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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!

ENOUGH!! Part 2 of 3

Have you thought, ENOUGH?  Ever wanted to say, ENOUGH!?  Have you SHOUTED, ENOUGH!!?  These thoughts, words, cries, shouts, prayers, self-talk conversations and real conversations are the focus for this part article 2 of 3 on ENOUGH.   In the first article we talked about how we ARE enough!  Rewinding our tapes, extending forgiveness, learning from our past and being grateful.  This article will focus on ENOUGH, when we realize what behaviors, situations, practices, habits, thoughts, relationships and more…..have to STOP!!!

First, a caution or actually a WARNING for some of you.  In relationships we may come to a crossroad because of another’s actions towards us.  If you are experiencing physical, emotional pain or injury at the hands of someone else…..GET HELP!  There are crisis hotlines, the police, and other agencies to help you.  Here is one resource, National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233). Find other resources to help you in your community at a doctor’s office, the library, online, phone books…..please do it, make the call, your life is valuable and you are worth it!  Cry from the mountaintops – ENOUGH!

For others, your situation may not be at that critical intersection, however, you have been feeling the need to say ENOUGH to your friend, spouse, sibling, child, family member, co-worker, boss, subordinate, another person or yourself.  Say it with me now, ENOUGH!  You are the only one who can take charge and stop receiving those behaviors from others or exhibiting those behaviors yourself.

What behaviors you might be asking?  Any behavior that is hurting you, conversations that belittle you or cause you to feel “less than”, situations that cause pain to others, behaviors that are not aligned with your values, unhealthy choices, all can stop.  While the time we have accepted that behavior, those words, jokes, sarcasm, and actions has been the norm in our past, it does not mean it has to stay that way.  ENOUGH!  Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so the saying goes.

It’s time to ask yourself a few questions.  If I desire to feel worthy does that type of behavior move my thoughts and/or actions towards my desire of feeling worthy or does it move me away from feeling valuable?  Does the behavior of that person, myself or those people help guide me toward positive goals and outcomes or not?  Is that person’s or my behavior something I want as a part of my legacy?  Do I want to pass that behavior, habit, those words, that action along to others in my life?

For some of us, we really don’t know.  Our lives have been in this pattern for so long, we don’t have a clue how it could be different.  Where do we start?  Do you desire to make a change?  Your values, beliefs, goals, past, purpose, relationships can be investigated, examined, and reviewed. You can put boundaries in place to put your life in control.  You CAN do this, you are worthy – it’s time to scream ENOUGH!!!

If this is something that you would like assistance doing, you can reach out to a counselor, trusted friend, family member or like myself, a Life Coach.  Here is the link to the Speak To Me page to connect with me. The power is yours, the desire to change, set boundaries, and improve is yours.  If what you feel right now about your situation is a desire to be different, a step is necessary.  This is exciting, scary, thrilling yet unsettling.  Change is like that.  When you take the first step you are empowering yourself to make a difference in your life.  Powerful!

For a quick example, going from our first article in this series, I described an ongoing issue with body image.  When I realized tapes were playing that tangled me in behaviors that resulted in a large size, poor health, low energy and other issues, I said ENOUGH!  I participated in a group that was starting about health issues – changing behaviors to better our health and lose weight.  I had tried several previously but this was different!  This study group had us look at why we did things, what was our motivation and held us accountable to the behaviors we desired to change.  This group I believe, saved my life.  It certainly changed my life!!  After months of participation, behavioral, emotional, spiritual and physical changes with accountability I was able to shed many pounds, take up new activities, have additional energy and bottom line?  I really liked who I was becoming!  It’s a process, there have been some setbacks that I have chosen with my own behaviors and other dynamics that happened.  I am comfortable with me, I am enough.  I continue to look for ways to better my health – in all areas, physical, emotional, spiritually and behavioral.  This is a journey and I am excited about the journey.

What would your life look like if you shouted ENOUGH and took steps to either set up new boundaries, remove yourself from a situation or relationship, learned a new behavior and/or moved forward to set goals to become a person with a purpose?  How would that affect your day to day life?  How do you see that possibility playing out in your life?  I am excited for you to take a step, shout ENOUGH and see a different way!  If this sounds like a process you would like to embark on, please go to the  Speak To Me page and let’s see if we can work together!

