Taking Care of You

Creating Your Own Vision Board

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Have you heard of Vision Boarding? There are a number of ways to do it and my favorite is organically. I led a Meet up group recently where we created vision boards. Many people in the group had created them before but they all had a goal in mind or a vision. You can do it that way, but you don’t have to.

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own, here’s an easy way to do it. 

What you need:

  1. A poster board, any color
  2. A pair of scissors
  3. Glue (Glue sticks work best, but regular squeeze-the-bottle-glue works too).
  4. Magazines you already have at home and a few different ones you don’t normally get from the store. 3-5 total.

That’s it! 

How to do it:

This is my favorite part. You can’t do it wrong. Give yourself about an hour where and when you can be undisturbed. Grab some coffee, tea, or wine. Put on some favorite music if you’d like. You just need to be in a more relaxed space and frame of mind.

Start looking through the magazines and cut out any words or images that “speak to you”. When I say that I mean, anything that makes you sigh, take a deep breath, feel lighter lifted and inspired. Anything that seems intriguing, exciting, or relaxing even if you don’t know why. Basically, get your brain out of the way and  don’t overthink it. This is about letting your own internal light and creativity lead the way. 

Once you’ve gone through and cut the images and words you want, start gluing them on the poster board. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. You might have things overlapping or a lot of white space. You might create your own structure for it or it where you lay it all out then glue, or it  might be more free flowing and you glue as you go.

This is about you showing yourself what’s fun, inspirational, and uplifting to you. You might be surprised at how it turns out.

When you’re finished, look it over and see if you notice any patterns or themes. Where do these patterns and themes show up in your life now? 

What are you wanting more of?

Notice what stands out for you.

You can do anything you want with this vision board. Some people put it somewhere they can see everyday. Some people put it in a closet, take it out in a year, and notice if some of the things in their images in words showed up in their life. 

It’s basically a snapshot of where you are right this moment in your life and the feeling states you enjoy. Often when people look at their vision board they feel some form of “yay”. We all like to feel good. If you’re having a “not the greatest day in your life” kind of day you can always bring out your vision board to give you a little boost. It’s not about what you might want that you don’t have. It’s about the feeling you think having something will give you. Then notice what you have now that already gives you that feeling.

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. 

Why Asking For Help Is So Hard

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Do you sometimes need help?

Do you actually ask someone for help when you need it?

If you do, why?

If you don’t, why not?

Asking for help in our culture isn’t something a lot of people feel comfortable doing.

Somewhere along the line, asking for help when you needed, it started to bring up all sorts of thoughts about you as a person. 

You weren’t smart enough.

You gave up too easy.

You must not have tried hard enough.

You should be able to figure things out on your own.

Asking means you’re weak.

Good golly, if I thought all of these things when I really wanted to ask for help, I’d feel like crap for even thinking about asking, and I sure as hell wouldn’t do it.

Yet, that is exactly what we have been taught for decades. Possibly by family, religion, culture, everywhere.

Even if you do reach out for help, then the shame game starts up. 

What will others think?

I can only tell specific people so it doesn’t get out.

Who am I really if I can’t do this all on my own?

That’s why it’s so hard to ask for help. Because we have a collective societal story and stigma around who we think we are as a person if we need help and how we’ll be perceived if we ask for it. 

Some cultural norms need to be broken. I do think it’s slowly shifting, but this is one of them.

Human beings need other people for connection. For support. For love. For community. For help.

It’s part of our DNA.

Think about the Amish. When they need to build a barn, do you think one guy says, “I’m going to do this all by myself, I don’t need anyone else?”

No, the entire community gets together and builds that barn. 

In one day.

Not a single one of us can live our life on our own. Even if you’re introverted. You need other people sometimes. 

Look at it this way. We all have skills and talents in various areas of our lives. My husband, for example, can build and fix almost anything house related. That’s his gift. He is so damn good at it. 

Asking for help can mean you need someone else’s expertise to help you in an area where you have less. That’s it.

I can’t do what my husband does.

I can’t fix cars.

I can’t put acupuncture needles in someone.

There are A LOT of things I can’t do.

So, if I need help with something I ask. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me. 

The same goes for you. If you need help with something you’re not that great at, ask. Someone who is great at (insert whatever here) would love to help you. 

I truly believe thats why we all have different talents. So we can help others who don’t have the same and be helped by others when we need it.

You don’t have to continue with the old cultural story in your mind. You can just say. I need help with this. Period. Then ask.

Speaking of help.

I love to help people with my talents. 

