Compassion

Feeling Insignificant?

sequoia redwoods.jpg

There are two kinds of insignificance in my book. The helpful kind and the harmful kind.

First, the helpful.

We hiked through the redwoods on the coast of CA in early October of 2013. “Wow”, was all I could muster. Then I was speechless. The trees are GI-norm-ous! I had to crane my neck way back just to try to see to the tippy top of them. It felt like walking through a story, waaaaay back in time. It’s as if those trees could have told me in a grandfatherly sort of way, what was going on in the world back then, what the climate was like, and who was there to witness it all. I felt very small and insignificant. In a humbling, good kind of way. An inspired way. An “I’m not fully in control” kind of way. 

It was positive, because I’m not really in control of much, only me. Phew! That’s a full-time job in itself. 

Second, the harmful kind of insignificance. Many of my clients have told me they’ve felt insignificant in their jobs, with their significant others, and parenting their children. That insignificance comes in the form of thinking they weren’t doing enough, and whatever they were doing, it wasn’t good enough. It would only make them feel crappy. And when they felt crappy they didn’t feel very empowered about their lives. 

What we don’t realize is how much we actually do get done every day. How much we positively affect other people’s lives, that how much we do is enough as well as good enough, and how we are contributing to the betterment of the planet and our relationships.

I know I struggle with this. 

Often. 

Am I being the person I’m meant to be, doing what I’m meant to do, living on purpose to bring more to planet earth than I’m taking? 

I find myself thinking I fall short, therefore I feel insignificant and pretty blah.

But that doesn’t empower me to move forward with goals in my life. It just makes me feel shut down. And I don’t want to feel like that. 

There was something magical about standing in that forest of huge trees. Something I think we all experience from time to time. It can happen for you too wherever you live, whether it be looking up at a bazillion starts, standing on a beach overlooking the vast ocean, or watching the birds in your backyard. I hope you feel insignificant, yet in an inspired, awe-filled way. That moment of knowing you aren’t alone and not in control, and it’s all okay. 

I’m here to remind you, you are significant, you do matter, you do make a difference, and life for others would not be the same without you.

Thank you for that reminder Redwood trees!

~ Susan

Do you feel stuck or confused about what you want your next step in life to be? I've got something to help. Grab 4 Surprisingly Natural Steps to Discover Your True Desires to get clear on your own answers for that question. 

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

Your Head Versus Your Heart

head and heart by Elizabeth Gilbert.jpg

If you’ve been a part of my newsletter for a while you know that I’m a big fan of the author Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s the one who wrote the epic book, Eat, Pray, Love and most recently, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

When I work with clients there is always a tangle between their head and their hearts. Their hearts say I would LOVE to do A. Then their mind pipes in with, you can’t do that. You’ll never be accepted. That’s a stupid idea.

I try to guide them into the heart space where the magic can happen for their lives. Our minds need to be in service of our hearts, not the other way around.

Recently on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page she shared this below. It resonated with me, and as a fellow “personal growth” junkie that I know you are, I thought it would resonate with you too.

Dear Ones:

I woke up this morning with my mind in a tangle, and my emotions in a storm.

I lay there in bed for a long time, wrestling with my thoughts and fighting hard against my feelings. But I was losing ground. No matter how hard I used my powerful THOUGHTS to try to extract myself from my other powerful THOUGHTS, it didn’t work. My THOUGHTS just got darker, and then my THOUGHTS about my THOUGHTS got more panicked and distressed, until new and worse THOUGHTS arose, and now we have a tornado, folks.

(This has happened to me before. But only once or twice.)

My mind thought: I NEED MORE THOUGHTS, TO FIX THESE THOUGHTS! THINK HARDER! FIND A SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING! STOP THIS! GET CONTROL! DIFFERENT THOUGHTS! BETTER THOUGHTS!

Then I remembered: I cannot use my mind to help my mind, when my mind is in distress.

At these moments, only the heart can help.

So.

My heart stepped in quietly and said to my tired mind: “Come and rest your tangle here with me. I’ll take care of you, just the way you are.”

