Perspective

When Failures Aren't Really Failures

 My attempt at drawing an apple and orange

My attempt at drawing an apple and orange

Have you ever thought something was a failure because it didn’t go as planned? It’s such normal thing to have expectations. I mean who ever wants to fail at something. “Yes, let me fail on an epic scale at this new thing”, said no one ever. 

So… I took a drawing class this past weekend. I thought it would be really fun. The only thing I’ve ever drawn was stick figures. I went into it with an open mind. I just wanted to learn something new. 

Our instructor was quite patient. She was so uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging. She was just the kind of teacher you want to have when you’re trying something new.

We got to practice drawing a lot in this one day workshop. We got to use different types of paper and pencils. We shaded. We highlighted. Our little group happily sat chatting and drawing.

I noticed something kind of quickly though. My drawings were like a 5 year olds drawings compared to every other person in the class. I’m not saying that to put myself down. I’ve seen some five year olds draw amazing pictures. My drawings looked so very different from not only everyone’s drawings in the class but from the item I was attempting to draw. I was truly dumbfounded by this.What my eyes saw I literally could not translate on to paper in a meaningful kind of way. My apple and orange looked like a fuzzy blob, not anything close to resembling an apple and orange in any way.

Yes when you try something new you’re not going to be Picasso out of the gate. This experience was quite unexpected however. As the class went along I realized I really wasn’t even enjoying the drawing process. It wasn’t  that fun to me. 

It kind of hit me that as much as this all felt like one big failure, it wasn’t even close to a failure. I tried something new. I wasn’t very good. I didn’t really even enjoy the process. And I didn’t walk away with a desire to practice more and get better. 

How great is this? I don’t want to do this. No biggie. I got to try something new, meet some cool people, and find out that I should stay with drawing stick figures. 

This is freedom. Who cares that it didn’t work out? Who cares that I don’t want to be Picasso? Who cares that I now have several drawings that look like a 5 year old probably created them?

 I showed up and gave it a go. And in the end that’s all that really matters. I’ll keep showing up and giving things a go. Eventually something might stick. Or not. It means nothing about me as a person. That’s the key here. We usually make what we see as failures mean that WE have failed. That we are flawed in some way. That is simply not true. Period. 

I ask you, where in your life can you look back and see something that looked like a failure that really wasn’t? What seems like a failure now? Can you see that differently too? 

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

~ Susan

You Are The One Who Decides

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I’ll leave this one right here for you to ponder.

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” 

~ Robin S. Sharma

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

~ 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.

Did You Really Have A Bad Day... Or?

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Think about this one… really think about it. 

Was your entire day really that bad?

Did something not so great happen first thing and you’ve held onto it all day?

Did you decide that whatever happened had to color your entire day?

Life happens. 

Sometimes really awesome things happen at the start of your day.

Sometimes some not so awesome things happen at the start of your day.

Your day might seem more good than bad or vice versa. 

You determine how that day feels by what you think about what’s happened within it. 

If you think something is good, it will feel good.

If you think something is bad, it will feel bad.

If you think something is so so, you will feel so so.

You’ve got a couple of options.

You can change the way you think about something, therefore feel differently. 

Or you can just notice you think a certain way about something, therefore you will feel a certain way about it, then let it pass because it will. 

New thoughts will come in about what’s happening in your day, then new feelings will come in. And they’ll pass too. 

It’s only when hang onto a thought that we hang onto the feeling that goes with it.

Don’t let a bad 5 minutes give you an entire bad day.

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

~ 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. 

Do You Want What You Already Have?

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A little perspective for you today.

Your brain is wired to fix problems.

Let’s shift that for the next few minutes.

Let’s focus on what you want that you already have in your life. Not what you want that you don’t have, what you already have that you like having.

I’ll go first.

I want a caring husband. I have one. How lucky am I?

I want beautiful flowers in my garden. I have them. Oh that’s fantastic!

I want to do work that’s meaningful to me. I’m both a Life Coach and an employee at REI. Both fulfilling in their own way.

I want good coffee to drink the morning when I wake up. I have great tasting coffee. Yum!

I want to spend time reading impactful books. I already do this several times a week.

I want to make healthy meals full of variety. I do. Sometimes I have dinner for breakfast, but hey, MY rules!

This is me wanting what I have. 

This is me enjoying and appreciating that I have those things.

This is me still wanting more of what I already have for my future and other things too.

