Change your thoughts

Finding Gratitude

Gratitude is always a choice you make. Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. Second by second. Here is what I am grateful for today. I’ll start with the incredibly soft and comfortable bed I woke up in. For the sun that is shining outside my window. For the fun job I have working with great people, and serving awesome customers. For the husband who is always so kind and caring. For my healthy body that speaks to me and lets me know what it needs to function at its best. For the birds at my bird feeder so happy to be enjoying the free food. For the time I have to sit at the beautiful table my husband created, looking out on the sturdy Ponderosa Pine trees. For the time to sit here and write this for you. And that’s all in just the first couple of hours of my day. Wow- I have got it goin’ on!

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend OR

I’m a pretty practical person by nature, and can get bogged down in the details of life, but I’m also really good at looking at the bigger picture too. That bigger picture shows me all is well in my world not only because of the choices I’ve made but because of the energy I put out into the world on a daily basis. When my emotional being is filled with negativity (always because of whatever negative I’m thinking), I get ick back from the world in the form of other people’s energy and experiences that aren’t so great. When my emotional being is filled with more thoughts that feel better, I get amazing experiences and happy energy from other people coming my way.

It’s one of the universal laws of energy. The Law of Attraction. Whatever energy you vibrate out, you’re going to get that same energy vibrating back in. There is no other possibility.

When I focus on what is going well in my life and hold the expectation of things continuing to go well AND get better, my days are seamless days filled with contentment. This has been a practice for me, and it continues to grow.

Could you spend the next seven days slowing down and taking the time to really appreciate and be grateful for what is going well and right in your life? I can’t promise bliss forever, but I can promise a little contentment in the moment.

And what is life, but a string, of little moments.

Have a gratitude-filled week!

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

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Your Mental Side Needs Nurturing Too

Every emotion you feel comes from a thought you think. Did you know that?

I’ll repeat that again. Every emotion you feel comes from a thought you think.

What does that mean?

Let me break it down. WOMAN-THOUGHT-BUBBLE

Life happens. Circumstances happen. These are facts.

Facts like, you slept past your alarm, someone ran a red light and hit your car, or your boss yelled at you. Facts.

Facts have no story around them. They are just facts. Period.

Now, we usually have a thought about the facts that happen.

For example:

Fact: You slept past your alarm. No story here, just fact.

Then the story comes in forms of thought, like, OMG I’m going to be late to work and my boss will be mad, or, I’m a moron.

These are all thoughts.

Each of these thoughts will create an emotion in you.

The OMG thought might create a feeling of fear.

The I’m a moron thought might create a feeling of shame.

Emotions don’t come without a thought before them.

We have thoughts because of circumstances or facts in our lives.

Being hit by a car is a fact. Your thoughts (or story) about the idiot jerk who hit you, how much money it’s going to cost, how much time this will waste, are all thoughts. These thoughts will create your emotions. Possibly anger, fear, disgust, disappointment… the list can go on and on.

But guess what?

You get to choose your thoughts. Any time you want.

Want to feel better? Choose a thought that makes you feel better.

Say your boss yells at you. Fact.

Your thought could be, he’s an ass. So how would you feel if you thought your boss was an ass? Something tells me it wouldn’t feel so great.

Your thought could also be, maybe he or she is having a bad day, maybe they didn’t get enough sleep last night. How might you feel differently with those thoughts?


I’m not saying you don’t need to talk to your boss about the fact that you were yelled at, but notice the thoughts you are having about being yelled at, and the emotions that come up because of those thoughts.

The thoughts you think about any circumstance in life will create your emotions. Those emotions will drive how you handle various situations.

You get to choose how you feel by choosing what you think.

Want to feel angry? Think angry thoughts.

Want to feel happy? Think a thought that will make you feel happy.

How you feel emotionally is completely up to you and under your control.

No one can make you feel any certain way without your permission.

People can’t upset you, situations can’t upset you, only you can upset you.

