matter.  Mind you I pretty much collapse into bed but that’s okay; I have to get up early anyway!  Crazy town?  Perhaps but I can’t wait to get there.

No kidding…as long is it, you know what? In addition to being really excited about getting to hone the skills I already have and learn some new ones – I’m really excited to see the people who are going to be there.

There are some amazing – no freaking amazing people in this group.  I’ve gotten to know a few of them much better because of the way the studies are set up in between the 3-day weekends.

I can’t wait to give some of them a BIG hug.

Truly, for me half of the joy of deciding to sign up with iPEC (the school I’m training with) is finding all these people who kind of think just like me!   Holy crap they ARE out there!

I know I’ve said it before in other posts but us humans are not meant to go it alone in this life.  We are meant to make connections, learn from each other and offer that hand up when we can.  I don’t think alone is our natural state.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am very comfortable being just with myself and to be honest, sometimes I need it.  But to FEEL alone, well that is another story.  That is loneliness.  And that hurts.

It hurts more I think to feel alone in sea of people who you think care about you too.  Not being able to express your ideas, thoughts or what your soul’s light is shining is really painful and frustrating.  No one wants to feel judged because of who they are deep inside – so we keep it hidden or we feel like we are banging our heads against a wall.

Finding people who I can easily be understood by and who ‘get’ me was like unlocking a treasure box…it feels like coming home. I get what people mean now by the idea of finding your tribe.  Your tribe is people who, while not walking your path, parallel it enough that there is connection, understanding and shared excitement and joy about the same sorts of things. (tweet this)

You know what I mean?

So, I’m looking forward to seeing all of them again, learning and laughing and the occasionally teary session. Some powerful stuff coaching and we all go through it together.

Have you found some of your tribe?

 

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ps. If YOU want to become part of MY tribe too (and I hope you do!) you can start by getting my monthly newsletter in your inbox.  Just register your email here and you’re good to go. Yay!

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Ooh..I haven’t had a good rant for a while.

I’m not sure what’s been going on lately, but boy I’m getting tired of people who act like they are a victim in order to be horrible to others.  Justifying your crappy behaviour by acting like you have it so hard or that you are so much better or smarter or whatever and are trying to ‘help’  doesn’t make it any better.  It just doesn’t.

I know, I know…some of you might be saying “that’s what you see if you spend enough time on the internet”.  I wish it was just some crazy post on the net.  While that might be true I haven’t seen this many people unable to ‘hear’ themselves for some time both on and off line.

The nice girl part of me wants to apologise for this rant but I’m not going to.  It’s probably going to stir up some uncomfortable feelings for a few people and that’s good in my opinion. All I ask is that you try to hear the message.  

I’m fed up with folks who call out others for ‘picking on them’ and in the same breath try to knock down someone else.  Really?  Listen to your self!  I’ve had too many examples of this lately I don’t even know where to start.  

I suppose a perfect example of this is what a few of my friends have posted on Facebook.  Fox had some of its newscasters bash and mock Wiccan and Pagan religion.  (You can see the video here) In the same breath the female reporter complains that she isn’t supposed to say Merry Christmas and infers at the plight of Christians.   Sigh.   I have to say I was aghast that these people were not taken to task by the network, but more importantly I was flabbergasted that they couldn’t see the conflict in what they were saying. 

Or the case of listening to some adults make fun of a woman and her child because their clothes were worn and outdated.  I kid you not.  And in the same breath these women complain that they have such a hard time keeping up with their own childrens’ clothing wants.  I’m pretty sure they saw me looking at them in confusion.  Guess who is making that trendy clothing thing an issue?  

And this sort of thing has happened a fair bit lately.  Or maybe I’m just aware of it?  I’m not sure, but it’s really bugging me.

You know it’s like when people say ‘No offense but…” and then they are really offensive?  But think it’s okay because they qualified it with ‘no offense’.   For the record…It Isn’t Okay!

Aggg!  I get so frustrated when I see people so afraid that they might be diminished if someone else is able to hold their own differeing thoughts, opinions and beliefs.  Truly if yours are so shaky they can’t handle it perhaps you need to look at that.  If you feel so afraid to be the real you that you must cover it all up with “I’m a victim” and nastiness perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and decide what it is you want to see.

Reminds me of the kid who isn’t winning and so takes his ball and goes home in a huff.   Belief systems, opinions, ideas are not about winning

Or the adult who says “but I only stated the truth” when saying something that is out of line or harsh and un-needed.  Please, there is truth and there is pointedly trying to seem better than everyone and make someone feel like crap.  Yes you are entitled to your opinion…but you can keep it to yourself.  My grandmother used to say be kind or be quiet.