Write down or make a mental list of what you want that you already have. 

I bet you’ve got an amazingly abundant life. All you’ve got to do is actually look at what you have that you are thrilled about. Maybe nothing needs to change. 

What do you want that you already have?

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

~ 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.

 

What's Your Brain Like on Words?

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I wanted to share an experience I had this week that shows how brains work.

My husband had arthroscopic hip surgery at the beginning of the week. After trying everything to help but surgery, it became clear that surgery was the best option. We drove 3 hours to Portland for the procedure because if you want the specialist whose done thousands of them, you’ll drive wherever you need to have the best.

As I often teach my clients, you’ve got to learn to watch your mind. If you don’t, it will run amuck like a two year old child and throw tantrums in the middle of the grocery store.

Even before the surgery I knew I was nervous. I knew this because as a person who mostly sleeps soundly through the night, I wasn’t. 

These are the words that went through my head. “What if we have issues driving to and from Portland”. “What if we get into an accident”. “What if my husband (whose very active and doesn’t like to sit) goes stir crazy after surgery.” 

What if, What if, What if!

Then on surgery day after he’d been all prepped, I said I love you and I’ll see you in a couple of hours and walked away, all sorts of other words came into my mind. “What if he doesn’t wake up”, “What if he’s really nauseous and vomits on our drive home”, “What if he’s in a lot of pain”.

What if, What if, What if!

It’s a really fascinating thing to watch the words that pass through your mind. Notice I’ve said that a few times, the words that pass through your mind…

That’s what’s happening all day long. Words pass through. We call them thoughts because that’s what they are, but they are just words strung together.

And we give those words meaning. If I look at what I said above when I wondered, “What if he doesn’t wake up?”, all of a sudden, now I’m a widow. Then I have to think about how my life will be different. How am I going to navigate everything without him. Whose going to lift the heavy things around the house? Whose going to fix things that get broken? How completely devastated am I going to be? Will I go into a deep depression? Will I want to stay in our house? Will I want to move to another state?…

See, more words come up. SO many words.

The thing about those words that cross through your mind. 

You determine what meaning they have. 

You determine if you’re going to react to them. 

You determine if you’re going to be stressed by them.

You decide how much attention they get. 

Did you know, you don’t have to believe a single word that moves through your mind. You don’t.

I did a lot of mind watching before and after my husband’s surgery. 

It may not seem like it from what I said above, but mostly I was calm. 

The words passed through like clouds floating in the sky. I watched them and noticed my reaction to them.

The result?

His surgery was faster than expected. He wasn’t in a lot of pain. He wasn’t nauseous. The drive to and from home was super easy with very little traffic. 

Those words that ran through my head… they were just words. 

Words are going to continue to run through your mind all day long. 

It’s your choice to believe them, or not.

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

~ 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.

 

Want to Change Your Life? Start Really Small

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Changing your life is no easy task. We humans aren’t hardwired for change. Even if you want it, the doing part isn’t really all that easy. Like I mentioned in last weeks post, your brain likes to be efficient so it likes to do the same things it has always done and it conserves energy by taking you along the same path you’ve always taken. Your brain has to work a little harder to create change. And whose keen on the idea of working a little harder?

But if you do want change for your life, I highly recommend only changing one small thing at a time. Why? Because usually when you set out on changing your life, you have big hopes, dreams, and goals about where you think your life could be. Compared to where you are now, that could be one ginormous leap. And once you start that undertaking (or even before you do) the overwhelm of it all could completely keep you from getting out of bed in the morning. That life of traveling and adventure quickly becomes, “Let me just eat this pint of Ben and Jerrys”.

Imagine changing just one small thing. Something that’s really doable without overwhelm. Then your chances of actually succeeding in small increments and continuing are much greater. I call them ladybug steps. They are so teeny weeny, you could almost do them in your sleep.

So think of a change/goal/desire you have for your life. 

Save money.

Go on a trip.

Lose weight.

Meditate.

Choose your desire.

What’s one really tiny step you could take towards that desire that feels so easy it’s not a big deal at all?

Now go do it. It should be that easy or you’ve chosen something too hard or  too big.

The next day maybe you need to take that same step again, or the next super easy tiny step. Then do that.

This is how books get written, weight gets lost, trips get taken, fulfilling lives get lived.

They all start with one tiny step consistently taken.

