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What?  It’s a new year?  Let’s work together to do something different!

Have you noticed there have been a lot of lists for starting something in the new year?  Lists that tell you…..what to do, when to do it, why you do it……10  steps to a better _____, the first 3 things to do to have a better____, what your spouse needs from you, what you need from your job…..and many more.  Are your inboxes filled, newsfeeds rolling with ideas, tweets, retweets, posts, reposts and on and on.  Have you found yourself asking – But what to work on first?  What area to focus on?  What is going to be the best for you?  Who is going to do it with me?  Should I do it all alone? And then finding yourself yelling, “STOP, I can’t make up my mind, so I’m not going to do any of it!” You are not alone.

What I love about this time of year is the strong intention we all have to make an improvement.  Whether that improvement is in our physical, spiritual, mental, relationships or emotional areas of life, we want to have “it” be better or at least different than it is now.  I’ve heard from some that the options are too many, the work is too hard or the project is JUST TOO BIG.  So, they just won’t do any of it!  Why even try? They tell me, I will be doing the same thing over and over again without getting any different results.  Well, that may be true if we continue to start but not finish, if we don’t have anyone to help us along the way, or if we have started to work on something that really doesn’t fit with our values, life or situation.

If this sounds familiar maybe you need a little guidance.  I would welcome the chance to explore what you want to change, improve or stop doing.  Over this past year I have been privileged to coach people in many different areas of life.  We’ve worked through job changes, job loss and career changes.  I’ve been able to coach couples to learn new communication skills and practices to deepen their relationship.  Several are working through past belief’s that have held them hostage to ways of behavior that are not honoring who they are or who they desire to be.  Others have felt a nudge to do something in their life, but had difficulty clarifying that “something”, together we worked through finding their gifts, values and what they have been called to do.  It’s been an exciting year of growth, discovery, challenges and changes!  Are you ready?  I would be honored to coach you through changes, improvements, challenges and new discoveries, let’s do this together. Let’s make 2015 different!   Please go to the Speak To Me page and we’ll start together.  We can work together in person, by phone, through SKYPE, individually, as a couple or even as a group.  The first step is to reach out!

Blessings to you on this new year!

Finding Your JOY in the Midst of the Holidays

Tis the season of JOY!  We sing songs about Joy, we read stories about Joy, we hear Joy in our surroundings, and most of us desire Joy in our lives.  But what happens when we are not feeling joyful?  What about those times when we are stressed out, exhausted, cashed strapped and lonely?  Just finished with another Finding Your Joy in the Midst of Holiday Chaos workshop last week.  It never ceases to amaze me the difference between how we picture the Holiday season and our reality.  What I have heard are the cries of people saying they are not feeling joy, they are feeling the opposite and questioning why.

Just like in the workshop, let’s look at some of the things that fill us with joy.  For some of you it can be quality family time, baking Christmas cookies, spending time with friends, laughter, quietly sitting in front of the fire, watching a holiday movie with the kids, going for a walk, time to take care of ourselves, sleeping, or listening to Holiday music. How can we increase the opportunities to have these joy-filled activities in our lives?  Let’s take a look at some of the things that might get in the way of our joy and ways to turn those joy busters around.

Stress – financial – not having enough, spending over our income.  How can we turn that around from a joy buster to something that brings joy?   BUDGET your gift giving.  Give hand-made gifts this year.  Choose to give a board game to your family instead of individual gifts, then play the game together.  Give experiences – a gift of staying at your home for a weekend and going to a park to play with you– not only is it an experience with you, but you get exercise too.  Many options are available on Pinterest – search “experience gifts”.

Stress – recent relational loss – can be due to death, divorce, conflict or break-up.  Decide on a way to remember your loved one – pictures, stories, visit a favorite place and celebrate the time you had together.  Do something in honor of your loved one.  With a divorce, conflict or break-up – take time for yourself to feel love from your personal spiritual resource.  Take time to learn from the experience; what will you do differently in the future?  Write, draw or talk with a counselor/coach.  You can contact me at  Speak To Me

Family Stress– strained relationships or knowing that “one person” will be at the same event –PLAN.  You can plan the time you will be at the event – showing up with a time limit you can get through the time, keeping your joy and spending time with the person showing them what JOY looks like in you.