Empower yourself.

Think your thoughts on purpose.

Be conscientious.

Nurture your mental side.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me,

If this struck you and 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.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Be thoughtful with your time

A woman walked by me in the parking lot of our local shopping mall and I overheard her say on her cell phone, “there just isn’t any down time.” A participant in the yoga class I was in was talking with the instructor after class saying, ”I can’t wait for the holidays to be over”. As a life coach I so wanted to pull them aside, teach them some awesome coaching tools, and say, “it doesn’t have to be this way. You get to choose where you place your time.”

Case in point. Just this week I was working on my to do list. I happened to be out walking my dog and thinking about certain things I wanted to have done in a specific amount of time. My poor brain was spinning, my chest got tight, my breathing became more shallow, and I felt overwhelmed. I’m guessing the two women I mentioned above felt some form of overwhelm too. woman-looking-at-watch

Here’s what I did to help. And it is exactly what I would teach any of my coaching clients, as well as both of those women.

First, I stopped and recognized that I WAS feeling overwhelmed. You’ve got to know what’s going on with you in that moment if you want to shift it.

Second, I asked myself what was I thinking about right before I started feeling overwhelmed. I realized I was thinking about all the things I wanted to get done in a certain time frame. AND that it seemed like way too much to squish into that time period. When I thought I had to get all those things done, the feeling of stress and overwhelm arrived. Bingo. And for me, it wasn’t that there wasn’t enough time. It was that I was trying to do too much for the time I had.

Third, I created the shift. The important question I asked myself was, what can I drop from my to do list that would help me feel more free and relaxed, and enable me to get things done without trying to beat the clock? I found three things on that list of mine that if I dropped them, for now, would make my life feel SO much more relaxed, unrushed, and without overwhelm. So I promptly dropped them. To be done later.


My brain stopped swirling, my chest opened up, and my shoulders relaxed. Now we’re talking.

Believe it or not, even during this Holiday time of year, not everything on your to do list has to get done. I challenge you, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about all you think you need to do, to ask yourself, what can I drop? Maybe it isn’t permanent, but for now, for today.

So be thoughtful with your time. I promise, it can make all the difference.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me,

If this struck you and 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.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Giving up Perfection when you're trying to be Creative

I love ideas. I have a lot of them. We just picked out our Christmas tree and brought it home. While some branches were being cut to make the tree fit into the base I had a great idea. I’ll use the extra branches to make a wreath we can put outside our front door. Brilliant idea!

My husband brought in some wire from the garage, and since I didn’t know how to make a wreath I Googled it. Martha Stewart makes some might fine, perfectly shaped, symmetrical wreaths!

I tried following the directions and my branches didn’t resemble anything like her wreath, or even A wreath. My husband gave me another idea. I tried that. Nope. Not so good.

Then I got frustrated. I just wanted to make a nice simple wreath using the greenery from my tree without spending a ton of time or money. I am not a moron. I should be able to figure this out. Dammit!

Then, my snarky brain kicked in. Just give up. You aren’t creative. Go to the crafts store and buy a pre-fab round foam form to attach the branches to and get it over with.

But instead of giving up and going to the store I stepped away and took my dog for a walk. Note- one of the best things you can do when you have a problem you can’t find a solution for is to step away for a while. It gives your subconscious mind some wiggle room to actually come up with a way to fix the problem.

I said to myself, I know I can do this. It’s just a silly wreath. So I proceeded to walk in the rain with no particular thoughts in my head. Then out of the blue, the ideas for how to fix my problem started coming. I had at least 2-3 ideas by the time I got home.

I put the wreath up, as is, just to see what it looked like. It wasn’t even close to what I envisioned but it was a start.

Wreath #1

Them I started to cut out the branches in the middle so my wreath would have a hole. It started to take shape until I cut one branch, which separated one whole side of the wreath. Instead of having a wreath with a round hole in the center, I now had one that looked sort of like a C. I said aloud,” that is so not what I had in mind”.