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed but those ladybugs sure can move fast when they’re going somewhere, one teeny step at a time. :)

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

~ Susan

Do you feel stuck and 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.

 

 

Maybe There's Nothing Wrong With Where You Are

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I absolutely believe in personal growth and self help. Life is always changing and we are always going along with change or fighting against it. 

The personal growth industry is all about making ourselves better, more enlightened, more efficient, more this, more that…

I wonder if it’s just another trap like the beauty industry where we’re not okay as we are and we have to look different, act different, BE different, to fit in, be accepted, or find our place. It’s almost like we compare and despair about our personal growth as well and whether or not we’re doing even that right. 

If something isn’t working in my own life, I’m often trying to figure out what I need to change about myself. Since we can’t control anyone but ourselves, it’s kinda up to us. 

Maybe it’s time to stop and look at your life and notice that it’s not so horrible, not such a mess, not something that needs to be overhauled, or changed in a myriad of directions. 

Is it possible you do like some parts of your life? Maybe some areas are working really well. Maybe you do love your job. Or your retirement. Or your volunteering. Or your significant other. Or your friends. Or your pets. Or your garden. Or your kids. Maybe you’re even happy with your body. Maybe your bank account isn’t in the red. Maybe you do eat a lot of healthy food and move your body in healthy ways. 

Maybe nothing needs to be fixed right this minute. 

What does that feel like? 

Maybe where you are right now isn’t actually a problem. We spend so much time trying to make ourselves better, our lives better, our environment better. 

I don’t disagree that some things could be better. 

But just for once. 

For now.

In this moment.

It doesn’t have to be you.

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

~ Susan

Do you feel stuck and 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.

 

When You Make A Wrong Decision

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A few weeks ago I wrote about why many of us have a hard time making decisions. It all boils down to fear and what our minds tell us “could” happen in the future.

It struck a chord with many of you so I thought I’d chat about how to deal with a”wrong” decision when you make one. 

Well, being that you ARE human, you’re going to make some dumb decisions. You’re going to mess up, make mistakes, hurt other people, maybe even royally screw some things up in your life. And often when you do that you have regrets. 

“I shouldn’t have said that," you think.

“Why did I ever trust that person when my gut said no”?

“I probably would have been better off staying away from heroin”. 

My hunch is if you’re reading this, you aren’t a heroin user. ;)

Let’s get one thing straight. You’re going to do something stupid and have regrets on occasion. Even Oprah does that.

It’s not that you make a bad decision, remember, you will. 

It’s what you learn from that experience that matters. Where have you heard this before?

I’ve had clients that chose the wrong partner.

I’ve had clients that chose alcohol over sobriety.

I’ve had clients that chose to stay in a job even when it was killing them.

Look, you can’t change the clock and get that time back in your life to do something different, but I’m guessing (wise person that you are) that you learned some great wisdom from your choices. And with that wisdom you can move forward and make different choices. 

So what do you do?

  • Grieve that experience. Be mad, sad, frustrated, and regretful.
  • Discover what you did learn?
  • Make peace with it
  • Forgive yourself and move forward with new insight

Don’t let regrets hold you back. 

Embrace them and what you learned, then your life will be fuller and more meaningful because of it.

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

~ Susan

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

Accepting Where You Are (Even When it Sucks)

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Sometimes where you are in life doesn’t feel so great. Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you’re going through a divorce, maybe you’ve got a nagging health problem, or maybe you just want it to be sunny outside and the sky is full of clouds.

We’ve all heard a lot about the concept of acceptance. It’s not new. Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like something. It just means you have to be willing to be okay that whatever is happening right now is actually happening. One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” You can’t change what is, you can only respond to it.

And I know many think that if they accept what’s happening (even if it sucks) they won’t do anything about it. Nothing will change. And yes, that’s possible but it doesn’t have to be true for you. Acceptance is about recognizing that the reality of what is happening right now is happening. Your thoughts about that reality are going to make you feel however you feel. Good, bad, or indifferent. 

For example, I’m in the middle of my second cold for the winter. This basically pisses me off. I’m a person who eats well, exercises, gets a lot of sleep, basically does everything she can to take care of herself. Then why oh why am I dealing with this again? I can spend all the time in the world in my head trying to figure out why this is happening and fighting against it. But that’s not acceptance. Acceptance is, oh look, I’ve got another cold. I need even more rest, more down time, I’m not going to feel my best for a while, I’m going to feel frustrated for a while. I’m going to think what I think about it and feel what I feel about it, and then do the only thing I can do. Keep resting, keep taking care of myself, and choosing what’s best for me as I go. 