Expectations – this has made almost EVERY workshop participants list of joy busters.  Our expectations of a perfect family gathering or perfect gift, or perfect 5 course meal, or perfect outfit, or perfect decorated house…….  STOP!!!  Have simple expectations for yourself, and truth be told, lower expectations for other activities.  One way to do that is to simply remove the words – SHOULD and/or SUPPOSED to – from your thoughts and words.  We give you permission to NOT- do, say, arrange, plan, perform for anyone especially if that action involves the words SHOULD or SUPPOSE TO.  What do I mean?  Who needs to have 10 kinds of Christmas cookies while sitting around one of the 3 decorated trees in your home?  NO ONE!!  If you desire to bake cookies with your family or friends, plan it and make time for it.  If you feel like you HAVE to bake cookies because of others’ expectations….DON’T DO IT!!  Relax, enjoy your quiet restful time knowing you are able to give out of your overabundance of JOY.

Which leads us to another JOY boosting suggestion – do something different this year!  Whether that be to agree to no gifts, giving through a charity such as Samaritan’s Purse, or World Vision in honor of your family, having a soup and sandwich Christmas meal or a bring an ingredient for the crock of soup.  Whatever you plan or participate in, it’s to bring you JOY.  If doing all the other things you’ve always done because its tradition or others say you SHOULD, evaluate if that activity brings you JOY.  If not, don’t do it!!  If it does, have at it, knowing that this activity will take a scheduled amount of time and energy!

Another important part of finding your JOY is to take care of yourself!  Taking care of ourselves is not selfish, it’s caring for ourselves that empowers us to give out of our abundance.  Being a stressed out, tired, broke, crazy person is not going to bring anyone JOY, for sure not you!  Take time to rest, eat right, exercise, and set a schedule for your activities.  How amazing would you feel if you were fully rested, nourished, energized by moving your body and had margin in your life? That brings me JOY!

Serving others is a way to bring JOY not only to you but in your serving bringing JOY to others!  Check out the previous post for reasons and possibilities to serve.

The last suggestion we talk about in the workshop is to have an Attitude of Gratitude!  What are you grateful for this season?  When we focus on what we HAVE and are blessed with, we will have more JOY in our lives.  One of the things I ask clients to do is write down 3 – 5 things they are grateful for every night.  Admittedly sometimes that is a tough assignment, especially if you are in the middle of chaos, however, I know from experience when you focus on being grateful, it will change your outlook.  Being grateful for what you have is the antidote for wanting MORE and MORE.  Giving thanks for the people, things, dreams and desires we have will increase our JOY and help us be more positive people.  And who doesn’t want to be more positive, encouraging and thankful?  Give it a try for a week!  Write down 3 – 5 things you are grateful for and I know tomorrow night you will have more to write and so on and so on!

Hope you connected with some of these suggestions and have found ways to increase your JOY this Holiday season.  When the workshop participants leave they usually have a skip in their step and a new resolve to simplify, take care of themselves and enjoy new ways to build JOY into their Holiday season.

My wish for you is a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or what you are celebrating this season!  If you would like to work with me for coaching, please go to the  Speak To Me page and we can connect.

Here are some quotes and scriptures about JOY – hope they encourage you and bring you JOY!

Joy Quotes

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, JOY follows like a shadow that never leaves.  Buddha

JOY is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.  Marianne Williamson

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings JOY and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.  Eileen Caddy

Balance, peace and JOY are the fruit of a successful life.  It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.  Thomas Kinkade

Joy Scriptures

Deuteronomy 16:14, 15b  Be JOYFUL at your festival – you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.  For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your JOY will be complete.

Nehemiah 8:10  Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is holy to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm 16:11  You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 20:4,5  May He gave you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  May we shout for JOY over our victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

Proverbs 27:9  Perfume and incense bring JOY to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

John 15:10-12  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my live, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.

Enough, ENOUGH, ahhh, enough! Part 1 of 3

“Enough”, that is the word we are going to look at in this series.   This will be a 3 part series on “Enough”.

First, the past, what I did, what others did/didn’t do is “enough”.  We can’t change the past but we can learn from it, we can forgive others and ourselves and even be thankful for the past.

Second, “ENOUGH”, where are you desiring to take action to make a change, to set a boundary, to stop blaming and/or making excuses?

Third, “Enough” – we have enough, we are enough, looking forward to sharing out of my enough abundance.

Part 1 – “Enough” – The past.

Do you ever find yourself playing old tapes or movies over and over in your head?  Are they helping you become who you desire to be?  Are you holding on to things from your past that are tripping you up today?  Have you forgiven others and yourself for the past?  What can we learn from our past to help us in our present and future?  Have you acknowledged even said Thank You, to those in your past?