As in the previous article here are a few quotes that will encourage you as you shout ENOUGH!

Maintaining healthy friendships is hard to do. People can be fickle, and a small dose of “craziness” can send a friendship spiraling. In spite of our faults—and we all have them—we need each other. We all have our quirks and foibles, and heaven knows we want tolerance. So why not give some of that tolerance to others? This does not mean that you tolerate wrongdoing, hurtful behavior and flagrant boundary violations. But you must show the same patience and kindness you expect in return.  Scripture says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).  Henry Cloud

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Theodore Roosevelt

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

Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves. – William Hazlitt

You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory. – J. Donald Walters

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

On the path to wellness and wholeness, there are many gates to close.  Closing the gate means not leaving loose ends hanging.  Steve Arteburn

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and comfort—the opening terror. Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing—the opening a wonderfully joyous moment. – Andy Rooney

Sometimes you only get one chance to rewrite the qualities of the character you played in a person’s life story. Always take it. Never let the world read the wrong version of you. – Unknown

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.

Close the drapes, the relatives are coming!

Okay, that might be a bit over the top, but sometimes we may feel that way when we are going into a family gathering or interaction.  EVERY family has an issue or two!  What separates the enjoyable from the not so enjoyable is our reactions to the interactions.  “Oh but Chris, you have NO IDEA what my family is like”.  While I do not know the specifics of your family, I do know that when people are involved it can potentially get messy!  There are different personalities involved, different views, different filters being used, even a shared event can have different meanings to 2 people who are experiencing the same event!   If that is not a recipe for confusion!!!

I continue to learn about family dynamics and how each member plays a role.  No matter if your family is large or small, if there is more than you……you experience family dynamics.  How you deal with conflict, change, plans, relationships, careers, marriage, birthdays, and holidays is influenced by the experiences you had in your family.  The good news is, even if your experience was not the most positive or nurturing, you can make a change in the way you think about your past and how you apply that to your present/future!  “There is no how it is, only how it is for you.”  Tim Brownson.  When you look back at experiences or patterns, you can pull a learning or teaching out of each experience.  Decide which of those patterns you want to keep, and which you want to change.  We can learn from every interaction.  What you decide to do with that learning is what we’ll talk about here.

At times, we look back, remember the behaviors and we blame others or continue those patterns into our present lives.  Then we curse our parents, siblings, other family members or friends for making us this way.  When in reality YOU have a choice to make, you can stay in the thought/behavior pattern you are in or you can make a choice to learn, change, acquire new skills and even thank those from your past.  Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Research shows that patterns we experience growing up can be patterns we adopt unless we chose to change those patterns.

How did your family handle conflict in the past?  How do you handle it now?  Do you find yourself repeating patterns you don’t like or want to do anymore?  CHANGE!  If you grew up in a home where conflict was handled poorly or not at all, that does not mean you have to deal with conflict in the same way.  Talk to others in your life that you see handle conflict in a healthy way, what are some tips or thoughts they are willing to share?  Does that fit for you?  Check out books that deal with the pattern you want to change.  I highly recommend, Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, a life changing book.  Or if you had an abusive upbringing, consider going to counseling.  Heal, accept and learn from those experiences and if desired, CHANGE the pattern!!    If your mom or dad yelled or they were not present, you can thank them for teaching you how you will speak gently to your family and friends, how you will live in the moment each day that you can be present with family/friends.

How was planning done in your past?  Was there a plan in place for say, family vacations?  Or maybe you had micro managed plans for everything.  What do you enjoy?  What works for you?  Can you see a pattern that is not what you want?  Change it!  If you enjoy planning, but the thought of planning something as big as a vacation is overwhelming, start small.  Plan an afternoon adventure, a trip to a museum or train ride to a city close by for a day trip.  Whatever you plan, do it the way you want to plan.  After your outing, debrief with those involved or just by yourself.  What worked?  What would you change?  What would you do again next time?  Then, plan something a little bigger.  You’ll get the pleasure of doing what you’ve planned and you will learn another pattern of planning!

