Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You deserve a break today!

What are you doing for fun this weekend? I love my work so I'm always thinking about it. Well, except when I'm hiking, or canoeing, or zip lining, or painting, writing, telling jokes, dancing, singing or get the drift. It wasn't always like that though. Years ago, I was a workaholic accountant working for a bank. I thought I was a great mom too, because I would often take Brandi to work with me on a Saturday. I'd let her feed the ducks in the moat that surrounded an upscale lounge on the office property. She loved playing in the supply closet where all the great markers and office goodies were. I allowed eight years to pass us by like that.

Sometimes it takes a devastating loss to jolt a person back to realty. In my case, it was like an avalanche of losses. In 1998, my marriage fell apart, I pushed my friends away, our business was failing, we lost our home, and the most devastating of all, my thirty seven year old baby sister died. She had been my rock, and now, she was gone. I could barely put one foot in front of the other without thinking about it and I was in and out of a catatonic state for months. My identity had been shaken to the very core.

I remember writing her eulogy on the plane to Louisiana where mom and I had to fly to claim her body. Poignant memories flooded my mind and poured out onto the paper.  Recalling all the ways she displayed her beautiful nature. She was so well balanced and I so loved that about her. Barb worked hard all week, and then on the weekend, she and the girls were at the beach, or camping, or exploring the zoo, parks, or gardens. She knew how to have fun and that made her a joy to spend time with. Time that I would never get with her again.

About a year later, the fog of grief began to lift and I was starting to pull my life back together again. I poured myself into a master gardener class and made new friends. I took ballroom dance lessons and golf lessons. I took every opportunity to visit my nieces or bring them here to visit. I went back to school and made friends there. I began to see the world a little more like Barb had and I became acutely aware of how time and life can pass by and before you know it, a decade has elapsed.

More than a decade has passed since Barb died, twelve years to be exact and my life is completely different. While I still take care of business, there is always time in my schedule for fun. If a friend calls for lunch or coffee, I'm there. If my brother calls and wants to talk for four hours on the phone, I'm there. If hubby wants to go shooting, or play golf, or jump a hundred feet out of a tree and zip 1400 feet across a river...I'm there.

Tree Top Soaring ~ Colorado

We work hard all week, we pay our bills, and take care of business, and life is about more than that. It's great if you have a career that doesn't feel like work and I am blessed to have that, but for many of us, work is a means to an end and we deserve to reward ourselves for doing it. So what are you doing for fun this weekend?

Monday, September 13, 2010

You've got the power ~ But are you using it?

Just when you think it's just another Monday morning. "Back to the salt mines" mom used to say after a leisurely weekend. She, of course, was referring to getting back to work, to a job she was supremely good at, but like many people, it wasn't her dream job. So I ask you, are you working in your dream job? I'll even go a step further. Are you living your dream life?
Do you feel like this today?

One of the things that supports me in living a life that I love, and that keeps me positive, is connecting with good reading material. I come across a lot of people who are yearning for something different in their lives, and who are not sure how to achieve their dreams. Sometimes they get depressed and anxious, feeling like life is passing them by. I always tell them, "You are only an instant away from happiness."

You see, it's a choice, and you have the power to make that choice. Power? Yes Power! Check out the trailer for Rhonda Byrne's new book The Power (She's the author of The Secret)

Now, I have to share that I haven't read it yet, but it's right sitting here on my desk and I wanted to share it with you right away because I found her first book, The Secret, so powerful. Perhaps we can read it together. I'm going to start tonight :-) Let's talk about it as we go...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Because You're Worth It ~ Taking Care of You

Women are always so busy trying to be everything to everyone and we often see taking care of ourselves as selfish luxuries. We have allowed our children, spouses, and household chores to consume every waking moment in the day and every ounce of energy we have. We do not even take the time to evaluate how that may be doing more harm for our families than good. Think about this for a minute. If our children only see us taking care of them, or taking care of our husbands, or taking care of the house, are we not sending the message that when they reach adulthood, that growing up means taking care of everyone else except themselves? Neglecting your own self care also sends the message that you are not as important as others. Does this resonate with you?
If you're happy and you know it...

Taking time to care for yourself has so many benefits. Your sense well-being is enhanced when you build quality time for yourself into your life. Your sense of self-worth increases as you enjoy some focused self-care, Your energy level is elevated because your mood improves. Those are the psychological advantages. There are emotional advantages as well. You will enjoy more respect from your family and your relationships will improve. Softer skin, healthier hair, prettier hands and feet are all physical benefits. Another benefit of taking care of yourself is stress relief. When you look good, are well rested, well nourished, you feel good. And when you feel good, you are more equipped to handle life's daily stresses.