Wreath #2

Then something completely unexpected and fabulous happened.

I remembered that my last name is Carroll. Carroll starts with a C. This is the Carroll household. So why couldn’t my wreath be a big C with a red bow. I mean, why the hell not?

This all made perfect sense to me as I looked at this C wreath. It was totally organic. It didn’t sit on the wall perfectly flat. Some branches stuck out here and there, kind of like my hair often does. This wreath was completely me. It looked nice but not perfect. Care was put in to creating it but the perfection of a Martha Stewart wreath was left out. My life is messy, not perfect, filled with joy and sorrow, and great ideas that don’t always end up looking like I thought they would, or should.

I am quite pleased with my creation. I bet it won’t look like anything else in my neighborhood. And isn’t that often what we notice most? Things that look different but are still beautiful. All because I stepped away from the problem and allowed solutions to come through, then followed through on those ideas, which led to the organic creation of my unique Christmas wreath.

And I’m happier with the outcome, maybe even because, it doesn’t look like a Martha Stewart wreath.


Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me,

If this struck you and 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.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

When trying something new feels scary

Why does trying something new feel scary sometimes? Because your brain can’t distinguish between a real threat to your safety or a perceived one. There’s a part of your brain whose sole job is to keep you safe, to keep you alive. If it believes you are being threatened, it will pull out all the stops to keep you from harm. And what form do those stops take?  scary face of woman Your thoughts.

Here’s my personal example.

I’ve always said I enjoy coaching so much I’d do it for free. I’m not coaching as many clients as I’d like to be coaching right now, so I had this grand idea I’d offer subscribers to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter a free coaching session. What better way to introduce them to the experience, right? I get to do what I love and they get the benefit of life coaching. Total Win-Win!

And then…

That lizardy part of my brain crept in and here’s what she said. ”No one will sign up, even if it’s free…People won’t get the benefit…You’ll be wasting your time and energy…D-U-M-B idea”.

And guess how I felt after that rant?


And guess what I did when I felt deflated?

Nothing. No action towards offering free coaching to anyone.

See how that works?

Thoughts about circumstances in our lives create feelings, which create action (or none), which create my results, which ended up being me not offering those free coaching sessions.

Let’s recap. My brain felt threatened by me offering free coaching and threw up a bunch of blocks in the form of negative thoughts. Our brains are wired to keep us safe. That’s great if you’re about to get in a traffic accident, but the threat of people not understanding coaching is hardly life threatening. Again, our brains don’t know the difference.

So what do you do? Especially when your brain throws stuff like this at you. Which it does all day long.

You first recognize that you aren’t your brain, or your thoughts. You can observe when you have them. You can’t possibly observe them and be them at the same time.

Then you choose what you want to think on purpose.

Back to my example.

I changed my thought to “I’m going to experiment with this just to see what happens”. This thought caused me to feel excited, hopeful, and that it could be fun. With these feelings I picked a time that I could coach for my schedule and started writing up a blurb about it to send to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter followers.

I took action towards my goal rather than doing nothing.

I have no idea how it’s going to turn out and that’s okay. I can’t ever know how anything will turn out. The important piece is that I told my brain what to think, I felt better, and took steps towards what I wanted just by changing that one thought.

Your turn.

What’s something new you’d like to try but are afraid to?

What thought(s) are you thinking?

How do those thoughts make you feel?

What action or non-action are you taking because of those feelings?

What results are you getting?

Don’t like those results?


What thought can you think that would make you feel good enough to take action toward the result you want?

Perfect. Now go think it.

It is that easy. It does take practice. You have to take the time to notice what you’re thinking and feeling, but it’s worth it.

Do you want some free life coaching?

Sign up for the Nurture Your Life Newsletter below my picture near the top of the left sidebar and that option can be yours too.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me,

If this struck you and 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 small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life