Physical activity – if your family was not physically active or if your family was super active, what do you want your activity level to be?  Healthy is a good beginning point!  Try a class at a gym or Park and Rec department.  Grab your spouse, kids or friends and go for a walk, bike ride, or anything that gets you up and moving.  If running marathon’s or Iron Man competition is not your thing…..don’t do it!   If the thought of running a 5K or training to run a marathon is something that excites you….DO IT!!  Do you have a cause you support?  Check their website to see if there is a run/walk/ride in the near future.  Sign up, train and go for it!  Or sign up to help in other ways that support those physically participating.

Some of us grew up in environments that were encouraging of our uniqueness while others grew up where we were compared to or expected to be like someone else.  It’ time to find the encouragement to be the very best YOU you can be!  You are a unique individual with passions, talents and gifts that are uniquely yours, no matter what you’re your family background is.    What are you doing to use your gifts and talents? What patterns do you want to break or do you want to grow?  Need some guidance for the first/next step?  If you have serious issues that need help in sorting out, go to professional counseling.  If you are desiring to make a change, have a resolve to be the unique individual you are and are motivated to try something new, give life coaching a try.  I would like the opportunity to work with you.  I’d like to celebrate your uniqueness and help guide you to reach your highest potential!  Simply go to the Speak To Me page and complete the form.

Here’s to being all that each of us can be!!  “On the day you were born, the world grew by one life with big purpose and much to be done.” Marianne Richmond, Hooray for You! A Celebration of “You-ness”

 “Chris is one of the most positive people I know. She helped me find my way forward after an unexpected health crisis, and was there for me following the death of a friend. Chris has a unique way of putting things into perspective, of making a seemingly hopeless situation quite manageable. For these reasons, I would highly recommend her services.”-Lisa, Waukesha, WI

Change is………….

We experience change every day, change is a constant in life. The weather changes, seasons change, the moon’s phases change, people change and so do we. At times we feel we are “forced” to change through circumstances, whether they are our own doing or things we feel are “out of our control”. Depending on how we think we can look at change as opportunity to grow, a blessing or even a new opportunity in our life. It’s what we DO with change that impacts our life. We can be proactive, choosing to make changes that help us grow, taking actions that fit our values to better our lives, OR, we can choose to let circumstances dictate our lives. After living in a mindset of “just letting things happen” and moving to value driven changes in my life, I know where I want to be!

Several years ago I was invited to join a group that was doing a weight loss study. Mind you, I was large, I outweighed many NFL offensive line players. I knew I would always be a big girl and that was confirmed by the generations of large folks in my family. Why try to make a change, I’m predestined to be big….that’s how it’s been, the cards I was dealt. The new group started, I was so sure it would not work, I did not purchase the study materials until 3 weeks into the session. By week 6, I did start to lose weight, I was changing the way I thought – why I ate, how I cooked, and purchased food! I actually started to set goals and each goal that I achieved I set a new one. It was a LOT of change but it was GREAT! I was able to be more active, I felt better, others were inspired and joined me and we all succeeded. That step to join the group changed the way I thought about food, physical activity and more, even today! I’m still learning, still looking at ways to change my eating and exercise habits and hopefully, still inspiring others to lead a healthier lifestyle. I had no idea I valued the ability to be more active or that I valued helping others achieve their goals. What an exciting new opportunity!

In their book, Change Is Good…You Go First, Mac Anderson & Tom Feltenstein remark – “Change can be a wonderful gift. In fact, it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement in any organization.” I would add, change is a wonderful gift in each of our lives especially when we believe that changes do make life better, and can help us be more aligned with our values.

Are you thinking of making a change in your lifestyle, family time, personal time or even in your career….how does that make you feel? Does the possibility give you a feeling of excitement? Or, when you think of making a change does it bring up more questions, more angst or even dread? If the latter is the case, the changes you are preparing to make may not be in alignment with your values.

Changes you make that are aligned with your values will most likely succeed. However, if you are making a change that is not in alignment with your values, that will be a struggle. Are you more inclined to make a change that fits your values? More importantly, do you know your values? If you were to sit down and write your top 3 values could you do it? Again, if you are making a change that is not in alignment with what you value, it probably won’t be a change that you are able to keep or even want to keep!

Defining your values will help you make positive changes, will help you in everyday decisions AND it will help you be more intentional in life which will help you find your purpose! I would enjoy working with you to explore, identify and define your values. Your thoughts, changes, goals, life and purpose will be more enjoyable, clear and successful.

Please go to the Speak To Me page, complete the easy form and let’s see how working together will impact your life!

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