My mind said, “But, but, BUT —“

My heart said, “Shhh. I’ve got you.”

Then we all rested together — me, mind, heart.

No solving happened this morning.

Solving doesn’t always have to happen. Sometimes it can’t. Sometimes all you need is a safe place to rest.

HEART.

Then I got up and drew this picture, for the next time I forget.

Onward.

LG

Lovely isn’t it? Where in your life can you just let your mind rest and allow your heart to hold it? 

Please share if you know just the perfect person who needs this.

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Elizabeth Gilbert from her Facebook Page.

 

Are You Beating Yourself Up for the Past?

freedom.jpg

During my Tuesday evening yoga class this week, our instructor asked us to share a quote. I had worked with a coaching client earlier that day and thought about our conversation and what she was struggling with. I boiled our entire conversation down to one sentence that just rolled off my tongue. 

“Beating yourself up for the past doesn’t allow you freedom in the present”. 

Think about that for a minute.

How many things are you carrying around from your past that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? 

Maybe you deliberately said or did something mean to someone.

Maybe you didn’t handle a certain situation well on your end.

Maybe you really didn’t show up the way you wanted to in your life at a certain point and you aren’t proud of it.

Are you carrying around a 30# bag of rocks behind your back… metaphorically speaking?

If you are, let me share with you what I asked of her.

Who benefits when you don’t forgive or let go of what you did wrong? Do you benefit? Your significant other? Your friends? Children? Colleagues? 

Don’t we already have enough suffering in the world?

If you beat yourself up for the next 20 years, will then be the time to let it go? If not, when will you know you’ve suffered enough? 

We need more light and love, and peace in the world, period. 

If you continue to beat yourself up for the past, your pain doesn’t bring more peace. It brings more negativity.  

To you.

And by extension, on an energetic level, to others around you.

There is no amount of personal suffering and pain that will absolve you of your past mistakes or regrets. God isn’t going to reach her hand down from the sky, touch your shoulder and say, “Ok, you’re forgiven now”. 

It’s up to you.

If you want to make amends with a certain person, by all means do that. Whether or not they forgive you is up to them.

Then you can simply say, I forgive myself for what I did.

You’ve learned from that mistake, you’re a different person now.

So live from the place of being that new person. 

That is how you’ll bring more love and light into the world.

No suffering required.

Please share if you know just the perfect person who needs this.

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

What Real Leadership and True Caring Look Like

I think we’ve all experienced a phone call like this. Your phone rings, you see that a friend is calling, you pick it up, and you realize very quickly that something absolutely horrible has happened. 

This was my reality the evening of the Superbowl. I had just returned from a fun skiing weekend with my husband and friends in Winthrop, WA. 

As many of you know, I work part-time at REI here in Bend, OR. I love both the company and my co-workers. 

That phone call I received was about my department manager. He decided to take his own life on Saturday. I was stunned. I still am. All of my co-workers are.

The evening continued with more co-workers contacting me to make sure I knew what had happened.

The next day, other managers from our store contacted me to ask how I was doing, and to let me know that if I needed time off work, no problem, that would be paid time off. 

I did go into work for a short while because I needed to be with my REI family. I walked in the door and was quite surprised to see employees in green vests I did not recognize. These kind people introduced themselves to me and said they were from several other REI’s around Oregon. They were here to help out our store during our time of need. They told me just to ask if I needed anything. I was floored. Anyone in our store didn’t have to work if they were too upset, others were here to take over for us. 

Not only that, but in our break room, food was there. Food to help comfort us. And a sign up sheet for the grief counselor who was coming in to support us. 

Wow! And these people will be here all week to help us through this process of loss and grief. 

I was humbled by their kindness, care, and leadership.

Maybe other companies do this when a tragic, sudden loss happens. I don’t know.

What I do know, is that this is what real leadership and true caring look like. To drop everything and go to support others in their time of need. A company that is willing to do that should be an inspiration to others. A model to follow.

I know that my manager would have done the same if he had been called to go help others. That’s just the kind of guy he was.