Staying pissed off about being sick gets me nowhere but being sick AND pissed off. I don’t like being sick but I’ve accepted it. And I’m doing what I need to do and moving forward. Because eventually I won’t be sick. And if you don’t like your job, you’ll change you or it. Or if you’re going through a divorce, at some point you’ll be through it. And even if the clouds fill the sky today, tomorrow might be nothing but sun.

It will suck for a while. So feel that. Then accept it. Then move forward in it and through it.

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

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

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Feel Like You're Going to Make a Mistake?

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Many of my clients (and me sometimes) are afraid to make mistakes in their life. And do you know what that does to us? We get like a deer in headlights mode. We freak out, freeze, and do nothing. Because if you think you might make the wrong decision you don’t want to go there and you won’t.

There are two schools of thought around “making mistakes”.

School of thought #1-There are no mistakes. Meaning, whatever choice you make in any area of your life, however it pans out, it was meant to happen that way. It’s not a “mistake” because you can always learn  from the choice you made. That is of course, if you are willing to see it as a learning opportunity. 

If you see something as just a plain old dumb, stupid mistake, you are more likely to beat yourself up about it mentally and vow to never do it again, and push it out of your mind so that it never returns. And that would be a sad thing because you could learn so much about yourself in the process. I think we always try our best to make the best decisions with the information we have at any given time to do what’s right for ourselves.

School of Thought #2-You are going to make mistakes because last time I checked, you are a human being too. You’re going to say something awkward to someone, you’re going to show up late to an appointment, you’re going to fall flat on your face in the Olympics and it will cost you the gold medal… in front of the world.  You get the drift. 

You’re going to screw up, no matter how hard you try. I do it all the time. It doesn’t matter that you screw up (since you will). What matters is that you take ownership of it in a healthy way. AND you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. You apologize when you hurt someone, you make amends. You learn about yourself and why you did what you did in that moment. Or you think about what you spent money on that turned out to be “a waste” and look at what your thought process was during that time that made you spend it. Again, you learn from it.

School of Thought #3-I think this is the most helpful school of thought. As a human, you’re going to make mistakes AND you can use those mistakes as valuable life lessons for you to see how you show up in the world, and for yourself. It’s a shift of your mind. 

So what you screwed up? What did you learn? So what that you offended someone? What did you learn? So what that you blew it in front of the world and lost the gold medal? What did you learn? Think about those olympians who had exactly that happen 4 years ago and they are back competing again in this Olympics now trying to get the gold. They probably did beat themselves up, AND they decided to learn from it AND move forward. They are human beings with drive and passion. Just like you. If they can do it. You can to. 

So go out there and live your life. Make those mistakes. Learn from them. Move forward. The most successful people I know (meaning they live life form their truth on their terms) make mistakes often. They’ve all said it was the best, and fastest way, they became successful.

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 needs this.

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

Forgiving Others and Yourself

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I have just returned from my vacation and helping an aunt with surgery in FL. After a 6 hour flight behind a crying baby and arriving home at 1am, my brain didn’t have a lot of power to create a fun and fresh post for you. So I’ve brought a popular one I wrote a few years back out of the archives to share with you. It’s a timeless one. It’s about forgiveness.

Maybe they said or did something to you. Maybe you said or did something to them. Or, maybe you said or did something to yourself.

You may have heard the saying, ‘forgiveness isn’t for another person, it’s for you’. I agree, and here’s why. 

You are with you 24/7. Of course, during sleep and dreaming time who knows where you are, but for your waking hours, you’re with you.

That means your amazing mind is running commentary all the time about your life. If you’re paying attention to that commentary, you will probably find some pretty negative thoughts about yourself and other people in there. If the case of you thinking someone wronged you in some way, you will have thoughts about that person. Those thoughts will cause emotions. Probably some pretty darn ugly, snarly emotions that will go with those ugly, snarly, thoughts. And that’s okay. You need to be in tune and aware of what’s happening with you (and not diminish it). This is what you think of them and this is what you feel. Honor it.