I am awesome and helping women who are feeling stuck with direction in their life, Get unstuck, and move forward towards what they do want. 

I even have a new program called Get Unstuck Now avaialbe to help you do just that.  You can find out all the details here.

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.

Your Permission Slip

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This time of year can be extraordinarily busy and filled for many people. Like overwhelmingly so. There’s a push and pull between both the expectation to be part of all the merriment with invitations by others to you and expectations of what you want to give and do for others during the holiday season. This is on top of your normal, possibly hectic schedule, and let’s top it off with less daylight to keep us motivated.

I was reminded very recently by a wise human soul that I needed to give myself permission to let go of some of this overwhelm. I am normally quite good at not piling too much on my metaphorical and literal plate, but everyone now and then I overdo it.

Thinking about all I thought I wanted and needed to get accomplished sent my mind and body into a frenzy of discomfort. Just an ick kind of feeling, a heaviness in my chest, and the desire to shut down. 

This “giving myself permission” was as simple as then deciding that there were one or two things on that list that I could let go of for now. Maybe not forever, but for today. And do you know what feeling came over me? Relief. 

Relief that if it didn’t get done today, no one would die, the world wouldn’t stop spinning, the dog would still get fed, and I had one less thing to stress me out. 

So here’s your permission slip from me (and I want you to give one to yourself). You have permission to not do it all, be everything for everyone, and drop at least one damn thing from your to-do list today, or this week. Whatever gives you the feeling of relief. Because that’s what we need this time of year. That deep breath, big sigh, expanded chest, feeling of relief. 

Let me know what one to-do you are dropping. Then thank yourself. Because being less stressed on your end means you are bringing better energy into your life, not only on your end, but that energy ripples out to your friends, family, and the rest of the world.

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

~ Susan

Helping You Get What You Want Out Of Life

 

I Need Help to Help You

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Hi everyone! Can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT week? WHAT? We haven’t even made plans yet. Well, ok, my husband and I are running in a local run called I Like Pie! Isn’t that a fantastic title for an event? You run a few miles on Thanksgiving morning, then you eat pie. Done and done. And who knows, maybe that’s all we’ll do. 

I work part-time for a great outdoor gear company called REI. Maybe you’ve heard of it. ;) For the 3rd year in a row they are closing on Black Friday, paying all of their employees to Get Outside, and asking the rest of the public to join us. We can all shop 24/7 on any other day of the year, but REI has taken a stand and said, “No More”. We have to get away from consumerism occasionally and remember what’s important. Getting outside in nature and spending time with family and friends. NOT shopping.

You can see what others around the country are going to do and share what you plan to do that day right here. It's a really cool website, check it out. We haven’t made our Black Friday plans yet but I can guarantee it’s going to include getting outside and enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer that day. 

But I mostly want to focus on you this week. Specifically, what’s on your mind and heart? What’s bothering you, upsetting you, feeling off in your life? What’s frustrating? Disheartening? Worrisome? I can address it here. I won’t mention your name, but maybe a lot of others can benefit. 

So many of our troubles are universal. Meaning we’ve all had some form of them, and if not, the feelings that arise are similar. 

So throw it at me. 

I’m always looking for more ways to address what’s going on with my clients. And I’ve got to know what’s bothering them most to do that. So if there’s anything that comes up for you, please hit reply and let me know. If I don’t send a newsletter out about it I’ll send a personal email to you to address it. Deal??

And Happy Thanksgiving! Take some time to think about and feel what you are grateful for. No matter what is happening in the news and around the world, your little slice of the world has something really good.

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.

 

A Native Spirit Oracle Card for You

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If you receive my newsletter then you know I believe in more than we can see and touch. There is a mystery to the universe and our existence. And while it can seem that often life is mundane, there is always an intricate web of magical happenings going on around us in every given moment. It can be hard to notice but when you do, oh my, do you gain some inspirational understanding of how the universe is working in the moment. 

I have a deck of Native Spirit Oracle Cards and I occasionally pull a card for myself or friends when at a gathering. These cards are not meant to be just some superstitious mumbo-jumbo. 

The woman who created them, Denise Linn, is a member of the Cherokee Nation and spent time asking for the messages which needed to be on the cards at the base of Mount Kuchumaa. It straddles the border of Mexico and the US. The mountain is sacred to the Kumeyaay Indians, who revere it as a place of dreaming and for receiving mystical visions on its slopes.