With everything going on politically right now, we need examples of people caring for each other, because they want to, because they know it’s the right thing to do. REI has been that example this week. 

They get it. They really, truly get it.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

YOUR TRUE LIFE (Know it, Feel It, Live It)

Take Action Then Rest (Rinse and Repeat)

I’ve had a great discussion via email with one of my newsletter subscribers this week. We are both equally in distress by the person who currently occupies the oval office. If this offends any readers of my newsletter who are supporters of that individual, that’s okay. If you need to unsubscribe, that’s okay. We might just value different things in life. That’s okay too. 

I have been so inspired by the millions of people standing up in this country to say that what is happening is not only not normal or okay, it’s detrimental on the largest scale to the fabric of our society, and humanity.  I don’t need to go into it in depth, you already get it.

I did March the day after the inauguration to give my voice and support for the equality of all human beings, I have written to my senators, I do follow the news and try to figure out what is true, and I’m also working on what consistent actions I can take that are most aligned with what I value. I have never been active in anything political before, possibly like many of you. But what is happening in this country isn’t political, it’s disgusting and heart wrenching. And it’s exhausting. Exhausting mentally, emotionally, physically. As well, it might be a long haul.

There is a great article circulating on Facebook called How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind. I had seen it pass through my feed but didn’t read it until my friend above sent it to me. Maybe you’ve already read it, if not, it’s quite helpful. Hrere’s the link to it.

We already know the Occupier of the Oval Office is a psychological mess and using that to bring chaos. It’s up to each of us individually to be responsible for our own thoughts, emotions, actions, and reactions. But we can’t live in a state of hyper alertness 24/7. Our bodies at a cellular level aren’t designed to live that way. It can make you quite sick. Cells need to come back down to a place of homeostasis and rest for rejuvenation. Think about how some nights you are exhausted and go to sleep. On the nights you actually get enough sleep, you are rested and ready to go the next day. When you don’t get enough shut eye, you start the next day with less energy. It’s a simple process. After action, you must rest in order to be ready for more action. That’s just a basic process of life and it can apply to anything. 

So check out the article if you feel so inclined and keep up the good fight. There’s a lot at stake in our country right now and we need to protect all of our citizens, non-citizens, and their rights. If we don’t embrace everyone, we embrace no one. 

As I mentioned to my friend in our email exchange, there are millions of people, millions, that are watching and taking action. And while you are resting, they are on the move, and that while you are on the move taking action, they may be resting. I find comfort in that. They all need the rest just like you. And me. The whole world cannot be on our shoulders.

Take Action Then Rest (Rinse and Repeat)

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

YOUR TRUE LIFE (Know It, Feel It, Live It)

 

The Old and the New You

I want you to think back to a time when the old you would get upset about something, or worry about someone, or get mad at yourself for something you did or didn’t do. Now I want you to think about the new you that doesn’t get as upset about something not happening on your time frame, or worries about what another might think, or gives yourself compassion for that thing you did or didn’t do. As some of my friends/yoga instructors say, breathe in, then let that sh*t go. 

I bring this up today because you’re receiving your newsletter from me a bit late. Yes, it’s still Saturday, the normal day it arrives, but the old me would have been absolutely appalled that you didn’t receive it in the “normal” time slot. I would have stressed internally, fretted about it, my husband would know how much of a loser I thought I was, loads of self-bashing would have ensued. But you see, I’m the new me now. I had a week filled with activities both daytime and nighttime. I had a Birthday in there, a few parties to attend, work for my new website to be done, helping customers at REI, self-care, and sleep.

Something had to give. And your newsletter was it. Not because I didn’t want to get it done on time, because my life time was just filled. Period. End of story. No need to cry, scream, or stress.