If you decide to forgive them, it does not mean that you are saying what they said or did is okay or acceptable. You may not even trust them anymore. And that’s okay too. But, once it is over you get to decide (to choose) if you want to keep beating them up in your mind. Because that’s what you’re doing. When you replay something someone has said or done to you repeatedly, you keep what happened in the past alive in the present. And guess what, that only affects you. You are the one choosing to keep the story going. That person may not even know what you are thinking or feeling about them in this moment. But boy you sure do. And those thoughts and feelings will affect your overall wellbeing in the present. 

If it’s something you did or said to someone else, you get to decide how long you’re going to beat yourself up for it. Again, this affects your overall wellness right now. If you said or did something you wished you hadn’t, you forgive yourself and learn from it. 

The same goes with your relationship with you. Maybe you didn’t honor yourself in a way you told yourself you would, and you’re thrashing you with a wet noodle mentally for it. We are our own toughest critics.

Forgiveness is always a conscientious choice. And you don’t have to ever forgive if you don’t want to. 

But at least you know that in the end, you forgiving someone else (or yourself) will affect you and your wellbeing the most.

Forgiveness isn’t black and white. It can be a process, and can take time. No one said it was easy either. 

With thoughtfulness, however, I think you can make the best decision for you.

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 needs this.

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

Life Sometimes has Other Plans

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I’m currently in FL visiting family and friends for a couple of weeks. Part of my time here is helping an aunt who had a pretty major surgery. I of course had made plans of doing things with friends, helping my aunt, and spending time with family. I’d been trying to coordinate it all. Then I realized that with someone in the hospital with no way of knowing exactly when they’ll get out, and me being the one that’s going to take them home, making plans is actually kind of silly. Because you can’t. 

Remember last week when I said that weird and different things happen in life when you’re trying to follow your truth to throw things off? Well, this is one of those times. You realize you aren’t able to do everything you wanted to do. Sometimes feelings get hurt. And you’re stuck in the middle trying to do the right thing. It’s challenging. 

So this is just a short note to remind you that it’s all ok. It’s all part of life. You can’t do everything all at once. You sometimes have to let go of some plans for a bit and get back to them when you can. And in the end things will work out, just in their own way and time. Maybe not yours.

As they say, you really do have to go with the flow. When you don’t it’s like paddling upstream. Much harder work than you need to do.

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 needs this.

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

And the Calendar Begins Anew

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The beginning of 2018 is right around the weekend corner. It will say Monday, January 1 on your calendar. Maybe you had a fantastic year in 2017, maybe it plain stunk, or maybe it was a mixed bag. Either way, this year is about over and the next is almost here.

Every morning in my email inbox I get A Note from the Universe. They are fantastic reminders and idea generators for a well-lived life. Yesterday (Friday), this one came. I loved it so much I thought I’d share.

Soon the new year starts, so now's a great time to:

1. Wipe the slate clean.

2. Focus upon what you really want.

3. Chart your course.

Or is that a bit old school? Feels tiring? Ugh!

How about an adventurous alternative:

1. Give thanks that your life is exactly as it is.

2. Decide that 2018 will be the happiest year of your life yet.

3. Every day, follow your heart and instincts down new paths. 

This is Life Coaching in a bottle really. 

1.You must give gratitude for all that you do have. The perceived good and bad.

2. You make the decision from your very core that this will be the happiest year you’ve experienced yet.

3. And you do that by following your heart and your intuition in new and different ways that seem interesting and fun.

A 3-step process to a life well lived. Pretty Simple!

I’ll see you in a grateful, happy, heart-filled 2018!!!

If you’d like to receive your own Note from the Universe daily, here’s the link to sign up. 

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

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

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Friendships

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A fellow newsletter reader and friend of mine shared a story with me about a problem she had and resolved. I thought I’d share it with you in case you struggle with this too. 

I’ll call her Sharon. Sharon said she had always wanted a “best” girlfriend or click of girlfriends to hang out with and do everything together. She felt bad because she didn’t have that one special friend or that group to hang out with. She said she struggled with it for quite a while. “What was wrong with me?”, she asked herself.

Does this feel familiar to you? Wanting someone or a group to hang out with where you belong? 

This is a strong need for almost any human I believe. People we can share with, people who can be there for us in times of need, who will tell us the truth when we need to hear it, who will share in our joys and wins. People who just “get” us. Our tribe. 

Sharon thought a lot about this, looked under rocks, and turned it over and over in her mind for years. And then she resolved it. How?

She realized she really didn’t want a “best friend in the whole world girlfriend” and she doesn’t like clicks. She has a husband who she describes as less than perfect, but a wonderful companion with whom she shares many likes, and is her best friend. She shares a lot with him when things are on her mind.