Here is an excerpt from the guidebook that comes with the cards. “Deep inside of you dwells a vast store of ancestral wisdom. It’s a sacred, infinite place that is not separate from the great mountains, sweeping seas, and expansive plateaus. It’s also where the spirit of those who walked before you resides. If you look back far enough, all of your predecessors were indigenous. They knew how to live in harmony with the earth and understood how to read the signs, portents, and omens to discover the answers to long sought questions. Their voice and spirit exist in you too.”

So I shuffled the deck this morning as I always do before I pull a card. I set the intention that whatever the message, you will get what you need from it. It might pertain to some area of your life and I hope you will hear what you need to hear. 

My process in selecting a card goes like this. After I have touched each card by rotating them one at a time to the back of the deck (basically a reset from the last card selection) I slowly shuffle them until a card falls out naturally. That’s how I know it’s the one.

The card that dropped out today was this:

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NATURE SPIRITS

The guidebook that comes with the deck explained its meaning.

Joy. Delight. Peaks of carefree abandon. Living wildly, magically, and free. Be open to the wonders of the universe flooding into your life. Innocence and delight are abounding. Happiness is on its way!

Your Native Spirit Wants You to Know: Almost every indigenous culture recounts stories of fairies (often called “little people”) and nature spirits. Although some of the fairies act in protection of their wild lands and should be treated with care and respect, most often they bring blessings and delight to all in their realm. If this Nature Spirits card chooses you, then welcome to a wellspring of joy and magic. Beneath the surface, mystical interventions are occurring in your life. Relax. All is well.

The Journey: Even taking a few minutes of stillness in the natural world can help you attune to the world of the little people and nature spirits. If you see a small flash of light or a movement of a leaf on a windless day, these are often signs that the wee folk are near. 

So I would say to take this information lightly. See where it might resonate. It could be something small or might relate to some big change happening for you. 

I have a story I remember from childhood when I attended a weeklong YWCA camp one summer. One of the camp counselors took us on a walk in the woods near the center. As we wound on the path through the trees and shrubs she had us walk very slowly, quietly, and deliberately so as not to scare the fairies in the area. She asked us to keep our eyes open and focus on any small movements we might see in the grass. The fairies that lived there might be scurrying around she said. I felt like I was in a magical forest where mushrooms were stools for small creatures to hang out on and spiderwebs contained the answers to any question you might ask. To this day I see flashes of light and movement at times where it doesn’t make logical sense. It’s how I know the fairies are in my midst and they help keep my imagination alive.

I’d love to hear if anything came up for you regarding fairies. Please do share. 

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

 

When The World Feels Askew, There's Only One Thing To Do

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Things are tense right now. Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Politics. Fires across the NW. Fires in BC. Floods, famine, and war in other parts of the world. It’s a lot people. A whole freaking lot.

Most of the time I can cope with it all. And then some days it just feels overwhelming, heavy,  and truly sad. I can’t live in that space for long. I can get sucked in by it and feel hopeless. That helps no one.

That’s why it is vital that not only during times like this, (but even during normal times too) you do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself in ways that bring you peace, love, relaxation, joy, inspiration… whatever it is you need to feel in order to keep your life moving forward in a healthy way. 

Maybe it’s calling a friend. Reading a book. Taking a walk outside. Getting a massage. Cooking. Working out. Re-organizing a closet. Volunteering to help someone out. Sending someone some uplifting words as they go through a hard time. If it makes you sigh with some relief that there is goodness all around you then do it. Not just for others, but for you. 

I for one, am off to get a massage. I get to support a local massage therapist and myself as well. 

Part of living life and being and doing for others is taking care of you. It’s all connected. I know you know that. Things are hard right now. I’m not going to lie. We each have our own lives to live. No one is going to schedule Take-Care-Of-You-Time on your calendar for you. You can. You should. You must. 

A You that feels better radiates better feeling energy to everyone around. And that in and of itself is of benefit to your family, friends, co-workers, city, country, and our world. When you deny yourself, you deny the rest of us. We’re all connected. 

When the world feels askew, there’s only one thing to do. Make sure to take care of 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

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

The Balancing Act Called Life

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Take a really good look at the image above. Do you notice how everything has to be precisely just so for the rocks to balance one on top of the other? 

Our lives are kind of like that. The Western world is a crazy fast-paced one. It didn’t get that way on its own. I don’t know exactly how it happened but I would bet there was some form of “the hurry up and jump on the bandwagon before you get left behind” mentality. So that’s what almost everyone did. 

Except many of us don’t subscribe to that way and pace of life. It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and unfulfilling. And not sustainable long term.

Do you know why people get sick? 