And that’s the new me. The one that knows not everything gets done on my time frame, or perfectly. I bet you’ve become wiser over time too. I believe that happens to anyone who lives a conscientious life. A life where they pay attention to their behaviors and patterns, and make adjustments as they are needed. The old you would have done one thing, the new you, can at least sometimes, let that sh*t go.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

your true life (know it, feel it, live it)

An Invitation

Well, this week has most definitely not been a normal week in the life of the Untied States of America. Did you see what I just typed there (and it was totally by accident). We’ve become even more untied as a nation. I’ve been shocked, angry, dismayed, and yes, righteous about the election that took place our country this week. And do you know what I’ve been doing? Grieving. Mourning for a country that seems more divided than I ever could have thought possible in the 21st century.

It is so easy to lump Trump supporters and Hillary supporters into nice little tidy boxes with big bows on top. But you can’t. We are all incredibly diverse and complex people in and of ourselves. Because of who we are, our history, and our experiences. There has been and still is a lot of hate and mistrust out there. I don’t think many people truly want to understand why this is happening now. But I do.

holding-hands.jpg

What I feel called to do right now is to support those of you feeling angry, scared, lost, confused, disoriented, or just plain feel like sh*t. There is nothing like politics, or religion, to bring out every aspect of our humanness. The good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in-between.

Maybe you have friends and/or family to talk about what you have been or are going through post-election. People who are supportive and listen. People who hold that space to just let you share what’s going on with you, without judgement. And maybe you don’t have anyone in your life quite like that at all.

That’s where I come in and here’s my open invitation. If you want a person to be present, to listen, someone who will allow you to lay it all out and express whatever it is you want or need to express, I’m here. No charge.

Because as much as this election has rocked me up and down like a dinghy in a stormy ocean being tossed about by 40 foot waves, I am grounded at my center. And just maybe I can help you find some of that center within yourself.

And here’s something else. I was not a Trump supporter and I’m still not, BUT, I do want to understand what it was that made him so appealing to so many in our country. What voice did he put forth that made you think and feel he was the person that could bring the change that you wanted to see? My invitation is open to you too.

Email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com. I’m here. We'll set up a time to meet. By phone, Skype, or locally on a trail by the river in Bend, OR. Or you can just email me your thoughts if that’s all you want to do. I will respond.

We all need someone to listen, without judgement, someone who doesn’t need you to change anything about what you are experiencing and feeling. Do not hesitate to contact me. I really am here if you need me. coachwithsusan@hotmail.com. Today, tomorrow, a week from now, whenever.

This country was built on a foundation of all of us supporting each other. And we need each other now, more than ever.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

Your true life (know it, feel it, live it)

Image by Pixabay

It's Me and It's We

I_voted_now_it_s_up_to_you.jpg

The hardest thing about politics for me is that when two people have differing viewpoints, neither really wants to hear what the other person is saying. Not really. We listen to rebuke and rebut, not to understand and empathize compassionately.

There are massive amounts of mud, hatred, as well as threats being flung out in all directions. You have to wear a suit of armor to deflect it all. And as Byron Katie, spiritual guru says, “Defense is the first act of war”.

When was the last time you sat down with a person who supports the opposite candidate that you do, asked them why they support that person and just listened?

Listened to their logical reasoning, their heart’s reasoning, and their soul’s reasoning. Why do they really want their candidate to lead the country? What do they think they as individuals will gain from having that person as president, or what will our country as a whole gain from that person in the lead?

How fascinating it would be to sit down with someone who thinks and feels so differently than you to find out why they actually do. Then not judge them for who they are because of it.

We all want to be heard, and understood (if possible). When we are truly seen, even if someone doesn’t agree with us, it softens the differences. There is a form of acceptance present to bridge that gap.

And yes, I like many others, you included I’m sure, have a strong opinion about who would and should be the best next President and leader of the free world. Which person would be better not just for me, but for we?

If you are a US Citizen, I hope you voted. If you haven’t, I hope you do.

Because even if you really don’t like either of the two candidates, as someone said to me at a dinner gathering a few weeks back that they heard a comedian joke about, it’s either going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. You might as well put your voice towards which show you want to be watching for the next 4 years.

Not voting means you’re okay if you don’t have a voice, and everyone else gets to decide who's going to be President for you. If there was ever a time that your voice and vote mattered, It Is Right Freaking Now.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

your true life (know it, feel it, live it)