Just you and your rubber duck :-)

Do you build time in your daily or weekly round just for taking care of you? When was the last time you took a bubble bath? When was the last time you gave yourself a manicure, or soaked your tired tootsies in a nice warm bath? When was the last time you gave yourself a facial or a moisturizing hair treatment? When was the last time you took the time to look in your closet and make sure that you love everything in there?
Ahhh Can you feel the pebbles under your feet?

You may be thinking now, when could I possibly build that kind of time into my life. Here's the good news. It doesn't take that long. You don't have to have a bubble bath every week, or a full manicure, pedicure, or hair treatment for that matter. I take Sunday evenings, after all the days activity has settled and that's when I'll give myself a manicure or slip into a bubble bath. Because it is routine, my husband has built other activities in to his evening. We're both happy. You can do something similar. Just half an hour or forty-five minutes can make a world of difference. Can you imagine it? Great! Now imagine what you'll be teaching the kiddos too :-)
Does your closet need some attention?

If you have already built regular self-care into your life, I would love it if you would share it here. If you have not and are planning to, I would love to hear about that too. And if have any questions, please leave a comment or email me and I will be sure and offer any help that I can.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What the world needs love sweet love.

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. Helen Keller

Let us lift each other up today especially; let us give one another compassion and understanding; Let us love one another today. ~ Blessings, Janet"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Your Corner of the World

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” ~ Pearl S. Buck

There is a certain calmness that comes over one after organizing a room, a garage, a closet, a desk, a drawer...After cleaning and organizing a space, I go back to it over and over just to breathe in the beauty of orderliness...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess
A girl can dream! Enjoy your Labor Day holiday. Be Safe. ~ Blessings, Janet

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday's Journal ~ Staying in Touch

It has been months since Rick and I got together with Mike and Janie. The last time we saw them together was at their wedding in June and we only chatted with them for a few moments. Mike used to come over for dinner once a week before he met Janie :-). Ahhh the tole young love sometimes takes on friendship :-). Well, sometimes it is the sacrifice of time and not of caring. Like any living entity, friendship must be fed and nurtured in order to thrive and grow. There have actually been studies done that correlate longer happier healthier lives with people whose lives include healthy friendships.

While I enjoy my solitude, my work relationships, and my family; I recognize that friendships bring an added richness to life, and I am painfully aware that since Rick and I began full time classes, our social life has taken a back seat. However, almost a full year has past since either of us were in school, and we've done little to revive our now less than impressive social life. Rick and I have decided to revive our social life, and today we enjoyed a wonderful brunch with Mike and Janie over at TC Eggington's in Mesa.

It was only a couple of hours, but we had a chance to catch up on all that is going on in our lives. We talked about our two new puppies and how much they've changed our lives. We were able to share our exercise experiences and hear about Janie's parents. I always walk away from such a time fully satisfied, feeling like if not another good thing happened this day, I had already been blessed. How about you? Do you make spending time with friends an important part of your life?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sweet Surprises

Image courtesy of Natalie Fee

Generally an early riser, usually around 5:00am, I was surprised when I heard the clinking of ice in a glass coming from outside our bedroom door. Leaning over the bed, I glanced at the clock and was amazed to see that it was 9:00am. Somehow, Rick had gotten out of bed, got dressed, and had taken the puppers for their morning walk, all without waking me. Now, he was cooling them down with their daily ice treats. I just lay there and listening to the clinking sound the ice made in the water and against the glass as he poked at it with his fingers to break it apart. It was like listening to wind chimes in a slight breeze., and reminded me of  brisk water bubbling over pebbles in a creek. I stretched my arms and legs across the bed and grabbed my pillow as I turned back onto my tummy and sunk back into the soft comfy sheets. What a sweet and wonderful surprise.