Most of us have tapes or movies from our past that play in our heads from time to time.  These tapes may be keeping us in a past where we feel guilt, hurt, anger, shame or fear.   How is that shaping our present?  Will we allow those movies to shape our future?  What would happen if we hit the pause button on the movie, re-examined our past and learned to look at our past in a way that says “enough”?

What we knew then and how we reacted to our situation at that time was “enough”.  We didn’t know then what we know now. The people in our lives that may have hurt us acted out of what they knew at the time. What we know to be true now can be used to look back, to help us put the tapes into a new perspective, to help us forgive ourselves and others.  Rewinding can help us learn from our experiences and to grow from those situations.   Will Rogers, actor, from the early 1930’s said, “The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.”  Here is another way to say it, It takes a lot of strength and courage to put the past behind you and stand up and say: ” I will not let it define me.” To push forward and create the life that you truly deserve and not focus on bad things that life handed you in the past. — Unknown- Positive Outlook Blog

Are you ready to rewind, and re-examine?  Do you desire to learn, forgive, release, and thank others and yourself? It has worked for me and for others I’ve had the privilege to coach.  If this is something you have felt drawn to change, let’s see what we can do together! Please go to the Speak To Me page and complete the simple form.

If it helps you, here is an example from my past.  One of the tapes I have rewound was from my Gramma.  I was able to spend a lot of time with my grandparents as I was growing up, a lot of the great things I know to be true came from conversations with my grandparents, but some of what I THOUGHT was true also came from my grandparents.  One of my Gramma’s gifts was hospitality.  She cooked, bake, decorated and welcomed guests and family into their home.  Gramma, however, had a strange custom to never sit with us at the meal, but would serve us.  She may have sat down for a minute or two but there was always a dish to fill or new item to bring to the table.  If we did not empty a dish, say the meatballs, she would say, ‘there are meatballs left, don’t you love me?’ which would then have me grab and eat the last of the meatballs or whatever item was left.  Not surprisingly, hearing these comments and others like it, I developed into a chubby obedient girl.  Several years into this routine, as I continued to grow chubbier, Gramma would say, “When you get down to a size __, then I’ll buy you some new clothes.”  Hmmm, how do you please, win, or really process those statements together?  Eat to show love, but when you are chubby, you are not worthy, I won’t buy you clothes until you are thinner…..Hmmmm.

We have different tapes or movies, but….what can we learn from them to move to “enough”?  I realized that Gramma wanted her love tank filled by people accepting and eating up her hospitality – it’s what she knew, her “enough”.  The sideways comments to get me to be healthy was not only confusing but set me up for some long years of image issues and weight problems!!   I acted out of what I desired at the time – wanted to feel love from Gramma and others, be accepted, and feel worthy.  I was able to rewind the tape, realize the shame I took on, and how that affected my behaviors through the years.  With processing, learning and some guidance from a counselor/coach, I was able to thank my Gramma for teaching me awesome hospitality gifts.  I learned that one of the ways I receive love is serving others.  I also learned to NOT be filled by what people DO with my gifts – just by the practice of DOING hospitality, serving others, making them feel welcome, fills my love tank!  That is “enough”! The biggest learning, however, I AM worthy, loveable and able to share out of my love.  I am “enough”.

What tapes or movies play for you and how can we turn those around to realizing what you did, what they did was what they knew, accept it for what it is…..thank them for what you learned and move on?!  If you need some guidance in this area, I would love the opportunity to work with you.  Face to face is preferred for coaching and that is possible in person and/or on SKYPE!  Please go to the Speak To Me page, compete the form and let’s chat about how we can work together!

I collected a few quotes that gave me a fresh perspective on “enough”, learning from the past, forgiving and moving forward to a full life of “enough”.  Collecting quotes is one of my hobbies!  Enjoy and be encouraged!

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. – Bernard Meltzer

People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on. – Bill Cosby

You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’ – Maya Angelou

When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge. – Gerald Jampolsky

I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve made mistakes, but thanks to those mistakes, I’ve learned. – Enrique Iglesias

Thank you for reading, hope to hear from you either in comments or through the Speak To Me page!  Parts 2 & 3 are to come.

Testimonial – Chris is a genuinely warm and caring person

Chris is a genuinely warm and caring person who you can be honest and open with, without the fear of being judged. She is a natural guide to anyone that is contemplating a change in their life, needs direction or counsel on finding out what their gifts are (according to her we all have them), or just to help navigate through life with some clarity of purpose. I could not recommend a better Life Coach than Chris Wegner.       Julie M

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