And she still needs a woman fix from time to time. So she calls up various girlfriends to have coffee, do lunch, or take a hike with. She’s active in the Meet-up group community, where she is always meeting new people too. 

So she really has quite a few friends. Because of circumstances like illness, death, moving, or a change in interests, friends come and go in her life, and that’s ok. Sometimes she’ll meet new people she really clicks with. Haven’t we all had that experience? Those ladies stick around, and so does she.

She realized how lucky she already was. It was in her seeing the situation differently that helped her resolve her dilemma. 

Thinking about her story reminded me of my own friends. Some people I know do have a “Bestie”, that one person who they go to on a consistent basis, or that cemented group of friends, a tight knit circle of just them. And it’s perfect no matter what you’ve got.

Various friends and people in our lives can fulfill many different roles. Some are the ones we cry to when we need understanding. Some are the ones we go to when we need a motivational pep talk. Some we just need to drink wine with. Some we need when we need a good dose of humor. 

We all have such different personalities and are at different stages of life. Friends will come and go, and some we will always have. It matters most that you’ve got someone to go to belong with when you need it. 

If you feel like that’s missing in your life, look up a local Meet-up or community group that shares similar interests with yours. It might take a while to find tribe members but you never know where one conversation with someone might lead.

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

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

Is Your Life Busy or Full?

hourglass.jpg

Take a moment to ponder this before reading on. Does your life feel more full or more busy??

Do you know the difference? Because there is one. 

A busy life is filled with something to do all the time. It usually feels hectic, frantic, that there isn’t enough time, you don’t have enough energy, you wish the days were longer to “get it all done," and then you wake up the next day and do the SAME thing, then wonder why you’re exhausted and don’t really feel all that accomplished. Repeat again the next day, and the next…

A full life is has a different energy to it. Not hectic, not frantic, at all. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a to-do list. We will ALWAYS have one. It’s a life where you decide and choose what you will do in your day based upon what’s important to you, what feeds you, what nourishes you, what feels good saying yes to and doesn’t leave you feeling like every last ounce of energy will be gone from your body if you do it. Your life is filled with meaning and overall feels good.

It’s a mindset, and attitude, and intention for your life. Does cramming a bazillion things into your day excite you? If it does, and that’s your MO, then by all means DO that. If spreading things out, even if the entire to-do list doesn’t get done today or exactly on your time line, feels a bit more like you can take a breath, then DO that.

Your To-Do list will always always be there. So will mine. You know that saying?, “The only constant in life is change.” Yes, it’s totally true. Unexpected things will happen in your day sometimes. Traffic holds you up, your doctor’s appointment went long, the grocery store was SO busy with people, you injured yourself and now must take several weeks to rest. You will have things to do that you don’t particularly enjoy doing. Things that seem like a waste of time. It’s all part of it.

And yes, sometimes even your to-do list gets done just as you planned and everything falls into place that day as you’d hoped. And that’s really nice too.

In the end, it’s really your relationship with time, your beliefs around time, and what you value in your life that matter. If you want your life to be more full and not quite so busy, the shift must come from how you treat time. You are the only one who truly chooses how you spend it. 

Even if you have a job that says you must work a certain number of hours per week. Within those hours, how are you approaching that time? Are you utilizing it in a way that fits your energy and brain power? What little shifts can you make to help? There is always a way to make things work for you if you’re willing to get creative. 

Time will go by, that’s just what it does.

But is your life full or busy? 

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

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

On asking for help to put air in your tires

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I just dropped my husband off Thursday at Mt. Hood to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for 5-6 weeks. He’s heading north to the end at the Canadian border. He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail after college for 5 months, but that was 23 years ago. He’s doubled his age since then and has a little more wear and tear on his joints after decades of competitive running. I’m excited for his adventure… and mine too.

If you live with a roommate or significant other, it’s a little strange to have your residence to yourself for an extended period of time. I’m interested to see what it feels like to be on my own for this short stint since it’s been 10 years since I’ve done that. What’s the first thing I did? I cleaned the living be-Jesus out of the house. After a summer of company (which we thoroughly enjoyed), it was time. 

And then the low-air tire light came on in my car. No problem. We’ve got an air compressor. I’ll just check the air in the tires, turn on the air compressor, and voila, fill those puppies up. Except… there was a big hole in the hose running from the compressor. So all the air was shooting out into the garage. Which is of course exactly where I needed it. No biggie. I found some tape and decided to patch it. Great idea with horrible results. The air leaked out anyway.