Usually, I get up with the dogs, make my coffee, and have time to meditate before Rick comes out and we walk the dogs together. I don't mind it, in fact, I love my predictable morning routine, but for some reason, sleeping in on this particular day felt like a gift from Heaven. Sometimes it really is the simplest of gestures that tells someone you love them, you appreciate them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Following Her Dream

Fall 2010 Issue
You all know that I am passionate about supporting women as they identify, and pursue their dreams. Each quarter, the creators behind Where Women Create feature several talented women and give us a sneak peek into their unique creative spaces. I am always so inspired at the broad variety of gifts represented in every issue and am hugely satisfied for the women who share them with us. When I saw this issue on the stand over at Michael's last week I, of course, snatched it up, drove home, prepared myself a refreshing glass of green tea lemonade (recipe courtesy of Mel at Starbucks) sunk down into my denim sofa and disappeared into the pages and into the creative lives of these fascinating women.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flexibility ~ Get off your bike and take a deep breath

“Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it.” ~Brian Tracy

As a life coach, I am always re-learning the lessons I teach. This week I seem to be having an avalanche of "aha" moments. As I look back and reflect on my recent posts, I see how they each pertained to a different client, but col...lectively; they all work together in supporting our goals. As we reflect on the uniqueness of each individual, we realize, that we must first be ourselves; we must follow our own path, and even make our own mistakes. That is called experience. When we think about the obstacles that we perceive as blocks, we are invited to open our minds to possibilities that will make those blocks insignificant. When we feel stuck, we may realize that we have no plan to reach our goals, or we may not even have clearly defined our goals. And once we have clearly defined our goals and created a road map for achievement, we may become frustrated when life does not go according to plan.

This is where my "aha" moment came in. My life, by design, is pretty well scheduled. I like order, I need routine, and lately I've been feeling a little discombobulated, sort of, like life is not going according to plan. Six months ago my mornings were a slow, easy, peaceful pace, by design. I would wake up, brush my teeth, get my coffee, give Charlie a good morning treat, and then settle in to my big denim sofa to pray and meditate. Morning meditation flowed perfectly into a stretching/yoga practice. The mornings were quiet, predictable. Even after losing Charlie in January, except for the void of his soft, furry presence beside me, my mornings did not change.

Then, on May 1st, we brought not one, but two, 5 month old cocker spaniel puppies home and my serene and peaceful life transformed into a chaotic, puppy directed tornado. My meditation went out the window, prayer time turned into potty training time, stretching or yoga, right! The little darlings had taken over and while I adored all of their soft and cuddly cuteness, I really was wondering if we hadn’t made a huge mistake bringing them into our lives. Could our lifestyle support their seemingly inexhaustible need for exercise and attention? But, it was too late, they were here and I needed to get a grip. So, I enrolled the four of us in puppy classes and we committed to training. Our date night, was now Family night at PetCo!

It all works out though because I was true to my goals. Being healthy, in mind, body and spirit and being responsible for taking action to maintain my goals were at the core and so I had to adjust my plan of action, my routine, even my mindset. I realized that I could get my stretching in before I even got out of bed. Even better, I realized that I feel better when I do that. I still get my prayer and meditation in after the pups go outside and before Rick comes out for our walk. While my yoga practice was replaced by a brisk one hour walk with the puppers every morning, Rick and I have enjoyed the extra time together, and have met some new neighbors.

Prayer, meditation, and exercise are some of the most important things I do for myself and being clear about each of them supports my ability to be flexible in finding a way to keep them present in my life. Has your life changed in such a way that you feel you have to give something valuable up? Can you see a way around it? It may not look exactly the same, but there are often many paths to the same destination. I would love to hear your story.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shed it ~ Feeling lighter already!

Photos courtesy of Arianna Belle 

"There’s a lot of purging going on and it seems to somehow be cathartic." ~ Janet Ellis

Three major players in the coaching world are purging portions of their lives as I write. Just yesterday as I was perusing through twitter, Coach Extraordinaire Cheryl Richardson was excited for the shredding truck to be arriving at her home today to haul away eight boxes of paperwork. She wondered if it was silly to be excited. Yesterday afternoon, Awakening Woman Founder Chameli Ardagh was feeling pretty Zen after purging her in-box of over 2600 emails, and today Top Organizer Julie Morgenstern was talking about how she had cleaned out old theater scripts and papers from long ago and had realized she was making room for a huge surge in her now booming business.

In the photos above, Arianna Belle reevaluated her use of the microwave oven, and after deciding, that first, it was unattractive, and second, it transformed healthy food into poison she decided to replace it with live growing wheat grass and a juicer. She made the choice to shed something unhealthy from her life, which made room for something that would bring her more vibrancy and health. I love it!

If you’re feeling stuck, check out Julie’s book, Shed your stuff, Change your life. She’s got some great insight and simple step by step guidelines to help get you started purging, and making room for the things that are important to you. Let me know what you think.