Their lives are out of balance, their minds are not on the same page as their hearts. Our immune systems are designed to keep away illness. Inherent in that design is that we take care of ourselves. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. There has to be some balance. Without it we can become physically ill, mentally a wreck, and emotionally drained.

Think about the last time you were sick. Can you look back and notice what wasn’t in balance in your life at that time?

Were you getting enough sleep, Eating nourishing foods, spending time with positive people, spending your days volunteering or working doing something that gave you joy, moving your body, taking care of yourself emotionally and mentally, getting outside in Nature? 

It’s so important to look at our own role in our health and life balance.

We have an amazing ability to heal our lives if we work on balance. So… how do you do that? 

Add one thing, drop one thing, or change one thing. You could do all three if you wanted, but I’m a strong proponent of lasting change through small, lady bug size actions, that you take consistently. 

There’s a quote I love, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” 

Add one thing to your life that brings you joy or peace that you don’t have or do now. Or drop one thing from your life that takes you away from joy and peace. Or change something that isn’t working so well so that it can work better. 

Add, Drop, or Change.

Just one thing.

Do it consistently.

Daily, Weekly, Monthly.

A perfectly balanced life won’t happen every day, but a mostly balanced life will help you feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

I’d love to hear what small changes you’ve made in your life that have made a big difference in your life balance and wellbeing. 

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.

Feeling Content

There’s something I’ve noticed over time. When you follow your true nature, your inner voice, your inner longings and desires, you tend to feel content. 

Many years ago when I first started dating my husband, I vaguely recall a conversation we had. I don’t remember it’s exact content but what I do remember is telling him I felt content. He asked what I meant by that. It was mostly about not needing to change anything that was happening in my life. Nothing needed to be shifted. Nothing needed to be fixed. At the time I was newly divorced, changing careers, and my life was not what I would call “settled”, but I was content. 

I’ve decided that feeling content is quite under-rated. I think many people think of content as being ok with the status quo. You aren’t working towards something, you aren’t making headway on your big goals, maybe you’re a bit lazy even. 

And you know what, we all have different ideas and desires about what a happy and fulfilled life looks and feels like. I’ve got friends who are always planning and training for their next big physical adventure. I’ve got friends that if you asked them to sit still out in nature for 2 hours they’d rip their own hair out from boredom. I’ve also got friends that would give their left arm to just sit and write all day. 

Pick up any self-help book or article, it’s all about fulfilling your greatest potential, being the best you can be, pushing through your fears, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

There are people that want that. They want to push their boundaries and limits, and see what they can actually do. 

And that’s fantastic. 

For them.

But I’m wondering, seriously wondering, if there isn’t a pretty good size segment of the population (including me) that isn’t excited about jumping out of bed every day to see how much of their potential they can fulfill today. And this is coming from someone who isn’t even near retirement age. 

Do you know what excites me most when I get out of bed in the morning? When I wake up and feel rested, ready with energy to start my day. That yummy morning cup of coffee I’m going to drink. Sitting on my deck or looking out my window enjoying the birds that come to feed and the pop-full-of-color flowers that I’ve picked up from local greenhouse to enjoy for the summer. 

The contentment in the first hour of my day alone is so fulfilling. Maybe I think about the rest of my day and what I’ll be doing later during that time, and maybe I’ll just sit and enjoy where I’m at. 

In a culture where busy is king, this queen isn’t playing that game. My true nature won’t allow it. Doing more doesn’t equal contentment, unless it really does for you. Contentment comes from doing things you love and enjoy, your way, in your time. And if that doesn’t flow with what’s happening around you, so what? The world needs the balancing energy of people who are more content. And if doing less and not striving every minute to the next goal makes you more content, then that’s your path. It’s not that life isn’t sometimes hard, and sometimes too busy, it is. Buy it’s you that determines your contentedness and how you balance that out.

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.

 

When Only Quiet Will Do

We live in a noisy world. There will always be something to grab your attention. Often, what needs our attention most is our own inner voice. And really, that’s the only one we should be listening to.

I mentioned last week that I had an opportunity to go to Costa Rica for a beach-filled, humidity-filled, I wasn’t completely sure what-filled week. 

No tv, news, or anything “usual” to distract me. Just pure mother nature in all her finest. 

I sat, I breathed, I meditated.

I did yoga in the open air Shalas at the breathtaking yoga center every day.

I journaled. I took long walks on the beach. 

I listened to sounds of the jungle, the howling monkeys, the birds, the ocean surf. 

I was there to be warm and to be quiet.