Still no worries. I found another hose I could use so I removed the old one and attempted to put the new one on. 

For 10 minutes. 

It’s not rocket science people, you just push it on. Except, it wouldn’t GO ON. 

That’s when it hit me. I’m going to have to ask for help. Oh my! For this pretty reliant, independent woman (who has backpacked solo BTW), to not be able to do such a simple task like putting air in her car tires is ridiculous. Seriously??

This is when I got another hit. I said to myself, “Susan, so you can’t get the hose to connect. Your neighbor Joe across the street is incredibly handy and can help you in a heartbeat. You’ve just got to ask.” So I strolled on over to Joe’s house and asked for help. He showed me how to put the hose on, I put air in the tires, and just like that, done.

It was nothing but a story in my head about why I was incompetent because I couldn’t change the hose on a compressor to put air in my tires. How many times do we do that to ourselves? Feel dumb asking for help for something we think is simple that we end up not being able to do on our own?

I keep learning this lesson time and again. Asking for help is not a failure. We are not islands unto ourselves. Others enjoy helping us as much as we enjoy helping others. 

This is when I relaxed. So what? I couldn’t get the hose on. My husband wasn’t here to ask. I found someone else. No need for a story.

If you want to follow the path of least resistance, ask for help. So many things become easier that way.

Sometimes we need help with little things and sometimes we need help with bigger things. Like making shifts in our lives. That’s why I created something new to help you out if you need it. It’s called The First Steps to Creating a Slower, Simpler Life. Head on over to my Home page, scroll down to the bottom and you can grab it and get The Nurture Your True Life Newsletter every Saturday in your inbox. 

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

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

The Hard Times Give Way to the Beautiful Times

As I was walking our dog Elvis this week through the neighborhood Icannot begin to put into words the profound appreciation I felt looking at the grass, the trees, the bushes, the blooming flowers. After the cold, icy winter and the cold, wet spring we experienced, summer is really here. It took a loooooooooong time for the sun and warmth to arrive. 

Going through that six month period was hard. Settling into and accepting things when they are hard just kinda plain outright sucks. Sometimes you just have to get through it, complaining a little (or maybe a lot). But it’s part of the deal.

Now, because this winter and spring were so full of precipitation, our trees and flowers are bigger, bolder, and brighter. I swear I’ve not seen such an outpouring of color and happiness. Mother Nature doesn’t take sides. Yes, she gave us such a hard time earlier, and then she rewarded us with a beautiful time now. 

Even Yosemite National Park is having the most abundant number of overflowing waterfalls than they’ve had in more than two decades. 

Hard times don’t stay forever. We are always shifting, growing, evolving, and changing as people, individuals, communities. Whether we’re going through something hard that seems to come from external circumstances like the weather, or struggling internally, we are wired for change.

Which is why it’s so important to slow down and just be with, and in your life some moments. You need darkness to appreciate the light. You need ick to appreciate the good. There has to be contrast for you to notice when something shifts.

Right now, I’m basking in appreciation. I don’t know how long it will last, and it doesn’t matter. I’m feeling it in this moment, and that is enough.

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

Helping you live a slower, simpler life

Do You Ever get Tired of Your Own Bullsh*t?

I know I do. What do I mean by that? I’ve got a mighty big ego. Not quite like the person who holds the position of the POTUS, but mine is bigly alright. I can be so self righteous it’s kinda ridiculous. And I know it. I see it. Others may not, sometimes they might, but I know it’s there.

At times, I’m able to let go of patterns of mine that don’t really work for me or others in my life. Sometimes even though I have patterns I know aren’t completely healthy and helping anyone, including me, my ego is one tough mother. 

I know I’ve talked about letting go quite a bit here. Shifting our patters, especially if we’ve had them forever,  is no easy feat. But as they say, what we resist, persists. 

How does this show up in my life?  My husband and I keep having the same argument/discussion over and over again without a lot of real resolution. I know it’s on both of us, but I can only change and shift myself. I know that really deeply, yet my ego still wants my husband to be the one to change. 

Every. 

Single. 

Time. 

It doesn’t matter that I tell myself I’m going to show up differently. And I do intend to show up differently. And then I don’t. I’m a Life Coach for goodness sakes. Really? The famous Maya Angelou said that when we know different, we do different. Well, sh*t, not at my house. 