To tear down another person does not elevate you.   It never has and never will.   Be it about what someone is wearing, their faith, their job or whatever.  Listen to what you are saying!

You know you can either give someone and hand up if you have the resources, or you can give them a push up if you only have love to offer.  Both of those things lift everyone up and the world gets better.  Rip them down and the word of hurt you are creating is the same one you have to live in.  Choose.

Ending rant here.   

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As I’m sure you’ve heard Conrad Bain; the actor who played the father on the TV series Different Strokes has passed.  Although I bless him the next part of his journey and I bless his family who must be missing him terribly that isn’t what this post is about.

I’ve been hearing the theme song for the TV show all over the place.  It’s quite catchy (check it out here if you dont’ know it)

So the main idea is that “it takes different strokes to move the world” or in other words everybody has different likes/dislikes and needs.  The gist of the message is that this is a wonderful thing.

So far I love it.  Heck I loved it when I was a kid.

But, it got me thinking.  Sure we all have differences and that is what makes life so interesting if you’re not so pig-headed or mired in your own life to see it. At the same time, we also haveLearningTogether a lot of sameness. (is that a word? Well, it is now! )

I mean sure  we all have to eat, sleep and poop, but it does go way deeper than physical need.  We all have ‘sameness’ in our emotional ones too.

The easy to see ones of course are we all need love.  But just as important and so rarely spoken of – we need a few other things too. 

  • We need to feel heard
  • We need physical and emotional connection
  • We all need to feel like we matter
  • We need to feel secure

How often are we ensuring our children understand what this means?  How often do we check in with our selves to ensure our needs are being met around these things? How often are we taking the time to make sure our own loved ones feel heard, secure and connected?

More importantly – What are we doing if they are not?

Too often we ignore it.  Cover it up with excuses and “maybe laters” or “next time”.  We can’t keep doing this.  The time is now.

The conversations need to happen.  The biggest things  I hear over and OVER again is that when talking to me as a coach people are so grateful (to tears) that they finally feel like they are being heard and validated rather than judged.

Dear friends….listen to this.  We are all living in a world where we our basic needs are not being met far too often.  How to fix it?  Start by understanding what you need and asking for it.  Also, don’t forget that everyone around you has these needs too.  Learn to listen deeply, accept with out judgement and offer the connections you want as well.

I see so many lost souls wandering and crying out for what is so close and yet so far.  Let’s start by learning to love our ‘self’ first, then offering the same love to the world.

Blessings,

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This December has snuck up on me a little bit.  I mean…I knew it was coming.  I haven’t lost my mind completely…it’s around here somewhere.

Still, I personally have had a number of huge milestones in my life that I’ve been dealing with and putting to bed (so to speak). 

This Monday saw the tail end of a really, really big one but that’s not my point (and you know I tend to get going on tangents..I”m working on it!)  My point is holy moly look at that date!

21 days lift til Christmas and all I have done is hang my sad, tired wreath on the door.  I have a beautiful plan in my head for a new one that really reflects my personality but truly by theHolidayStress time I get it done it should be ready for next year!

In all honesty, it’s not that bad for me.  My list is small and I love the shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, baking and decorating.  LOVE it.  I may even be at home with my fur-family Christmas Day and I’m okay with that.  I love those guys and hiking on that day is spectacular because everyone else is busy, busy, busy!   So Mr. Charlie Bear gets to run off leash on the trails.  When I lived on the East Coast I often went snow hiking and it was awesome.

For others though, the holidays brings other emotions.  Stress, fear, worry and exhaustion.

I have a friend who was volunteered to host not one but TWO dinners.  She isn’t really up for it physically, but doesn’t want to risk disappointing other people.  She is a beautiful soul and a people pleaser.  The problem is, like many out there (Ladies especially…listen up) she pleases others at the expense of her own health and happiness.  Not cool!  I love my friend…she is like a second mother to me and I want her to be joyful, not upset.

I have been thinking of how to help her and in turn realized that a lot of people worry about disappointing others over the holidays and just about kill themselves to do it.  They break themselves mentally, emotionally, physically and with their budget.  That’s not fair! Everyone should be able to enjoy the blessings of time with family, the love in giving and joy in gratitude without despairing. 

I have some ideas (shocking I know!) on how to make the holidays better for everyone…and I do mean EVERYONE.  Yes, that includes you people pleaser.  You can enjoy making others happy without having to punish yourself in the process.

Putting First things FirstFirst of all we need to be realistic in our expectations of what we can do and what we are willing to do.  For a select few hosting many dinners would be like striking gold!  For others one is more than enough.  Being realistic about our family, our events and our … well everything and putting it in perspective first will help us from getting sucked in to deeply and having a melt down.