To listen to my inner voice and what she had to say. Sometimes she spoke while I was writing in my journal, sometimes she spoke when the hummingbirds were feeding. Sometimes I heard her when I was in a long-held yoga pose during a thunderstorm when the wind whipped the leafy trees and lightening was followed by rolling boulders of thunder. Sometimes she arrived strolling on the beach.

I am convinced more than ever, that quiet is the way in. 

Those I know whose make sure part of their daily lives are filled with quiet are the ones that I sense are more grounded, peaceful, and content. 

It is only in the quiet spaces we can hear what needs to be heard, whatever that message is. 

We do this for children, give them nap or quiet time every day. It shouldn’t be just for them. As adults, we need it just as much now as we did back then. 

Do you have quiet time scheduled in your life? If not, please don’t deprive yourself of that gift. It’s the quiet time that allows the space for your inner voice to be heard. And that is where so many answers to your life’s questions can be found.

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)

Saying Yes to Opportunity

I’m in Nosara, Costa Rica as you read this. No I’m not saying this to make you envious, though you might be. 

I’ve been longing to go sit on a warm, sandy beach for probably months now. Our Central Oregon winter has been long. Longer, colder, and icier than any of the first few we’ve had here. I do generally enjoy winter, but this one has been much harder than this former native Floridian and decade-long Alaskan would have liked.

Enter opportunity.

A good friend of mine who spends a month in Costa Rica every year just happened to mention (after I had had bemoaned winter and wanted so much to spend time in real warmth) that she had space in her house for me if I wanted to join her and do just that.

My first thought was, “oh my gosh that would be absolutely fantastic!”. My second thought, “there’s no way I’ll be able to get time off on short notice and airfare will be through the roof.” I decided right then and there I would at least look into it. 

Well the sun gods heard my plea. Airfare wasn’t astronomical and I could get time off work. This was working out to be a no-brainer.

What’s the point of my sharing this?

Opportunities show up in your life. Maybe you notice them, maybe you don’t, but I can tell you they are there. This one showed up for me. My only desire in all of this was to spend some good down time in a favorite venue. That venue just happens to be a warm, sandy beach. 

And even better, I’ll be staying close to a rainforest and a yoga studio. I’ve got plans to run and walk on the beach, journal, meditate, do yoga, explore the area, and hang out with my friend. Exactly what this winter weary human wanted and needed. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

What opportunity is right in front of you that you might have asked for or not? If it feels right, please say yes. 

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.

 

What Do You Need?

Our world can be very busy. Your life may be very busy. And do you know what gets lost in very busy? You. 

In order to create something you want in your life you must put you at the top of your list. Not after friends. Not after significant others. Not after kids. Not after work commitments. Not after the house gets cleaned. Not after the bills get paid. 

You. 

Now.

I’m not talking every second of every day. I’m talking, what do you need this week that would make you breathe a sigh of relief? Keep you sane to continue with the day-to-day stuff? Help you feel more relaxed and peaceful for a little while?

Here are some ideas:

~ Take a short nap one day to replenish

~ Or go to bed 1 hour earlier one night to get more rest

~ Say no to that thing on your schedule that puts you over the edge or you aren’t even excited         about

~ Get a massage

~ Go sit in nature for an hour with no agenda

~ Watch an indulgent show or movie with just you and enjoy every second

~ Spend and hour in a coffee shop drinking your favorite beverage with a great book

~ Walk through a plant store or greenhouse and soak spring in

~ Say yes to something that lights you up

~ Call a friend you really want to catch up with

Life can be busy but it doesn’t have to be 24/7. Believe it or not you have more control over your time than you think. And others can actually take care of themselves for a while without you.

I want you to think of one thing you need in your life right now that feels important to you. It can be super small, on the list above, or something else.

Put it on your calendar this next week. And just do it. No story. No excuses. If that feels great, do it again, or something else you need the following week.  Just do it. No story. No excuses. 

This is how you get what you want and need in your life if it’s too busy. You schedule it just like everything else. You decide it’s just as important as everything else. And it is. You are. 

When you put your needs on the top of your list on a regular basis I can’t guarantee the moon but I can absolutely guarantee your life will feel better. 

It’s a marathon this life of yours. There will always be something left undone, or something that pulls at your attention. What if you pulled at your attention and you answered that call on a regular basis? 

Wonder what it would feel like to not get your needs met? How do you feel right now? That’s what it feels like.

Just do it. 

No story.

No excuses.

What was on your needs list? I’d love to know.

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.