And it’s just my little (yet big) ego that’s struggling. Not the wise and compassionate part of me that knows that shifting will give me everything I want. And probably even more. 

I wish I had a nice tidy exercise to help my ego let go but I haven’t found it yet. I’ve tried all my coaching tools to no avail with this. 

I do think I’ve found the only thing that will help crack this nut. I have to be tired enough of my own bullsh*t, seeing the same results (that I don’t want) over and over again, to recognize that my ego isn’t getting me anywhere. Oh yes, “La Ego” can go along for the ride, but that’s it. No driving, no choosing the radio station, no choosing the destination. 

This is not easy work my friends. We each have to continually show up time and time again if we want to shift our patterns. Shift our lives. 

Staying stuck is not healthy. And over the long term, will leave you in a bottomless hole. 

I’m a life coach and I’m human. I don’t have it all together all the time. Occasionally I feel like I do, but it’s not every day. 

It’s about persistence and determination. When you desire something to be different, you keep trying until you find the answer for you. Sometimes that means, you have to own your own bullsh*t.

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

Helping you live a slower, simpler life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

Quitting Versus Letting Go

I had a conversation the other day with a friend of mine about quitting versus letting go. What does it really mean to quit or let go of something?

Definitions of quitting include leaving, vacating, exiting, departing from, abandoning, withdrawing from, cease, discontinue, give up, relinquish, usually permanently. 

Letting go — to move or proceed, especially to or from something. Stop holding or gripping. 

When I think about these two words, they each have a different energy behind them. Quitting feels more harsh, abrupt. Like something is there one second and gone the next. Letting go has a sense of empowerment to it. The idea of consciously deciding to just let go of something that doesn’t work for you anymore. It feels like dropping a feather, whereas quitting feels like dropping a boulder. Quitting is a final discarding of energy while letting go is a shifting of the energy. 

There are times when quitting something quickly is the right choice. Like immediately walking away from a situation you can tell is not good. 

And there are times when letting go is a better fit. Realizing a job you are in just isn’t right for you anymore and you take the time to discover what’s not working, why it’s not working, and what needs to be done. 

Many of my coaching clients believe that in order to create change in their lives they have to quit doing certain things or give up some things in order to have what they want. But it doesn’t really work completely that way. Often times it’s just a letting go of an old belief that keeps them stuck or slowly letting go of a habit that serves no good purpose for them. 

There are times to quit and times to let go. 

Sometimes you go out with a bang and sometimes you walk away quietly. 

You get to decide what feels right to you.

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)

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

Why You Need Lack in Your Life

You may not relate to the example I’m about to give you but I bet you will be able to relate to having lack in one area or another of your life at some point.

We have had a “not quite so normal” winter here in Bend, OR. Like an every 25-years kind of abnormal winter. Our usual blue skies were replaced with colder, snowier, icier, and grayer days for the past few months. While we usually have snow that sticks on the ground for maybe a couple of weeks, then melts before the next snow comes, we’ve had snow on the ground from the beginning of December that has still not melted. 

If you are a natural lover of the sun and its Vitamin D giving properties,  like me, then you know how hard it is to deal with the lack of it. I’m not going to sugar coat it or give you a great coaching tool to help with it. Nope, not today.

I’m going to tell you why lack IS so helpful.

It has been the lack of sun and warmth that has made it’s coming backa major magical experience. I do believe that lack inspires appreciation. When you lack the sun, you are smitten when it arrives again. When you lack your health, you absolutely treasure it when it comes back. When you lack money, you adore it when your account is more full.

I do realize that real lack can truly be a reality for some and I also realize that it can also be just a state of mind. This is not the focus of this post.

Today, after having so much lack in the way of blue skies, sunshine, and warmth, it came back. I’m actually sitting on my back deck in the sun typing this to you because it IS back. It has been almost 4 months since I’ve been able to sit outside in anything less than 3 layers of clothing. My appreciation and gratitude are overflowing.

We need some lack in our lives. We need to be reminded how great certain things can be. And not having things be as we’d like all the time gives us the view from the other side so we can appreciate our lives even more when we do have what we want.

Lack is not the enemy. It’s the reminder of what we enjoy and value so much.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below.

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

~ Susan

YOUR TRUE LIFE (KNOW IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT)

Image by Pixabay, with permission.