Learn to say No, but thanks!  Honestly, this has got to be one of the hardest things for people to learn to do.  Listen up…every request has 3 possible responses.  1 – yes, 2- no, 3 – not sure I’ll get back to you (which flies back to 1 & 2 eventually).  All are perfectly okay and perfectly reasonable responses.  Stop assuming that people will only love or like you if you use #1.  It just isn’t the reality of life.  People are more likely to be fine with it if you are calm and collected when you say no to a request.  Stop squirming..it’s better to be honest upfront then try to wiggle out of it later or be miserable.

If you do find yourself feeling a bit over your head – ask for help.  It’s been my personal experience that when you ask – people respond.   When you don’t ask, they don’t know you need help.  Trust me, most people aren’t ignoring you or your situation.  They just don’t know what you know….so tell them.  

The key?  Be specific and polite.  Yelling “why won’t you help me?” isn’t going to cut it.  Asking “can you take out the garbage” nicely is almost certain to get that garbage outta there.  Yes it would be nice if magically those loved ones around you can see into your head and just ‘know’ what needs to be done but until then….just get over it and ask.

Make it easier on yourself.  Seriously, if you are having 20 people over for dinner or a party and the thought of the pile of dishes waiting for you later is upsetting you..screw it and use disposable (and recycled of course) plates.  Or see above…ask for help cleaning up.  Make dinner a potluck for all the sides.  Gifts can be wrapped at the store or put in gift bags from the dollar store.  Planning ahead a little can really help reduce the pressure and work for you.

Let it go.  So what if my new wreath idea doesn’t get done til next year.  That’s not a really big deal in the larger scheme of things.  What does matter?  What memories will I want to take with me from the holidays?  5 years from now I’ll remember laughing and feasting with my loved ones, I most likely won’t recall what brand of wine I was drinking or if the decorations were exact and perfect.   You deserve the time to celebrate with everyone else, the other stuff is just trimmings.  Take that time! 

Find your joy and hold it.  Anything else is just gravy! (pun intended!)

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People who are constantly negative suck the happy right out of you.  There is a term for people like this and it is ’emotional vampire’.  I like it..very visual isn’t it?

A lot of people will tell you to get rid of and away from these people who seem to only be happy when they and every one else is miserable.  I see the point they are making. After all, why let someone bring you down right?

The thing is that may not be possible for you.  So, great advice in a perfect world but as we know this world isn’t always so perfect is it? 

I guess we’re stuck having to figure out how to deal with those people – at least some of the time. Otherwise we might find ourselves out of a job, lost to family and friends and very much alone in our ivory tower.  Although it might be good to have that ivory tower, because you’ll need a place to live without that job. 

First, I want to clarify that I’m not talking about a friend who is going through a tough time and is struggling to be positive.  I’m talking about those people who can’t for the life of them find joy in anything – even the good stuff – ever. 

I meet them and heck, I’m related to a few.  Here’s what I do. First, I work hard to cultivate my own inner peace and self-awareness.  No one else’s actions can destroy those things unless you let them.  But the key is to have both in place.  When you feel the drain or frustration coming on you can step back emotionally and refuse to participate in the negativity. You may need to let them in your life and space, but  you do not need to let them in your head!

I’ve actually used the mantra “you may not have my inner calm” over and over while having to deal with difficult people.   I know how I feel and react is a choice.  I may have to constantly choose to let go of upset and choose calm over and over, but I can do that! And I do.

The second thing I do is choose how I view that person.  I can go with the ‘eww yucky, get your negative vibe away from me!” sort of attitude but that isn’t really coming from a place of compassion or love now is it? 

Instead, I view them with love and compassion; sometimes a bit of sadness to be honest.  I feel sad that they only know how to feel badly.  However, I don’t let them take my positivity, instead I give it to them.  Sounds odd I know, but the choice makes all the difference.

I share my joy with them.  I let it fill the room.  When you give love and joy it multiplies and cannot be depleted.  When you allow it to be taken from you it does get worn out – at least for a while. 

Emotional vampires are draining and can make life difficult and you probably want to limit contact with them if possible.  Some people, on occasion you may even want to take steps to remove from your life if they are very damaging to you and yours.  Cutting someone out completely is not easy or at times even possilbe, for many reasons; taking them in smaller doses may be a better alternative in some cases.

I’ve heard said that you start to become like the 5 people you spend most of your time with.  So yes, when you can, choose people who you want to be like and who share your positive outlook; but on the other hand keep in mind you have influence too.  Perhaps you can soften someone elses harsh view of life by sharing kindness with them.

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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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